People are willing to answer a lot of questions as long as they can complete them quickly, according to the latest BtoB study by Silverpop. Their business-to-business research also found that once registered, people are anxious to hear from companies.
“Time is the difference between a lead and a lost contact,” according to Silverpop’s Benchmark Study of Lead Management Practice. The longer it takes for someone to answer a list of questions, the more likely they will abandon the questionnaire.
“The forms that were able to be completed quickly — say within one to two minutes or less — were most likely to be finished, while those that took longer were more often abandoned mid-way through,” said Bryan Brown, director of product management and development for Silverpop’s BtoB Vtrenz solution. “The number of required fields appeared to have little impact on completion rate.”
He said that “update” forms populated with pre-existing data the company had already collected from sales leads were completed at a rate 20 to 25 percent higher than new-lead forms. Brown recommends that marketers create forms that are simple, clear and brief, with fields that can be completed without any hesitation.
Researchers suggest when acquiring new leads that companies approach the lead with “as few questions as possible.” Companies should also avoid open-ended questions by providing drop-down menus with defined choices, to help evaluate information.
Once companies gather initial information on a lead, then marketers should send forms with pre-populated fields along with additional questions to acquire more information. Any new lead that expresses immediate interest in product demo or a call from sales should be sent directly to the sales department.
“Customers who receive a sales call within hours of indicating they’re ready to talk will be much more impressed with your program than if they sit for days without a contact,” Brown said.