The Pre-Sales Survey: A Simple Way to Improve Sales Performance

1058_graphic-3_email1Whether you’ve got a referral or you’re cold-calling a lead, you need to keep one thing in mind: The less time you can spend talking with a potential customer, the better.

You probably already know this. But what you may not know is that there’s a smart way to reduce the time you spend on the phone or email correspondence.

How? Collect qualifying information and context before you start the discussion: Use a pre-sales survey.

When you send a survey to potential customers before you pick up that phone, you’re likely to improve your sales performance. Read on to learn why—and to get expert tips on writing a successful pre-sales survey.

What is a pre-sales survey?

A pre-sales survey includes questions on firmographics that enable you to reduce time spent on bad leads, shorten your sales cycle, increase your conversion rate, and increase your deal size. Here’s how:

1. Reduce time spent on bad leads

Whether they’re inbound leads coming to you, or outbound leads you’ve identified, the majority of them won’t make it past stage one of your sales cycle. The first contact with a customer is usually asking a series of qualifying questions that help determine if it’s worth pursuing for both you—and your potential customer.

Asking these questions in a survey, like “How likely are you to purchase our product?” saves you time and provides the information you need to prioritize which leads to pursue.

2. Shorten your sales cycle

Whether it’s because you have a range of products or services, or because your product or service can be used in so many different ways, the hardest part of any sales process is being able to communicate what you can offer in a way that will resonate with your potential client. Knowing more about their needs from the outset means you can hit the ground running.

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3. Boost your conversion rate

Your clients are busy, so the longer you take to get to the point, the less your chance of retaining their attention and interest. Being able to begin with the right message means you maximize the number of opportunities making it through to the next stage of your sales cycle.

4. Increase your deal size

Your customers can only buy what’s presented to them. A deeper understanding of their needs (or budget) often highlights additional solutions you can provide that you may not have presented otherwise.

Writing your pre-sales survey

It’s clear that screening out bad leads and cutting to the chase will help you increase sales performance. But what exactly should you ask in a pre-sales survey? Here are some ideas, including market research questions and firmographics, which will help you write your sales survey:

  • Information about the company size and focus
  • Information about your contact’s department, position, responsibilities etc
  • Questions around your customer’s current tools and setup
  • Confirmation of any pre-requirements you might have
  • Discovery into your prospect’s specific priorities

One final tip—if you’re using a CRM (like Salesforce) it’s easy to organize your sales survey feedback and lead information in one place—by integrating your survey platform and CRM.