The Anatomy of a Lead: Why Web Forms are Big Business

We’ve all done it — visited a website and filled out a web form to request a demo or download a report. While it may seem like a small thing, these web form fills are responsible for billions of dollars of business, and companies like ZoomInfo have meticulously analyzed and optimized web forms to help sales reps make the most of these leads.

At ZoomInfo, we recognize five distinct stages of a lead lifecycle: identify, qualify, connect, close and expand. Within each stage, we set actions and expectations, like a 90-second response time on inbound leads and a 72-hour automated follow up on outstanding contracts, to move leads seamlessly from first contact to lasting relationship

ZoomInfo founder and CEO Henry Schuck recently walked our customer advisory board through how we use technology to “turn a visitor into a lead, a lead into an opportunity, and ultimately, an opportunity into a customer.” 

Watch a recap of Henry’s presentation here, and read on to see how to move through the full lifecycle of a lead using our unparalleled go-to-market platform. 

1. Identify

When a new visitor comes to your website, you need to identify who they are so you can properly market to them. We use a variety of products to complete visitor profiles, most notably our FormComplete solution.

“What FormComplete actually allows us to do is to present a web form with the minimal amount of data fields that we need to get a customer to convert into a lead,” Schuck said. 

Reducing the number of form fields increases response rates. Our ZoomInfo automated enrichment feature fills in additional information in real time and dynamically prompts users if there is any incomplete data. This creates more qualified leads and increased conversion rates without compromising the user experience. 

This means that your marketing team can run tests to determine which web form fields work best without losing important prospect information. Through trial and error, we found that four form fields had the highest conversion rate while providing the most quality data. Experiment to see what works best for your organization and customer base.

What if They Don’t Fill Out a Web Form Field?

We know that every visitor won’t fill out a form. Our WebSights feature was created to help you track down these unknown visitors. We use their IP address to identify their company, then add that organization’s buying committee to an automated campaign, complete with marketing and display ads.

2. Qualify

Once you’ve received the contact information of your new prospect, you need to score and route the lead to a salesperson for outreach.

Lead scoring is a point system that creates a hierarchy for qualifying leads to assess how likely a lead is to convert. There’s plenty of variability in how to score leads. You can look at company size, industry, location, or number of offices. Determine which factors best determine the sales-readiness of your leads, and then assign point values to each of those criteria. Once you’ve established your scoring system, you can automate this process using lead-scoring algorithms in ZoomInfo.

For example, if you recently had 150 qualified leads come from an online promotion and you know that traditionally, your strongest leads have come from small to medium companies in the automotive industry that have around 100 employees, you can create an algorithm using these factors. That way, you’ll quickly be able to differentiate the paths of your leads and how you should handle outreach. For a more in-depth explanation of lead scoring, check out our beginner’s guide to lead scoring

Next, you want to ensure that the qualified lead goes to the right sales rep. Within the ZoomInfo platform, scoring a lead results in the automatic routing of that lead to the best-fit salesperson. 

“​​This can look like a large enterprise technology company that’s routed to a senior account executive who knows how to navigate the procurement process and the legal process. Or it can look like a smaller recruiting company that we route to an account executive who has a specialization in recruiting,” Schuck said.

We map outcomes to ensure our routing system is effectively placing leads with the most likely reps to close the deal. We do this by looking at the annual contract value per completed demo, an algorithm that’s built into our Salesforce. So whether your priority list remains the same, or there’s month-to-month variability among your strongest salesperson, your list is always automatically updated. 

But we don’t stop at automating the routing process. To facilitate a quick response to our customers, we make sure that the lead is being routed not only to the best salesperson, but to the best available salesperson. We do this through an integration with the Google Calendar API, ensuring that follow-up can occur almost immediately.

3. Connect

As soon as the lead is routed to a salesperson, they’re also automatically served an overview of the opportunity, along with any notes from SDRs. This information — which includes details like lead score, title, revenue, and number of employees — is also stored in Salesforce for future reference. This helps prepare the account executive for their call with the prospect and make the necessary modifications to their pitch to increase win rate. 

Reach out Instantly

Once the salesperson is up to speed on the details of the account, it’s time to act.

“There are an endless number of studies that show that when you get back to a lead that filled out a form on your website in the first few minutes, you have a 10 times better chance of converting that lead into an opportunity than if you waited an hour or longer,” Schuck said.

At ZoomInfo, we expect a 90-second response time, because we know that immediate follow-up is the best way to engage prospects. Having a testable outreach process with goals and expectations is as essential as getting a lead capture form filled out in the first place.

Analyze the Call

Chorus, our powerful conversational intelligence platform, can record, transcribe, and analyze every call that your sales team has with customers and prospects. The software surfaces key insights for quick recall without the need for note-taking. It also creates topic and attendee information tags, so if an important decision-maker wasn’t able to make the demo, they can still be added to an automated follow-up campaign.

To learn more about Chorus’ capabilities, check out our coverage of how conversation intelligence can help close deals faster.   

Add Prospects to a Drip Campaign

Once the demo concludes, prospects are automatically sorted based on persona and product package and added to an automated drip campaign that includes valuable, tailored content. 

This automation saves your salespeople the time and trouble of managing customer follow-up. It also performs incredibly well. These email campaigns averaged an open rate of 80%, click-through rate of 5-10%, and a reply rate of over 70%.

We use detailed planning to have an automated motion for every outcome, including demo no-shows and bad fits due to timing or other issues. That way, no leads slip through the cracks and all prospects are continuously nurtured. These automations can also be turned off if a salesperson wants to reach out directly to make a personal connection. 

Check Your Pipeline

Chorus Momentum helps you efficiently forecast and get a deeper understanding of each opportunity. This relationship intelligence helps you to pinpoint exactly where you can take action to progress your pipeline and see the full context and status of specific deals. 

4. Close

Many sales teams think of sending a contract for signature as the home stretch, but we’ve found that’s not necessarily the case. 

“There’s a ticking clock of probability against how likely a buyer is to sign a contract from the send date,” Schuck said. “For us, there’s a clear inflection point after two to three days of a DocuSign sitting out there, so we looked for a way to actually affect the outcome.” 

We tested sending out follow up emails from members of our executive team after a few days, to see if we could help relieve any roadblocks to closing the deal. We found that this executive outreach was a great way to “unstick a deal that’s stuck.” We now automate this email to be sent to any contract that remains unsigned after two to three days.

5. Expand

As any great salesperson knows, the sales process doesn’t end after a deal closes. There’s plenty more opportunity, including upselling and cross-selling, that can occur throughout the customer lifecycle. With ZoomInfo features like Intent and Scoops, you can gain insight into what your customers are searching for, or see when they’ve secured a new round of funding. Set up automated alerts when searches align with your additional product offerings so you can start the lead lifecycle over again. 

“That’s the difference between great and best-in-class: the ability to fully automate these motions, so what you’re able to see and what you’re able to accomplish is far greater than what you could have done without these technologies and tools at your fingertips,” Schuck said.