How To Write Effective Qualifying Questions For Your Trade Show App

trade show app questions

More and more exhibitors are ditching paper and instead using a trade show app to capture lead data from their in-booth conversations.  They often use the show’s provided lead retrieval app, or else use a rented or purchased lead retrieval app or trade show game to capture lead data.

While there are advantages to using a trade show app in terms of saving time entering and exporting data, too many exhibitors fail to go one more crucial step, and include valuable qualifying questions in their digital lead capture.

That’s understandable, as it takes time to customize the app with your company’s qualifying questions, and there is suspicion that the booth staffers still won’t use them. Yet getting answers to qualifying questions is so worth the effort!

Here’s how to write qualifying questions for your trade show app – questions that will advance your business goals and that your booth staffers will actually use.

Write as few qualifying questions for your trade show app as possible

Nothing is as daunting to a booth staffer than a laundry list of questions to get answers for, when they’re faced with restless booth visitors who are itching to resume walking the show floor. Give your booth staffers too many questions and you won’t get answers for most of them. Or, you’ll get annoyed prospects and more data than you can actually use.

Instead, only ask questions that will help your sales people prioritize and engage with their leads, and that your marketing team will use to select marketing follow up.

What kinds of questions to include in your trade show app

Ask your sales management to supply the 3 to 5 questions they would want to ask a prospect to define their needs and to rate how qualified they are.

These questions are the select few that veteran sales people know will help understand each lead’s specific needs and determine which of your product offerings are best. Answers that will help determine what market segment prospects belong to.  Answers that will determine the rate and level of sales and marketing follow up.

These questions can be about which of the product families they are interested in, the level of their consumption of your product type, or the date of an upcoming event that is driving their purchase.

Chances are, your sales and marketing team will brainstorm a list of 10 or more questions.  Once you have that list, be ruthless about eliminating questions that are secondary, and keep questions that will truly be used to understand, qualify and prioritize leads.

Getting BANT answers without asking BANT questions

Perhaps the most popular formula for qualifying leads is called BANT: Budget, Authority, Need, Time.

  • Budget: Does your lead have the budget set aside to buy your product already?
  • Authority: Do they have the authority to make the purchase?
  • Need: Do they have a strong need to buy your solution?
  • Time: How soon do they plan to make the purchase?

Questions that revolve around answering these questions are great to ask – except they can also make your booth visitors recoil.  Work with your sales team to write questions that help to reveal budget and need (some size or use amount parameter, their vertical market, the key problem they are trying to solve) without having to directly ask the budget question.

How to format answer choices for your trade show app

When you can, make your qualifying questions multiple choice that booth staffers can simply check a box to define the answer.  Even better, those same question and answer choices are already being used by your sales and marketing team in your database, so you have apples-to-apples comparison to other prospects and can quickly import the show’s lead capture data and use it right away.

For example, you can rate each lead’s quality and simultaneously define follow up activity with one question that asks the next follow up step:

  • Have a Sales Rep contact for a demo or call
  • Add to newsletter list
  • Send product info
  • Send a whitepaper or e-book

Reevaluate your trade show app questions for every show

Hopefully you can use the same questions and answers at every show and save yourself time in making changes.  But verify you can use them every time.  Your company may have introduced a major new product or be exhibiting at a different vertical market show.  For both of these reasons you would benefit from asking new questions on your trade show app.  Fortunately, you won’t have to spend as much time as the first time.

Adding effective qualifying questions to your trade show app may seem like a small thing, but it can produce oversize results for the effort.  A few easily answered questions will vastly improve your ability to prioritize and follow up on leads, boosting your results and trade show ROI.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and capture leads with our fun interactive trade show games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate a serious increase in excitement, crowds, and leads

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is a thought leader, researcher, speaker and award winning innovator on event technology. In 2011, BizBash Magazine added Sam to its annual innovators list. Since then, Sam has won awards from Exhibitor Magazine, IBTM World, RSVP MN, International Live Events Association and MPI for innovation in event technology.