Back in early 2008, there were 7 of us meeting in our only conference room. It was HubSpot's entire sales and marketing team having our weekly meeting, later termed our SMarketing meeting. Like we've continued to ask ourselves every day since, we were trying to answer the question, "How can we turn more of our inbound leads into customers?"
During this meeting in 2007, I told Mike Volpe, "It'd be great if they just told us what their challenges were on the forms." To which, Volpe sarcastically said, "Do you want me to sell for you too?". We convinced him to try it out by the end of the meeting. It's hard to say no to Dan Tyre, Chris Johnson and Mark Roberge. The question, "What's your biggest marketing challenge?" is on every one of our forms to this day. It's helped our sales team more effectively and more quickly connect, qualify and close new businesss 1,000s of times now. Last year, when correlating lead characteristics to close rate, our marketing team proved that when certain answers included keywords like "leads", they were more likely to buy our marketing software.
4 years, 350 people and 7500 customers later, we've made a lot of progress in figuring out how to turn leads into sales. We've bottled up 'lessons like this one' and have baked them into our software and training programs so that our customers and partners can turn more of their leads into sales too.
Yesterday, one of our customers shared a story about adding a similar question to their landing pages. Their company is Goodbye Crutches, which makes products that replace the need for crutches.
To test the idea, we devised a simple A/B test on some of our most commonly accessed offers and landing pages. Using the Advanced Landing Pages feature in HubSpot Enterprise, we were able to show our visitors one of two versions of these pages. The only difference we tested was the optional open-ended question “What is your biggest struggle?”
You can read about their stellar results at the article, "Proof that It Never Hurts to Ask".
SMarketing Take-Away: Most sales professionals know that people are more likely to buy when they have a challenge they need to overcome, a problem they need to fix, they're frustrated by the status quo, or in the case of Goodbye crutches, they have 'pain' that's impacting their comfort and happiness. As a marketer or marketing agency, if you want to deliver more and higher quality sales-ready leads to your [client's] sales team, ask the open ended question on your forms, "What's your biggest xyz challenge?".