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Trackable Tradeshow Revenue: Lead Tracking Software for Tradeshows vs. Traditional Options

Are you missing out on tradeshow leads

We’ve got some bad news: if you’re relying on traditional lead tracking options to analyze tradeshow revenue, you’re letting plenty of your leads die on the vine. Many of them vanish into thin air without tradeshow participants realizing how it happened. 

The good news is that there’s a smarter way to approach your trade show data. Lead tracking software allows you to take charge of your leads, assess them for quality and, by proxy, take control of your tradeshow revenue. 

Here’s a closer look at the gap between lead tracking software and traditional options, how you can refine your process, and why lead tracking software is the right choice. 

 

Lead Capture vs. Lead Retrieval

Before we go into the details of lead tracking software and how it can help your tradeshow revenue, we need to cover the basics. That means understanding the difference between lead capture and lead retrieval. 

Lead retrieval is the art of finding lead data provided before an event. In other words, you’re identifying and tracking down the leads you already have. Taken another way, lead retrieval is also a method allowing you to see leads obtained and the quality of those leads. 

Lead capture, on the other hand, adds new leads to your database. It goes hand-in-hand with lead retrieval, since you won’t have lead retrieval unless you first have lead capture. On the other hand, lead capture won’t do you much good if you don’t also have lead retrieval functionality. 

 

What is Lead Tracking Software?

Lead tracking software, sometimes called a lead tracking management system, is software that helps you track, organize, and manage your tradeshow leads. That way, you can turn your static data into genuinely useful information–and more importantly, you can convert those leads and track your tradeshow revenue. 

To be clear, there is a difference between lead retrieval software and lead capture software. Some systems do one or the other. Some systems do both. It’s important to know what you’re in the market for and what functionality you’re buying so you don’t end up with a tool that doesn’t work for you. 

That said, most lead tracking software with both lead retrieval and lead capture functionality do the following: 

  • Analyze event traffic to highlight peak lead capture hours
  • Provide lead capture data which can later be mined
  • Establish a uniform system for tracking, organizing, and managing tradeshow leads

Remember, the exact functionality depends on the software. Some software systems only do one or the other. Some do both. You have to know what functionality you’re looking for before investing in a tool for the job. 

 

Lead Tracking Software Options

With that in mind, let’s talk about lead tracking software options. 

The truth is, there are many systems that assist with trackable tradeshow revenue, and they all do more or less the same thing with different bells and whistles. The key is knowing what you need from your software and what’s most important to you. 

Here’s a closer look at some of the best lead tracking software options on the market and what each one offers. 

 

Integrate Events (formerly Akkroo)

Integrate Events Lead Capture, formerly known as Akkroo, bills itself as a universal event lead capture tool for the modern B2B team. The idea is simple: collect your relevant data, capture conversations, and generate fully qualified actionable leads. 

The tool uses a mobile app to replace business cards, scanners, and paper forms. More to the point, the tool aims to replace all your disparate tools with one easy dashboard that your entire marketing team can rely on, no matter where you are or how many leads you have to manage. 

Plus, the dashboard allows you to standardize across events. You can see how tradeshow revenue in one event stacks up to another, how each event performed on the micro level, and gain a better understanding of how to replicate your success. 

Better still, the app pre-qualifies leads and sends them straight to your sales funnel while providing you with critical information. 

The app also knows that you need functionality from multiple sources in order to do your job well, which is why it integrates with more than 50 APIs by event planning and registration providers, as well as marketing technology platforms like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Hubspot, Marketo, and Eloqua. 

 

Zuant

Like Integrate Events, Zuant knows that you need to be on the go. That’s why Zuant software is made to be flexible. 

The app is highly customizable, allowing your brand to take center stage. Zuant’s job is to provide functionality, and it does so with an agile approach to data capture forms, data integration, and reporting. 

Like Integrate Events, Zuant offers a dashboard that allows you to take a bird’s eye view of each event’s performance data. That way, you can turn your tradeshow revenue data into real ROI reporting. 

Another great benefit of Zuant is that it allows you to weight your answers as you go to make it easier to qualify leads. That way, Zuant can do the legwork for you, saving valuable time so that you can focus on the leads that matter. And since you likely already know what questions will qualify a lead, you can set this up in advance and get to work as soon as the tradeshow starts.

Zuant also recognizes that things happen fast at tradeshows, which is why Zuant offers both in-depth functionality for when you have more time and local saving functionality for busy flurries so that you can finish up later if you need to (on the other hand, this can be considered a downside, since you may not remember all the relevant information in a busy flurry). 

 

Zoho

Zoho bills itself as “the operating system for business”, a reasonable title given that it covers a great deal of business functionality. It has tools for sales and marketing, but it also has offerings for finance, email collaboration, help desk, and human resources, to name a few. 

As a lead capture tool, Zoho bills itself as a CRM, and as a consequence it behaves like one. The most useful tool in Zoho’s docket for leads and tradeshow revenue is contact management, which allows you to track deals in collaboration with your whole team. 

In terms of your tradeshow booth, Zoho can track specific questions and buying intentions. Then, you can pass that information to the right person when the show ends. 

Another big benefit of Zoho? As tools go, it’s cost-effective. That said, it’s cost-effective because it performs a lot of different marketing functions, allowing you to stick with one tool instead of patching several tools together. 

 

iCapture

To put it simply, iCapture software is one of the easiest ways to transform any mobile device into a lead generation magnet. Tradeshow services include: 

  • Address
  • Audio
  • Barcode
  • Buying habits
  • Emails
  • Interests
  • Multiple choice questionnaires
  • Phone numbers
  • Photos
  • QR codes
  • Signatures
  • Terms and conditions

In short, the software gives an all-inclusive experience when your team is working the tradeshow floor. Plus, the software is specifically tailored for small businesses, so smaller business owners can find a system sized for them. 

Like many other systems on the market, iCapture gives you the option to score leads yourself or let the system take care of it for you. It also offers offline functionality in case you’re in an area with spotty WiFi. Plus, iCapture directly partners with several leading badge providers, which means your team can scan badges without needing to fight with rental scanners. 

 

Cvent Lead Capture

Lead Capture is a Cvent solution integrating all of Cvent’s online solutions into one easy all-around tools for tradeshows. The main benefit of this is that it links up to your Cvent account, allowing you to share data between progams. 

That said, the program shines when it brings all that functionality together for lead capture. You can manually qualify leads while scanning badges, rate the lead on the spot, and take notes while you talk. That way, you can track who you met and follow up with the best opportunities. 

The one thing it doesn’t do is badge and business card scanning–for that, you’ll have to integrate with other programs. 

 

CompuSystems

CompuSystems has been a lead management leader since 1976. But they’re not about looking to yesterday–they’re about the next generation of lead management. Their goal is simple: to help you figure out what to do with lead information once you have it. 

To that end, the brand is built around leveraging lead data. For example, you can forward marketing materials to a new lead as soon as you connect. And while you’re there, you can qualify leads with surveys and action codes. 

A unique feature of CompuSystems is that it goes one step beyond badge scanning to tell you about a lead’s interaction history. That way, you won’t send them the same marketing materials twice. Instead, you can build upon your previous event interactions, following up correctly and nurturing the lead into a conversion. 

 

Social Tables

Social Tables has a memorable claim to fame: powering more than one million successful events. 

Basically, Social Tables is a group management software with a lead capture app syncing to your Social Tables account. All you have to do is log in, update your lead scoring criteria, and get to work. Once you set your criteria, the system will automatically score your leads based on those criteria. 

Plus, the Check-In app includes several features that make it easy to identify and track leads, like customizable labels, search features, check-in percentage calculations, and guest check out. It is at heart an event management app, but its specialized lead features are good. 

 

Attendify

You know the way you used to capture leads? Attendify software aims to throw that out the window. 

Most apps focus solely on the fact of lead capture and qualifying. Attendify goes one step further. It mines behavioral data behind your prospects. And as both a lead capture and lead retrieval tool, it’s the best of both worlds. 

The app lets you use the mobile devices you already have. As soon as you scan someone, you’ll immediately have their full contact information and will be notified anytime that attendee likes, comments, or interacts with your activity stream. It is in many ways a social monitoring tool, allowing you to engage leads directly. 

The idea is that real interaction allows you to build real relationships, because relationships are what make leads truly viable. 

In addition, Attendify gives you behind-the-scenes functionality. You can track activities and the performance of individual team members in order to give feedback and improve performance. 

 

The Traditional Method

With those options in mind, let’s turn back the clock and take a closer look at traditional methods of tracking tradeshow revenue. 

What separates these options from lead tracking software is the analog element. These options might be digital, but they require more manual investment than any of the lead capture and retrieval options discussed above. 

A common old school option is your trusty pal Excel. On the face of it, this might seem like a decent idea–after all, Excel is great at processing a lot of information, and it has a decent amount of functionality to process that data. There’s just one problem: you need to process that data manually. 

Think about it for a minute. 

When you enter lead data into Excel, it’s just that–data. It doesn’t tell you anything. And the only thing you collect is what you manually enter into Excel. If you want to turn that data into something useful, you’re going to need to spend quality time cleaning and refining it. That’s assuming, of course, that you remember everything you talk about. 

Oh, and while all of this is going on, you still have to engage with your lead and prep for the person after them. 

In short, Excel can theoretically record data, but it’s not enough data to be truly useful, and the chances of you remembering all the important data are slim. 

CRMs (customer relationship management systems) have the same problem. While they are equipped to do things like store contact information and manage campaigns, they are marketing tools designed for overall customer relationship access, not tradeshows. They work well for marketing but struggle to keep up in the rapid pace of a live tradeshow. 

Another issue in traditional lead tracking techniques is one tool talking to another. In Excel, for instance, you may have a tool that can read your data, but it’s not in Excel. There are integrations that can close the gap, but it quickly turns into a crowd, since it’s easy to acquire systems as you need them without looking at the whole forest. 

Basically, while a system integration may work well between one system and another, you have to think about your complete ecosystem, and if your tools don’t integrate universally, you’re missing out on essential connections. Plus, integrations rely on knowing what you’re looking for. If you don’t, your data will die on the vine. 

Plus, there’s the nagging issue of on-the-fly functionality. Basically, when your sales rep is at a tradeshow, you want them to be able to interact with leads. If they have to hop between integrations, it gets in the way of doing their jobs.

 

Why Use Lead Tracking Software to Track Tradeshow Revenue?

With that in mind, the real question isn’t why you should use lead tracking software to track tradeshow revenue. The question is why you would waste your time doing anything else. 

Lead tracking software options like the ones explored here bring together the features you need in one easy tool. Better still, they implement a structure that makes it easy to understand your data, which makes it easier to qualify leads. 

With lead tracking software, you’re never stuck in the dark. You know what data you have, what you know about a lead, and how you can leverage that information to generate results. 

 

Refining Your Tradeshow Revenue Process

One of the biggest disparities between traditional methods and lead tracking software is the gap in process. And between teams that simply use lead tracking software and teams that succeed with lead tracking software, the difference is still process. 

Whether your team is trying to switch to smarter methods for tracking tradeshow revenue or you’re refining the ones you already have, here’s a look at how you can refine your revenue process. 

 

Having No Process Sets You Up to Fail

First and foremost, you have to understand that having no process sets you up to fail. 

A process is essentially a framework for qualifying a lead, right? If you don’t have one, you’re more or less winging it. You have to rely on memory. 

And no matter how talented your sales team is, expecting memory to hold up to the challenge of a busy tradeshow is giving memory entirely too much credit. 

Having a process in place allows you to standardize lead generation across the board. It will be the same whether you’ve interacted with a lead for the first time or the twentieth time. Different systems allow you to do different things as the lead matures, but a process makes it easier to know where you stand and ensure consistency. 

 

Don’t Overprocess

That said, don’t get so stuck in the weeds that you lose track of what’s going on. 

Remember, part of the challenge with traditional methods is that they’re simply not fast enough to work on the fly in a tradeshow setting. Overprocessing can get you the same result. If you want leads to turn out, you have to be aware of what’s going on. 

The best way to do this is to narrow your process down to the key points. Think about what you need, how to get it, and how to handle this as efficiently as possible. Find a system that keeps you in the moment while allowing you to capture the background details. 

 

Use Lead Grading and Notes

A good system for this is lead grading, also called lead scoring. 

Lead grading allows you to apply a rubric to each lead, giving you a letter grade for each lead to let you know how good the lead is based on predetermined criteria. Lead scoring uses the same basic principle but gives you a numerical score instead. 

This allows you to figure out what leads are most valuable to you. That way, you can focus your efforts on the leads that are likely to turn into something worthwhile. 

 

Analyze the Quality of Your Leads

This allows you to analyze the overall quality of your leads. Remember, getting a lead isn’t the same thing as getting a good lead. 

A formalized system is useful because it frees you from highly subjective notes and vagaries of memory. It gives you one standard system to organize lead grades, grade each lead on the same parameters, and act on that information. 

 

Ready for a Smarter Approach to Tradeshow Revenue?

We know that staying one step ahead of tradeshow revenue is a process. We also know that you can’t afford to settle for anything less than the best. 

That’s why we work with you to create experiences. You bring your brand, and we make your tradeshow performance stand out, with all the features and services you need to shine. 

Sound like the right fit? Then let’s talk. Get in touch today to learn more. 

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