Generating leads is a crucial aspect of any business's growth strategy, but not all leads are created equal. As per recent market research, 61% of marketers in B2B are finding it difficult to generate high-quality leads. Also, 67% of sales are lost because sales reps cannot qualify leads before taking them down the funnel. The real value lies in converting high-quality leads that are more likely to convert into loyal customers. This is where lead qualification comes into play.
What is Lead Qualification?
Lead qualification is the process of determining whether a potential customer is a good fit for your business. It helps you focus your sales and marketing efforts on the leads that are most likely to convert.
Consider a person who had 1000 leads but only contacted 10 of them because they were qualified. Out of those 10 qualified leads, they were able to acquire 6 customers, resulting in a 60% conversion rate. This example illustrates the importance of pursuing qualified leads. If the person had contacted all 1000 leads, they would have likely experienced mental fatigue and not achieved such a good conversion rate.
By focusing on qualified leads, businesses can achieve their goals with much ease.
Three levels for qualifying sales leads
The lead qualification process has three levels: MQL, SAL, and SQL.
- MQL: Marketing Qualified Lead. A lead that has shown interest in your product or service by interacting with your marketing content, free trials, or e-books. These are lead magnets, and if leads opt for them, they turn onto MQL. This way, you can move the interested leads further down the sales funnel.
- SAL: Sales Accepted Lead. An MQL that has been nurtured and qualified by the marketing team and is ready to be passed to sales.
- SQL: Sales Qualified Lead. A SAL that has met all the criteria to be considered a potential customer.
The marketing and sales teams need to be on the same page to ensure that leads are qualified effectively. SAL helps to bridge the gap between the two teams by providing a clear definition of what constitutes a qualified lead.
Lead Qualification Forms
One way to improve lead qualification is to use self-qualification forms. These forms allow potential customers to qualify themselves by providing information about their needs, interests, and budget. This information can then be used to determine whether they are a good fit for your product or service.
Examples of Self-Qualification Forms
- Free trial form: Many SaaS companies offer free trials to potential customers. These trials allow potential customers to try the product before they commit to buying it.
- Lead magnets: They are free resources, such as ebooks, white papers, or checklists, that you offer in exchange for contact information. Lead magnets are a great way to attract potential customers and qualify them at the same time.
- Contact form: They are a simple way for potential customers to get in touch with you. You can use contact forms to qualify leads by asking questions about their needs and interests.
- Book a demo form: It is a form that potential customers fill out to request a demo of a product or service. The form typically asks for basic information about the customer's business, such as their industry, size, and needs. It may also ask for contact information so that the sales team can follow up.
Key stats to keep in mind when designing your lead gen form
- The average form abandonment rate is 26%. This means that for every 100 people who start filling out your form, 26 of them will abandon it before submitting it.
- The longer the form, the higher the abandonment rate. For every additional field you add to your form, you can expect the abandonment rate to increase by 10%.
- People are more likely to complete a form if they're offered a reward. Studies have shown that offering a reward can increase form completion rates by up to 50%.
- Mobile users are more likely to abandon forms than desktop users. The abandonment rate for mobile forms is 33%, compared to 26% for desktop forms.
- 70% of people will abandon a form if they have to fill out more than 10 fields.
Most common reasons for form abandonment
- The form is too long. People are busy and don't have time to fill out long forms. Keep your forms as short as possible, ideally no more than 7-10 fields.
- The form is not mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, so it's important to make sure your form is mobile-friendly.
- The form is not clear or concise. People should be able to easily understand what information you're asking for and how to best answer your questions. Use clear and concise language and avoid jargon.
- The form does not offer a clear incentive. People are more likely to complete a form if they know what they're getting in return. Offer a clear incentive, such as a discount, free ebook, or access to exclusive content.
- The form is not secure. People are more likely to abandon a form if they don't trust that their information is secure. Use a secure form and let people know that their information is safe.
Designing Effective Self-Qualification Forms
General Best Practices for Self-Qualification Forms are:
- Identify Key Qualifying Questions: Start by identifying the critical factors that define a qualified lead for your business. These may include factors like budget, timeline, industry, specific pain points, and desired solutions.
- Keep it Simple and User-Friendly: A long and complicated form can deter potential leads from completing it.
- Use checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown menus to make the process faster and more convenient for users.
- The fewer fields you ask for, the more likely people are to complete the form.
- Aim for no more than 7-10 fields.
- Aim for a form that takes no more than 3-5 minutes to complete.
- Implement Progressive Profiling: Consider using progressive profiling to avoid overwhelming prospects with a lengthy form. Progressive profiling gradually gathers more information from a lead over time, with each interaction revealing new questions based on previous responses.
- Utilize Conditional Logic: Incorporate conditional logic into your form to tailor subsequent questions based on earlier responses. This helps personalize the user experience and ensures that prospects are presented with only relevant questions.
- Clear and Concise Copy: Use simple and engaging language to explain the purpose and benefits of the form.
- Use Visual Cues: Employ visual elements like arrows or checkmarks to guide users through the form.
- Implement Progress Indicators: If the form is lengthy, display a progress bar to show users how far along they are.
- Test and Optimize: Continuously test and optimize the forms based on user feedback and conversion rates.
By following these best practices, you can design effective self-qualification forms that not only engage users but also provide valuable insights to help you convert leads into customers.
1. Free Trial Forms
- Keep it Concise: Free trial forms should be short and straightforward. Ask for essential information like name, email, and company name. Avoid overwhelming prospects with too many questions.
- Highlight Value: Clearly state the benefits of the free trial to encourage sign-ups. Explain what users will gain from the trial and how it can solve their pain points.
- Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Use a prominent and enticing CTA that explicitly says "Start Free Trial" or similar. The CTA button should stand out on the page.
- Optimize for Mobile: Ensure the form is mobile-responsive and easy to fill out on various devices.
- Follow Up: Send a welcome email after the free trial sign-up with instructions on getting started.
2. Lead Magnets
- Offer Relevant Content: Ensure the lead magnet aligns with the content or topic that attracted the user. The form should offer the promised content (e.g., eBook, whitepaper) upon completion.
- Ask for Necessary Details: Request information that helps identify the lead's interests and requirements related to the lead magnet topic.
- Simple Download Process: Make it easy for users to access the lead magnet immediately after form submission. Consider using inline download links or sending the content via email.
- Personalization: Use conditional logic to tailor follow-up communications based on the user's interests, as revealed in the lead magnet form.
3. Contact Forms
- Limit Required Fields: Keep the contact form short and ask for only essential information, such as name, email, and message. Minimize friction to encourage submissions.
- Add Validation: Implement real-time validation to ensure users input accurate email addresses and phone numbers.
- Provide Contact Options: Offer multiple contact options (e.g., phone, email) so users can choose their preferred method of communication.
- Thank-You Page: Redirect users to a thank-you page after form submission, confirming that their message was received and that you'll get back to them soon.
4. Book a Demo Forms
- Request Relevant Information: Ask questions that help qualify the lead for the demo, such as their role in the decision-making process, company size, and specific pain points.
- Scheduling Integration: Integrate the form with a scheduling tool to allow users to select their preferred demo date and time.
- Personalization: Customize the form with the prospect's name (if known) to make it more engaging.
- Provide Assurance: Mention that the demo will be tailored to the prospect's specific needs and interests.
Placing Self-Qualification Forms Strategically
- Landing Pages: Embed self-qualification forms on dedicated landing pages that align with specific marketing campaigns or content. This ensures that leads from different sources are segmented appropriately.
- Blog Posts and Content Offers: Include self-qualification forms at the end of blog posts or content offers. By the time readers reach the end of a valuable piece of content, they are more likely to engage with the form.
- Pop-Ups and Slide-Ins: Strategically use pop-ups or slide-ins on your website to prompt visitors to fill out the self-qualification form. These can be triggered based on user behavior, such as time on site, scroll depth, or exit intent.
- Make it easy to submit the form. The submit button should be clearly visible and easy to click.
Self-qualifying forms are a valuable tool for businesses that want to increase lead qualification and book more demos. By asking the right questions on your form, you can quickly and easily assess whether a lead is a good fit for your product or service. This helps you to focus your sales efforts on the most promising leads and to avoid wasting time on leads that are not a good fit.