As most exhibitors know, there are several types of electronic lead retrieval systems available to them at different shows. The question now arises, which one should you use in your trade show exhibit? Well, it depends on your objectives and exhibit follow-up strategy.
Lets look at three basic electronic lead retrieval systems.
1st A very popular system is a hand held scanner that simply scans the attendees badge. The information associated with that attendee’s barcode is then captured.
No other information can be recorded.
2nd There is another version of the hand held scanner that allows the exhibitor to program in qualifying questions, which will help rate the lead. The leads are then separated by this rating system, which allows the exhibitors marketing and sales team to have a more effective follow-up. They are able to contact the “hot” leads first and provide them with the information they were interested in. This will hopefully help the conversions from leads to sales.
3rd There is a scan and print system. With this system, your sales reps have to take the leads badge out of their holder. They have to then walk over to lead retrieval machine and put the badge into the machine.
The system then captures the information electronically, but also prints out a piece of paper with the leads information on it. This system also allows the exhibitor to program qualifying questions to help rate the leads for follow-up.
Each one of these scanners has its pros and cons. As mentioned above, your decision on which scanner to use should be based on your objectives and follow-up strategy. The handheld scanners were created for speed and convenience, but limits the information gathered for effective follow-up.
Use the 1st scanner mentioned if your objective is to simply build a data base and scan as many badges as possible. With this objective you do not need to ask any qualifying questions or want to separate the leads for more strategic follow-up.
Use the 2nd scanner mentioned if your objective is to capture leads quickly and qualify the lead with just a few basic questions. There are two scenarios where this type of scanner would most likely be used. The first is that the exhibitor has more than one product and by asking qualifying questions they are able to send the appropriate information to them. The second is that the leads would be given to sales reps not present at the show. This occurs when leads are divided up and given out to the regions sales reps.
By qualifying the lead, it gives the sale reps a little background of how hot the lead is and what they are interested in. However, the danger on this is that because the sales reps did not speak to these individuals and have no relationship, they feel as though it is a cold lead and do not follow-up with them.
The 3rd scanner mentioned seems as though it is inconvenient, but it is often times the best option and most recommended. This system requires the sales rep to take the leads badge out of their holder.
The benefit to this is that the lead can’t go anywhere without their badge. Also, because it is inconvenient, if a lead allows you to scan their badge, this shows that they have some sort of interest in what you do (given they aren’t just trying to get a free ipod you are giving away).
This system also allows you to program in a few qualifying questions. More importantly this system prints out a piece of paper that your reps can make specific notes on about the lead that can be used for follow-up. This can help your sales reps feel as though it is a stronger lead and worth following up on.
Summary, if you are going for quantity over quality the handheld scanners are fine. If you would like to record more person information to each of your trade show leads, which would result in better follow-up, then go with the printout lead retrieval system. If you want both, quantity and quality, you can always have both types in your booth! It all depends on your strategy.