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October 20, 2011   Posted by: Dale Underwood

Request for Quote (RFQ) Forms Are Dead, Move On

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Caution, sarcasm ahead! :)

Are B2B marketers insane?

I don’t think so, but if insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then I’ve got a few candidates for the nut house.

I actually saw this Request a Quote form on a technology vendor’s website this week:

Do you see any problems with this form?

How about “A representative will contact you within 24 hours to help you with your request.”

24 HOURS?….Really?

Thanks! I appreciate your fast follow-up!

What they don’t seem to realize, or care about, is that I’m busy and in 5 minutes I’ll be GONE….never to return.

Ok, so the response time thing is an issue, a BIG issue, but it’s not the only one that makes this form ineffective.

The fact is, these types of forms have been in existence for 10+ years and everyone’s onto the game. When’s the last time YOU filled one of these out? Come on, be honest.

Here are several compelling reasons why these outdated methods need to be relegated to the trash heap. High-quality prospects rarely fill these out because:

  • they know this is just going to send an email to a sales person and they are not ready for that discussion
  • they fear their information will be pushed into an evil marketing automation system and they will be spammed relentlessly by mindless downstream “lead nurturing” systems
  • they know they can easily find pricing elsewhere via Google without have a sales person call them (see below)
  • sales people rarely respond in a reasonable time with anything of use (averages over 27 hours)
  • ….and more

 
So, why would good prospects bother?

Most don’t.

It’s no wonder marketing folks using these types of forms spend their days fretting over how to justify the marketing budget….they are wasting dollars continuously! Precious marketing dollars are being spent on every demand creation method imaginable with the primary goal being to drive traffic to the corporate website. Once there, highly-qualified visitors run into forms like this…and vanish without a trace.

I’m ranting a bit today because I’ve had at least 3 discussions in the past week with technology marketers about using our service. Each one has said the same basic thing, “We already have an RFQ form on our site that goes directly to sales, why do we need EchoQuote?”

To answer that question I always run this test: Go to Google’s keyword analysis tool and type in “<YourCompanyName> pricing” and “<YourCompanyName> price” and see what kind of results you get.

Are people searching for pricing for your company or products? (Also try the test with your competitors names…maybe there is an opportunity to capture some of the prospects looking for pricing for their solutions.)

If people are leaving your site to search for pricing, you have a problem and we need to talk.

What we will recommend is enhancing your existing Request for Quote page with something that looks like this:

Notice that we didn’t replace the Request for Quote form, we just moved it to “Option 2 – Full-Service Request”. In addition, we’ve added a more appealing “Option 1 – Self-Service Request”.

Which works better?

Interestingly, the Self-Service option will typically convert 3-5 times as many prospects as the Full-Service Form.

To understand why this happens, you may want to check out one of our client’s blog posts, “The Psychology of Automated Price Quotes Can Boost Sales Leads 250% to 300%”.

So where does the Self-Service Button GO? Well, there is an intelligent back-end system waiting to give you exactly what you want, a budgetary quote, as long as the sales team approves it. The automation makes it fast meaning most requests are handled within 5 minutes…beats 24 hours, eh?

If you want to really see how it works, you can price our service yourself using our EchoQuote™ tool..

Move On

So can we all just please agree that these relics from the last century need to be put out to pasture for good?

:)

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