When you’re drowning in spreadsheets and multiple databases, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a better way to organize your sales process. If you’re spending all of your time on a system you’ve built organically—even if it’s one that’s inefficient—you may not have the opportunity or inclination to investigate automation. If you find yourself in that situation, there are a couple of things you should know.

The concept of customer relationship management as a software category has evolved over several decades. What began in the 1980s as database marketing, later morphed into contact management, and then sales force automation. In the mid-1990s, the industry settled on the phrase, customer relationship management, to describe the move away from sales enablement toward a broader process for nurturing customer relationships.

In the late 1990s, Salesforce revolutionized the CRM industry by emerging as the first company to offer CRM features on a Software-as-a-Service platform. In 2007, the company delivered a CRM tool built on its Force.com cloud-based platform, driving down costs and making it possible for other companies—especially those catering to specific industries—to customize the Salesforce CRM app.

So what is event sales CRM software? It’s a category of event sales and marketing tools that allow trade show organizers to organize, document, deliver, and analyze customer (exhibitors, sponsors, advertisers) engagement. It is a centralized database that records every interaction the company has with a prospect or a customer. It guides employees through the sales and marketing process with reminders, milestones and reports. It even helps event organizers with priority points tracking.

In addition to all of the specific features of an event sales CRM, the software addresses a major pain point for trade show organizers—access to full-featured solution that is customized to the specific needs of the trade show industry. It relieves organizers of having to take a generic application and adapt it: rename fields with titles that apply to the industry, customize reports so that they are ready-made for exhibition-industry sales teams, organize work flows so they coincide with exhibit or sponsorship sales processes.

The bottom line for exhibition organizers is that event sales CRM software is available. It is part of the natural evolution of technology that continues to change and improve businesses. It replaces the disjointed and disorganized processes that exist within the sales and marketing departments of event organizations today and for most trade show organizers, it isn’t a question of if the organization will automate its sales process, it’s when they will choose to do so.


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