If you’re developing a modern, digital sales strategy and playbook, one of the most important components is a process we call “Digital Sales Leadership” – a half-day to three-quarters of a day workshop where we sit down with frontline sales managers, marketing and sales enablement departments, and we reverse-engineer their sales objectives and develop prescriptive sales plays that they can execute to highly influence sales tactics, and build pipeline creation.
What we’ve found in talking to our customers, is that BDRs, SDRs, and account executives are increasingly creating compelling events to drive pipeline creation. These events could be localized events, sporting events, experiential events, conferences, trade shows, or user conferences. In fact, because they have a defined timeline and a distinct call to action, events are one of the ways that create the greatest triggers (referrals, insights, and competitive intelligence).
If you’re looking to use event campaigning to build pipeline, here are three simple steps that these teams are using that you can adopt for your organization.
1.Build a Total Addressable Market (TAM) for the event. If you read our blog,
you know that account executives are responsible for building TAM maps for their particular geographic territory. This also applies to an event, where you’ll have a defined, set criteria, times, size of the room, set number of attendees, and geographic markets. When creating an event, you’ll need to consider what your TAM is, and who is the ideal customer profile. This is a most basic, but fundamental strategy. By building your TAM, you’re not just randomly reaching out to prospects – you’re using a strategic approach to segment accounts that you want to have at your event by gauging interest levels. Knowing your TAM can also help you understand your ability to increase the frequency of successful events in that market without oversaturating.
2.Find and select key targets. Best-in-class markets are using two key strategies:
(1) They’re looking for executives that are new in their roles, connected by the sphere of influence to their existing customer base. These people now have double triggers: a) your event is a compelling learning event, and b) they’re fresh on their job, so they want to make an impact in their job and are more apt to learn. Working from the sphere of influence around job changes, this is the most likely candidate that wants to learn new skills.
(2) Referrals. Build a connection tree off of any attendee or sponsor by looking at the social networks of all those people, and identifying three people that are highly connected with those people and targeting them.
3.Engagement. You need to engage using tools that help you understand buying intent. Randomly emailing people or placing phone calls doesn’t work. Of course, companies are creating landing pages that are tracked, but at the sales professional level, people have been using LinkedIn Point Drive and videos, because every one of these assets can be tracked for buying intent. You can see clicks, views, people who are doing deep dives on event details. This allows you to double and triple down on these potential attendees, and you’ll have an idea of who’s interested in this event.
Ultimately, events have become a powerful way to create bursts of pipeline because of the compelling triggers that they create. So, if you’re thinking of pipeline creation strategies this summer to be executed in September or October, think about creating an event – they’re a great way for your team to refine the act of pipeline development.