Data Is Speeding Up the Event Lead Cycle

January 14, 2015 | B2B B2C

Thanks to the Internet, smartphones, and tablets, the endless amount of data at consumers’ fingertips has ushered everyone into the age of speed. Now people can find information within seconds and make plans with friends on the go. This change has lead to a focus on the event lead cycle.

But as an event marketer, this also means that it’s no longer enough move a prospect through the sales funnel; you need to do it faster than ever before. In fact, an MIT study found that web-generated leads are 900 percent more likely to become customers if they’re contacted within five minutes of a webinar’s conclusion. New ways to collect and analyze data in event marketing is making time an important factor in the sales and event lead cycle.

Time will be your key differentiator, and since it takes more than seven touchpoints to convert a prospect into a customer, you need to establish that initial contact as quickly as possible.

Speed Is Crucial in the Sales Cycle
The reasons for measuring the speed of sales cycle impact might seem obvious, but it’s important to consider a couple of key factors that contribute to your overall success. First of all, measuring data that reflects the event’s performance is essential to continuous improvement. After all, it’s difficult to refine a program without information about what worked and what didn’t.

Additionally, data helps you prove that your investment created value for the business. These days, budgets are under constant scrutiny, and organizations are increasingly being held accountable for demonstrating the effectiveness of marketing investments. Since events can be expensive and tend to have less reach than more broadcast-oriented channels, you’re under even greater scrutiny.

Fortunately, technology has made it easier to gain insight into prospect and customer impact at events – from tracking demonstrations viewed, participation in thought-leadership sessions, to changes in perception about your brand. This data provide insights into performance and opportunities for more informed follow-up. With the level of integration between today’s technology platforms, getting relevant data from prospects into the hands of salespeople is an instantaneous process. An event lead cycle gives you data on how customers perceived your brand.

The inflow of data has also made lead qualification and nurturing smarter. Armed with data based on purchase influence and timeframe to buy, you can categorize and prioritize prospects. The goal is providing significant, qualified opportunities for sales teams to nurture and quickly convert..

Use Data to Engage Leads
Keeping in touch with prospective customers through calls, emails, social media posts, and newsletters is easier than ever with the immediacy of data. The trick to being effective, though, is relevancy. You need to understand the prospects role, the challenge they face and where they sit in the sales cycle.

In particular, you can use these four ratios to track the effectiveness of your events as a sales channel:

  1. The relevance ratio: This is the perception of fit between your company and prospective customers.

  2. The spend/impact ratio: This is the amount of money customers spend pre-event interaction versus post-event interaction.

  3. The interaction rate: This is the quality of interactions the target has with your brand before, during, and after the event.

  4. The average cycle speed: This measures how long it takes to convert typical prospects to customers, vs. the amount of time it takes to convert prospects who have been impacted through event marketing

The event lead cycle is speeding up because prospects constantly have data at their fingertips and in their faces—including your competitors’ data. So it’s important that you make an impact early on. In fact, the faster a sale can be made, the better. So follow up with prospects promptly and allow them to keep your offerings top of mind. Using helpful data at all points of the event will lead to successful, speedy sales.

Check out more information about events and technology.

Posted by Robin Lickliter | Request as a Speaker

Passionate about life, big ideas, fashion, food & 4-legged kids. Fascinated by social media & self-expression. Kickin' it daily as Chief Experience Officer @sparksmarketing