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How to Smash Lead Follow-Up After Events & Trade Shows

    Written by Patrick Doolin on December 17, 2019

Socio sales rep chats with event lead at IMEX America trade show

Want a lead follow-up system that helps you quickly segment, prioritize, and reach out to your event leads?

 

So did two high-performing sales reps from Gong and Outreach. They met up after Dreamforce to compare notes on that and other questions, such as:

 
  • Where do you draw the line between a hot lead and a warm one?
  • How do you tier the rest of your leads in a follow-up-friendly way?
  • How do you create a system for personalizing the messaging?

They shared their best practices for lead follow-up on LinkedIn. That sparked a cross-industry conversation on how to follow up with trade show and corporate event leads.

 
☝️CLICK IMAGES TO SEE ORIGINAL POSTS 👇

Want to see how Sarah Brazier, SDR at Gong, and Alec Kimble, Enterprise SDR at Outreach, turn their event leads into prospects (and get some bonus insight along the way)?

 

Then read on to find out.

 

How to Prioritize Event Lead Follow-Up in 3 Steps

1. Follow Up With Hot Event Leads ASAP 🔥

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not that straightforward. It’s easy to distinguish hot leads from cold leads, but what about warm ones? Warm lead email follow-up, after all, is a skill all its own.

 

Here’s how Brazier defines a hot lead. “There are notes in the CRM, or they gave you a business card, or they begged you to send them a DocuSign,” she says.

 

In short, hot leads give you something tangible: evidence that they want the conversation to continue. So pick the conversation up ASAP.

 

2. Tier the Rest of Your Leads

After following up with your hot leads, chances are good you’ll battle what feels like a never-ending list of warm and cold leads. No matter how you look at it, there’s no easy way to attack it.

 

Here’s how Brazier slays the lead-list dragon.

 

“I first hit up everyone I spoke with, then move on to folks with the right title,” she says. “Then, I leverage the leads who are not in my ICP (ideal customer profile) to get to the right person.”

 

3. Group Leads Into Follow-Up Sequences You Can Quickly Personalize

The batching Brazier lays out above will help you here. It sets you up to draft base messaging in a way that you can quickly personalize for the leads in each group.

 

“Create a not-generic sequence that touches on who they are, what you talked about, and learnin’s from les conference that tie directly to their initiatives and your solution,” Brazier says.

 
Focus on relationships over “getting leads” so you can personalize your follow-up.

Sounds easy enough, but now you have another gauntlet to cross: creating the follow-up sequence.

 

How to Follow Up With Trade Show & Corporate Event Leads: A 3-Step Outreach Sequence

Prioritizing your lead follow-up is one thing, but developing and executing an outreach strategy is another.

 

Luckily, Outreach’s Alec Kimble has a process he recommends for this. It’s a sales outreach sequence backed by the science of machine learning.

 

Note it’s systematized, but not automated. “It is 100% manual by design,” Kimble says.

 

1. Build a Profile for Each Lead

Here’s how Kimble sets himself up for successful post-event outreach.

 
  • Find each lead’s LinkedIn profile. Gather info to deepen your notes.
  • Import the info. Kimble imports to Outreach using the ZoomInfo Chrome extension.
  • Tag your leads and prospects. Kimble uses his initials, the event, and year (e.g., “AK – Dreamforce 19”)
  • Filter for your tag. This centralizes the right contacts for follow-up.
  • Bulk sequence everyone. Remember Brazier’s advice for tiering leads.
  • Personalize and reach out. More on this below.

An easy way to help yourself here: Invest in event lead capture software, such as a mobile lead retrieval system that lets your team create and share notes on every lead you scan, then export them to your CRM.

 

2. Create a Multi-Channel Follow-Up Sequence

It takes time to carefully prioritize your leads, learn their pain points, and craft your outreach.

 

Honor that effort by creating an outreach sequence as well-planned as everything before it. Here’s how Kimble does it.

 
  • Day 1: LinkedIn request with a custom message
  • Day 1: Personalized email
  • Day 1: Call
  • Day 3: Personalized email “bump”
  • Day 4: Call
  • Day 6: Call
  • Day 7: Manual email “bump”

“Rinse and repeat through day 24 until you get a response or meeting,” he recommends.

 

3. Personalize Your “Bump” Emails, Too

Wondering what those “bump” descriptors refer to? Kimble explains.

 

The main goal of a “bump” email is to bump your message to the top of a lead’s email inbox. That makes the recipient more likely to see it and, consequently, more likely to act on it.

 

But don’t let that lull you into being lazy with the message. Here are four bumper email replies to help you start.

 

Bonus Tips: 2 Ways to Personalize Lead Follow-Up 

You’ve probably noticed that both Brazier and Kimble are big on personalization. There’s a big reason for it: The more tailored your message, the more you nurture the relationship.

 

Here are two quick and effective ways to do that.

 

1. Humanize Your Lead Follow-Up With Video

The power of a well-crafted email can’t be understated, but neither can the power of video.

 

“Video is cool because they can see your face again and go, ‘OH! YOU’RE THAT PERSON!‘ ” Brazier says.

 

Kimble agrees, noting that video not only humanizes the message, but it also cuts through the noise. He’s a fan of BombBomb and Drift.

 

2. Send a Just-in-Time Piece of Content

GroovyZebra founder Victoria Rudi points out that giving is a stronger way to get than asking.

 

When looking back at your notes, highlight all the pain points your leads mentioned. That includes ones related to—but not solved by—the solution you want to provide them.

 

Treat those pain points as keywords. Use them to search your company’s content, then send your best resources. Here’s an easy way to do it.

 
  1. Go to your blog page, homepage, or wherever you have content hosted.
  2. Add “site:” to the start of the URL, then add “/ what you’re searching for”, like this:

Imagine the impact of routinely sending lead follow-up emails like, “Hi Chris, I remember when we chatted at Inbound, you mentioned that you’re trying improve sponsor visibility. Here’s a blog we did on that (or podcast, webinar, etc) earlier this year. Hope it helps!”

 

But what if you don’t find any content you can pass along? Show your marketing team your notes. Whenever your ideal customers spell out their problems (which they do with invaluable candor in online communities), seize it as a content opportunity. You’ll likely meet more leads facing the same issues.

 
Event & Trade Show Lead Follow-Up App

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