Verkoophelden: Gespreksstarter

Verkoopheld van de maand - Conversation Starter

Standing alone holding a glass of wine with no one to talk to. That’s me at almost every conference I attend. I go there with the specific goal of meeting interesting people, but instead I end up talking to people I already know. Or find myself stuck with the awkward soul right next to me, who is not likely to be the valuable business contact or precious lead I’m looking for. Sure, I could prepare better. But screening attendance lists, scouting LinkedIn profiles and setting up meetings takes days. Days nor I nor the other guests have.

Conversation Starter wants to make sure you’ll never have to go through hells like that again. Their platform makes it super easy for event attendees to talk to people they want to meet, about topics they want to talk about. We met up with Conversation Starters’ sales hero Dries to talk about how they fill up their sales pipeline and how they use Salesflare to close leads.

What is Conversation Starter all about?

“Conversation Starter was founded by Rutger and Niels after years of organising TEDx events at the University of Hasselt. Year after year, they grew more and more frustrated with networking not going smoothly. There had to be a better way.

Conversation Starter is a digital platform where guests can put together a profile with topics of their interest. They can scroll through other profiles and plan meetings with people they’d like to talk to. This makes networking more natural, with the conversation topics acting as effective ice breakers.”

“It’s not just about the guests. You standing there all alone is as much the event organiser’s worst networking nightmare as it is yours. Most content is now digitally available both during and after events so networking has become more important. With Conversation Starter, organisers can provide a better networking experience. They also learn who’s meeting who and what’s being talked bout. This helps them to align content and create better, more relevant events in the future.”

How does Conversation Starter do sales?

“The best leads we get from Conversation Starter itself. Fairs and conferences are often packed with other event organisers who like the tool and want to use it at their own event. There, the same thing happens. Every event gets us new leads and valuable feedback to further improve our tool.

This ripple effect goes beyond event organisers. As soon as people enjoyed their first experience with Conversation Starter, they want to keep on using it at other events. They’ll promote us with event influencers and thus become active brand ambassadors for us.

For outbound, we look for local small — to mid-sized events and try to get an introduction, using a personal approach and drip campaigns. Organisers are usually pretty easy to find because they want to be available for their attendees. This also means they get spammed a lot, making it hard for us to get through to them. There’s a ton of event tech builders out there and most organisers don’t actively follow up on what the best solutions are.”

Hoe gebruik je Salesflare?

“We were using but we’re just so sick of having to manually input all data. For me, having to keep everything up-to-date yourself is the absolute worst part of a CRM. People don’t keep on doing that, making the CRM useless. It’s the world upside down.

In Salesflare, that stuff doesn’t happen. Everything is always in place so you can focus on qualifying leads and getting them through your sales pipeline. I like that you can quickly catch up on an opportunity. One click and I know everything that has been said and done so far. This makes it easy to collaborate within the team and allows for effective accountability.

I think Salesflare does a great job at listening to its clients. You can tell there’s a product roadmap but they’ll adjust and prioritise it according to feedback from their clients. The newfangled insights are a great example. Right now, we’re eager for the release of custom fields. It’ll be perfect to keep track of how we approach leads and lose opportunities.”

Heb je nog verkooptips die je wilt delen?

“Early lead qualification is a big one. Wasting time and energy on bad leads can be damaging to your business so you’ll want to get from a huge sales funnel to a smaller, more qualitative one asap. We do this based on parameters such as event size, target audience and organiser resources.

Ik ben een groot voorstander van assertieve follow-ups. Bij Conversation Starter blijven we opvolgen tot ze yes of leave me alone zeggen. De meeste verkopers voelen zich ongemakkelijk om op deze manier door te drukken, maar het werkt wel. Voor follow-ups bellen we leads ook vaak. Mensen hebben de neiging om je niet te negeren als je ze aan de telefoon krijgt.

In cold email campaigns, we keep the threshold for engaging with us as low as possible. We use Mixmax to create emails in which the prospect can click yes or no in a poll to say if he/she’s interested or not and select time slots for a quick call. Two clicks, that’s it. And one click for us to add the lead to Salesflare. Done.”

Het team van Conversation Starter
The Conversation Starter Squad: Rutger, Niels and Dries (LTR)

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