Chances are if you’re in events marketing at a B2B company, your schedule is full of trade shows. As someone who’s traveled around the world to hundreds of events, I’ve learned some very important tricks of the trade (pun intended): always give away good swag, plan ahead like it’s your wedding, and, most importantly, bring your A-team.
While you might be tempted just to bring your best salespeople with you on the road, try filling your team with some all-star marketers who know how to talk shop as well. Sure, salespeople have that swagger and charm that us marketers wish we could emulate, but marketers have an enormous level of insight into buyers’ motivations and behaviors—meaning we too know how to have meaningful conversations with prospects.
A different perspective
If you’re a marketer, you probably have a different perspective on your target audience—mostly because you must deeply understand their mindset to be successful. This deep understanding of your customer provides you with two very different experiences. The first (and most dreadful) being that every single thing you do in your marketing programs tends to be a test on yourself first, making you question whether you’d be impressed by it before you click “Send” on an email program or execute on a new event. The second, and more important of the two is that you need to understand what makes your buyer tick. How do you prefer to be reached? What will get your attention? What messaging/keywords resonate directly with you? What is going to make you take the next meeting? These are all things that marketers are constantly thinking about, so share this with your sales team. Let them know about your insights as a marketer and they will better understand the individuals they are reaching out to in a more personal way.
These days, marketers have taken over much of the responsibility of “wining and dining” prospects. Thanks in large part to the internet, salespeople are no longer the sole gatekeepers of company information. In fact, anyone with an internet connection can learn about a product, service, or company without ever interacting with the brand. Today, it’s marketing’s job to work closely together with sales to engage with customers throughout most of the buying cycle. In other words, the sales process is now a team effort. And, that’s why you want to make sure that you have the best and brightest on your team when you are interacting directly with your potential customers. Let’s take a look at how to make sure that happens:
Here are three tips for bringing your A-team on the road with you:
1. It’s all about the ratio
By all means, do bring the sales team with you—they are going to be your biggest advocates for the success of the program that you’re running. But make sure you have the right ratio of sales to marketing to technically-savvy individuals who can take a deeper dive into the product. A strong team is a well-rounded one.
2. Know your pitch
Do you work for an organization that sells into different vertical markets? As the marketer in charge of the program, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone is armed with the right messaging to have meaningful conversations. Whether this is an event, webinar, or new nurture campaign, arm your sales and marketing team with the right tone and message that will be well received by your audience.
3. Have the right flow
Just like how you set a flow in your marketing automation system to direct an account to the right salesperson, have the same type of structure at your events. Staff your booth in a way that a person who is a “gatekeeper” (aka the qualifier) is the first touch point for your visitor. Then, have them make the introduction to the right person. If your visitor needs more information on pricing or key differentiators, introduce them to the sales team. If they need a deeper dive into the product functionality or have integration questions, your tech person is the go-to. Always come prepared and know who can address specific types of questions. Remember, you don’t need to answer a question you don’t know. As long as you’re armed with the right team, you’ll be set for success.
If you’re gearing up for an upcoming trade show, take some friendly advice from someone who’s been there and done that. At your next tradeshow, drive traffic into your booth the right way and turn raw leads into hot leads by bringing a mix of your top salespeople and all-star marketers. See you on the trade show circuit!
Have any other tricks of the trade for bringing your A-team to the trade show? Share your insight in the comments below!