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Create Lead Generation Forms That Deliver Customer Insights

Andrea Fryrear Aug 19, 2016 0 Comments

The pressure to produce more and better leads is a constant one for most marketing and sales teams.

Really, there's no such thing as having too many leads, and you certainly can't have too much information about your prospects and customers.

More data nearly always means more meaningful marketing, and sales teams delight in having more details to work with.

The problem is that most new prospects balk at being asked too many questions up front. They'll abandon a form rather than fill out more than a few fields at a time.

So how can sales and marketing learn about their prospects without scaring them off? Carefully designed lead generation forms deliver customer insights without fatiguing your prospects.


Learning About Customers During Lead Generation

Wouldn't it be nice to know what people were doing before they filled out one of your lead generation forms? While some marketing automation tools can deliver this insight, it's typically only available once a visitor provides their contact details.

But by using a series of browser cookies, you can create a record of the pages people have visited prior to completing a form.

You can also capture the referring site for a prospect, which can provide valuable information about why they might be interested in your product or service.

Advanced data collection tools (including SurveyGizmo) allow you to append this information to a form and then pass it into a CRM or marketing automation tool. The prospect will never see the contents of the cookies, since you can pass it through using a hidden input value.

Cleverly combining browser cookies with hidden fields on your forms will easily provide never-before-seen data about prospect behavior and purchasing intent.


Insight into Competitor Comparisons

For instance, you might discover through your referral cookie that a new prospect came to your site after visiting a competitor's.

Clearly, this makes them a more qualified lead because they are already in the comparison stage of the buyer's journey.

This lead merits instant attention from a sales person. What's more, any sales rep would certainly be pleased at the ability to deliver relevant details about how their product stacks up against the specific competitor based on who the lead has also visited.

The sales team benefits from a higher close rate, and the prospect benefits from having a conversation centered around their unique situation.

This sounds like a great system, but it does require deliberate setup to work properly. Let's take a look at some of the details of the implementation.


Passing Data from Form to CRM

First of all, we'll be doing all this behind the scenes work using Hidden Values. Put simply, this survey action allows you to capture data in your survey that your survey respondents aren't able to see, but that can be used to trigger other activities.

If you've never used these in a survey before, you might want to start by reviewing our help documentation.

A Hidden Value can capture just about anything; in our case, we'd like to record the information collected by our cookies for a new prospect who completed a form on our site.

Of course, just getting that data doesn't help us. We need to get it out of the Hidden Value on the form and into another place where a sales person can see and act on it.

If you have a CRM tool like Salesforce you can automatically pass this data there by using SurveyGizmo's Salesforce action at the end of your lead generation form.

You can also automatically push this data to your email service provider, such as ExactTarget or MailChimp, or even into a simple Google spreadsheet.

Whatever form of data management you choose, your sales team will be armed with additional information that will make it easier for them to have relevant, timely, and useful conversations with qualified leads.


Understanding Where a Lead is in the Buyer's Journey

Looking at a lead's referral path gives you a good idea of where they are in their particular buyer's journey. And, while our previous example was in a serious shopping stage, other leads and prospects will be farther from the point of purchase.

The needs of every prospect are different, but the buyer's journey is typically grouped into three phases: Awareness, Consideration, Decision.

To have helpful marketing and sales interactions with these people, you need to have content developed for each phase of your buying cycle.

Consider these (very basic) ideas for communicating with prospects at each stage:

  1. Awareness: These leads recognize they have a problem and are interested in finding a solution. Blog posts, videos, and other content focused on providing solutions perform best here.
  2. Consideration: These leads are aware that your product or service could fulfill their need, and they need to determine if your solution is the right one. Webinars, case studies, and white papers are common types of content that resonate with buyers at this stage.
  3. Decision: These leads are ready to make a purchase. They'll want to see specifics on pricing, features, and support to make sure they're making the right choice.

Keep in mind that if your prospect is just beginning their search, they are likely in the discovery or awareness phase. This wouldn’t be the time to share pricing information.

Instead you need to address their issue and offer a solution. An article, case study, or whitepaper that discusses the issue would be the appropriate content piece.

If however, your prospect is in the evaluation phase, a webinar or a demonstration would be appropriate.

Each time a lead fills out another form you learn more about them, and if you're passing hidden values that show you more about their browsing behavior you can get even more detailed insight.


Better Information About Leads Means Better Sales

More information – including prospect behavior right before completing a form – helps your sales team have more timely and helpful conversations.

This, in turn, will help their close rate and may just create an opportunity for closer collaboration between marketing and sales.

It all start with collecting more data with browser cookies and SurveyGizmo.

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