How to Select a Lead Retrieval Application

The market for enterprise lead retrieval applications—those offered by third-party vendors independent from trade show registration companies—has begun to expand. Because there are so many options, it’s become more difficult for exhibitors to select a solution. Here are some features to look for when choosing a lead retrieval platform.

Lead collection across multiple platforms (devices).  The best-in-class lead retrieval solutions will work on and with multiple devices and operating systems including tablets (iPad, Android), notebook computers (Microsoft Windows and Apple OS) and handheld scanning devices.

Customizable surveys with branching logic.  Modern lead retrieval surveys can be tailored to the specific needs of the company. The most sophisticated systems not only guide users through a series of questions, they also employ branching logic so that the questions in the series change based on the users’ previous answers. They are also designed to accommodate the most widely used response types: text, single select, multiple select and lookups.

Cloud data storage.  The days of storing contacts and data on the collection device are long gone. Today’s systems can upload data immediately or on demand to a remote server multiplying the number of ways the data can be displayed and analyzed.

Functionality with or without Internet Wi-Fi access.  Internet access in convention centers can be expensive and intermittent for exhibitors. Many new lead retrieval solutions can function with or without Internet access; however, the most advanced systems will auto-update as soon as a hotspot is detected removing the need for an additional step to activate the data download or upload.

Support 1D, 2D, magstripe, QR code and RFID badges.  The time expended in getting badge data into the lead retrieval device has been reduced to seconds. Although some solutions require exhibitor staff to hand-key the attendee data into the device, others use a handheld scanner connected to the device to scan 1D, 2D, or QR Codes or rely on RFID readers. Credit card-type swiping scanners are used for magstripe badges. In the newest configurations, the scanner and device communicate wirelessly without an Internet or hardwired connection.

Use on personal devices.  The need to rent devices on which to deploy lead retrieval systems is optional. With several companies offering lead retrieval iPad platforms, the apps are free and can be downloaded on any compatible device whether it is rented or owned by the individual or company.

Data visualization tools.  Data collection functionality is only one part of the lead retrieval solutions offered currently. The ability to import the information into multiple reports automatically in order to perform detailed analyses of buyer prospects and the quality of the reports (an excel spread sheet vs. an analytics dashboard) are key differentiators among solutions.

Lead scoring.  Some systems take users beyond the collection of data and into the qualification of leads. Lead scoring tools available through lead retrieval applications help companies identify prospects who are ready to buy.

The advantages of pursuing an enterprise lead retrieval system are obvious: one solution can be utilized across multiple events and exhibitors have complete control over their own data. Today, the options and opportunities for exhibitors are virtually unlimited.