I found #4 interesting: "Using qualifying copy". This strategy is used by marketers to try and limit the form submissions to only those people who are truly interested in your product or service. Google recommends that you should add certain requirements such as "A minimum order is required" etc... In the B2B world having a form that asks very specific questions related to your product can qualify someone out who really doesn't care to fill out all of these questions. The problem is that you may be losing high quality leads from executives who are interested in signing up for a webinar but just don't have the time to fill out a huge form.
How do you Increase Conversions yet Ensure that the Leads are Qualified?This is the magic question for some marketers. The first item I would recommend is only ask for the basic information - name, email, company. Phone and title should be optional. For title, I would use a drop down to find out the level that a person is at - For example: manager, director, executive. This type of standardized data can be used for future segmentation. If it's an open text field, it's difficult to use for segmentation and many titles are crazy these days as "everyone is a manager" in some cases. As I've recommended earlier in the post Why B2B websites fail, one of the strategies you can employ is asking for basic information at the beginning of your interaction and asking for additional information for each subsequent interaction. Therefore a phone number may not be needed if someone is registering to receive your newsletter. All that may be needed is an email address.
The other item to keep in mind is to look at leads as if you were applying for a job. What does that mean? It goes something like this: If you went to a job interview, would you ask your potential employer what they do? Would you ask them about the key aspects of their business and what their annual revenue is? Not if you really want the job. This is data that you should have access to. You should be able to take the company name and find out this information yourself. What I've been seeing lately is the ability for marketing databases to interact with data repositories. In this way you don't need to ask people for this data as you will already have this. This may not be practical for companies but I still think that this is something that the company should do themselves and not the person filling out the form. This depends on what are the type of resources that you have. Sometimes spending more money up front saves you more in the long run.
That's Great - You Still Haven't Mentioned Anything About Qualifying LeadsIf you're getting too many crappy leads coming in I would recommend automating your lead qualification process. For example, if the annual revenue of a company is below a 1 million, do not pass them on to sales or your call center to call directly. This type of back-end lead qualification can save your company a tremendous amount as there is no human interaction necessary and your company can focus on those leads that are a good fit for your company.
Look for ways to qualify leads without using human intervention. This may seem difficult but by reviewing your data, you can look for trends. For example our leads that come from actual company addresses better then those that come from hotmail or gmail address accounts? Is there a way to filter these out so that the company email addresses get looked at first to see if they are a good fit for your company?
The other more recent trend is qualify leads based on behaviour. Therefore a higher score is attributed to those leads who have conducted certain trackable actions such as filling out forms, responding to emails and visiting key web pages. This type of data won't matter if the actual company is not a good fit for your product or service but can be very helpful by providing your sales team the intelligence to better understand who are your best leads and the leads that should be prioritized. This type of lead qualification of course requires a way to track this information, process it and provide reports etc... Besides the software itself, getting your company aligned around what a qualified lead is an entirely different story.
I think that's all I want to touch on for the moment as this post is getting into some complex topics but hopefully it opened you up to some new ideas and possibilities. What type of lead qualification do you do? Is it automated?