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We want your opinion! Last week on our LinkedIn discussion group: iLeads: Trade show Lead Retrieval App Fan Page - I posed the question: How important is it to add qualifiers, survey questions and notes to trade show leads?

You see, at Bartizan we have found that most exhibitors, when using our traditional lead retrieval terminals, fail to enhance their leads by adding information, such as qualifiers and notes. With the introduction of iLeads in April, a much different picture emerged. More than half of all leads contain notes and qualifiers. At one event the figure was close to 80 percent.

I was surprised by how many people had a strong opinion on trade show lead qualification. We received 17 comments; here are some of the highlights:

Richard Erschik, Speaker/Educator/Consultant said: “Having processed more than 1,000,000 leads for exhibitors over 22+ years of time we found that it didn't matter if a lead had questions, answers or directions to the prospect's door - lead "follow-up" rates didn't improve.”

Fred Tremblay, Leaders in trade show lead management solutions said: “How important is it to add qualifiers, survey questions and notes to trade show leads? The short answer is “very important” especially for qualifiers. To better understand why just look at what is happening in the broader world of marketing and lead generation. The goal for marketing is to send leads to sales only when they are “READY” and since sales knows that they will not waste their time chasing unqualified leads, they are more than excited about getting them."

"The idea that you can collect a few hundred badge swipes at a trade show and sales will jump all over them is naive. It never happens, especially when the rest of the lead generation process is focused on qualification."

"While adding custom qualifiers to the scanned badge data is a step forward, collecting qualification data does not solve all of the problems with trade show leads."

Steven Shatsoff , Senior Vice President at SmartSource Computer & AV Rentals said: “What ever happened to sales management? The purpose of exhibiting at a show is to increase your business. The more qualified the opportunity the better the opportunity. The problem is as Lew states, what information you gather and how you gather it (qualified discussion) rather than booth goodies which bombard your sales force with worthless information leading to frustrating follow-up. It is incumbent on sales management to easily gather the information, qualified and as complete as possible, and disseminate and manage the data AND the sales follow-up”

Karl Becker, COO at NewLeads Inc. said: “If leads are qualified, your sales team knows a lot more about the new lead, when they pick up the phone and call them after the show. To sum this up: Either qualify your new leads by asking "sales" related questions; while you have a "face-to-face" conversation, or don't bother exhibiting!”

We want to know your opinion; do you think it’s important to send qualified leads to sales? Do you have success with just a mailing list? Let us know your thoughts, join in on our Linked In discussion here or post your comments below to our blog.

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