Activities before the event
‘Events’ is by far one of the biggest expenses in every marketing team budget each year. Events are chosen based on a event selection criteria. Expenses generally include people traveling to those events, hotels, booth backdrops. Other expenses include the time invested in organising the event such as creating a booth duty calendar, creating a crisp message, brochures, give-aways. A few diligent marketing teams also ensure that they go through the possible attendees long before the event begins and pre-book meetings with key people. In short, marketing teams put in a lot of effort to make events successful.
Excitement on the event day
On the day of the event, all are happy to see a good crowd show up in the first half. Badges are scanned, visiting cards are collected, a few meetings last more than 10-15 minutes too! A lot of t-shirts are given away.
Lead responses after event is over
Teams come back to office with a good lead list. If its not a long weekend, a thank you email is sent to all attendees as early as possible. About 8% of those receivers open the email, and even fewer respond to the email. Teams thinks about changing subject lines, checking email openings, changing graphics in the emails, ensuring no grammatical mistakes are made, and resend the emails in the hope of getting more responses. And again, the results are similar.
Some of the sales team members followup leads in their territory directly, but after a week or so, after no response, most leads are marked as ‘contact attempted’.
Some surveys suggest that more than 77% leads are dropped after one or two followups. Confidence levels of getting a response from a lead goes down by each passing week, and soon teams start looking forward to the next budgeted event, even though the ROI of initial event does not seem to be on track.
Why leads are dropped?
Just because the rejection ratio is high, and all the t-shirt collectors did not open your email, sales and marketing teams also drop following up someone who may actually be a good lead. This job is a boring job, but its a very important job.
Modern tools like Hubspot and Marketo do not solve this problem
We had faced the pain first hand in a big way while we were running our first startup – Opex Software. We saw the same story repeat while running REAN Cloud. Even though I headed marketing, getting this boring job done by someone is not easy. Humans simply do not like to do this mechanical activity. Workflow emailing tools like Hubspot and Marketo fail because they do not have natural language processing capability. These tools cannot interpret a simple ‘out of office’ response from a lead. They cannot setup a re-followup automatically.
Dropped Leads = Lost Revenue
Companies are leaving money on the table by not processing 100% of the leads. Its true that most of the leads are not going to be qualified, and less than 10% of these leads will actually be interested in a meeting. Its important to followup all the leads enough number of times through various channels to ensure that the revenue from these few leads is tapped. These few leads can mean a difference in ROI calculations for events and other marketing activities. These few leads can in some cases mean a lifeline to smaller companies.
How we solved the lead nurturing problem
The need for a smart, energetic assistant who can take all the rejections and still followup leads on all possible channels like LinkedIn, Emails, WhatsApp, SMS is needed to ensure that we get a ‘Interested/Not interested’ from each lead who had visited the booth. Same needs to be done for all other lead sources such as leads gathered from website chatbots, leads who downloaded the best practices white paper from the website, leads who consistently share your posts and more.
Hence we created 7Targets.ai. The goal of 7Targets is to ensure that organisations do not lose revenue because leads are dropped. There are a few other assistants that are helping in different areas in this space. Some examples are provided below:
AI Sales Assistant
Helps in engaging every lead and classifying the leads into cold, warm and hot leads. Sets up appointments with only hot leads giving sales people a lot more time to close existing deals.
AI Ratings management Assistant
Helps in providing a fast responding to star ratings provided by consumers. A rating that is left unattended has the potential of blocking a lot of new revenue.
AI AMC Assistant
Helps in Annual Maintenance Contracts renewals as well as following up timely on getting appointments with competitors accounts well in time before renewal dates.
We will cover each of these in detail in upcoming posts. If you have any new suggestions that you would like to see covered to improve lead nurturing, please feel free to reach out to sanju.burkule@7Targets.com