Ways to Use Questions for Qualifying Leads We all know that the Jedi can use the force to sense the feelings of others or read their minds. 

Mind reading the visitors on your website is a very different matter. So instead of the force, you should use forms to capture basic information about your prospective customers.

It's probably not a good idea to put all your content behind forms, and some may decide, like Master David Meerman Scott, not to put any content behind forms. But if you have a sales team, you need leads, and crafting good questions on your forms is a great way to ensure quality leads make it into their hands.

Here are four ways to use qualifying questions on your lead forms to optimize your lead-generation funnel:

1. Identify Target Customers

Let's say your ideal customer is a Jedi Knight because Jedi Masters already have a lightsaber and you don't want to sell to the Sith. Ask for this information by adding a simple question to your forms. You can funnel all the good leads (Knights) to your sales reps so they can have more relevant conversations and be more productive.

2. Disqualify Bad Leads

If you are a licensed reseller of lightsaber parts, you can attract a lot of potential leads. Unfortunately, there are certain leads that just never buy -- like the Sith. (Would I dare charge Darth Maul for his double blade?) Along with identifying good leads, qualifying questions are a great way to disqualify irrelevant leads.

However, it is important to nurture everyone. Perhaps you don't sell to the Sith right now, but there's no saying when Imperial forces will strike back, and you'll be forced to change your business model. When that happens, you'll be happy to have a set of educated leads handy.

3. 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).

As a company that sells lightsabers, an individual who identifies themselves as a Jedi with no blaster from Coruscant (site of the Jedi temple and academy) would probably score higher than say a sand person from Tattooine who uses a gaffi stick.

Points allocated would make that a science and not an art and a sales team could prioritize by following-up with the higher scoring leads first.

4. 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 "Top 10 Ways to Enhance Your Force Sensitivity" is interested in products to boost their Force.  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 Jedi!

Be Mindful of the Force of Questions

Don't underestimate the power of qualifying questions.  Some additonal things to keep in mind when experimenting with them:

  • Try to capture some personal information (role can indicate decision making power) as well as company information (industry and size fit).
  • Keep your forms short and monitor conversion rates.  Each additional form field can impact how many Jedi 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 your questions can impact form conversion.
  • At the end of the day, data is just data. A certain % of responses are always incorrect.

How have you used qualifying questions to improve conversion and qualification at your company?  Please share your thoughts!

Photo credit: Stevie BM

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Originally published Jul 20, 2009 7:49:00 AM, updated February 28 2018