Marketer to Marketer: Narrowing Down Qualifying Questions

Best Practices, Product | 10 min read

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As a growth marketing specialist here at atEvent, sending marketing qualified leads to my sales team is very important to me. Read on for my top five tips for setting up your atEvent qualifiers.

I came into this role with a full belt of digital tools to usher prospects down the funnel, and I was crazy excited to be able to do the same thing with event leads, using our very own product, atEvent! Using atEvent, I’ve been able to consistently exceed our goals for passing qualified leads to sales reps after an event, both in terms of quantity and velocity. 

The key to keeping our database clean, and routing viable event leads to the right follow-up avenues, is how I set up the qualifiers in the atEvent app. Here are my top five tips for setting up your atEvent qualifiers, and making them work for you at the event.

1. Identify priorities for all event stakeholders. We’ve discussed team alignment before on this blog, and it’s always a good idea. Talk to your event stakeholders about what they need to capture, and see where your goals overlap. I started by compiling a list of qualifying questions after syncing with our Sales and Customer Success teams to make sure I had their interests and goals fulfilled in the questions. For example, after syncing with Sales, I knew they wanted a seamless, process where they can capture and qualify as many leads as possible, without a load of qualifiers getting in the way of their conversation. While from a Marketing perspective, I want to capture enough information about event leads to be able to identify ICPs and segment them into corresponding nurture flows, and give sales key information that will help them follow up in a personalized way. We both want to qualify leads and the faster I can do that with my questions, the more likely the sales reps will have time to ask a couple of additional questions that will help with personalization.

For atEvent, although Marketing and Sales are our biggest event stakeholders, events are also important opportunities for our Customer Success team to grow fruitful relationships with our customers who might also be at the event. With that in mind, we try to capture information in our notes that can give Customer Success some insight into how they are doing and what they could do better to ensure account satisfaction.


2. Narrow down qualifiers. Now that I’ve reviewed everyone’s priorities, I can narrow down my qualifiers to the questions that enable us to filter/segment leads and collect the necessary data. In my experience, I’ve found that our sales team gets the best results with 4-5 questions, with only 1-2 being required when qualifying leads for sales opportunities. Narrowing down my questions requires that I ask myself, “Who is the audience, and what will they want to talk about?” I also keep in mind the personas we expect to interact with, such as Executives or Demand Gen professionals (keep in mind this might change from event to event). I make sure that all of the questions work for all of our account personas. Based on that, I choose 1-2 questions that will determine buyer readiness and make those my required questions. If your company has multiple products, you’ll want to include a question up top about what product they’re interested in to make sure the conversation is productive. Your required qualifiers could be related to product, industry, timeline, or pain points, but it’s important to present them first and in a concise manner. The issue you need to combat here is with screen space. Your reps need to be able to find topics quickly when entering the app so they can use them naturally in a conversation when interacting with leads at the event.

For example, here are a couple of topics I set up for our trip to INBOUND19.

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3. Consider the event floor interaction. To settle on your list of qualifiers and the proper order of them, you’ll have to have a good understanding of how the interaction will take place. As someone who has seen both sides of how the product is used, I’ve been able to talk with Sales and see first hand what works and what does not work on the show floor. In doing so, I’ve learned to consider how a Sales rep might naturally insert a question into a conversation. If the questions don’t progress naturally, it can throw off the rhythm of your sales reps and lose the interest of your leads. All of your questions should not only make sense in the context of the event and conversation, but they also need to build off of one another. For example, one of your first questions might be about what product they are looking for instead of what their budget looks like. It’s important to keep the wording short and sweet and limit the required questions so that your sales reps don’t feel rushed and have the freedom to focus on the conversation.

The big thing I keep in mind is that event interactions happen fast, and the lead qualification process has to match that speed, or else everything is thrown off. For example, at one of our recent events, I was able to update the strategy and questions in real-time based on the feedback I was hearing on the floor from our sales reps. At this particular event, we left out an option for Salesforce in a question about MA/CRM systems, but I was able to make the update to include Salesforce as an option in real-time. This made the questions faster to answer without losing any context and kept our reps in the flow of the conversation.

4. Use the follow-up question to segment. While many customers use the follow-up section in atEvent to identify a specific action, such as setting up a meeting or sending an asset to a lead, I take a different approach. At a recent event, I created a single follow-up action asking if the lead was cold, warm or hot, and instructed all the reps on how to make that assessment. For example, a cold lead could be classified as someone that came by our booth just to grab one of our free orange wine cups and nothing more. A warm lead could be someone that only exhibits at a few events per year but wants to learn more about our solution. A hot lead would be a prospect that matches all of our top qualifying questions and is ready for a demo. Based on what follow-up action is selected, leads are placed into different workflows and sent emails that are populated with personalized messaging based on the lead data collected from the interaction.

After the interaction is over, take advantage of the notes field. Most of the time, there is additional information or something that was said that could help your Sales team in their personalized follow-up. I prefer using atEvent’s new talk-to-text feature for easy transcription of spoken notes, which has been a hit with our customers, as well as our staff because it makes it easier than ever to take notes.

5. Customize per event. The beauty of using atEvent is that once you’re set-up, you don’t have to do much to adjust for every event. After connecting with sales to ask about what they perceived to be a hot lead and what information matters the most, I can set up for one event, then I simply clone and copy over the existing topics/follow-ups, making minor adjustments for future events. The qualifiers might change slightly for different events but for the most part we know before a show who the attending accounts are in terms of where they are coming from, and what they do, so our questions are made to capture data with that background information in mind for more accurate lead scoring in our HubSpot instance.
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Lead Scoring varies between platforms. For HubSpot, they have what they call positive and negative attributes, and that’s how I set up my qualifying points. For example, a big contributor to our scoring revolves around event volume, which would be noted as a positive attribute. Say a prospect has a healthy event volume of 30 events per year, I would increase their prospect score by 5 points with a positive attribute. Likewise, if a prospect shows no interest in atEvent, and they stopped by our booth for the sole purpose of picking up one of our wine tumblers, I would mark them down as a cold lead in HubSpot, and give them a negative scoring attribute.

Lastly, while using atEvent helps you capture and filter/segment more leads, don’t forget that it can help you to determine which of your events were either successful or not, as well as if an event is worth our time and effort to attend again. Be sure to examine the event insights within atEvent to see how you and your team performed.

To maximize your event success using atEvent in conjunction with HubSpot, pick up a free copy of our HubSpot User Guide. Good luck!