Sales leads are the thriving heart of a successful business, and generating leads is a constant focus. Buying contact information is a popular — although sometimes frowned upon — method for addressing the continual need to land new customers. The truth is: There are pros and cons to buying sales leads, just like everything else in life. Some businesses get a lot out of the purchase of sales leads because it is a quick and easy way to expand customer reach.
Knowing what you are getting when you decide to buy sales leads is crucial to maximizing those pros and ensuring quality leads. This article will highlight three key elements to consider if you are thinking about this lead generation option for your small business.
What’s a sales lead?
A sales lead simply refers to a person or another business who may potentially become a client of your company. In our digital times, business leads can also be the data that points to particular businesses or people who might be a good fit for what your business has to offer.
Sales leads can be generated in any number of traditional ways, such as through advertising or trade shows. Another way is through interacting with companies that offer presorted demographic data that your small business can import directly into your sales pipeline.
Three Things to Consider When Buying Sales Leads
Buying sales leads can offer your business a leg up when you are just getting started and may not know where to look for your customer base. Email marketing is gaining traction as one of the more popular methods for getting new names into your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, so consistently having updated email lists is just a strong business practice these days.
B2B (business to business) lead generation is also useful for long-standing businesses that are hoping to expand. However, no small business owner should buy sales leads without first weighing the potential benefits and drawbacks.
1. Weigh the pros and cons of buying leads
Identifying the pros and cons ahead of any sales lead purchase lets you know if this investment is worth your company’s time and money. Some of that may hinge on how long you have been in business, what type of product or service your company provides, and what your budget for lead generation looks like.
The benefits of buying sales leads are manifold. You can increase your potential client base by huge figures in mere moments and tailor your marketing campaigns to fit those who really pay off. You have immediate access to psychographic and demographic information on new leads that would otherwise have taken your marketers months or years to obtain. The long-run money your company will save for not having had to spend that time is immeasurable. The reduced stress on your sales team is priceless.
Buying leads removes the hassle of finding leads and frees you up to focus on the conversion process. If you choose to utilize one of the many lead sales companies now offering monthly subscription payments, you can even customize the information you receive to the success or failure of the leads you received the month prior.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of scams out there, too. Some underhanded lead generation “companies” provide questionable data that may not have been updated for years or — worse — were never real at all. Others just list a phone number or company name and no further information about the lead in question. Sometimes, the sales lead list you get from a given provider violates laws and regulatory guidelines due to the way it was obtained.
There is also a huge opportunity for spamming in lead generation sales. Even where sales information provided is wholly honest and accurate, buying sales leads certainly costs money, and in many cases, that may be money your company could more productively spend elsewhere.
2. Figure out your target audience
The best and most effective way to reap the benefits from the buying of sales leads is to figure out your company’s target audience before proceeding to purchase. The best lead is one that already matches up with where your strongest customers have historically been found. One easy way to do this is by creating a favorability ranking of your existing customers.
List out those who were the most profitable, how much it cost your company to acquire them, and how much time that process took from start to finish. This will allow you more clarity on where you will want to target any purchase of sales leads that you may choose to make. Knowing your target audience ahead of time allows you to cull out unnecessary or empty leads that do not stand a big statistical chance of turning a profit for your small business.
3. Determine where to buy a sales lead
When determining reputable sales lead generation providers, you definitely want to do your homework. Marketing efforts are meaningless when a leads list is not accurate, and prospecting potential customers from a company that is prospecting you doesn’t help you drum up new business. Research is critical to finding out if a company has flexible options, possesses a strong client-reviewed history of success, and offers more than just a list of addresses or emails.
Remember that you are looking for quality, not quantity. There is no use in buying a list of 10,000 sales leads if only two are going to help your company make money. Use a trustworthy source when you purchase leads, and always look for service providers that allow multiple options for the kind of customer data you buy and how you pay for it (monthly, biannually, one-time fees, etc.).
Do you belong to any organizations, clubs, or other groups that center on your industry? Check them out first when it comes to buying leads because they are often much more receptive to cold email or direct mail in-network sales pitches, as this kind of sharing stands to benefit their own companies, too.
If you haven’t yet joined the local carpentry guild, graphics association, or another group dedicated to your particular branch of business, do so immediately, as this can connect you with the right people to buy leads from. LinkedIn and other professional networking sites can help you find other decision-makers and salespeople in your line of work.
Sales Intelligence Platforms
The computer age has ushered in a wealth of sales intelligence platforms that offer technology-based lead generation. The benefits here are numerous and include real-time verified emails, segmented demographics, and potential for social media insights. With social media playing an ever-burgeoning role in what companies can find out about their market, buying from a platform that keeps an eye on those trends is invaluable.
Use sales leads to boost your small business
It’s vital to note that the sales leads you’ll purchase from anyone are cold leads. You still have to do prospect research to responsibly seed any campaign toward making them your actual customers. Don’t make the mistake of generating a generic email template that you then send to all of the new addresses you’ve just purchased unless you want to hinder all of those potential client relationships.
Your approach to bringing those names and numbers into your revenue fold should be as customized as you expect the lead generation itself to be. This is where ZenBusiness can lend a helping hand. From business formation packages to professional help with regulatory compliance, ZenBusiness can assist your company in turning those new sales leads into viable clients.