sales lead handoff process

Do you struggle with connecting your sponsorship sales leads and attendee leads lists? Leveraging people on each to help you create qualified sales prospects for the other? If so, this post is for you.

A friend of mine produces large conferences and she struggles with leveraging the folks on each list, whose colleagues present sales opps for the other list.

But how do you connect these two disparate data sets? And more importantly, how do you tease out high value sales leads that can be converted to new event sponsors or event attendees?

Problems The Sales Managers Face

First, let’s dig a bit deeper into the sales & marketing challenge we’re trying to solve here because it’s quite complex in terms of developing a scalable and repeatable solution.

The Marketing Sales Manager’s Goal: The Marketing Sales Manager’s goal is to get individuals to attend events, attend webinars, subscribe to publications, newsletters, etc – take an action with the company, ultimately (ideally) leading to an event registration.

The Marketing Sales Manager’s Problem: The majority of these folks are NOT going to spend advertising/benefactor/sponsorship dollars with the event they registered to attend. And if they are from a company that could potentially spend sponsorship money with the event, they likely aren’t the right person that the sponsorship sales team should be talking to or prospecting against. So how can the Marketing Sales Manager help the Sponsorships Sales Manager?

Sponsorship Sales Team Manager’s Goals: Convince people/companies to buy ads, sponsorships, and benefactor packages.

Sponsorship Sales Team Manager’s Problem: If these sponsoring companies have people that do attend the event, it’s likely as a booth-only pass, but potentially these sponsoring companies’ sales teams (booth workers) have colleagues who might be a perfect fit to attend the event as a paid attendee.

So the challenge here is how does each team manager leverage their prospecting and closed sales lists to help the other team generate additional sales?

Closing The Sales Information Gap

The big challenge here is information or better stated, lack of information. But with a little work you can close the sales information gap and begin to share lightly qualified leads between the marketing and sponsorship sales teams.

How does the marketing team identify event attendees whose company may be a great sales lead for the sales team? And better yet, identify who at the company is the best contact for a sales outreach. And best of all, let the sales team know if the event attendee can serve as a warm connector or provide any assistance in the sales prospect or lead nurturing process.

Likewise, how does the sponsorship sales team leverage the company insight/information obtained during the sales process to aid the marketing team’s sales prospecting efforts?

The simple answer — social reconnaissance.

Using Social Reconnaissance to Close The Sales Information Gap – Step 1

In this hypothetical case, both teams have the following information on converted sales leads:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Company Name
  • Email Address
  • Social Handles – if requested during event sign-up (hint)
  • Phone Number

An analyst armed with this information has everything they need to begin digitally stalking each lead to provide the missing information.

Let’s say we have the event attendee registration list containing all of the information above and we know from the sponsorship sales team that the ideal target (to sell sponsorships) is a Brand Manager or Marketing Director at any company whose product or service is relevant to people or companies engaged in the content marketing world.

Starting with the email addresses, we can quickly separate out the corporate emails from the gmails. This list can immediately be reviewed for companies that are obvious sales leads and those that require additional reconnaissance efforts.

We can also pass the gmail and other personal email addresses through a social reconnaissance analysis designed to link those personal emails to publicly available social media accounts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others.

Again, once we have that matching analysis, a social recon analyst armed with the right software and analytical protocols can quickly determine corporate affiliations for each attendee on this second list. Again, once that list is produced, it can be divided into obvious sales leads and those that require further vetting before classifying as potential sales leads and non-starters.

Using Social Reconnaissance To Locate Sales Leads – Step 2

Now that we have a list of companies that are potential sponsorship sales leads, we need to figure out who at that company is the right person for our sales manager’s team to call on.

Again, social reconnaissance has the answer for us.

In the simplest terms, LinkedIn serves as a wonderful platform to begin searching for sales leads. There are three ways to approach the search.

First, you could just search for everyone at the company with appropriate titles and/or keywords in their bios. That could be a very good approach or a huge time suck.

Second, you could just go find the LinkedIn profile attached to the attendee discovered in your original search in Step 1. Then look on the right hand rail for “People also viewed,” which can be a real treasure trove and search shortener.

Third, if the person’s contacts are unprotected, which is becoming more rare these days, click that to see who else they’re connected to on LinkedIn. Chances are if they work in the content marketing world, they likely know or at least are connected to the folks in their organization that sell products or services to people in the content marketing world.

Using Social Reconnaissance To Find Your Social Agents – Step 3

Now that you have a list of lightly qualified sales leads, the last piece of the puzzle to solve is to determine if the event attendee can aid the sales team as a warm introduction or serve as a Social Agent.

Here again, Social Reconnaissance solves our problem. If you were able to use LinkedIn to bridge from the attendee to the sales lead you’re now researching, then this may be a very quick and easy step.

However, if there is no real LinkedIn interaction between the two individuals or they’re not connected on LinkedIn at all, you have to fall back on proven social recon analysis protocols to discover the connections — if any exist at all.

But with those connections identified, you can determine if, and in what manner, the attendee can be of assistance in the sponsorship sales prospecting process.

Further, with a social recon dossier on the conference attendee, a trained analyst can determine if the attendee is or can serve as a Social Agent for the conference within their own organization. By focusing the sponsorship sales team’s initial attention against those sales leads where an existing registered attendee (from within their company) is already shown themselves as a Social Agent for the conference, you increase the odds of success dramatically.