Tales of the Trade Show

Like many other sales people, I often attend trade shows to meet with clients and cultivate new prospects. The attendees at the shows I attend are often marketing and sales executives, which is great for me to make new contacts and learn about their company. As a seasoned sales executive I typically approach someone and ask a few questions about their business to understand what they do and see if they need our expertise. These questions often lead to a conversation about their sales and marketing teams, how they work together, processes and technology they use to manage their business, and I have learned quite a bit about how companies conduct business. I would like to share what I have learned from these conversations and experiences with you in this series of Tales from Trade Shows.

Social Media vs. Automation

Another discussion that arises with many companies is how they go about promoting themselves? What I’ve heard from a number of prospective companies when I ask them if they are using sales or marketing automation to help them achieve their revenue goals is “oh we use social media”. While it may strike you as odd or funny to hear this social media actually does live in the cloud so I understand why they would think these are the same. To get further clarification I ask how they are using social media? Most often I’m told it is to build awareness, stay in touch with their buyers, prospects and also about events.

You might be saying well this seems like a marketing based sales activity to drive revenue. If you think that then we’re in agreement and the next logical question is where does the output of those activities go? The most frequent response from these companies is “they just make sure we are staying connected through social”. This takes me to asking them the who, who is managing the social media efforts? What message are they sending? Why spend the time without an identifiable goal such as new leads, contacts or clients?

What is clear from this is that a lot of companies equate social media activities to sales and marketing automation. It also speaks to their lack of understanding the questions above and what it is costing them and what it achieves for their bottom line. The last point here is that if you are indeed using social media that’s great! Just have a plan for the who, what and why and use some method of tracking these efforts because it is a truly great tool when combined with automated sales and marketing solutions.

So whether you’re using social media or some other type of marketing if you’re not doing something with the results of that then you’re selling yourself short. There was an old study about advertising and how it affects the health of a company and it that states that 95% of companies that do not promote themselves in some way will fail. This still holds true today and the main thing here is doing something with your efforts, don’t just plant the seeds, tend to your crops, look to make sure they are nutured and sales and marketing automation can truly help.

Published by Rich Rutherford on



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