SLMA Radio – Host Peter Gilllett of ZUANT
Slick Salesforce Interactivity for Events and Your Sales Team
Guest: Ian Gotts, CEO of Elements
This is a literal transcript completed by REV.com.
Producer: Paul Roberts:
Welcome, everybody. It's time once again for another episode of SLMA Radio, a syndicated radio program brought to you on behalf of the thousands of members on the Sales Lead Management Association. Our archives have over 383 different episodes now and an audience reach of 94,000, approaching 100,000.
Let's kick things off today. We're privileged to have with us another guest host, Peter Gillett. Hey, Peter.
Host Peter Gillett: Hi, Paul.
Paul: Welcome back.
Peter Gillett: Good to see you again.
Paul: How are things in jolly old England here?
Peter Gillett: Jolly old England, still jolly as usual. We're good.
Paul: I'm always looking forward to hearing who you found. You find the most amazing people here.
Peter Gillett: Good, yes. Well, I've got a very interesting guest today, Ian Gotts. He's CEO of Elements Process Management Software. Although he may sound like he's from London, he's sitting in hopefully sunny San Francisco compared to our shores over here. Without more ado, Ian, tell us a little bit more about Elements. Cloud. Haven't we got enough of this stuff in our lives already? What are we looking to achieve with this new company of yours?
Ian Gotts: Thank you for inviting me on, Peter. People say, "Yeah, haven't we got enough process mapping software out there, but this is a repeat of a business, which we ran for 14 years and sold, and then we got the founders back out of retirement and started again. This time, we've taken a slightly broader view. We said, "Look, there are a whole bunch of disparate symptoms that people use that caption requirements, for managing their business processes, capturing them so everyone understands them. And to somehow linking that back to their systems such as salesforce.
We built the application that now will see to do all of that, and then we took a slightly more radical approach and said, "Let's make as much of that as we possibly can free for as many users as want to use it." It's no longer the Fortune 500 but it's the Fortune 5,000,000. As a strategy that's working. We're delighted by the growth. Clearly, we need to make some money, so we have some Pro features that a lot of people can get a ton of value of the free capabilities.
Elements. Cloud, slightly different when you have a dot Cloud rather than a dot com URL, so we want to make sure we promote the dot Cloud bit of our name. You can document anything. You can document your sales lead process. You can document your HR processes. But also, obviously, part of this conversation, you can document how you run trade shows and events.
Peter Gillett: Excellent, it's going to be fascinating to see how this company develops, if it's all new. But I guess this brings us neatly round to trade shows and events. All of which should need a very slick process to be successful, and now your readers may much the salesforce world. And I'm sure that's not difficult given the incredible market share achieved by salesforce in recent years. That's the angle I'd like to discuss today. Any CRM system is, or should be, full of leads, classified at different stages of the sales funnel prior to any event. Wouldn't you say this is really the starting point for any event planning?
Ian Gotts: I guess yes, and no. As you said, I've been around salesforce. I think we were one of the sale force's earliest customers back in 2001 in the UK. They've had a spectacular growth. It's a very good reason. It's the default for where people should be tracking all their leads and their contacts. But I think that last bit leads and contacts. What are you going to track in there? What are you trying to get from your events? Are you trying to capture lads, or are you trying to find qualified contacts?
I think that's the debate that sales teams have which is, why are you making me stand around at a trade show, when all we're capturing is unqualified leads versus, as a sales guy, I want qualified leads. Ideally, I want someone who would just about spend money with me. Most of the people walking around trade shows are doing research, kicking the tires. I'm now sure somewhere in those thousands of people walking around the trade show, there are people who genuinely want to spend money. But I'm not sure as a sales guy, it's worth my time standing on stand trying to pick those people out.
Dreamforce, probably 160,000 people attended last year. Now a few of those are spending money, but how many of those walk through the exhibition stand just collecting swag? I think that's the reason why sales guys don't like standing on exhibition booths because they're not getting any benefit from it. It's not helping them close their quota.
As I think about it, it's marketing's job to generate leads, and therefore it's the sales guy why am I there? Give me qualified leads. Let me sit back in the office and go and make my targets. That's what I see from events all the time. You're supporting events all the time in terms of generating leads. Is that a consistent view?
Peter Gillett: I'm afraid it is, and I think that sales people should love to go to trade shows. In the show last week, you talked about how they can use trade shows proactively. These days when digital media, web meetings and so on means that a lot of sales people's prospects and customers hide away in this digital world. The days of the old face-to-face meetings and the power lunch, have long gone for good or bad.
Really the trade show arena is the only place that these guys can press the flesh. See their customers. Talk to prospects for the first time. I think that was the problem that we've touched on before is the fact that they're not involved in the planning, let alone sales management. That's possibly part of the reason for the problem there. They're asked to be your most liked contract hire turning up at a show because they need someone to man the booth.
I think there's got to be a change so that they can start to see the real value in being at a show and say, "Hey guys, I want to invite these guys." And make sure the booth has got all the facilities to entertain them and have meaningful discussions. As always, there's quite a lot to change.
Ian Gotts: I was talking to a client the other day and I was trying to help them from a process perspective understand their event planning process. I said to them, "When did the event start?" They looked up at the screen and said, "Yeah, the events on the 17th of November." I went, "No, no, no, the event doesn't start then. The event starts the moment someone says they are going to the event." You can start to use the moment you are engaged with some of your customers who are going to the event. You can start engaging with them now. It's not just the day that the event happens.
I said, "When did it finish?" They went, "Well, the 17th of November." No, no, no, it finishes when you've continued those conversations. Maybe it never finishes. Events people tend to think of as I'm gonna plan my event which is happening on the 17th of November so we need to get a stand. We need to work out what tee shirts we're going to give away. We need to work out how we're going to capture people's business cards. To a sense, I think it needs to go a bit earlier than that. Think, what is my event strategy? Why am I attending this event?
I think people spend more time worrying about what's going to be written on the tee shirt, or what the swag's going to look like, than understanding what their event strategy is. I think there are four different reasons that you might go to an event, and it's one of those four. It can't be all four. It's either to grow the brand, so you simply want your name there so everyone is seeing you there. It is to pick up leads. It doesn't matter who they are, just any leads. I just need names in the bucket. I'm going to have qualified conversations, which means I only want to talk to people who are generally interested in what we're doing. Everybody else who wants to collect a tee shirt, whatever. Fine, go into the corner, but I want to have longer, qualified conversations with people who are going to buy. That's number three.
Number four, slightly more radical approach. I don't care about whose walking around the show. I know that some of my customers or prospects in the pipeline, those opportunities will be at the show. They've flown to the event. I'm there, so why don't we have some preplanned meetings. Use the event of the catalyst who is setting up those meetings and therefore the trade show, your booth actually is almost secondary. It's the meeting rooms that you've booked, and then you've got those preplanned meetings.
Let me just go through those four again. One is just we need to be there and have our brand seen. Two, is pick up leads. Three, is having qualified conversations. Four, is preplanned meetings. Based on those strategies, if you pick one, then what we are going to do at the event is very different. If it's simply growing the brand, the activities likely to take place are about sponsor share. It's about making sure the name gets seen. I don't really care about lots of leads, and I certainly don't care about conversations. If it's number two, picking up leads, then I need a really efficient lead scanning process. I need to make sure there's no one walks past the booths who is not scanned, which means it's probably contract staff. It's not expensive sales guys standing there trying to scan people.
You need people with an efficient scanning system like Zuant, so you can scan people, do some early qualification. If it's three and you really have to qualify conversations, then you need to make sure you really understand who the person you're talking to is when they walk along the stand. Again, I've seen Zuant used well there, which is we've already got the list, I scan the card, a history comes up. I can then stop, have a longer conversation and maybe there are some questions that are set up that guide me through the conversation with those prospects. Maybe there's some collateral I can give them. It feels like it's a mini sales meeting on the stand.
The last option I said was preplanned meetings. In that case, you're actually running a little seminar in the exhibition, which involves more organization and it requires you to be really slick around booking people in and so on. But again, really, really, effective. In that last one I see happen a lot say at Dreamforce, where the big consultants is, so in Extentia, or Deloitte, or PWC. If you try and walk on their stand collections swag, they basically, very politely ask you off the stand. "Sorry, not you sir." It's like no. Their standard's very clearly set up to be a setup, preplanned meeting spaces. Really fascinating, very different from some of the small players, and we're just trying to give away free helicopters, or free socks.
Again, they are clear about what their strategy is for the event. That's why I think it starts way earlier than just when you turn up on the day. You will decide what your strategy is and then plan A, that's called an event process that takes you all the way through form, like deciding what to do, all the way through to the end. What are we doing after the show? How are we following those people up?
Peter Gillett: What you're really saying is that the show, or the event itself, is almost like a book mark in a whole series of planned activities that could start six, nine, months before the show and could continue six, nine, months after the show with all the leads being followed up. It's just the thing in the middle that brings people together.
Ian Gotts: Yeah, the catalyst, absolutely. It's a book mark. It's a rather expensive book mark, but you do know that a whole ton of people have paid certainly in America, have had to fly to the event, spent the night there and are therefore committed to coming there. Just to give you an idea, we obviously at Elements. Cloud, we're starting to promote ourselves, certainly within the salesforce customer base, and we've sponsored several of the dreaming events, which are the user groups, and we went, "Okay, why are we there?" We want some better conversations with people. We know that everyone has flown in the night before to be there for the morning start. We know that their flights are going to get in between 4:00 and 6:00, 7:00 in the evening. We ran a workshop the day before, or the night before and our drinks policy.
We know the people are gonna be there. We had a bunch of people turn up to a two-hour workshop, and then we had five times that many people turn up to the evening drinks, which we organized in the hotel opposite the exhibition lot. [crosstalk 00:14:20]
Peter Gillett: That's fascinating. All right, Ian. We're just going to dive off for a quick break, and we'll pick that one up again as soon as we're back.
Paul: Just a quick reminder that one of the products we're talking about today is Zuant. It's a new generation of mobile lead capture system. Perhaps you've heard people talking about it because it's one you can use at every trade show and event, or even every day, like when you're on the road to present and send videos and literature to your customers. It looks great. It operates simply, and it eliminates the need for manually entering your leads later. It really is smart. It'd be smart of you to check it out. Pretty simple. Zuant.com. Z-U-A-N-T. Z-U-A-N-T.com. All right with that, let's head back to our host and his guest.
Peter Gillett: Thank you, Paul. That sounds good. So, let's now look at some of the practical difficulties in managing the data. Another rather dry subject but before and after the event. Do you know that? The currency we're working with here to exploit any good trade show, or event. Ian, in the salesforce world, is the system at [inaudible 00:15:37] to prepare all this data, to feed to marketing, to invite the right people to an event? That could be an awful lot of people to coordinate all of this just in one company. What's your experience of how this is managed in some of your corporate clients?
Ian Gotts: Yes, so in the sale force world, the salesforce admin role is more the person who is responsible for configuring the system and we also necessarily what the person who is managing all the data. Obviously, in the smaller companies there is a solo admin who does everything. Sale forces is flexible enough so that the marketing team are able to run reports, and export the data if they need to, to go an invite people to the event. It depends what they're using. If they're using salesforce for all their customer data, and they have a separate marketing system, which is not integrated in salesforce, then they may have to export it, or they may be using salesforce's own marketing cloud which is [inaudible 00:16:45]. They may drive the meeting invites from there.
That's great. I've now got an invite out to somebody and making sure they're coming to the event, but we need to close the loop. We need to make sure that that data is in the hands of every, single person working the booth, so when someone walks up on the stand, we don't start the conversation with, "Hi, I'm Ian. Who are you? Why are you here?" You can scan their card, ideally if it's an NFC card, or it's QR code, and hopefully, you've already got that data preloaded in your event app, so you can start the conversation from, "Great, you're Peter Gillett. You're CO of Zuant. I see you've been using Product X, great. So good you've come to meet us. Let's continue the conversation." So many times, at events, people either go, "Can I have your business card?" I'll throw it in the goldfish bowl, and maybe you can win an iPad at the end.
Or, they come up with these funny little bar code scanners. There's no data on there. They're simply capturing no data. It's rather sad isn't? It's 2017 now, and I walk into a trade show, and I'm immediately taken back 10 years. In a number of ways, it's disappointing, appalling that the technology hasn't moved on in terms of the ability to have proper conversations on a booth with accurate data, and clearly Zuant is one company that's changing that. It doesn't feel like the event management business has moved on particularly far. I think that's why it's difficult to have proper conversations with people if you're not armed with the right data.
Marketing can get data out of salesforce, but unless it's the hands of every single person on the booth, and they can access it quickly, it's difficult to have a proper conversation with people. That's why a sales guy is like, everyone feels like a new prospect to me. Someone turns up, and he says, "By the way, I'm one of your customers," because of course you've never met them before. You have only ever met them online, and then it's even more embarrassing, you go, "Oh, yeah, absolutely, I didn't realize." Again, the data is the power in this. Unless we got decent data in the hands of every booth member, every person working the booth, then we're fighting with our arm tied around our back.
Peter Gillett: As you said, it's so easy to do. It's surprising how slowly the industry is to adapt for this, that you can turn up to rent a car from Hertz, or going to a well-known hotel chain and they recognize you, and welcome you. Do you want your normal room? Do you want your normal Ford Mustang Cabrio? It's good, it's so easy to link that data together. Let's try and bring the exhibition and event industry up to this speed.
Ian Gotts: I would lay the blame at the guys who do the event registration. They're the guys who have all the date quite often. They're the guys making money selling me these old-fashioned bar code scanners. The event we went to a couple of weeks ago in Chicago, I wanted to use their wands cause it's so much better, but the event organizer had a team, the guys who were doing the badging refused to give us access to how the QR code was configured, because they wanted to sell us a [inaudible 00:20:35] $200 an event, their scanner, which was awful. All I could do, I got someone's name and phone number and that was all that come up. I had the ability to type three lines of notes into the app they gave us.
We need the event organizers to say we need a better experience for our exhibitors, and a better experience for our delegates, and therefore not put up with the poor scanners, which are then tied to the event organizers. I don't know how we break that cycle. I think we need delegates to go back to organizers and go, "This is not acceptable." Exhibitors to go back to organizers and go, "This is not acceptable." I think it's going to be a ground swell of products like Zuant. A number of exhibitors using Zuant to going, " I don't need your 2D bar code scanner. I want to use Zuant and I'm not going to exhibit unless you give me the access to the data that I need."
Peter, are you seeing examples of that happening where Zuant's been used by exhibitors, and the exhibition organizers are more open to giving access to the data?
Peter Gillett: Yes, for sure. What you described was the situation some years ago when we started in the industry. Now, it's great. I think we have about 30 registration companies that approve and are happy to work with Zuant because it makes their life easier. That's just providing data. There's no hardware to render or anything like that. It's the modern way of working. Changes are coming. We need to speed it up a bit.
Ian Gotts: From an exhibitor perspective, have we got hard numbers about why I should care about this?
Peter Gillett: Yes, for sure. There are some classic examples that we've got a blog post that recently published this week. One of the main stream tell codes in the US has been using Zuant for 12 months, and the statistics that they are quoting about doubling the number of sales opportunities and actual sales that's to be generated is quite outstanding. You think from a platform of trying to generate maybe fewer needs of better quality, what's actually happening is you're capturing , many more leads that you did before. Maybe a lot of the proper leads ended up as business cards stuffed into the pockets of the sales guys, and may be lucky to survive dry cleaners the week after. These clients are actually finding they are capturing many, many, more leads, and the quality is much better because they qualify and there are more notes to enable that follow up. It's terrific when you see it, all of these stars aligning properly within the clients.
Ian Gotts: You've got a couple of really interesting things there. It's about, as a sales guy, I want qualified leads. Giving me a pile of business cards and saying, "Check these people out." That's the software and development rep's job. Giving me a spreadsheet with, by the way, these are all the people that turned up to our stand, go and call them because they could be clients. Dumping that spread sheet as new leads into salesforce and saying, "We think they're qualified because they walked into our stand." I'm going to get my process management soap box and stand on that and chant [inaudible 00:24:39]. A clear understanding about what qualified means for your company is probably the most important thing that you'll do in a sales cycle. Getting agreement from both marketing and sales about when I should throw it over the fence for marketing to sales, so that sales guys genuinely care about it, is really, really important.
Again, I was talking to a client last week who toured the marketing team, and they said, "We never talk to sales because they don't really want to talk to us." I was like, "How on earth do you work out why you're going to an event and what that sales like the event through to sales cycle looks like?" In fact, in our own company between marketing and sales, we decide we move the line about where marketing stops and where sales starts, because we were having so many leads being generated with our premium model. We needed to be closer in terms of qualification.
Again, when you have a premium product and we have 20 to 30 new customers a week signing up now, not every one of those is a qualified lead. Yeah, fine, they're using the product, but they need to show that they're actually starting to gain some momentum until it's worth giving to our customer's success in our sales teams. We've actually moved the line to where marketing finishes further to right, if I'm looking at a process diagram, and therefore, some of the early follow up is done by marketing with a, sort of marketing, throw customer success hat on, before we get passed over to the sales team to start to work with customers to make them successful.
That point about what is a qualified lead and when should it go to sales, that's nothing to do with events. That's just to do with the way your company is run. It then impacts an event, because then I know what I'm meant to be getting back out of, my lead capture device acts an event, which then gets back to how do I make sure we end up with decent qualified leads? What information do I need to collect from people to see whether they are qualified? Again, back to our conversation before the break about think of the event as a catalyst. If the catalyst, yes for we need to get our act together from running to make sure we understand what our strategy is for this particular event.
I also think it's a good catalyst to say, "You're going to get your shift sorted out." Let's decide what a qualified lead looks like. Let's get sales and marketing in the same room having a conversation about when you should pass things over, and then we'll start to get the numbers that you were talking about. I was staggered when I read the blob post. What was it, "Double sales opportunities, 150% year on year increasing qualified leads, and 280% [inaudible 00:27:28] increase in unit sales from events." That's amazing. Surely, that's worth having a proper conversation about what qualified leads look like.
Peter Gillett: We should wrap here. We could talk a lot longer. I think next time we'll move on to poor lead follow up. Clearly, with all we've been discussing today, this would be an ideal case to get people starting to use proper process management software to coordinate all these steps. Thanks for your time today, and we'll look forward to our next interview, Ian. Thanks, again. Back to you, Paul.
Ian Gotts: Thank you so much.
Paul: You've been listening to another episode of SLMA radio. Brought to you on behalf of the thousands and thousands of members of the Sales Lead Management Association. If it has to do with Sales Lead Management or Sales Lead Marketing, it probably starts here, with the SLMA radio show. Part of the many shows of the Funnel Radio Channel for network listeners like you.