Networking events may occasionally seem like an outdated concept now that it’s possible to speak to anyone from anywhere at the touch of a button, but the stats on this matter speak for themselves. 40% of new prospects that you meet face-to-face can be expected to convert into new customers at some point; there's no better way to start off a business relationship.
Going to networking events is clearly worth doing, but it’s also worth thinking about what you might do to boost the effectiveness of the time, energy and resources you’re investing to do so. Getting the right tools at your side is critical to making this happen, and there’s one in particular that you might miss: Lead capturing mobile app.
Why Use a Lead Capturing Mobile App?
While many of you might think that business cards are no use anymore, they are still the best medium to capture up-to-date contact information, personalize and transfer the data to your CRM and marketing tools. The only tool you need is a good lead capturing app. So you wonder what specific things does it help you with?
There are 5 key areas where you are most likely to notice the difference.
When it’s easy to handle and store data, you’ll usually be able to process far more of it. This may mean that it will become more feasible to store information on more contacts or attend more networking events than you would have done without the app in your hand to help you. Numbers may not be everything when it comes to building a robust contact database, but it’s always better to have too many contacts than too few – 68% of companies struggle with that very problem.
The ability to instantly convert a business card into a digital record is also incredibly handy to have available to you during networking events, allowing you to acquire a virtual copy of the information you have on hand immediately rather than waiting for later. While you should still probably keep the physical card stored away somewhere as an emergency backup option, getting that conversion out of the way lessens the pressure on you to keep that card in pristine condition. You can simply pull yourself off to the side of the room, quickly scan your card, put it away, and get back to what you were doing with full confidence that you’ll come back to a complete and accurate digitized copy later. Now that networking events are increasingly becoming more informal and demand that attendees live in the moment in order to get the most out of them, this kind of efficiency is more valuable than ever.
Better Sales Performance
Higher productivity usually goes hand-in-hand with better results, and that’s the case here too. Each contact is a potential lead, and each lead is worth something to a business. Having more leads gives you more potential openings for new pathways to revenue that you had previously left untapped. Analyzing the data will give you a clearer picture of what kinds of people you’re having the most success connecting with, allowing you to refine your product pitches and other marketing endeavors to focus on what matters to those groups.
It’s also worth noting that contacts you make at networking events are actually even more valuable than those you make in other circumstances; this is due to the intimacy of the initial point of connection. According to 79% of business buyers, one of the best ways to get them to purchase from a company is to have that company be represented by someone who they consider to be a ‘trusted advisor.’ Someone who they’ve met in person is much more likely to be able to fill that role for them than someone who approaches them entirely by phone or email. Lead capturing mobile app makes it easy to make these kinds of close connections with more people instead of rifling through business cards for the entire event.
Saved Time and Effort
When you’re in business in any serious capacity, keeping contact records isn’t optional. However, doing it by hand – the only method available at one time – is tedious and labor-intensive. Someone needs to get that work done, but everyone would prefer if it wasn’t them. While the app can’t serve as a broad solution for all administrative tasks related to your contact data - it can only transcribe the information you see on each card, and most businesses will want at least a little more than that – it can help to cut down immensely on time spent on these tasks.
Automating this type of work has the potential to recoup approximately 40 hours a month of time for yourself or your team. That’s a huge boost in resources that could really make a difference in many companies, especially smaller ones that routinely find themselves short on manpower. You'll also find that you and your staff spend far less time chasing fruitless leads based on faulty data and on correcting that data afterwards.
Let’s be honest: while contact data can be extremely interesting in the right context, the initial data entry tasks involved with creating a new record are boring. Bored people quickly become disengaged from the job they are doing, and disengaged people make more mistakes - possibly as many as 60% more according to some findings.
Since the app is a machine, it doesn’t have the same susceptibility to error that a human worker does. It isn’t entirely infallible, but it will never become distracted, forget to enter any information into a field, or make a typo. This is a huge advantage at any time, but it’s doubly so in the context of networking events – the exact type of information that you can typically get at these gatherings makes minimizing errors even more important. Business cards typically include a person’s name, company, job title, and phone number or email address (including both is increasingly becoming the standard). All of these bits of data are the most critical ones to get right in any database profile. You can always update any extraneous information later, but ending up with an invalid email address or an inaccurate name can easily put an end to that relationship altogether.
Improved Data Quality
As was mentioned above, small errors are extremely common in most data sets. It is virtually impossible for humans to handle a large data set without making any errors whatsoever, so a few issues here and there are normal problems that there is no need to worry much about. The more they accumulate, however, the more they start to become a concern. A high number of errors in your data will start to impact your data quality metrics, which means that the data itself will not be considered usable by professional standards and is far less likely to produce much revenue for you. For obvious reasons, it is imperative that you avoid this.
With fewer errors in your contact data right from the beginning, you’ll have a good start toward the quality data you need to forge ahead in your field. Performing adequate contact data quality management over time is still necessary to keep all this information relevant and helpful to you, but starting off with high standards in this department will always make that a less intensive process later on. This will also help ensure that you lose only a minimal amount of money to data quality programs in the time between each of your audits.
The Ultimate Contact Data Solution for Networking Events
Networking events and the bonds they help to forge are nearly priceless in the business world. When you go to one, it’s worth it to have every possible advantage on your side. Getting a little help from this technological aid will ensure that the logistical aspects of this activity are covered. Take that worry off your mind and focus on planting the seeds of relationships instead – data is important, but the opportunities it represents are even more so.
Next time, we’ll be going over a few other things you can do to make the most of all of the networking events that you attend. Until then, be sure to join your peers to never miss out on our new tips to bring you closer to bring you closer to people in your industry through data.