Would you like to help your marketing and sales people work in tandem and more seamlessly during a trade show?
Here are some ideas about what you can do before, during, and after a trade show to help your sales and marketing players become a more cohesive team.
Before the trade show:
- Set and communicate the show’s sales and marketing goals i.e. number of leads, sales revenue generated, new product introductions, and increased brand awareness. This will enable both groups to see they have strong reasons for ensuring success
- Ask sales what information they want gathered from visitors at the show and get that on the lead card or even better embed the questions within your trade show display design
- Work together to set at-show appointments before the event
- Train both sales and marketing in a combined pre-event meeting on how to work a trade show booth
The day before the trade show:
- Let each member of the trade show team introduce themselves and tell each other what they want to get out of the show
- Tell your sales and marketing people that it’s okay to ask each other for help with booth visitor questions they don’t know the answer to
- Re-emphasize that each team member needs to record what visitors were interested in, and what follow-up was promised, so the sales person who receives the lead can make a good follow up phone call
- In the rush before the show opens, be sure to treat the sales and marketing people equally
At the trade show:
- Try to balance the number of sales and marketing people on each show shift
- Casually mention to a marketing person on the team when a sales person gets a great lead, and likewise, tell a sales person when a marketing person gets a great lead
- Hold sales and marketing team members equally accountable during show hours — if a marketing manager hides behind a table or a top sales performer only chats with his neighbour, coach them with the same level of urgency
After the trade show:
- Report to the team how they all either achieved or did not achieve the show goals — let them know how sales and marketing performed as a team
- Share anecdotes from the show, like when a sales person spoke with a prospect who liked your new branding, or a marketing person who heard from a client how much they value their sales person’s customer service skills
While you would expect the at-show activities to matter most, what you do before the show is the most effective. And reporting results after the show helps solidify gains made for the next show.
Do you need to do all this at every show? That depends on how wide the gap is between your sales and marketing teams. But if you employ some of these tactics, you may find that the gap between your sales and marketing groups gets smaller, while the results you create together get bigger.
How have you built stronger sales and marketing teams at trade shows? Please share your comments below.