The Problem with Lead Solutions that Depend on Wireless Connections (is not a problem with NewLeads)
A desperate competitor recently posted an article trying to scare exhibitors away from iPad solutions that rely on internet and wireless connectivity, saying that there is a problem with lead solutions that depend on wireless connections. Ironically, the competitor’s iPads ultimately rely on internet connections so that the leads can be “synced”. Perhaps the blog post goes under the category of “open mouth, insert foot”. But it raises an important topic, nonetheless: what is the problem with lead solutions that depend on wireless connections?
There are two ways to use wireless at a show: one is with an internet connection and the other is with a local wireless cloud network (the latter of which is used by NewLeads.) Anyone using their smart phone at a trade show knows about internet and cell phone “flakivitiy”; some places are great for Verizon and At&T but Sprint has no signal and vice-versa (be it phone or broadband card).
Some lead collection systems rely on the internet, either directly or by periodically syncing the leads, both of which are flaky at best. Not having an internet connection–intermittent or permanent–means either no lead collection or no syncing of locally gathered leads at your show–none at all. Clearly, relying on an iPad’s connection to the outside world is a huge gamble at any level. Even if you buy an internet drop and pay for wireless IP addresses for each iPad, the system is now only as good as your wireless system and your speed is only as good as the amount of shared traffic by other exhibitors. It’s like rush hour traffic; you’ll still have a problem even if you are connected. And did I mention how expensive are those internet drops?
So what is better about the NewLeads BlackBox trade show iPad cloud server in the booth? Why do we absolutely guarantee it, knowing that failure would mean the loss of a client? Instead of hoping for an internet connection, we avoid it, putting the wireless right in you booth. This is the only system NewLeads has deployed for 18 months to Fortune 1000 exhibitors and nobody has ever lost a wireless connection with our iPads (except for a physically damaged unit in shipping). While we won’t divulge the secrets behind our technology, we can tell you that our system is personalized to every iPad in the booth and does not try to compete with other wireless networks. Each iPad is fine-tuned to our network and our secure access point knows every connection.
The beauty of this live iPad network design is that information is instantly shared across all iPads in your booth. It even works with business card scanners and RFID badges, so you can rely on it for every show. Let’s say that attendee/prospect Taylor speaks with Avery on your staff who takes notes on the iPad and ticks off some lead survey answers after the conversation. Later in the day, Taylor speaks with a different rep in another area of your booth. With the NewLeads in-booth wireless network, Taylor’s information is easily recalled and the lead is merely updated with new or corrected data and interests. This is true even if the re-visit is two days later. The NewLeads iPad BlackBox network eliminates duplicates and conflicting lead data. Best of all, it provides rapid sharing of leads and data among all reps in the booth. It also gives managers the ability to see real-time booth activity in dashboard reports such as leads per hour, collateral viewing trends, leads per sales rep and so forth.
To understand why a NewLeads wireless system in your booth will always work, you need to know how everyone else tries to do this and why it is unsuccessful. The way most wireless networks are deployed at trade shows is with “volume”. It’s like my twin boys, now 16; when they are together and in a conversation with someone else; they keep interrupting each other and raising their voices to be heard, louder and louder, until eventually they hear a frustrated parent say (in a loud and stern voice), “Keep it down!” If they are in a room with 50 other teens, it’s impossible to hear a conversation across the room. It’s all just noise with no ability to distinguish one conversation from another. So it is with wireless networks at trade shows; lots of noise and no distinction. The NewLeads wireless networked cloud is like a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones; it does not use power to overcome the other networks but rather uses precision and exclusive communication channels to filter out the noise. After 18 months, it still works flawlessly and is more reliable than a hard-wired network.
So what is the design flaw in “syncing” leads? In 1996, long before anybody was in this business, NewLeads created a syncing solution which revealed many flaws over the years. Consider what it means and does: synching leads combines leads from all iPads into one database. But if you are like most exhibitors, you have a return visitor rate of 20% or more. What if Taylor comes back to the booth and does not speak with the same sales rep? The lead can’t be updated unless it has been synced, so a second scan is done. What if the answers to the sales survey questions have changed? Which record will the sync use? Combining records is not accurate; many answers are single pick only. What if the attendee information is slightly different? Which record is correct? Will you allow software rules to randomly make this choice?
If you don’t need your leads right away and you can wait for a week or two for the iPads to get back to the vendor to upload and sync, then syncing is an acceptable solution. Otherwise, get a real-time networked cloud solution and see how the NewLeads trade show iPad solution can triple your sales ready leads.
Meanwhile, get all the tools you can to bring more sales-ready leads to your company. Here are some free white papers you might find useful to download: Increasing Attendee Engagement at Trade Shows and Aligning Trade Show Leads With Your CRM. If you’d like more information, please click on the information request here.
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