An A/B Test that Improved Lead Quality for a B2B Sales Team by 140%
Often times in website optimization, A/B test goals present tradeoffs. One such testing tradeoff for Business-to-Business (B2B) sites is optimizing for lead quality versus lead quantity. This post is a story about how Iron Mountain, a B2B information software and management company, focused on (and solved) a lead quality problem.
Often times in website optimization, A/B test goals present tradeoffs. One such testing tradeoff for Business-to-Business (B2B) sites is optimizing for lead quality versus lead quantity. How you capture information about a person who is interested in your business—in other words, how you design your lead capture (or lead generation) form—is a determining factor in whether you’re going for quantity or quality, or both.
This post is a story about how Iron Mountain, a B2B information software and management company, focused and improved a lead quality problem. Led by Iron Mountain Europe’s Head of Marketing, Stephen Krajewski, the team ran an A/B test on their lead capture form and increased lead quality by 140%.
Lead Quality and Lead Capture Forms
Working with iProspect, a digital marketing agency, the Iron Mountain team audited their lead flow and found that lead quantity was up but lead quality was low.
Let’s examine how the quality vs. quantity tradeoff plays out on the lead capture form. It’s possible to make the form so short and easy to complete that it has sky-high conversion rates. But with such brevity and ease of completion, you may be sacrificing lead quality because generating high quality leads requires gathering more than just name and email—it requires fields like phone number, company name, job function, etc.
Driving a prospective customer to fill out the form is one half of the equation; ensuring that information is accurate is another, equally important part of lead generation.
Leads with complete, accurate information is crucial for sales teams for a few reasons:
Efficiency: With more information, it is easier to qualify a lead. Sales development representatives (SDR) can spend less time digging for facts that would help them decide next steps.
Follow-up: If SDRs have information about leads like job title, or company size/industry, they can tailor their follow-up conversations or demo more accurately. This benefits leads too! No one likes generic sales emails. The more information a sales person has, the more enjoyable the sales process is for everyone involved
iProspect thought specific pain points with Iron Mountain’s lead generation form were responsible for low lead quality.
- Accuracy: The majority of leads captured through their “Contact Us Today” form were incomplete or inaccurate—false phone numbers or email addresses.
- Intent: The form was supposed to be lead generation, but people were using it to inquire about job opportunities or file support tickets.
- Completeness: People were leaving required fields unfilled.
Together, iProspect and Iron Mountain then came up with test hypotheses to fix the problem areas and improve lead quality:
Hypothesis 1: If we validate each field, then visitors will be more likely to fill out the form accurately and submit complete information.
Hypothesis 2: If we change the messaging on the from “Contact us today” to “Get in Touch”, then we will drive the right kind of leads.
iProspect created variations of the form to test these hypotheses:
- To clarify what information was needed in each form field, the team replaced the descriptions above each field with descriptions located inside each field.
- They changed the form’s headline from “Contact us today” to “Request a quote” to clarify the form’s purpose.
Results and ROI
The metric for success in the test was the number of qualified leads generated through each form. To be considered “qualified,” the lead must come from a sales inquiry, rather than support or recruiting inquiry and have an accurate phone number.
The variation form improved the number of qualified leads by 140% and was a positive return on investment for Iron Mountain.
“The impressive and immediate jump in lead quality has more than repaid the resources we invested to get this right,” Stephen said.
With a pipeline of higher quality leads, the Iron Mountain sales team has more time to focus on selling rather than qualifying and researching contacts that never convert into sales.
This test was just the beginning, Stephen said. Achieving such a drastic improvement on lead quality from one A/B test is a sign to test more. iProspect and Iron Mountain have already built follow-up experiments on key lead generation areas on other areas if their site such as the contact us page.
Have you ever ran a test that increases lead quality or lead quantity? Let’s discuss your results and lessons learned in the comments.