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5 Risks to Consider Before You Buy Leads

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We look at 5 important risks to consider before you buy leads and provide tips on how to avoid them.

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5 Risks to Consider Before You Buy Leads

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Many companies lack the resources to bring in a high volume of qualified leads on their own.
  3. 3. Maybe they don’t have an established web presence, or a dedicated teledemand team, or they lack the experience to orchestrate multi-channel marketing initiatives.
  4. 4. Maybe they don’t have an established web presence, or a dedicated teledemand team, or they lack the experience to orchestrate multi-channel marketing initiatives. So they partner with a third-party lead generation service.
  5. 5. Even companies that do run successful demand generation programs often partner with an outside agency to increase their marketing reach. This partnership lets B2B companies tap a new audience through the lead provider’s tools and marketing channels.
  6. 6. But if you aren’t careful who you partner with and what kind of contract you sign, you can end up paying a lot of money for leads that don’t convert.
  7. 7. Executive Summary
  8. 8. There are plenty of opportunities for outsourced demand generation to fail. Being cautious and exercising due diligence are critical steps, especially if you’re considering a lead generation company you haven’t worked with before.
  9. 9. We’ll look at five important risks to consider before you buy leads and provide tips on how to avoid them. These risks are based on the inherent pitfalls of lead buying and real concerns expressed by some of our clients.
  10. 10. Key Takeaways
  11. 11. • 60 percent of B2B marketers list “generating more leads” as their top challenge; 58 percent say “improving lead quality.” 60% 58%
  12. 12. • 60 percent of B2B marketers list “generating more leads” as their top challenge; 58 percent say “improving lead quality.” • Through outsourced demand generation, businesses can increase quantity and quality of leads without exhausting their own resources 60% 58%
  13. 13. • 73 percent of all B2B leads are not sales-ready, so clearly define your targeting requirements and only accept leads that match. 73%
  14. 14. • 73 percent of all B2B leads are not sales-ready, so clearly define your targeting requirements and only accept leads that match. • 40 percent of all generated leads have “poor data quality.” 73% 40%
  15. 15. • Make sure lead provider follows best practices for lead accuracy, including well-trained agents, verification standards, deduplication tools, and a simple return process.
  16. 16. • Make sure lead provider follows best practices for lead accuracy, including well-trained agents, verification standards, deduplication tools, and a simple return process. • A lead generation company that does all work in- house will offer the most affordable costs per lead and be least likely to outsource.
  17. 17. The Risk of Unqualified Leads 1
  18. 18. Working with an outside lead gen company inevitably means ceding some control over process, but it shouldn’t mean you have to give up your targeting requirements.
  19. 19. Considering 73 percent of all B2B leads are not sales- ready, it’s important to clearly define your targeting requirements up front and only accept leads that match those requirements: 73%
  20. 20. • BANT qualification: Budget, authority, need, and timeline compatible with your product or service.
  21. 21. • BANT qualification: Budget, authority, need, and timeline compatible with your product or service. • Opt-in: Companies seeking leads further down the funnel may ask for an opt-in mechanism that ensures each lead is ready to talk.
  22. 22. • BANT qualification: Budget, authority, need, and timeline compatible with your product or service. • Opt-in: Companies seeking leads further down the funnel may ask for an opt-in mechanism that ensures each lead is ready to talk. • Content syndication: Ask to only see leads that have downloaded a specific content asset (e.g. whitepaper, e-book, case study).
  23. 23. The Risk of Poor Quality Data 2
  24. 24. Forty percent of all generated leads have “poor data quality,” signified by duplicate data, invalid entries, failed email/address validation, and empty form fields. 40%
  25. 25. When you select a lead generation service, make sure they have best practices in place to prevent careless data errors. This includes:
  26. 26. When you select a lead generation service, make sure they have best practices in place to prevent careless data errors. This includes: • A staff of well trained agents
  27. 27. When you select a lead generation service, make sure they have best practices in place to prevent careless data errors. This includes: • A staff of well trained agents • A system for verifying deliverability of contact information
  28. 28. When you select a lead generation service, make sure they have best practices in place to prevent careless data errors. This includes: • A staff of well trained agents • A system for verifying deliverability of contact information • A mechanism for reconciling duplicate records (referred to as “deduplication”)
  29. 29. Ask about a lead return policy; this will give you the ability to send duplicate, inaccurate, or otherwise unacceptable leads back to the provider for a per-lead refund.
  30. 30. The Risk of Inflated Cost 3
  31. 31. In an industry where pricing is often arbitrary, it’s difficult to know how much you should pay for leads. Price gouging can happen a couple of ways:
  32. 32. • The lead provider charges too much per lead.
  33. 33. • The lead provider charges too much per lead. • The lead provider offers a discounted per-lead cost, but then forces you to buy a high volume of leads or commit to a contract.
  34. 34. It’s almost always more affordable to work with a service that does their lead gen work (inbound, email, teledemand) in-house. Companies with proprietary programs can not only offer you a better rate, but they also have better insight and control over the lead generation process.
  35. 35. The Risk of Unethical Sourcing 4
  36. 36. Just as smart consumers want to know where their purchased goods come from, most B2B companies want to know where their leads come from.
  37. 37. No lead source is intrinsically “unethical.” Unethical sourcing occurs when a company requests leads from or not from a particular source and the provider agrees, but doesn't abide:
  38. 38. • The provider is dishonest: they promise to deliver leads from a specified source, but generate them through whatever channels they please.
  39. 39. • The provider is dishonest: they promise to deliver leads from a specified source, but generate them through whatever channels they please. • The provider outsources to another agency, who collects the leads from the wrong source.
  40. 40. To protect yourself from unethical sourcing, you need to choose a lead provider with professional integrity, and if possible, a provider who manages all of their own programs.
  41. 41. The Risk of an Unestablished Lead Provider 5
  42. 42. The final risk of outsourced demand generation is choosing a provider that doesn’t have a well- established brand. The B2B lead generation industry is still fairly young, so there are a lot of new players on the field with minimal experience and an even smaller market reach.
  43. 43. Here are a few factors to look for that indicate strong market presence and brand credibility:
  44. 44. • An high-traffic inbound site that is regularly maintained
  45. 45. • An high-traffic inbound site that is regularly maintained • A strong social media presence
  46. 46. • An high-traffic inbound site that is regularly maintained • A strong social media presence • High-quality content that’s written in-house (blog posts, research studies, product comparisons, etc.)
  47. 47. • A multichannel marketing strategy that covers email, social, web, PPC, and outbound
  48. 48. • A multichannel marketing strategy that covers email, social, web, PPC, and outbound • A collection of subsidiary brands/micro-sites used to engage niche audiences (TechnologyAdvice, for example, owns CFO Advice, CMO Advice, CTO Advice, HR Advice, ManagementAdvice, CustomerAdvice, and SecurityAdvice).
  49. 49. How to Choose a Lead Generation Company You Won’t Regret
  50. 50. Despite these inherent and reported risks of lead- buying, it is possible to partner with a lead provider that delivers consistent value and helps your sales team close more deals.
  51. 51. • Find a company whose brand aligns with your products and services.
  52. 52. • Find a company whose brand aligns with your products and services. • Research the company’s past projects to see what kind of results they’ve delivered to other clients.
  53. 53. • Find a company whose brand aligns with your products and services. • Research the company’s past projects to see what kind of results they’ve delivered to other clients. • Make sure the company is willing and able to honor your lead targeting requirements.
  54. 54. What We Offer
  55. 55. Unlike other demand generation services, we don't limit your program's success by selling you individual marketing methods like content syndication, teledemand or email marketing.
  56. 56. Instead, we work with you to determine the ideal persona for your connections, including where in the buying process you'd like them to be. Once these facts are in order, it's our job to figure out which marketing methods produce the best results.
  57. 57. We can target audiences by industry, vertical, company size, job title, and more. This allows us to connect you to any audience with precision.
  58. 58. TechnologyAdvice Leads
  59. 59. Our lead information is verified and confirmed to be 100 percent accurate by a Technology Advisor; email addresses are confirmed deliverable, and phone number is confirmed to connect.
  60. 60. We also verify that every lead matches your targeting requirements, or you can send it back for a refund. When you’re ready for qualified B2B leads, we’re ready to supply them.
  61. 61. Visit: www.TechnologyAdvice.com/vendors/get-in-touch 877.720.3289 Have Questions? Our team of experts is ready to help! 877.720.3289 Have Questions? Our team of experts is ready to help!
  62. 62. 1. “Lead Generation Poses Biggest Challenge for B2Bs.” eMarketer. Last modified April 22, 2013. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Lead- Generation-Poses-Biggest-Challenge-B2Bs/1009829 2. “Measuring the Impact of Lead Nurturing on the Sales Pipeline.” Gleanster. Accessed August 7, 2015. http://www.gleanster.com/report/ measuring-the-impact-of-lead-nurturing-on-the-sales-pipeline 3. “The Complex Sale: Lead Scoring Effort Increases Conversion 79%.” MarketingSherpa. Last modified January 25, 2012. http:// www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/lead-scoring-effort-increases-conversion# 4. Jones, Kelsey. “Report: Poor Data Quality Impacting B2B Lead Generation.” Komarketing. Last modified February 3, 2015. http:// www.komarketingassociates.com/industry-news/report-poor-data-quality-impacting-b2b-lead-generation-1912/ 5. Adamson, Georgina. “The Well-Oiled Data Machine.” Experian. Last modified February 3, 2014. http://www.marketingsherpa.com/ article/case-study/lead-scoring-effort-increases-conversion# Sources:

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