Using Surveys for Accurate Lead Generation

Customer GrowthIn recessionary times, the main marketing goal for large corporations is to simply (or not so simply) retain customers. For mid-sized companies, however, lead generation remains a critical goal. That was one finding of MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Survey. In the survey, generating new sales leads ranked second in importance among email marketing objectives after retaining existing customers. Out of the nearly 1,500 marketers polled, 78 percent consider generating new leads very important, while only 4 percent said it’s not on their radar.

Mid-sized organizations are more agile than their larger, slower-moving competitors and may see the recession as an opportunity to gain market share, says the report. One way those organizations are getting ahead is by using surveys to identify as many prospects as possible. This is a valuable technique for prioritizing the order of leads given to a sales team.

If you’re planning to release a lead generation survey, use the following guidelines to get started:

Pay Attention to Design

The design of a lead generation survey is very important in determining its results. It’s difficult to get people to volunteer their time – especially if they know you have something to sell. If questions are kept short, easy and general in nature, however, the odds of getting responses increase. Good questionnaire design can also help make the qualifying process easier. Split your questions onto multiple pages, to avoid overwhelming your audience. Those who continue to "click" to move deeper into the survey will clearly stand out as qualified prospects.

Ask the Right Questions to Qualify the Best Leads
You have an opportunity to get in front of a large group of potential customers – use it wisely. Make sure you are asking the right questions in order to learn the most about each prospect. Is this person a decision-maker? What type of budget are they working with? What services and products does his company demand most? The right questions will give you all those answers and more.

Get Accuracy through Technology
Advanced survey software technology is available to remove error from the process of generating, prioritizing and processing leads. This technology will help you get the most out of your surveys in the quickest amount of time. Your most qualified prospects will be flagged for immediate follow-up, softer leads can be placed on a company newsletter list, and the sales time will have valuable information so they aren’t making cold calls.
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