How to Track Data Center Leads Before, During, and After Conferences
In the data center industry, conference are a big deal. In the U.S. alone, there’s a host of local, regional, and national conferences including those from 7×24 Exchange, AFCOM/Data Center World, Bisnow | Data Center Commercial Real Estate Events, CAPRE, Critical Facilities Summit, DatacenterDynamics DCD, DCAC Austin, Gartner | IT Infrastructure, Operations Management & Data Center Operations Conference, International Telecoms Week | ITW, and NANOG.
So with all the investments that companies make to attend, exhibit, speak at, and sponsor these events, one of the biggest challenges is generating positive return on investment (ROI).
Much of the potential and actual ROI comes down to how well each company’s sales team does at generating, tracking, nurturing, and closing leads generated at these conferences.
With that in mind, here are seven ways for sales teams to track data center leads before, during, and after conferences:
Before the Event:
Build buyer personas with your marketing team (know, at the minimum, who your two most important -- primary and secondary -- economic buyers are. Be sure you can capture/segment on this in your CRM and marketing automation platform. (BTW: Use your buyer personas to prioritize what events to attend/sponsor/speak at/exhibit at. After all, if the event doesn't attract your core buyer personas, why make the investment?)
Set revenue-focused SMART goals for lead generation -- Know what you want to accomplish at the event: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Even better, set specific SMART goals for each buyer persona and each lifecycle stage.
Create/update your library of remarkable, educational content with your marketing team -- Since the event is likely to attract leads at earlier stages of the buyer's journey, make sure you have persona-specific and stage-specific content that educates, builds trust, and accelerates leads into sales opps.
Build targeted social media reach -- Mine contacts on the event's #hashtag. Use the event's mobile app. Start networking before you get to the event and book meetings ahead of time.
At the Event:
Leverage your booth to cement thought leadership status -- Stop obsessing about swag and trying to convince yourself delusionally that every lead is Decision-stage or sales-ready. Instead, have meaningful conversations with attendees about goals, plans, and challenges so you can determine persona and journey stage for either nurturing or booking a meeting (consult, demo, tour, trial, etc.)
After the Event:
Segment and nurture leads captured to educate, build trust, and accelerate sales -- Every lead needs to be tagged for buyer persona, and buyer's journey or lifecycle stage. Early stage leads get nurtured - email nurturing, webinar invites, etc. Late stage leads go directly to sales.
Use closed-loop reporting -- So you can track what additional campaigns besides the event ultimately influenced closed-won and closed-lost status.
The Bottom Line
So before you and your sales team head out to the next data center conference that your company is exhibiting at, use this checklist of seven ways to track leads before, during, and after the conference.
How does your sales team keep track of your data center leads from conferences? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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