The art of follow through is often what separates the record breakers from the ordinary sales pack. Simply put, having a program for clinching qualified tradeshow leads greatly increases your odds of landing new merchant accounts.
Do you have a follow-up plan for handling sales leads from the Electronic Transactions Association's Annual Meeting & Expo or from the regional acquirers shows you may have already attended or plan to attend this year? If your answer is no, you're not alone. Tradeshow industry experts estimated up to 80 percent of all tradeshow leads are not followed up. And the Sales Lead Management Association found 58 percent of the companies it surveyed did not qualify their sales leads.
While these statistics are staggering, they represent businesses in general. Because sales are so integral to what ISOs and merchant level salespeople do, many payment professionals likely fit into the 20 percent who follow up on leads and are among the 42 percent who qualify leads for their sales teams. However, according to The Trade Show Bureau, 43 percent of exhibitors that issue post-show lead fulfillment materials fail to send out information until after prospects have made a final buying decision.
The following six tips on managing tradeshow leads can help ensure this does not happen to you.
Scoring prospects can be as simple as a 1, 2, 3 rating, with 1 indicating interest in buying now, 2 showing future buyers, and 3 representing no interest or involvement in buying.
Other criteria for the first two categories should include whether the prospect is a decision maker, the size of their company, plus any details which might match prospects with future scheduled product releases.
The secret to managing all sales leads is swift and appropriate follow-up. In time, your well orchestrated follow-up system will net more sales and allow fewer leads to slip away.
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