Hiring sales staff through an agency and not ensuring they are motivated or equip to engage with prospects in person can jeopardise all your hard work in planning your event.
Having a disorganised and unmotivated sales team at your event will result in limited; sales, sign-ups and brand reach and can end up damaging your customer relationships, potentially costing you more than they make.
Hiring your sales team through an agency is quite common practise. But how do you ensure a group of strangers work harmoniously with your marketing team? Lead conversion using a delegate sales team is an uphill battle but there are some precautions you can take to help maximise their efficiency.
By the time you come to brief your sales team you will be fully entrenched in every detail running up to your appearance at an event. Typically, Event Managers will spend months crafting an event promotion, agonising over stand design, sourcing print collateral, giveaways, organising logistics and a data capture solution. It’s usually not until the event in question draws near that Event Managers can turn their attention to briefing event staff.
It’s understandable to plan in this way as Event Managers will have a good handle on the details and promotions at the event to brief staff on, but briefing staff is not a task to be rushed or overlooked.
Your event staff act as the face of your brand, speaking directly to the customer, a large portion of your event budget is typically directed to them and the strategy you implore with event staff is crucial to your event’s success.
Take a step back and run through everything from the basics to specifics in an ordered way to confirm you haven’t missed anything. This also gives your sales team the chance to consume and digest things in a logical way.
Step by Step Training
Ensuring your staff has sufficient training is the first step in ensuring they help rather than hurt your business. By breaking down the training into simple steps you can help your staff become more well-rounded in their knowledge and presentation. Helping them reflect your brand to audiences in a much more palatable execution.
You will have limited time to train on the day, so making sure you book time ahead of the event if possible. Also think about ways you can remotely train staff, creating PDF and video assets that break down what they need to know can be an effective way to train staff with limited time.
Prioritise product knowledge
Giving the agency staff a complete breakdown of the product from the basic applications all the way to specific use cases is a must. Your staff needs to know your product or service inside and out.
You only have one chance to make a first impression with potential clients. So, ensuring your staff have all the possible answers to any queries about your product/ service will help craft more enjoyable and insightful experiences for prospects.
Perfect the pitch
Once you’ve given your staff the desired level of knowledge about your product, they can start to develop a 20-second elevator pitch. Getting them in a place where they are comfortable delivering a pitch with any alterations is essential. Catering for the wide array of potential clients your sales team might be running into.
Providing your event team with a sales script as a baseline to start customer interactions with is very useful and can help create brand consistency.
Getting your staff in a place where they appear confident and professional will help sway the more reproving clients. If time allows run through some scenarios and mini practice exercises to get your team warmed up.
Clarify stand objectives
Establishing clear objectives to be achieved during your time exhibiting helps keep your sales team on the same page.
With a pre-show meeting, you can quickly explain to them what you want to be achieved. Allowing everyone to understand how best to spend their time to reach these objectives.
Motivate with incentives
Exhibiting is hard work and can be taxing for your sales team, meeting with a vast number of strangers trying to sell them on a product they may never have heard of before is tiresome work.
Keeping a motivated staff through sales incentives and bonuses is probably the most effective means of ensuring your sales team put in the extra effort. This is especially true if you hire through a third party and your sales team has no previous affiliation with you or your brand.
A data capture software such as ours allows you to track leads by sales person, making measuring your team’s effectiveness that much easier.
Frequent mistakes in event sales training
Often salespeople will try to determine whether a prospect is worth talking to based on their job title. Identifying whether a prospect is of a senior position and therefore has purchasing authority seems like it makes sense. Until you realise experienced exhibition visitors can attend events with purposely incorrect details. Giving themselves more junior positions allows them to fly under the radar and not be pounced on by salespeople. The amount of potential sales opportunities your staff are missing going in with this mindset is not benefiting anyone.
Remember to develop qualifying questions to uncover if prospects have an immediate need for your product or service and are of the right size to become a customer.
Exhibition stand etiquette can often come into question. Usually stamped out through proper training but sales staff can often become bored. With this they can start to adopt uninviting body language like slouching or even go on their phones or reading books in some cases.
Salespeople lacking confidence or motivation can club together at the back of a stand. Behaviour like this can quickly scare away potential clients who may be wanting to come up and engage with your staff but were turned off by the attitude of your sales team.
Ensuring your sales team has a friendly and inviting demeanour is the golden rule to making your stand as accessible as possible. Encourage your staff to go out to the edge of your stand, where footfall is higher and give them tools (script, questions, giveaways) to help them engage.
Exhibiting your brand at a live event is the best way to interact with large scale audiences made up of a variety of people. By taking the proper time to effectively prepare your sales team for how to best carry themselves and how best to engage with potential clients you are minimising room for error.
Time is valuable so make your staff aware of just how little a window they have to best present the brand to consumers. With a smart data capture solution, you can ensure time is spent engaging with these potential clients.
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