We have a contact form on each page of our marketing site. We ask for a name, phone and email. We made it simple b/c our goal was to get as many people/companies to submit their information.
Within the last 3 years, I find that 9 out of 10 leads are window shoppers, which is fine. It's like trying to sell a car to someone who's thinking about getting their driver's license. That initial sales call can also be awkward b/c I'm trying to learn the person's specific needs.
I would like to be better prepared on the initial sales call. Should we require more information on our contact form to better qualify these leads or will this backfire and stop legitimate customers from submitting their information?
Here's what I would do, assuming these are business customers:
At the end of the day, if they leave their info, they are at least somewhat interested, but you cannot burden the visitor with a lot of questions otherwise they will just leave.
My answer sucks because it's kind of open ended. It'd be cool to have more info about all of this. It might be, for example, that you think the people are window shoppers because your price seems too high for them, or it does not solve the problem they have. People don't leave contact info just for fun or to waste time. It seems there is a need in there somewhere.
In thinking about what I do when I search for products a few things come to mind.
If it's the right questions I'm more likely to answer them and feel good about having someone contact me. Besides if they are optional I can always skip them so having them there does not hurt.
Make the form as short as possible. People hate filling out forms.
Personally I don't like forms asking me for my phone #. The ones that make it a required field, I just put something like 999999999. I HATE cold calls. Send me an email. If you add my email address, make sure you have an unsubscribe link. Spamming me without me able to opt out is not good.