Using Surveys to Qualify Leads? Use These 8 Best Practices

Surveys are a window into your prospects’ and customers’ minds.

A well-designed lead qualification survey can lend insight into the decision maker's thoughts and how he or she will approach a purchase.

The survey can even delve into the importance of specific criteria when choosing a product or service.

A lead qualification survey company can work with you as a strategic partner to gather these insights to help you drive customized sales approaches.

In this blog post, our market research company shares seven best practices for using surveys to qualify leads.

Best Practices for Lead Qualification Surveys


How to Conduct a Lead Qualification Survey

Many organizations utilize phone surveys for lead qualification.

Phone surveys are recommended as the methodology of choice for lead qualification because skilled telesurveyors can find their way through gatekeepers at large companies.

This helps increase your chances of obtaining feedback directly from decision-makers and executive-level participants.

Decision-makers (at any level) are busy. The chances they will reply to your email invitation for a survey are small, particularly if they are not your customer.

Phone surveys are better at actively targeting and convincing these decision-makers to share their feedback in a quick survey.

A live person on the phone is more difficult to ignore than an email in your inbox.

Can lead qualification surveys be conducted online instead?

Yes, online surveys are a more cost-effective approach for lead qualification surveys.

But you’ll also need to temper your expectations as response rates may not be as strong as they would be with phone surveys.

Online surveys are recommended for lead qualifications surveys where you have a list of participants or a list of contacts that have some type of relationship with your firm.

The contact list could be built from:

  • Attendees at a conference
  • Former customers
  • Those who requested a proposal but chose another firm

If you would like to call a blinded list of prospects who have no relationship with your firm, you’ll need a survey telesurveyor to find the decision-makers and obtain the complete by phone.

Recommended Reading: Should I Survey My Customers, Non-Customers, or Both? 


Length of a Lead Qualification Survey

As stated, decision-makers are busy. Our market research company recommends not extending a lead generation survey beyond 3 to 5 minutes maximum.

This will be approximately 15 questions. In those questions, you’ll be able to cover a wide range of information.

Remember, the first 2 to 3 questions are used to screen the participant to ensure feedback is being obtained from the targeted audience such as level of decision-making responsibility, time in position, title, etc. 


What Questions to Include in a Lead Qualification Survey

Aside from purchasing behaviors, the questionnaire can also cover preferred marketing channels and message testing among your key prospects.

You’ll find out where they spend their time (social media, blogs, websites, trade shows, etc.) and what messages work best to generate interest.

In addition to all of this valuable data, the telephone rep also asks the participant if he or she would like follow-up information or a follow-up call from a representative at Company ABC at the end of the call.

If they opt-in, you have a warm lead.

If they opt-out, you still have access to the valuable feedback they already provided.

It’s a win-win either way for your project.


How to Obtain a Contact List When Qualifying Leads

B2B or B2C phone lists are purchased through preferred vendors who offer targeted participant contact information.

You can target a specific B2B list purchase by company size, industry, title, geography as well as many other filters.

The list is then utilized by a third-party market research company to dial through and invite these participants to take part in a 3 to 5-minute survey.

Recommended Reading: B2C and B2B Market Research: Explaining the Difference and Benefits of Each


Time to Complete a Lead Qualification Survey

How long does a lead qualification survey take with a third-party? About 4 to 6 weeks.

This includes time for a kickoff meeting to review key objectives for the study, questionnaire design, programming of the survey for the phone system, list purchase, fieldwork, and a final report.

The largest variable is the fieldwork which is highly dependent on the difficulty in reaching the audience and the number of completes you need.

Any warm leads (those agreeing to a follow-up) are passed directly to your company within 24 hours of receipt.


How Many Leads to Expect

Lead qualification surveys should place the central focus on completed surveys, not the number of warm leads it generates.

The completed surveys contain lots of valuable information that can be ingrained into your sales and data-driven marketing strategies for long-term sustainable lead generation.

The percentage of warm, ready-to-go leads is relatively small in lead qualification or lead generation surveys.

Typically, less than 30% of your survey participants will agree to a follow-up call or contact from your firm.


The Cost of a Lead Generation Survey

Not the answer you are looking for but, it depends.

Although the kickoff, project management, and reporting time can all be estimated, the largest variable is the fieldwork and length of the survey.

This is something the lead generation survey company will not have answers to until they speak with you.

After an initial discovery call, they will be able to provide you with a fixed cost for the entire project.

The fixed cost will include all-time and deliverables for the project including the survey design, number of completes, and report.

Be leery of lead qualification survey companies that utilize variable cost structures. In this type of cost structure, all of the risks are on you, and not them which should not be the case.


How to Get Started with a Lead Qualification Survey

Contact a lead qualification survey company, like Drive Research.

Although you may prefer to work with a local firm, many offer lead generation survey services across the country.

Geography is no longer a boundary to engaging a firm in this type of study. The company will be able to collect some information and better learn about your needs.

From there they will prepare a scope of work or proposal which highlights objectives, approach, timeline, and cost.

The number of completes can be adjusted to fit your budget (e.g. 100 completed surveys, 300 completed surveys, 600 completed surveys.)

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2016 but has since been updated by Drive Research.


Conduct a Lead Qualification Survey with Drive Research

Drive Research is a lead qualification survey company in Syracuse, NY. We partner with B2B and B2C organizations across the country to provide customer data that assists with business development.

Further questions about how utilizing surveys for lead generation can benefit your business? Contact our team today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.


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