Think about how many tools allow you to:
- Know if you’re dealing with the right decision makers and influencers
- Learn about what your targeted accounts are doing around X, Y and Z
- Get insight into what they like/dislike about their current solution
- Understand if the person on the other end is a legitimate opportunity for you and your business
Not many. However, a well crafted survey is one of those tools. Because it’s a part of our business, and because more and more B2B marketers are using surveys to drive actionable insight from their key accounts, I present to you the ‘Anatomy of a Good Lead Generation Survey’:
Don’t make it an obvious sales/product pitch – if you want a sure-fire way to turn off respondents before they even get into the meat of the survey, making it an obvious sales pitch is one way to do it. Like any good piece of content, clearly articulate the value they’ll get out of responding to your survey (free copy of the results, the ability to see what their peers in the industry are doing, etc.) and why it’s worth their time
Put together surveys that are specific to your target audience – surveys are most effective when their questions are geared specifically to your audience. So don’t make them generic targeting a massive audience. Instead, make them industry-specific, vertical-specific, job function-specific. You might not get as many responses, but the responses you do get will be more valuable. Quality over quantity, right?
Ask questions that you need to know to determine if the respondent is a prospect – think about the questions you like to have answers to when determining if somebody is a qualified lead. Those questions should apply here. However, there’s an art to how these should be formatted. Don’t blatantly make it a lead generation/qualification survey. Gently weave those questions into the fabric of the survey. You’ll most certainly want to know if the respondent is a key stakeholder, what they’re current environment looks like, what they like/dislike about their current environment, any challenges they have and how it’s effecting their job, the company’s initiatives to fix those challenges, etc.
Don’t miss an opportunity for a good follow-up question – I can’t tell you how many survey proofs I look at where there is a clear missed opportunity to dive deeper. For instance, if you give a respondent the ability to tell you the top 3 challenges they’re faced with, you should follow that up with a question around how those challenges are affecting their business as well as them personally. Having this kind of insight will enable your sales team to sell smarter and accelerate deals through the pipeline more effectively
Deliver on your promise – there should always be a takeaway that survey respondents will receive for responding to your survey. Sometimes it’s a gift card, a free copy of the results, free consultation, etc. Whatever you told them they would receive, deliver it. I’ve participated in a number of surveys over the years where I wasn’t given what I was promised. I didn’t forget and your prospects/respondents won’t either. Sounds simple enough, but it’s important
Leverage the survey data in as many ways as possible – of course you’re going to use the survey data to determine who’s a qualified prospect and then sell/market smarter to those folks. But also be looking for ways you can re-purpose all of this incredible data at your fingertips. Create a piece of literature summarizing the findings (executive briefs, whitepapers, eBooks, infographics); write a blog plugging the results and what they mean to the industry; or better yet, host a webinar talking about the findings in an interactive, collaborative environment where you can gain even more metrics and generate better leads. Your survey data should be the gift that keeps on giving