Your marketing events are only as valuable as the follow-up after the event. No matter how well your event goes, the quality of follow-up will determine success from an ROI perspective.
Your customers and prospects can tell when your follow-up is automated and impersonal. What was the purpose of the 30-minute, one-on-one conversation with a hot prospect if the only follow-up is a generic and irrelevant email?
Ultimately that impersonal follow-up ends up reducing the value of the great in-person interaction. Here’s how to make your post-event follow-up personal and relevant to your attendees:
1. Connect with the right contacts at the event
The first step to improving your post-event follow-up is creating a plan for connecting with the right contacts at the event. When you host an event, or have access to the list of registrants, take the time to create a plan. Figure out which reps or executives should connect with which attendees.
To help with the process, use event technology that sends an alert to reps when one of their contacts checks-in. For top-of-funnel prospects with an interest in your product, have your reps try scheduling a call or demo onsite.
2. Create a process for recording event notes
One of the biggest advantages of in-person events is the ability to connect with your customers and prospects in-person. Those conversation are only valuable if your reps can remember them when they gets back to the office. Create a company-wide process for anyone who attends events and talks to customers or prospects.
Provide the event team with access to event technology that allows them to take notes on the conversations and interactions they have with attendees. Set a standard for the note format and the type of information they should contain. Consider gamifying the note taking process to reward the rep who logs the most conversation notes. A contest will encourage adoption and help you get more event conversations recorded in your CRM.
3. Get your event notes into Salesforce
A great note taking process is only useful if the notes get back into Salesforce. Since you won’t have all of your sales and customer reps at the event, you’ll have reps following up that weren’t actually there. A good process for note-taking will ensure that the notes in Salesforce will be relevant to a rep who wasn’t at the event.
Look for technology that not only syncs notes, but allows you to set a Salesforce task while at the event. That task could be for the person taking the note or for the rep who owns the prospect. With a task, you can be sure that the appropriate rep will reach out at the right time with the right information.
4. Follow-up within one business day
The timing of your follow-up is crucial. Ideally you’ll follow up within one business day of the end of the event. That means if the event ends on Friday, follow-up by the end of the day Monday. Remember that your customers and prospects didn’t take notes on your conversation, and you’ll need to follow-up soon if you want them to remember your it. Having a note taking process and technology that can sync those notes with Salesforce will allow you to follow-up quickly.
Sales reps tend to drop the ball on follow-up when they get a handful of business cards dumped on their desk the week after an event. Who can blame them? An email with the attendee list spreadsheet isn’t any better. Instead, create a process that allows your event team to quickly create a Salesforce task for the appropriate rep while they record conversation notes.
5. Send relevant, personalized follow-up
Here’s where those notes really help. Having the conversation notes in your CRM allows you to relate your follow-up to something relevant and personal. Sure, not every conversation is going to reveal pain points or product needs, but any way you can relate the outreach to something beyond “thanks for attending our event” is going to get better results.
Encourage your reps to get creative with their follow-up. Use twitter to send a public “great to see you at the event” tweet to get a prospect’s attention. Follow the tweet with a thoughtful email based on the conversation and include some content relevant to the attendee. Remember that any authentic personalization you can add to your outreach will make your follow-up more meaningful to both prospects and customers.