It worked! Three Bs for Leads

By Shirin Oreizy
Next Step

May 21, 2018

Editor's Note: Trade show season is upon us. (Repent! For The Branded Promotional Swag Is Nigh!)

Besides just adding to your lanyard collection, how can you use behavioral science to advance the goals of your organization? Good question! Here are some answers.


Trade shows are ideal breeding grounds for behavioral science interventions. Thousands of people milling about, looking to sell, browse or buy. The VMworld Trade Show was no exception: Irrational minds were whirring, instant decisions waiting to be made. We worked with the global software company IGEL there to reignite their flagging event-marketing campaign with behavioral insights.  

IGEL already had a fabulous product. One demo and engineers swooned. IGEL spent a large chunk of their budget on event-marketing, attending events and tradeshows around the country.  But despite their amazing product and the initial burst of interest were overcome by three common challenges.  

  1. Hot leads went cold. They simply couldn’t convert the keen interest people showed at the tradeshows into demos with the IGEL engineers after the show.
  2. Lag between enticing a prospect to leave his business card behind and getting him or her into the system.
  3. No context. Additionally, once their contact info was inputted, the sales team had no way of knowing where they were in the sales cycle. No personalization meant no relevance.   

We used the 3B Framework, developed by Kristen Berman of Common Cents Labs, to convert leads into completed demos for their software. Here’s how you can, too.

1st B: Behavior, defined. Before jumping in, you need to define the specific behavior you want to change. The main problem IGEL had before was that by the time users left the event, they’d cooled off. This is deadly for conversion; when you’re not activated, you’re not motivated.   

The specific behavior we defined: Capture leads at the event, when they are in a “hot state.” If you’re using behavioral science on behalf of your client, encourage them to think about the very specific behavior they want to capture.

Before jumping in, you need to define the specific behavior you want to change. 

2nd B: Benefits, amplified. How many pens, stuffed animals and other Made in China “prizes” have you thrown away after a trade show? Exactly. IGEL’s mascot, a toy hedgehog, was cute, but it wasn’t converting anyone. It was time to give away something that would set an engineer’s heart racing.

IGEL’s new Grand Prize: A new Tesla P100D. This is the IGEL version of cars: highly innovative, software-defined, capable of self-driving and goes 0 to 60 in 2.2 seconds. And very, very coveted. Signing up for a demo would automatically enroll you into the grand sweepstakes, to be announced at VMworld 2017. No purchase necessary.

The Tesla giveaway triggered interest because it was aligned with the core audience’s interests and values. But by creating a lottery, you’re also tapping into "availability bias.” People justify playing the lottery with “someone’s got to win” because they’re overestimating an event’s likelihood based, not on facts, but on how strong their memories are.  (Editor’s note: See also, “Regret Lotteries")

Now that you’ve gotten their attention, it’s time to move on to the third B. Remove all friction from the demo sign up, while also giving the sales team something to work with.

The Tesla giveaway triggered interest because it was aligned with the core audience’s interests and values.

3rd B: Barriers, reduced. Recognize and remove any barriers standing in the way. One effective way to reduce the cognitive load is to simplify the number of fields the user needs to fill out. Creating a simple mobile phone survey allows users to complete the task on site, giving them a natural bolt of dopamine. Perhaps most importantly, the condensed survey was highly strategic. By revealing where they were on the sales cycle, the sales team instantly had valuable data to act on.

Still, no matter how much you optimize, there will always be a handful of people with whom you need to be follow. Trigger a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in your reminders by letting them know that in order to be entered to win, they need to complete the demo. 

What happened? Within two months, more than 3,000 requests for demos poured in.  

These simple interventions were so successful that IGEL needed to create a new webinar system for dealing with the flood of inbound demo requests. Not only did the volume of demos increase, but thanks to the immediacy and strategy of the survey, the sales team now knew exactly where the prospects were in the sales cycle. Speaking directly to the prospects’ current needs is critical to increasing the odds of converting.   

On August 18, someone drove off with a brand new Tesla P100D at VMworld.  

And the IGEL engineers? They’re doing packed demos with huge smiles on their faces.

By Shirin Oreizy
Next Step


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