It’s less than a week away. The leviathan of all tech conferences: Dreamforce. For most conferences contained in a convention center, coordinating meetings, creating buzz and awareness, and going home with a bunch of new business is a daunting but doable challenge. Dreamforce, though? Dreamforce brings in almost 200,000 attendees scattered across the Financial District and SoMa areas of San Francisco. This includes several “lodges” located blocks apart from each other, unofficial sub-conferences vying for attention, and companies trying to woo you to countless VIP dinners and parties. Dreamforce is impermeable for brands without hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend.
At Sigstr, we often say “if what you’re working on seems impossible, you’re probably on the right track.” So when it comes to a scrappy, midwestern startup running the table at Dreamforce, we have one thing to say: “Hold our beer.”
One of the reasons we built Pulse was to help marketers align with sales to fuel revenue. There are few other places where this collaboration is more essential than events. Here’s how we’re using Pulse to squeeze every last ounce of ROI out of events like Dreamforce.
B2B event marketers obsess over the pre-conference. What’s booth draw? Is our swag cool enough? How do our promotions break through the wall of noise surrounding #DF18? We do it because we want to create awareness to meet new potential customers. Think about the amount of time, effort, money, and planning you’re putting into this part of your event journey. Now consider this stat: only 1% of leads typically become customers.
If your ACV on a 1% lead-to-customer conversion rate is higher than your event marketing spend, T&E, and human capital costs, you should be in good shape. But that’s not typically the case for most SaaS companies (Sigstr included). The net-new lead game is risky business and that’s why we start with our known universe of relationships.
It’s pretty easy to spot what brands are directly or peripherally involved with Dreamforce. If you know which brands you want to meet, you can search for them directly in Sigstr Pulse and find out who from your network knows the contacts within that account. This is huge for warm introductions, which have 86% more favorable business outcomes. Rather than falling into the “spray and pray” approach, Sigstr gets very intentional about who we want to meet. Then we cut straight to the chase to meet them through people we both trust.
As a former San Franciscan, I know first hand that if you’re not directly involved with Dreamforce, you try to stay the heck away. Even still, we use Pulse to find our universe of friendships that live in San Francisco for a few reasons:
- Which of our teammates has the strongest network of relationships in San Francisco? They’re probably who we should send out there.
- Who are the local influencers that can help us promote our presence in San Francisco? They can help us make new friends.
- What relationships in San Francisco do my teammates have that I haven’t explored? What relationships do I have in San Francisco that I’ve neglected and need to nurture?
- Are there local friendlies that can give advice to our sales and marketing teams around events, places to stay, etc.
Lists and Contacts
Lastly, I can pull up the list of everyone we met at Dreamforce last year and observe how those relationships have developed over the past year. I know who at Sigstr has the best relationship with these contacts, so I can easily distribute this list to my teammates for outreach. We’ll then let them know where Sigstr will be, encourage them to stop by our booth, and maybe even invite them to dinner or a party.
Pulse makes it easy to analyze the universe of relationships Sigstr already has. By the time we’re done cruising through our target accounts, local contacts, and friends we met last year, the pre-event anxiety around driving new leads has decreased substantially because we already have so much opportunity with our existing friends.
Sigstr's Chrome Plugin
“Hey, it’s great to meet you! Oh - you know Tucker on our team. Yeah, I also know this person, and this person, and this person…”
Imagine having the ability to know not only everyone you’ve ever had a business conversation with, but also everyone your coworkers have had a conversation with. All in an instant. With our Chrome plugin, you can automatically understand your universe of relationships with every webpage or LinkedIn profile you visit. But, unlike LinkedIn, this actually tells you who you really know and how strong your network of relationships are. This is the perfect way to break the ice and establish a stronger connection with the people that come visit you at your booth.
The post-event follow-up strategy varies wildly for B2B Marketers, but it is always a top priority, and often times filled with ambiguity, best guesses, and ever-evolving processes. It is also one of the activities that illuminates the fissures (or lack thereof) in sales and marketing alignment.
In the past, this has been a major point of anxiety for me personally. I’ve gotten leads loaded into our CRM, assigned the appropriate person to do follow-up, maybe even added people to a nurture campaign, and then sat back hoped for the best. In this situation, the “best” meant that my sales team was hustling and scoring new opportunities sourced from the event. If you have ever gone back into an event list and realized that only half of your leads have been effectively followed up with, you’re not alone. I’ve gone through that horrifying scenario more times than I’d like to admit.
Now, though, I have Sigstr Pulse. It gives me a perfectly transparent view into our event follow-up. I sync my leads into our CRM, seamlessly pull that campaign into Pulse, and have an almost omniscient view of who we met and how they’re being followed up with.
By looking at the “Top Path” of the contacts in our post-event “Booth Leads” list, I know instantly who at Sigstr should be doing the follow-up. This is because I know they’ve got the highest relationship with that contact or that contact’s account.
When I’m looking at Last Activity, I can see if our sales team has actually followed up on leads since the event. It’s also super useful to our sales team as they’re able to see when the last communication was, and who it was with, so they can pick up the conversation where it left off.
Tying It All Together
Sigstr Pulse makes our email signature marketing side of the platform better than ever. Before our team begins their event follow-up, we’re going to align our various Dreamforce lists to custom, personalized email signature campaigns. We’ve seen our engagement rates skyrocket when we tailor our banners to an event, persona, funnel stage, or all three. Our founder, Dan Hanrahan, recently wrote more about how Pulse and Sigstr Signatures make each other better.
If you write me an email right now, and you’re a tech marketer, sales person, we met you at Dreamforce last year, or you live in San Francisco, I’ll write you back and you’ll automatically be targeted with this banner ad in my email. Sigstr Pulse gives you a unique and powerful way to look at your audiences, and Sigstr Signatures allows you to align them to perfectly targeted content.