Tuesday, 12 May 2009

In lead generation ask only what you need to know

Back in the old days (before the Internet), your typical company would decide to experiment with lead generation. They'd create a reply coupon, and everybody in the marketing department would chip in with some 'useful' question they wanted to ask.

Then they'd look surprised when nobody filled out the form and sent it back. These days it's even worse, because an online form offers the marketing team unlimited space.

I know why they do it. They're after demographic information, because that's what they were told do by marketing academics at University. These academic marketers have spent their entire lives in university, rather than trying to sell stuff. They know nothing useful about generating leads.

Maybe demographic information is useful, but I'm prepared to bet it will never be as useful as a properly qualified lead. Every extra question on your reply form is a hurdle over which your lead must jump.

Challenge every question on the form, and ask yourself if you really need to know the answer at this point in the sales process. If you don't, get rid of it.

Want more information on lead generation? See these free business articles.