There’s a lot of excitement building as Microsoft Ignite 2018 Day 1 approaches. But the preparation for attending a conference starts long before day 1, especially if you are focused on sales. Below are five strategies for knocking your sales numbers out of the park before you even set foot on the expo floor.
1. Identify target prospects
You should begin your pre-conference sales strategy by identifying target prospects. The number of companies you choose to target depends on how many representatives from your company that you will have attending the conference.
Are you having trouble identifying high-quality prospects? Here is a pro-tip: work backward from your current best customers and build a checklist that highlights prospect characteristics you want to focus on. This checklist can include; company size, company annual revenue, industry, job titles, immediacy of need, etc.
2. Set appointments
Once you have identified your target prospects, it is time to start booking appointments with them. You can find out who is attending the conference from these companies by looking at the conference’s website, the conference mobile application, or find people attending on Twitter and LinkedIn using hashtags (i.e., #3Sharp, #Ignite2018).
One major mistake a lot of conference goers make is to try and meet up with a prospect on the expo floor. Not only is the expo floor full of distractions, it is also full of competition. Identify some places where you can meet with your prospects that are private, convenient, and comfortable.
3. Get to know your customer by creating profiles
Things to include in potential customer profiles are industry, business size, annual revenue, key individuals at the company, etc.
You don’t have to limit these profiles to statistics. In fact, you shouldn’t. Think about it for a minute: your most successful business relationships are probably with people you got to know on a professional and personal level. What are their job descriptions and daily duties, what are their goals and priorities, and what are their pain points?
Now that you have zoomed in, start to zoom out and get a feel for their landscape. Pay attention to industry-specific terms, challenges and changes within their field, and of course, get to know their competition.
4. Create solutions around your prospects' challenges
But, how do you know what their challenges are? It’s time to play detective. Maybe you have spoken to this company in the past and have a general sense of their business direction. Perhaps they reached out to you and requested more information from your website. If so, research how they found your website. Did they see an intriguing blog post via social media? Did they enter a query in a search engine that returned your website? Often, getting to know these potential clients through their own social media posts, blogs, and website content will reveal areas in which your product may be useful.
Focus in on how to solve your prospects’ problems by creating a storyboard. Storyboarding is a method of high-level organization that can help you identify the best experience to showcase your product. This process enables rich narrative content, which is an essential component when crafting a meaningful story. Creating a storyboard will enable the success of your sales team.
5. Showcase your solutions in a mock-up demo environment
There is a final tip that has the ability to seal the deal when it comes to new clients. As industry experts in the creation of demos, we at 3Sharp highly recommend that you create a mock-up demo environment. A demo mock-up is like a movie set for the features you want to demonstrate. It creates a picture of the business context where you’re setting your demonstration, and shows the flexibility and versatility of your product. The goal of a demo mock-up isn’t to fool your customers into thinking you have a bespoke industry solution, it’s to help them visualize your product in their environment. For example, a demo mock-up set in a law firm might showcase contracts and legal records, where one set in a medical office might feature X-ray imagery and medical files. For an added touch, use your customers logo and letterhead.