When selling leads, you should first consider the same methods you use to generate leads, a prospect is just a lead after all. We continually see companies that are on the forefront of lead generation and online marketing, yet only cold call for new lead buyers. This post will review several prospecting methods for selling leads and discuss the pros and cons of each. Regardless of the method, it is important to apply the same qualitative and quantitative analysis used to evaluate your lead flow to your prospecting efforts.
King Of The Hill: Referrals
(Almost) everyone knows that word-of-mouth and direct referrals are the best way to prospect for selling leads. The reason is that referrals typically result in the highest quality prospects, with the resulting leads generally having a budget and legitimate interest in buying your leads. In addition, much of the work to sell the prospect is already done for you, and by someone else which lends even more credibility to your leads. Referrals are a great way to grow your lead generation business, with the only downside typically being that you just will not get enough of them. Few companies can sustain a growing business only off of referrals and most have to employ at least on of the other methods mentioned below. While we are on the subject, if you know any companies looking to take their lead business to the next level, please have them contact us.
Tried & True: Sales Reps & Outbound Dialing
The majority of lead generation companies employ some sort of sale representative responsible for generating new business for selling leads. The compensation structure for sales reps can vary greatly, from 100% commission on leads sold to strictly salary based and everything in between. Sales reps offer several benefits for helping your business in selling leads. First and foremost, a sales rep ensures that their is a daily effort in generating new business. Companies can get bogged down with generation activities and current client issues and it is important to make sure someone has their eye on new business. Sales reps tend to utilize outbound dialing when selling leads, allowing companies to be more aggressive in their outbound marketing efforts and touch more potential lead buyers. However, there are some disadvantages to sales reps as well. The quality of a given sales rep tends to vary greatly, and poor quality reps can ruin a lead generation company’s reputation by not being knowledgeable and/or selling unrealistic expectations. Also, sales reps do not work for free so you will typically have to place some premium on your leads to offset the rep’s compensation. Lastly, depending on pay structure and oversight, sales reps may focus on prospects from within their existing database rather than identifying and generating new leads, defeating some of the original purpose of your prospecting efforts.
Early Adopters: Social Media & SEO
Content is the name of the game these days (hence this post) and is why we are including social media with search engine optimization (SEO) in this category. Producing valuable content allows lead generation companies to engage prospective lead buyers by providing information that is both relevant and desired. Companies that produce content as a prospect method when selling leads enjoy similar benefits as direct referrals. Resulting leads tend to be of high quality, with sincere interest and legitimate marketing budgets. The downside to this prospecting method is that producing relevant, quality content takes significant time and effort. In addition to the time and effort, there can be several months of investment before the benefits of the content production can be seen, and the lead generation industry as a whole is not known to be the most forward thinkers.
The Geek: Paid Search
Paid search is also a popular prospecting method for selling leads. Companies that utilize paid search can use the same quantitative evaluation on their prospecting campaigns as on their lead generation ones by utilizing the same metrics. Another benefit of paid search is the variable spend. In a world where you can go from having more demand than supply to having an excess supply of leads in a matter of days, if not hours, the ability to adjust a campaign’s spend based off of a company’s immediate demand is of huge importance. The downside to paid search is similar to lead generation paid search campaigns, a lot of tire-kickers and prospects with little-to-no budget for lead buying can result in a lower overall client value, when compared to other prospecting methods.
The Big Shot: Selling Leads At Conferences
We debated whether to include this prospecting method for selling leads since most lead generation companies do not exhibit at conferences. However, there are a growing number of conferences surrounding lead generation and online marketing, and conferences represent several unique benefits. First, the right conference like LeadsCon can provide your company with a lot of exposure and the ability to get in front of quality lead buyers. This exposure can lead to higher value relationships and long-term partnerships, which is very important for companies selling leads. Conferences also allow you to “strut your stuff” and showcase what makes your company stand out in the crowd. The primary disadvantage of conferences is the cost. The entry point for most conferences exceeds $5,000 even before travel and entertainment expenses. There is also the “big spender” effect. Conferences lend themselves to exaggeration, with lead buyers proclaiming unlimited budgets and demand and a willingness to pay top dollar for quality leads. However, a large portion of these prospects end up falling through on post-conference efforts.
We are not aware of any consolidated lead selling directories to help buyers search for companies in their verticals (but that will soon change…www.LeadPortal.com is launching in 2014). While any directory could not be counted on to provide enough prospects alone to sustain a lead generation business, a directory of lead sellers will provide an opportunity for your lead generation company to get in front of buyers from the specific verticals in which you operate.
Regardless of marketing type, one of the biggest surprises to us is the lack of boberdoo clients that have “Prospects” as a lead type in their system. Bringing lead buyer prospects into your boberdoo system is easy since you define what makes up a lead type in your boberdoo system and there is the ability to use the Partner Admin for tracking activities, dispositions and tasks. It is time to practice what you preach to lead buyers and add a “Prospect” lead type to your system so you can track which methods work best for your lead generation company.
boberdoo.com produces lead distribution systems that allow you to track, manage, route and bill leads based on custom business rules you create. If you would like to learn more about the basics on ping post software, please click on the Contact Us tab or call 800-776-5646.