Sales technologies and meeting tools inundated the world of B2B events in 2014. There was a tool for every sales activity, clamouring for the attention of business executives from every corner. That massive influx of mobile and web apps is still continuing in 2015, but this year has seen a lot of them maturing into robust platforms. We studied more than 300 events to understand the latest sales trends in events technology.
Here’s the list of top 5 of these trends:
1) Single platform:
Sales executives are usually under tremendous pressure to meet numerous clients, conduct demos and close deals at events. To manage this, they use multiple tools like excel sheets, outlook, and mobile apps – all simultaneously. In this frenzy, one small miscommunication can result in no shows at meetings and wastage of expensive venue space.
To avoid this and enable effective meetings management, there is a need for a multi-featured sales advancement platform that provides a range of functionalities such as: real-time updates on mobile apps, instant change tracking, feedback collection, CRM integration, automatic reminders, macro view of room bookings and participants, ad-hoc meeting scheduling and so on.
2) Integration, adoption and mobility:
Tools should be easy to integrate into a company’s system. Therefore, customers prefer a simple UI, seamless UX and bug-free products. Once integrated, sales teams should be able to adopt it quickly. Remember, most event marketers and sales executives aren’t necessarily tech enthusiasts. At events, they are usually struggling with limited time to close as many deals as they can. Platforms with single sign-on, customisable API integration with third party registration systems and easy CRM integration have been received quite well by the sales fraternity this year.
3) Data and analytics:
Data is the key to prioritisation of meetings and profiling of customers. Collecting feedback and updating the CRM system with post-meeting data can help in analysing the meetings held at events. This analysis, collected over a period of time, can explain the hits and misses, and predict client behavior for future targeting. Market leaders feel that sales teams will accelerate ahead of their competitors by using such data and steer conversations with clients accordingly.
4) Measuring event ROI:
Marketers are curious to know how well their budget is spent at events and how to ensure that every dollar brings in more revenue. Tools such as Jifflenow’s Event ROI Calculator help calculate returns from B2B events or trade shows using the following metrics:
1. The total cost of hosting one meeting (with and without Jifflenow)
2. Increase in number of confirmed meetings and sales opportunities
3. Cost of venue per meeting
Since 2015 has been big on analytics, 2016 will see growing demand for such tools and metrics.
5) The art of quick follow-ups
Sales executives underestimate the importance of quick and rigorous follow-ups. Clients probably meet multiple sales teams in a single day at an event. The only way to stay on top of their minds is by following up with them as soon as possible. It is imperative for sales teams to send out mandatory follow-up email within 24 hours of the meeting. If you haven’t been doing it already, it is probably a good time to pin it to your to-do list at the next event.