Dreamforce is Over! How Are You Following Up with Your Leads?

By September 22, 2015
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Growing up in Los Angeles, as a Laker fan, my favorite part of every game was when Chick Hearn would say “This game is in the refrigerator! The door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard, and the Jell-O’s jiggling!”.  That saying runs through my mind every time a big event ends, and trust me, I could almost hear Mr. Hearn in my ear as I was ascending the escalator in Moscone North last Friday evening. Dreamforce was finally done and I was thrilled to get over the hump and back to my regularly scheduled programming . BUT WAIT–now that the show is over my team’s work had only just begun. I often refer to Dreamforce follow up as the Dreamforce of follow up, because simply collecting leads is not enough to warrant the 6-figure and above investment most companies are making at Salesforce’s largest event. Your marketing department just shaved years off the end of their lives making sure your company’s booth looked amazing. They scheduled dinners for you to bring prospects to, they tweeted, blogged, interviewed…they stood in a booth (some of them in high heels) for days. Now it’s your turn to put forth the same effort and sacrifice to make sure you maximize the “R” of their “OI”.

Also, if you want a quick recap of Dreamforce, check out my video!

EverString: Dreamforce Recap Video from EverString on Vimeo.

LinkedIn’s Value is Tenfold During and After Dreamforce

I’m sure you asked everyone you could for their business card.  Most people probably didn’t have them.  I prepared my team for this scenario heading into the event.  I had my SDRs ready with a response that is not only logical, but forces your prospect to do their favorite activity–look at their phones!  When faced with a prospect that doesn’t have business cards, I ask my SDRs to see if the person would be interested in connecting on LinkedIn. 99 times out of 100 the prospect says yes. I then ask my SDRs to send them a request right then and there and–no surprise here–the prospect accepts immediately.  In the event a prospect does have cards, send the request anyways.  While LinkedIn InMail open rates can be hard to measure, there is immeasurable value to having a prospect as a LinkedIn connection.  At the very least, it offers an additional touchpoint, and at best, it gives you insight into what your prospects are posting about, responding to, or liking on LinkedIn–all great information  to use while sending highly-personalized messages.

Hello? Is it me your looking for? As a matter of fact, Mr. Richie, it is!

That thing collecting dust on your desk is now your best friend.  Yes, I’m talking about your phone.  Pick it up, punch in some numbers and wait to see if your prospect answers.  When they do answer remind her about your great interaction and see if she wants to learn more about your product, see a demo, and if she’s enjoying that awesome t-shirt you gave her at the booth. Have a live interaction! Emails are filling your prospects’ inboxes at an astonishing rate this week–stand out by taking a completely different approach.  Trust me, it works! Leading up to Dreamforce we were very light on meetings, and I turned my SDR team loose on the phone.  Low and behold, we connected with tons of people using the phone, had a record-setting week of meeting creation, and fueled what turned out to be an awesome week of meetings at Dreamforce.  We are applying that same work ethic in the first week following up from the event and are poised to have an even better week.

OK, So You’re Going to Send Emails, I know

Just be different.  Every email I’ve received today so far has had the same message–“thanks for stopping by the booth blah blah blah and can we schedule a demo. Blah”.  Some are from companies I spoke to, some are from companies I didn’t.  Be sure your lists are segmented properly and that you are sending a different message depending on your company’s interaction with them.  Did a prospect swing by your booth and talk to you about scheduling a demo? If so, send him a reconnection email with available times for him to see your product.  Did she come to a party you co-sponsored? Send her an email thanking her for attending the party and include a description of how your product aligns to the sponsor’s product or service, creating a bridge for your reach out.

Address the Elephant in the Room

I’m big on this.  If you don’t know the person, tell him you don’t know him, but give a reason for your outreach.  If you’re going to be one of 400 vendors sending email, address the fact that you are yet another vendor sending an email, but, talk about why he should talk to you.  Give your prospects options, obviously you want them to tell you yes, allow them the opportunity to tell you no.  Most email recipients assume they are being blasted from a company’s marketing automation system, make sure they know you are a human being not a robot.  There are people who are not going to be interested in your offering, (crazy, right?), but give them the opportunity to tell you that so you can move on and don’t build a reputation as a spammer.  Remind your prospects of the conversations you had at the booth if you had them, it’ll help them remember–as they were inevitably pitched by hundreds of vendors during Dreamforce.

Prioritize, Optimize, Be Efficient

You need a system for your team to prioritize the leads they are following up with.  It may be as simple as having your team call their personal interactions first.  Or having your team follow up with all booth scans, then all ancillary leads from parties or sessions, etc.  Put prioritization in front of your SDRs and work down from there. At EverString we use our own product to help us prioritize leads through predictive scoring.  As we input leads into Salesforce from the event, we score all leads and the companies/accounts they work for.  By doing this, we are able to create further lines of segmentation in our database.  A and B leads go directly to the SDR team for them to call, while C and D leads are added to a nurture program.  As a result, we are able to convert more leads, faster and get to what matters most–more deals and more revenue, for that ultimate ROI. Have you considered incorporating a predictive marketing solution into your marketing stack? Check us out here.

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