4 Ways to Leverage Form Questions to Qualify Sales-Ready Leads
Not all leads are created equal. The process of determining whether a lead has the potential to become a sales prospect is known as "qualifying" the lead. Adding qualifying questions to forms is one of the first steps a business should take when seeking to optimize its lead management system.
Forms allow you to qualify leads as prospects engage with your site’s content. While shorter forms are better when it comes to converting visitors into leads, if you are a business, you are probably more interested in maximizing your conversion rate from leads to customers. Beyond basic contact info, adding a qualifying question or two to your forms can make a world of difference for your sales team.
Here are 4 ways to use qualifying questions on lead forms to optimize your lead-generation funnel:
1.) Identify Target Customers. Align marketing & sales when determining the profile of an “ideal” customer and defining what constitutes a “sales-ready” lead. Using your forms, try to capture some personal information (occupation, role) as well as company information (industry, location, size fit).
2.) Use Form Data for Lead Scoring. Lead scoring or grading is an important way to use the data you collect from your forms. Assign points to each qualifying question and also to the possible response to each question (Hint: This is easier to do when users select an answer as opposed to enter their own response). For example, if B2B leads are more important to your company, your should ask for that information from your leads on your forms and score the B2B leads higher than the B2C leads. Sending only the B2B leads get to your sales team ensures they have conversations with relevant leads and saves them time, effort and aggravation.
3.) Collect Actionable Information. There are implicit ways of knowing what your website visitors are interested in. It's easy to gauge that a person downloading a free white paper on "Determining Social Media ROI" is interested in determining their Social Media ROI. However asking explicit questions are a very useful way for sales to start a conversation on a topic that is important and relevant to the prospective sales lead.
4.) Disqualify Bad Leads. HubSpot uses the form field, "Biggest Marketing Challenge" to determine whether leads are sales-ready, or if they need to be nurtured more through marketing efforts…orsimply thrown out of the funnel all together. Quality responses signal qualified, sales-ready leads, while blank responses signal that the lead may be less serious.
For example, in order to better prepare for this post, I downloaded Hubspot’s white paper on“Better Business Blogging in 2011.” As you can see in the screenshot, I left the field “biggest marketing challenge” blank. This signals to Hubspot that I do not qualify as a sales-ready lead and allows them to focus on more serious leads generated by the content offer.
Bottom line: Don't underestimate the power of qualifying questions.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when experimenting with them:
- Keep your forms short and monitor conversion rates. Each additional form field can impact how many visitors respond.
- Update questions based on business needs. Testing questions is a good idea, but don't change them too often.
- The wording and length of each question can also impact form conversion.
- At the end of the day, data is just data. A certain % of responses are always incorrect.
Need more help converting your traffic into prospects? Check out these 5 tips for generating online leads.
Sales conversions still experiencing failure to launch? Here are 5 Tips for Nurturing Leads Through the Buying Cycle.
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How have you used qualifying questions to improve conversion and sales at your company? Please share any advice, warnings, tips or personal experiences you've had with forms!