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In ancient Rome, most people walked to get from one place to another. The royalty, armies and a few rich entrepreneurs were privileged enough to have horses for transportation. To attend a meeting or event, businessmen traveled for days, sometimes weeks.

Fast-forward to now. People fly, drive and take trains to get from one place to another. They communicate through phones, email and the Internet. Employees, partners and customers are located around the world. Holding a convention or series of seminars at one location means exorbitant airfare, lodging and other travel and technological expenses.

Fortunately, many companies already know the value of using the Web and teleconferencing as an efficient way to effectively communicate, without the extreme price tags of global travel. Today, you can bridge the gap from a prospect to a qualified lead through the use of a Webinar, one of the most powerful, cost effective ways to communicate with both prospects and customers.

But even those who regularly use Webinars in their sales and marketing processes make common mistakes that limit the full potential of a successful campaign. Converting a Webinar registrant to a customer takes more than a powerful presentation on the day of event.

Mistake #1: The focus is only on the lowest-hanging fruit

The typical process for lead conversion goes something like this:

  1. A promotion (typically electronic-based) is implemented to drive registration for an event (Webinar).

  2. A subset of the registrants attends the event.

  3. The sales team of the event organizer follows up with all attendees and those who ask to be contacted.

Believe it or not, that process actually drives acceptable results when viewed under a ROI microscope. However, there is a major flaw.

Let's examine the numbers. Take an event with 200 registrants. The industry average is that only 33% of registrants show up to the event. In this “industry average” scenario, you are left with 66 people. Now we go through the event, and the sales team works on the most interested attendees to move toward the close. If you assume that 1 in 10 is ready to buy, expresses interest in your product, and so on… you are left with seven new customers.

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Todd Davison ( is President of Bulldog Solutions.