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If you’re hoping to jumpstart your professional business relationships with a variety of clients, participating in or hosting an exhibit, conference, tradeshow, or other event can bring you face-to-face with a lot of potential leads. Whether it’s a virtual, in-person, or hybrid event, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to generate new leads and grow your business.

Unfortunately, many people experience a disconnect when initiating contact with a lead at an event and following up later on. Sometimes, you don’t reliably capture their information, or you follow up too late to be meaningful. However, there is a solution to ensure you gain quality leads, share them with your team, and keep everyone on track to build strong relationships: lead retrieval.

Learn more about how to get the best possible return on investment from events you’re participating in with lead retrieval when you review some key information here.

What Is Lead Retrieval?

Lead retrieval is the process of capturing leads at an event. While in the past, a piece of paper and pencil was the preferred method for getting lead data, today, there are many lead retrieval platforms that provide you with tools and strategies you need to enhance data capture and collaborate better with your sales and marketing teams.

Data shows that about two-thirds of potential leads captured at trade shows and events don’t ever get a follow-up. But with a lead retrieval app, you can ensure you capture the right leads, enrich their data, qualify and rate them, and pass the lists along to the right team to reach out at the right time. This will help you seamlessly fold event-generated leads into your lead management system.

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How It Works

what is lead retrieval infographic

I’ve already dismissed paper sheets as a good collection method for gathering leads. Today, you should rely on technology to streamline lead retrieval and qualify your leads. Whether you use a hardware or software-based platform, you’ll be scanning QR codes, barcodes, ID numbers, NFC-enabled badges, or even business cards into your app to get a lead’s contact details.

These details may include:

  • Company name
  • Job title
  • Office phone
  • Email address

Since this data is typically collected during the registration process, you can also find this information by integrating with the event organizer’s management system. But you may also want to rely on your own tools and conversation in-person to get a more comprehensive picture of your lead.

The Process

Your first move is to capture lead data by scanning the badge or code with a smartphone, tablet, or hand-held scanner. Next, you can qualify leads on-site by adding notes in the app post-interaction. You may also be able to send out custom surveys and personalized content right away to get more information.

When you have enough data, it’s time to follow up after the event via integration with your CRM. Forward this data to sales and marketing to create a more personalized approach for your sales pitch. Most lead retrieval platforms will sync with CRM solutions in real-time to provide information to your team much faster. You can usually export data to Excel sheets as well.

Finally, your lead retrieval platform becomes part of your reporting eco-system with essential metrics like the total leads you scanned, average lead quality, or the number of leads you have from the same organization. Comprehensive search functionality in your reporting tools enables you to filter, group, and segment leads by key metrics to ensure highly developed marketing strategies.

Lead Retrieval Options

Since you’re scanning attendee barcodes to generate your leads, you have two options to generate your final list: hardware and software-based solutions.

Hardware-based lead retrieval is usually handled by a third-party provider from whom you also have to rent some sort of scanner that relays the lead data to them. Some of the scanners available today include RFID, micro-scanners, and pro-scanners. You’ll scan the data to your provider, and they will collect the lead data, organize it, and send the information to you later.

Software lead retrieval solutions, on the other hand, provide you with a little more access, flexibility, and control. These platforms are usually smartphone and tablet compatible, so your team can scan attendee badges with their own devices. You also get instant access to attendee data, allowing your team to write notes and export attendee information right away.

Lead Retrieval Tool Process

  1. Download the mobile app from your hardware or software solution
  2. Provide your team training on the mobile app
  3. Set up your exhibitor or sponsor booth
  4. Speak with attendees and scan their badges for contact information
  5. Qualify the sales lead based on custom parameters or questionnaires
  6. Export lead information from the lead retrieval system to a CRM or spreadsheet
  7. Have the sales team follow up with the lead at the opportune moment

There are a few other steps you can take during this process, like gamifying your signup with perks and leaderboards to drive traffic or adding notes in-app to provide more information about potential customers. As you participate in more events, you can streamline and enhance your process to ensure even better lead retrieval work.

Benefits Of Lead Retrieval Tools

sales funnel infographic

The main benefits of lead retrieval allow you to collect data at scale, simplify team collaboration, and improve the attendee experience. With a lead retrieval device on Android or iOS, you can capture and synchronize data faster and more accurately. Most apps also allow you to edit information and leave notes for other team members so anyone can pick up after qualifying a lead is complete.

Lead retrieval solutions are also ideal for attendees and event planners, as they mitigate the need for writing, carrying around business cards, or other slow exchanges of information. Make gathering data as seamless and unobtrusive as possible with a quick scan.

Next Steps

If you don’t have a lead retrieval solution to improve your lead generation, it’s time to review some tool breakdowns to find the right fit for your team. However, if you believe your lead management process is complete, consider subscribing to the RevOps newsletter to ensure you get updates and insights from the experts that reveal the newest trends and changes in your industry.

By Phil Gray

Philip Gray is the COO of Black and White Zebra and Founding Editor of The RevOps Team. A business renaissance man with his hands in many departmental pies, he is an advocate of centralized data management, holistic planning, and process automation. It's this love for data and all things revenue operations landed him the role as resident big brain for The RevOps Team.

With 10+ years of experience in leadership and operations in industries that include biotechnology, healthcare, logistics, and SaaS, he applies a considerable broad scope of experience in business that lets him see the big picture. An unapologetic buzzword apologist, you can often find him double clicking, drilling down, and unpacking all the things.