Construction and building machinery industries go digital – switching from analog to digital lead capture

Digitalization is a topic that continues to be the talk of the town. The needs and advantages of digital processes are obvious: focus on process simplification, efficiency, and flexibility – to name a few. However, high investments at the beginning of digital processes are often accompanied by doubts about their usefulness. In a sector characterized for being tangible, such as construction and machinery, it is common to ask whether switching from analog lead capture to digital is useful.

Digitalization at any price?

Generally, it does not make sense to change any process just to digitize it. Therefore, it is important to analyze thoroughly: which processes you need to keep analog and which processes could be digitized successfully to get an added value in turn? Recent years have shown the difficulty to replace face-to-face attendance at a trade fair through digital solutions. However, digital visit reports or lead capture can be implemented successfully and offer several advantages.

The digitalization challenge in the construction industry

The construction and building machinery sectors are industries characterized by being tangible. For this reason, integrating digital processes is not always welcomed positively. Instead, digitalization in this industry is often associated with side effects. There are not only fears of extremely high investment costs but also doubts that digital solutions will only be temporary, i.e., the new tools will not be sufficiently compatible with existing systems. For this reason, when introducing new software, it needs to ensure an easy integration with current used systems. And what about the human factor? What is the point of having the best digital product if the staff does not use it? For this reason, it is necessary to involve all stakeholders, convince them and accompany them step by step during the digitalization process.

Digital lead capture: Benefits for sales, marketing, and management

Changing from analog lead capture to digital lead capture concerns different stakeholders, especially sales, marketing, and management. The benefits of digitalization for each department are clear. Although the common goal is business success, everyone's priorities change.

Once the software integrated, the main priority for sales is to save time and generate turnover. Thanks to digital lead capture, leads can be recorded at trade fairs or in field sales at any time using a smartphone or tablet, a common thread of the meeting is established with the visit report, and documents and products can also be showed digitally. In addition, much more time is saved in both recording contacts and following up on them. Instead of manually entering contact data and then transfer it into the CRM, staff can directly access the visit reports for further work. As a result, careless typing errors are avoided and leads can be contacted much more quickly, leading to higher chances of closing a sale. At the same time, this contributes directly to the team's focus on what matters: selling.

For marketing and management, the priority is the optimization of resources. In this way, organizational effort in carrying out a trade fair should not be underestimated, as it is also accompanied by high costs that must be justified by a valuable return. Therefore, a major advantage of digital lead capture is that contacts do not have to be checked, since the subsequent processes are greatly streamlined. In addition, direct and comprehensive analyses are made possible, enabling a better focus on top customers. As a result, lead nurturing is guaranteed to be more effective. Moreover, a digital solution ensures compliance with the GDPR and the company's professional image.

Optimal preparation and follow-up for transition

When implementing software for digital lead capture, the priorities of marketing, management, and Key users – sales – should be considered, as each department's approach is different. Choosing the right digital tool to keep convincing all stakeholders is essential. In this case, for example, it is important to consider whether the supplier covers the onboarding process and whether he offers further support from experts with sufficient IT experience.

When implementing a new tool, companies need to be aware that every new process comes with barriers at the beginning. Consequently, each participant should provide objective feedback for improvement. For example, error analysis can be performed to optimally tailor visit reports to users' needs.

If you decide to capture leads digitally, here are five other practical tips for creating a suitable visit report:

    1. Create digital trade show questionnaires tailored to the target group
    2. Structure questionnaires according to BANT criteria
    3. Include mandatory questions
    4. Offer the signature option for data processing and marketing purposes
    5. Use different languages depending on the report

Certainly, digital lead capture offers added value for the company. But how is it implemented? In the following video, you will find the recording of our webinar on the topic. Our sales expert Tilmann Bornschein shows you from minute 24:30 how you can digitally design a classic paper questionnaire:

Are you still using pen and paper at trade fairs? Read our free white paper on successfully switching from analog to digital lead capture.

With snapADDY VisitReport, we offer you an app for capturing leads at trade shows which provides all the advantages mentioned above. Feel free to make a non-binding appointment with us to learn more about it or check it out for yourself:

Carina Hoßfeld

Marketing Assistant at snapADDY GmbH

Carina Hoßfeld works in marketing at snapADDY GmbH since 2020 and is finishing her master's degree in the same subject. She completed further training in commerce and a bachelor's degree in business administration. She has also gained experience in project organization and marketing in other companies.