How To Measure The Value Of A Handshake: Update
How To Measure The Value Of A Handshake: Update06-Jun-2019
Below is an update to an article previously published in 2017.
The most valuable and distinctive attribute of live events is the opportunity to meet with customers and prospects in person. If the buyer is standing in front of the seller, there’s no need for expensive market research or clever marketing campaigns to determine what the prospective customer wants and when they want it. A salesperson can just ask them.
But orchestrating and leveraging the face-to-face meeting has been a difficult process to automate. It requires a multi-step workflow: target prospects and customers in attendance; book time and meet with prospects and customers; enter data into marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
Various types of software—from Excel spreadsheets, calendar invites, email, and appointment-setting applications—have facilitated some of this work, but the flow has been historically disjointed. Data inevitably leaks from multiple silos. App ecosystems differ for every event and not every app integrates with or automates data transfer to marketing automation and CRM systems of the attending companies or sponsors
Making in-event meeting logistics more efficient
Initially, SummitSync sought to address the problem of finding and meeting with prospects at events by introducing a universal networking application. Over time the app evolved into a cloud platform that uses machine learning to help users identify prospects to target via Account- Based Marketing (ABM), easily schedule and manage meetings, and product better follow-up and ROI tracking. It also transfers meeting details in real-time to the user’s corporate CRM automatically.
Since the original version launched, however, the team behind it has had the opportunity “to spend a lot of time with corporations, listening to their employees in both the marketing and sales departments and learning about their needs at conferences and events,” says John Corrigan, CEO of SummitSync. It discovered that corporate marketers want the entire workflow, from discovery to pipeline, to be more efficient.
So, while SummitSync customers like using the platform to meet with prospects at events, they also want “help managing the logistics of setting up meetings: understanding who is meeting with whom, determining where they’re physically meeting, managing space, and then connecting all of that to the CRM and to marketing automation,” Corrigan explains.
Adding metrics and data to meeting scheduling
SummitSync’s software-as-a-service meeting automation platform streamlines the discovery-to- pipeline process associated with trade shows. It allows marketers to identify the best prospects to target, pre-book sales meetings, manage meetings, and track post-event ROI and opportunities.
SummitSync also consolidates “all of the information relative to meetings and team members at all events in one place,” Corrigan says. It calculates return on event (ROE) or how much it cost to host, sponsor, or exhibit in an event compared to the amount of opportunity created. It also tracks attribution, “where a handshake or a meeting took place and whether it contributed to a signed contract,” explains Al Torres, president and co-founder at SummitSync.
Giving corporate event marketers what they really want
For so long, chief marketing officers have been in a tug of war between digital and event-marketing channels. Digital marketing is measurable, but not very personal. Event marketing is personal, but not very measurable. SummitSync settles the argument by “extending the marketing stack from its digital root to an offline component,” Corrigan says.
Corporate marketers invest about 21 percent of their budgets (300 billion dollars per year) in live events. They do so because, despite all of the digital tools and marketing platforms that connect buyers and sellers digitally, “human beings still want to sit in a room and talk to each other to do business, Corrigan says. SummitSync lets them have their digital cake and meetings too.