Let’s face it; the world has changed rapidly in just a few weeks’ time and we’re all still adapting our business processes. From working remotely to pivoting marketing strategies, we’re striving to meet the professional challenges brought on with COVID-19. One of these challenges is the cancellation of conferences around the world. Whether conferences are a pillar of your sales strategy or just one of many tactics used to promote your brand, the cancellations across the globe may leave you wondering how to meet your quotas in their absence.
Conferences can help you to network, build brand awareness, evaluate vendors, and acquire new customers. While you may not collect as much swag as anticipated this conference season, you can redirect your efforts to meet your sales goals.
Define Your Conference Goals
The first step in meeting your goals is to define them. What were you anticipating to gain from your conference attendance? Were you planning to acquire 10 new clients? Add 500 names to your email list? Evaluate 5 new project management vendors? Consider both the desired outcome and the anticipated timeline to establish concrete objectives for Q2. Once you’ve outlined your SMART goals, work backwards from there. While you won’t likely won’t be able to recreate the entire conference experience, you can recreate the same opportunities.
To Acquire New Customers…
Put the money you’ve recuperated from canceled conferences to good use. At Sapper, we’ve used some of the extra cash to lower the barrier of entry for potential new customers. You could also consider creating a new incentive program for your sales and marketing team. Use those dollars to drive activity and desired behaviors.
Keep in mind that a new environment will require a new process. If your team is trained to close in person, prepare your team to take their deals online. Regardless of your process, now more than ever your team needs to offer empathy and active listening to navigate sales calls.
To Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader…
While you may have been looking forward to speaking at an upcoming conference, you have unlimited opportunities to offer the same content online (without the threat of stage fright). Evergreen content can acquire more views over time than a single lecture and can be shared with both your existing network as well as potential prospects. With the initiation of quarantine, now is a great time to commit to consistent online content as so many people are spending more time online. From YouTube videos to blog posts and podcasts, you can share your thought leadership with the world.
To Network, Learn, and Promote …
Host a webinar. What is a webinar if not an online conference? You can include partners, vendors, and thought leaders within your own company while creating an opportunity to connect with your prospects. Include a live Q&A and take feedback from the audience to ensure your webinar is truly interactive. Your quarantined audience is thirsty for connection and FaceTime. A webinar can satiate the need for contact and nurture your pipeline, all while maintaining appropriate social distance.
Best practices are hard to come by in light of a crisis but we’re all doing our best to adapt. You can read more about how we’re evolving our processes in culture and business strategy here. To learn how we nurture our sales funnel through COVID-19, click here to book a demo.