How to Make Your Event Lead Capture Work for You and Not Get in the Way

Best Practices | Lead Capture | 9 min read

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We get it. Your team goes to events to connect with leads, not deal with clunky interfaces, spotty WiFi, and a long list of qualifying questions. All these things get in the way of engaging potential customers.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Being in the event demand gen business, we have heard plenty of questions and concerns from sales reps, field marketers and product managers who aren’t sure how to smoothly transition from business cards and spreadsheets to badge scanners and lead capture apps. With that in mind, we’ve compiled our answers to the most common questions we hear from our customers—as well as our list of best practices for frictionless lead capture at events.

“What’s in it for me?”

Sales representatives might believe that badge scanning is something your company has invested in for the events or marketing teams. The ability to capture accurate contact information and transfer it quickly to your MA/CRM system definitely helps meet KPIs like number of leads captured, while increasing efficiency and saving time.

However, when you use a lead capture solution that allows you to customize qualifiers right in the app, the clear winner is Sales. Let your team know they can expect to see:

  • More qualified leads from events. Probably the biggest benefit for sales teams is that the information collected at the event can help segment leads collected there. This means that warm leads can be automatically enrolled in a nurture, while hotter leads can be sent to the appropriate sales representative for the kind of timely, personalized follow-up that leads to meetings and, eventually, contracts.
  • More context about event leads. The ability to capture qualifiers and other information about leads right in the app means that info gleaned from the event will be attached to the contact record for the lead—where sales representatives can easily review it before making a call, whether that’s tomorrow, or in a couple of weeks.
  • Sales-ready leads in time to actually make sales. Lead capture solutions dramatically reduce the time it takes for leads to get from the event into your CRM and across sales reps’ desks for follow-up. Because leads will be segmented, Sales can address hot leads right away.
“How do I use it?”

When a lead capture app includes qualifying questions, it might seem like the intention is to hand the device to the lead to fill out the form themselves. And, you might want to do that sometimes! But in general, these questions are there to facilitate reps’ own note-taking. 

We recommend that sales reps conduct conversations the way they normally do. At the point when they would ask for a business card, use the lead capture app to scan that card or event badge instead. If your app allows reps to capture marketing consent, they may need to hand the device to the lead for a signature. After that, the sales rep can continue the conversation, tracking responses in the app as they go, or after the lead has walked away. (See next question for more on that.)

“This isn’t how I conduct a sales conversation.

This is probably the biggest concern we hear—no one wants technology to get in the way of engaging with potential customers! If your marketing and sales teams have worked together to identify what information is necessary for a marketing qualified lead (you have done that, right?), then your app should contain the questions your sales reps already ask. The majority of our customers use this functionality to capture what product the lead is interested in, what their purchase timeline is, and their budget. 

Even so, let your team know that the qualifying questions in the app are meant to help them efficiently record information gleaned from their conversations—not as a script they must follow while they talk. Remind them:

  • They can ask questions in any order
  • They don’t have to ask for every qualifier in the app
  • They can enter qualifiers while they talk, or after the lead walks away
“I can’t possibly ask all these questions.”

Some lead capture apps allow companies to set some content as required. We recommend using this sparingly to prevent your team from feeling like they can’t submit the lead without answering all the qualifying questions. Whatever your strategy around required qualifiers, let your team know how qualifiers were selected and what your organization's expectations are for them. If only one question is required and the others are optional, that information can help them not feel overwhelmed.

“How will I know this lead will come back to me?”

At the cocktail hour, your sales rep connects with a lead that is by all standards “hot.” They have a great conversation and she promises to follow up to set up a demo. But as she enters the lead’s information in your app, she can’t help but think, “What if this lead goes to someone else? What if they don’t read my notes? What if they don’t call her for two weeks?” 

Your lead capture app should actually prevent this from happening by including the name of the rep who scanned the lead as part of the metadata it sends over to your MA/CRM system from the event.  Let your team know how the app works, so they can rest assured that their leads will come right to them, and not to anyone else.

“I’m not a salesperson.” 

The ability to equip everyone you send to an event with a lead capture app right on their own device means that team members such as field marketers, product managers, and customer success representatives now have the ability to capture leads. While this is great for your database, and means that details from these conversations won’t get lost, you should be aware that some team members might not be thinking about things like purchase timeline and budget when they talk to people on the show floor. 

Walk your team through the app before the show and explain how the qualifiers help with your sales process. Encourage non-Sales team members, such as product managers, to partner up with a sales representative when the conversation moves from technical details into the opportunity.

Top 5 Tips for Frictionless Event Lead Capture
1. Install the app ahead of time. If your team is using an app-based solution like atEvent, they should install the app at least one day before the show. This gives them a chance to make sure everything is set up correctly and to get help if it isn’t.

2. Log in before leaving the hotel room. Spotty WiFi is real, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of your event lead capture. Most apps work offline—if you’re logged in. By taking this simple step where you know the signal is strong, your team will be ready to capture leads the moment they step onto the show floor.

3. Familiarize yourself with the app. Your team wouldn’t go to an important meeting without reviewing the presentation, and the same goes for your event lead capture solution. They should familiarize themselves with the interface and the qualifiers, so they can plan ahead how to fit them into the flow of their conversations.

4. Understand organizational expectations. If you’ve set up multiple qualifiers in your app, make sure your team understands which are the most important and if any of them are required to complete the lead capture. A team huddle on the show floor before the day begins is a perfect way to remind your team of these expectations and take any last questions about how best to use the app.

5. Know how to get help. Knowing the process for getting help—from in-app support to a how to call customer success—will help ensure that if your team does encounter problems, they’ll be able to get them fixed quickly.

 

Using an app—even one designed for frictionless event capture, like atEvent—instead of collecting business cards, is an adjustment. We hope these tips help your team discover how an event lead capture app can truly enhance their event-floor sales process!