If a prospect visited a typical B2B website, I would bet that company would have no way of knowing if they would ever become a customer, or even who they were.
You’ve got to have something more than just an online presence, you need engagement.
You Can’t Qualify Leads Unless Prospects Engage With You
Just like actors going on stage to perform a pantomime need an audience to respond and engage with them, without it, there would be no point.
So when a prospects comes to your website they need to be given the opportunity to engage.
Sure, standard contact forms and telephone numbers present an opportunity of sorts but for the vast majority of people who are beginning their journey searching for a potential supplier will only use these options to interact with you as the very last things they do once they’ve whittled down their shortlist.
So what happens before then ?
Prospects are coming to your website to understand how you can help them solve a problem of fulfil a desire and that requires some education or information.
Great Content Causes People To Connect With You
Assuming you’ve got a great piece of content, prospects should be able to request it from you without it being a hassle, so you should deliver it electronically through your website.
There is an on-going argument in online marketing as to whether or not information should be placed behind a form or not, and in our experience the key to that is making your content compelling enough so that a prospect would want to download it and be prepared to provide some information in exchange for it.
Forms Allow You To Qualify Leads As Prospects Engage
You may however provide a mix of standard freely accessible content, just like a blog as well as other more powerful content that is locked behind a gateway or form.
Forms give you an opportunity to not only collect some basic information about a prospect, but to dig a round a little deeper.
As well as using forms to unlock content, you can also use forms to do surveys to research a new market or understand the needs of current customers in greater details.
So what should you be including with your form to enable you to qualify a lead, as not every download request will be from a potential prospect.
Here are a few ways of using questions in forms to qualify your leads generated online and improve your overall lead-generation funnel:
Use Questions That Identify Exactly Who Your Target Customer Is
Before doing any kind of marketing you’ve done that all important walk in the shoes of your prospects and potentials customer to identify exactly who they are and what makes them tick.
You’ve also detailed what an ideal prospects looks like and from your sales process understand the important people involved.
One of the first question you could ask them is what their role is inside this company
Jettison The Bad Leads By Asking Question About Problems You Can Solve Or Desires You Can Fulfil
Just because you’ve got the right person, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re an ideal prospect, so you need to get your ducks in a row first and understand whether this individual has a problem or desire that you can identify with.
Being too direct may put people off from responding so try asking questions around that potential problem or desire area that will indicate a higher probability of success.
Ask Questions That Will Give You A Broader Profile In Case You Want To Branch Out Into New Markets
Prospects may not be an ideal fit right now, but could be a great fit for future product and services so don’t forget to nurture all those prospects that may not look ready to buy now but could be a great customer sometime in the future.
You don’t want to spend time with them, which is where nurturing automation comes in, as you do want to be there when there ready.
Filter Our The Best Prospects By Question As Well As Answer Given Automatically
Give your questions a grade or score so that you can build a priority list of leads that or hotter than others, where you can focus your time.
Lead scoring or grading is an important way to use the data you collect from your forms. By assigning points to each qualifying question as well as the possible responses to each question you can build a lead weighting system.
To make this more reliable use multiple choice drop down boxes where users select from a list of predefined responses (and associated values).
Other Rules You Should Consider When Using Questions In Forms
Receiving answers to just a couple of questions can give you a considerable advantage in your lead qualifying, allowing you to identify prospects that are a closer match to your ideal profile and have genuine need, those that may be a prospect but timing is an issue, or those that are some way off and will be a waste of your time.
Some questions will also give you more than just a direct answer to the question asked. For example “Role” can tell you about the size of a company as most smaller to medium sized businesses don’t have a CEO, but may have a partner, be a sole trader or a managing director, so use your questions wisely.
- Try and keep your forms as short as possible and monitor your conversion rates. Each additional form field can impact how many prospects respond, so if you need to make them longer, give them an incentive for spending time.
- Always update your questions based on current business needs or trends. Testing questions is also a good idea but changing them too often may just confuse your testing results unless you have some solid statistics or metrics over a fixed period to compare your results against.
- Carefully choose your wording and the length of your questions as they will both have and impact on how may visitors will fill in your form and convert into a prospect of some kind.
- Never forget that data is just data and there will always be a small % of responses that will be incorrect or just rubbish so use your common sense and don’t forget the big picture.
Now tell us about your experiences of using forms to qualify prospects on-line. Are you using them ? What questions gave you the most insight ? Problems using them ?