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How to Improve Sales by Investing in a Pre-sales Survey

Kate William

7 min read

You would think that the best sales strategy for a good sales team is to get people talking. If only you could contact your lead, you could convert them. However, a lot depends on how primed a customer is to be converted. The talk-first strategy often leads to inefficient sales. Thankfully, there is an easy way to increase efficiency and supercharge your sales: a pre-sales questionnaire. 

Marketers often pass on leads to sales teams that are not actually ready to be converted. The number of leads might look good at first but doesn’t add up to conversions. A Gleanster report actually found that only 25% of marketing leads are even qualified to pass to sales. 

A large chunk of your company’s sales effort might be going into leads with no conversion potential. A pre-sales questionnaire can work wonders to help you sell better. 

What is a Pre-Sales Questionnaire?

The easiest way to understand a pre-sales questionnaire is that it is a quality check for your leads. A great marketing strategy can bring you a lot of leads. The sales team, though, must focus on only the best ones. A pre-sales survey asks customers a few quick questions. Pre-sales questionnaire and the feedback received from the same help your sales team sort the serious costumers from the bad leads. 

By sending customers a pre-sales questionnaire, you can enquire about important details about your customer. This information will help you decide beforehand the best sales strategy for your lead. But before we get into the best pre-sales survey questions, let’s get some clarity on why a pre-sales survey is a great idea. 

Why You Should Invest in a Pre-Sales Questionnaire

By including a pre-sales survey, you are making the customer do more work. There have to be strong reasons for doing this, of course. Conventional wisdom is usually that the easier the buying process for the customer, the better. But answering pre-sales survey questions is good for both the customer and your company. Here’s why. 

Save Time Wasted on Bad Leads

A salesperson wasting time talking to a bad lead could be spending that time converting a good lead. Inefficiency in sales in particular has a huge opportunity cost. 

A well-designed pre-sales questionnaire with relevant questions saves your sales team tons of time. They can then spend that time focusing on good leads and driving business growth. 

Reduce Preparation Time

To convert a lead, a sales team has to do quite a bit of research. You might even have to plan multiple approaches based on how the customer responds. Ideally, you also want to understand what the customer’s priorities are so you can address them better. 

A pre-sales survey gives you all that information right from the source. It reduces the time spent on research and designing strategies that are irrelevant. And like I said before, more efficiency means more sales and better numbers!

Make It Easier For the Customer

Having a customer fill out an additional pre-sales survey sounds like more work. Its not. If the customer spends some time telling you their priorities at an early stage, it makes the decision making the process faster. 

The salesperson who has a pre-sales questionnaire is ready with all the details before the phone call or meeting. So you can present your options and convert the lead faster. 

Also, It’s not like the details in the survey are optional. The questions the survey asks would come up in a traditional sales call anyway. A pre-sales survey just makes the process smoother and more convenient for both sides. 

Increase Your Deal Size

When you get yourself into a sales call with no knowledge of what the customer wants, you have limited options. You might have to hastily gauge their responses and suggest the most obvious solutions. It is a process that is unnecessarily stressful and inefficient. 

Getting information about your customer using a pre-sales survey can also help you grow your deal size. When you know the customer’s priorities, your sales team can spend some time thinking of additional solutions to sell to the customer. A pre-sales questionnaire can help you go beyond the obvious solutions and increase your sales. 

The 5 Best Pre-Sales Survey Questions You Can Ask

A pre-sales survey is only useful for you if it gives you data that you actually need. It is important to put some amount of thought into your pre-sales survey questions. 

We have two objectives with your pre-sales survey questions. The first is to filter out the bad leads. The second is to get a hint about the priorities of our potential customers. It’s important to balance those two priorities in your pre-sales questionnaire. 

What challenges do you aim to solve using our product?

In a pre-sales survey, you want to find out whether the customer actually has a business challenge your product can address. This is an efficient method of separating the good leads from the bad ones. 

If the customer can envision a value addition from your product themselves, that’s a great sign. But even if they can describe their challenges in the pre-sales survey, you can use that to suggest solutions using your product. 

The format of this pre-sales survey questionnaire can either be multiple-choice or descriptive – the choice between these two depends on your business. If you have a set of fixed challenges you address, you could add them as choices. If your business is more flexible and adapts to client needs, a descriptive question is probably your best route. 

How does your company currently meet this challenge?

This probably is one of the most decisive pieces of information you can get in a pre-sales survey. A sales pitch needs to prove that your product is better than the company’s existing setup. You’ll be able to do this only if you know what your company’s set up is. 

Let’s take an example. You’re a company that makes toasters. There are two kinds of customers you will have – those who own toasters, and those who don’t. Your sales pitch to those who own toasters will be about why your toaster is better. For those who don’t own toasters, you’re better off talking about the benefits of toasters. 

This pre-sales survey questionnaire finds out which kind of toaster customer you are. For a sales team, this information can supercharge conversions. Knowing what you’re up against is great for deciding how to convince your customer. 

Are you considering any other solution-providers? 

This pre-sales survey questionnaire helps you strategize for the conversation ahead by finding out who your competition is. To make the business case for your service/product, you need to prove you’re better. But better than whom? Allow your pre-sales survey to find out for you. 

There is another angle here. If your lead answers in the negative, your chances at making a sale grow significantly. Your chances of conversion are also great if they’re considering vendors who are certainly not offering as good a deal as you are. 

You can use a pre-sales survey to gauge what your competition is because it’s different for every customer. Design a sales strategy using this data, and you’re all the more likely to convert a potential lead into a customer.

What’s your designation within the company?

One of the most common sales inefficiencies is dealing with people who don’t have authority. Having this question in your pre-sales survey ensures that doesn’t happen. 

You probably don’t want to pitch an expensive service to a low-level employee. Your sales goal for those lower in the hierarchy is to convince them to recommend you to the decision-maker. You can modify your sales strategy according to the designation of your contact. 

One of the great things about a pre-sales survey is that you get to ask your contact’s designation and department beforehand. You can then spend your energy making the sales pitch only to people who can become customers. If you’ve a lot of leads, then the designation also helps you prioritize reaching out to ones with authority. 

What does your company’s purchasing process look like?

This question has multiple uses in a pre-sales survey. First, you get to know who you have to sell to for sale to be final. An employee with no authority will likely mention that it’ll have to be approved by the supervisor. Knowing the process helps you indirectly find out who to focus on for sale. 

If your customer base includes enterprises, this pre-sales survey questionnaire is useful for an additional reason. Often, enterprises have a procurements division that has very specific requirements for vendors. It’s important to know if you can meet these requirements. 

You don’t want to put in a lot of effort into selling a product to a company, and then find out you’re not eligible for the sale. So knowing the purchasing process will help you find out if there are any reasons to worry. 

Tips for Conducting A Pre-Sales Questionnaire

Getting the questions right is only one part of the challenge. It is equally important to think about how and where you’re going to place a pre-sales survey. The survey should be placed such that customers are not turned away, and are most likely to take the time to fill it. Here are some guidelines to follow. 

Make It A Chatbot On Your Website

One of the best ways to use pre-sales questionnaire is to integrate them with your website. Let’s say a customer lands on your company website looking for something, ask them using a chatbot, ‘Can we help you with something?’ The chatbot can then go on to ask the relevant survey questions. 

Adding the pre-sales questionnaire as a chatbot is interactive and easy. Customers are likely to answer candidly and feel less stressed answering in texts. Customers are also more likely to leave their contact information if prompted by a chatbot for website. A chatbox pre-sales survey gives you more leads and more information about the leads. 

Use It For Your Email Promotions

Pre-sales surveys are actually great for getting prospective customers to engage in email. By asking them relevant questions in the email, you can get them to respond and tell you what they want. You can also tailor future promotions according to their responses. 

Email is often overlooked by marketers, but it is still one of the most powerful tools for customer engagement. Add pre-sales surveys to emails and see better engagement rates!

Explain Why You’re Asking

One of the cons of a pre-sales survey is that leads might be unwilling to disclose information without talking to you first. This is understandable. Potential customers might feel out of their comfort zone, giving you information about them. 

To address their concerns, explain exactly why you’re taking a pre-sales survey. Explain how it helps them experience a smoother sales process. A pre-sales survey is a win-win situation, so make sure that your lead knows that. 

Wrapping Up

Companies frequently suffer the costs of not taking simple steps to get more done in less time. Maintaining efficiency is hard because it means constantly evolving to adopt new workflows. Yet, there are simple solutions that organizations can implement to bring in new energy into the workplace. A pre-sales questionnaire falls exactly in that category. 

Marketing and sales teams that invest in a pre-sales survey will be much more effective at driving business growth. The opportunity cost for bad leads is huge, and pre-sales questionnaire help us eliminate them to a large degree.  There’s really no need to go through the stress of cold-calling leads and presenting half-baked solutions anymore. You can now use a pre-sales questionnaire to get all the information beforehand and present your leads with well-researched, compelling solutions. And adopting a survey software like SurveySparrow makes sure you’re doing your pre-sales questionnaire the right way. 

A pre-sales survey makes life easier for everyone. Add it to your sales strategy today and experience better conversions and faster growth!

Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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