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Dreamforce 2014 is only seven weeks away and the buzz is building. Hillary Clinton and Al Gore are confirmed as keynote speakers, the musical act is set (Bruno Mars!), and the sessions are scheduled.

dreamforceYou have your game plan. Wait one minute. In the classic scene in the movie Home Alone, Kate McAllister, played by Catherine O’hara, realizes that she has forgotten her son Kevin (McCauly Caulkin) at home. Do you have the feeling that you’re forgetting something?

This post will make sure you don’t forget your most important asset: your database.

1. Get your Salesforce Org Ready for Dreamforce

Dreamforce is one of the best places in the universe to network, but it can certainly be overwhelming when it comes time for you to prioritize your follow-up on opportunities. Whether you’re a sponsor, a small team just getting your feet wet, or a one-man consulting practice, you need a sold plan for getting all your newfound leads, contacts and accounts into Salesforce. You also need a plan for following up within a reasonable time period after the show. Without this, there is no real point in attending.

This will be our 12th year sponsoring Dreamforce (join us with promo code EC14RNGLD), and we have learned a thing or two over the years to ensure that our Salesforce org is ready for the flurry of activity leading up to, during, and after Dreamforce. As the size of the show has grown over the past decade, we have had to refine our follow-up strategies and pre-show preparation every year.

2. Get in Sync with Salesforce1

With Salesforce1, you can manage and report on every aspect of your business while on the go, all from your smartphone. This is perfect for Dreamforce, because it is the epitome of that concept: four days on the go. Before you head to the Moscone Center, make sure that you install, and become familiar with, the Salesforce1 app.

3. Develop your Game Plan for Manual Data Entry

For most organizations, the entry of tradeshow data into CRM and marketing automation platforms is a broken process with no control over data standards or duplicate records. Install apps to ensure that when you enter new leads or contacts, you are enforcing data standards and preventing duplicates during manual entry.

4. Develop your Game Plan for Importing Lists

If you’re an exhibitor at Dreamforce, good luck and God speed. After the fourth day working the booth, when your voice is completely gone and your feet feel like they will need weeks to recover, you will receive a golden list of new leads…or so you think. Chances are high that many of these leads already exist in your system. Handling these leads efficiently requires a tool to ensure that leads are routed to the correct owner, instead of distributed at random. Make sure you consider this before one of your junior reps calls the big account that your star salesman has been cultivating for months.

5. If You Want to Segment, You Need to Standardize

One mistake that many tradeshow attendees make is dumping data into their CRM right after the show. If you want to maximize the impact of your initial follow up — and possibly more importantly — the future engagement with your prospects via marketing automation, you’ll want to make sure that you’re properly standardizing key fields as the data enters the system. Data standardization is applicable for your State, Country, Job Title fields, and many more and by enforcing data standards. This ensures that your marketing team will be able to effectively segment this new list into the appropriate personas, and that your sales team will be able to segment by region.

Do you have any other tips or tricks in planning for Dreamforce? Let us know!

Learn more data best practices for your next conference with the free ebook below.

The author:

RingLead Inc

RingLead offers a complete end-to-end suite of products to clean, protect and enhance company and contact information, leading to improved organizational efficiency, reliable business intelligence, and maximized ROI on CRM and marketing automation investments. Since 2003 RingLead has helped solve the dirty data problems of large enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses across the globe.