The Best Way to Accelerate Sales and Create Lasting Moments from Events
If you run events for your company, you understand the stakes. So much is riding on creating a great first impression for customers or prospects.
If you don't immediately follow up with a lead while they’re enthusiastic and engaged, you've missed an invaluable opportunity to deepen your relationship with that person. That was a challenge we faced with our events.
Instructure is the leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that helps people grow from their first day of school to their last day of work. Its software solutions include Canvas, the learning management platform that simplifies teaching and elevates learning, and Bridge, the employee development and engagement solution for people-focused companies.
To date, Instructure has connected millions of educators and learners at more than 4,000 educational institutions and corporations throughout the world.
Using Events to Cultivate an In-Person Connection
We handle all our events in-house: everything from planning to staffing the event is all Instructure. In today’s climate, that’s vitally important. Customers don't want to just buy products anymore; they want to feel like they're part of your culture and that your values align with theirs. That's the most effective way to get someone to decide to engage with the company and ultimately make a purchase decision.
For an organization like ours, events are critical to our strategy. We do everything from trade shows to massive user conferences that have grown to more than 3,000 attendees. They give us an in-person opportunity to deepen our relationships with our clients.
Previously, past lead capture processes just didn't allow us to fully carry that initial enthusiasm beyond the event.
We had someone working full time to go through lead cards after events. We had to process them, make sure they were accurate, and only then could we begin our outreach. That process could take weeks, allowing too much time to elapse.
Events are a major investment. We needed a platform to move us away from pen and paper and into the digital age.
Finding a New Digital Lead Capture Solution
After researching available options, we quickly hit upon Integrate (formerly Akkroo). The ability to scan badges and have data flow to our CRM and marketing automation systems would drastically improve our post-event follow-up times. And Integrate would work offline as well as online. That meant if an event’s wifi went down, it wouldn’t hold us back. We saw that Integrate would help us expedite lead capture and processing. We’d finally be able to follow up quickly and maintain our attendees’ excitement.
Laying Foundations for Success: Joining Integrate with Salesforce and Marketo
We set up Integrate across four separate business units: EMEA, US, APAC, and LATAM. But rather than just running with our newfound solution, we wanted to build the proper foundation. The only way we’d streamline our workflow and create the personalized feedback our leads deserved was to put in the work now.
We first worked with our sales team to make sure we got the Marketo and Salesforce integrations right.
What was the least information we needed? How easy could we make this for the customer, while still collecting the right details? You need to think about the balance between getting the right information, but not overburdening your staff—or a prospect.
We then needed to provide training. For Integrate to work, our staff needed to know how to use it at the events. We showed them how Integrate would speed up our processes, but also the functionalities they’d need on the ground. We showed folks how to use the badge scanner or how to manually type in information on an iPad—or even their own phone. Since anyone could download the Integrate app, it meant we didn’t need to run out and buy more tablets.
We had a foundation built and the training done. All that was left was to bring Integrate into our events and say goodbye to lead cards.
Goodbye Paper, Hello Accuracy
Flash forward to today and our paper processes are gone. From an environmental standpoint, it’s nice to do away with paper. But moving away from lead cards also creates higher quality. When names and emails are handwritten, there’s room for ambiguity. But with the badge scanner functionality, it’s faster for our employees—and attendees—and infinitely more accurate.
And our integrations are like magic. All leads from the events feed directly into Salesforce and Marketo. If sales wants to keep a lead and progress the conversation for themselves, they can. Otherwise, our SDR team will be notified to reach out. We follow up with hot leads within an hour of getting them, while the rest of the leads are handled within 24 hours. Remember when it used to take us two to four weeks just to process leads? Me neither.
We’re getting a greater number of more accurate leads and we’re following up on them faster than ever before. Now, when our attendees leave an event still buzzing, our email will hit their inbox while they’re still in that happy state. That’s the best way to accelerate sales and create lasting moments.
Markers of Success
For retrospective purposes, I can now instantly see how well we did at an event. Looking at my Integrate dashboards, I know how many leads we generated and if the event was worth our time. As I plan out the following year’s events, that’s priceless information.
For many companies, generating leads is probably your priority at events. That’s where Integrate can help. It makes it easy to align lead generation with all your other event objectives. You can create events that make customers happier, accelerate your sales cycles, and leave lasting impressions.
Akkroo was acquired by Integrate in April 2019. This case study was originally produced before this date. Learn more.