If you take a look at all of the leads you get each month, how many come from your website? I imagine each company is different, but it's still probably a lot. The beautiful thing is that you can optimize your contact page to sort out bad leads from the good ones. This means that you'd save a bunch of time focusing on the leads that really matter.
How can we do this? Read on to find out.
"For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned."
~ Benjamin Franklin
Why we want to sort leads
Have you ever missed some of the signals of a bad lead early on? Bad leads will move through your sales process and end up wasting a lot of your time down the line. The earlier you determine a lead isn't worth pursuing, the more time you save and can dedicate towards other projects.
For some, the contact page on your site is probably the first time a lead will reach out to you; so it just makes sense that this is the place you begin your weeding. There are tons of qualities that define a bad lead, and they vary across industries and businesses. When we build personas, we also do some thinking about the types of clients that aren't a great match for your business.
There are a couple of ways you can sort out the bad leads through your contact page, ranging from the text you have on the page to the information you ask for.
Ways of sorting out bad leads
The goal always seems to be high conversion rates. This makes sense because it means people are actually moving down the buyer funnel and interesting in working with you.
The problem is the bad leads mixed into the crowd. Those clients that end up causing all of these problems for you for the next few months. We've all had them and we'll have more of them in the future. But there are ways of filtering out some of those bad leads through your contact form. Let's go over a few.
Using longer forms
We should consider where they are in the buyer funnel. In case you forgot, we have 3 stages: the awareness, consideration, and decision stage. In the awareness stage, the lead is realizing they have a problem. In the consideration stage, they are evaluating solutions and alternatives. And in the decision stage, they choosing the best option.
You offer a solution, so if they are contacting you, they are way past the awareness stage. Most likely, they are either towards the end of the consideration stage or in the decision stage.
A simple form with a name and email contact form won't give you any information about the project or inquiry or even where they are in their process. So for a contact form or inquiry form, don't be afraid to ask for information that you need.
I like to think that longer forms will retain the people who are committed to the project. If they are ready to decide on a solution to their problem, they will probably be okay with providing you a bit more information.
Asking for the right information
Aim to get the client thinking about their goals and challenges. Most of our inquiries are for website redesigns. We find that the prospects that don't have clear goals or reasons why they need a redesign other than for aesthetics tend to be less ideal than those who know exactly what they're looking for.
I think that a big part of it is creating a mutual understanding of how to define a successful project. Design is subjective. So kicking off a project with the goal being to make the site look pretty has the risk to end badly for one side.
Consider asking for the following:
- Job title - with this, you can determine if they are the right person to be talking to or if they are the team's head decision maker
- Number of employees - will give you an idea for what their budget might be (solo entrepreneur vs company with 200+ employees)
- Expected start date - to determine if the lead is actually ready to buy, needs a few months, or just fishing for prices
- Goals and challenges - to identify an objective idea of success in the project (achieving this goal or reducing this problem)
Asking for information such as their job title and interests could also provide some insight into their goals, challenges, and how to determine success. So as an added bonus; when it comes time to nurture your leads, you'll have all of this information relevant to their interests and needs.
I think that there are tons of industry-specific questions to include in your contact form to sort out the bad leads. Anything that will help you figure out if the lead has a reasonable budget and timeline and knows why they need the project done.
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