Five things to do before buying leads

Best Advice

There are many variables that can determine the success or failure of a lead generation campaign but often the most important one is missed by the majority of lead buyers and that is preparation. While it is almost impossible to achieve the perfect results for your first lead generation campaign, just 5 simple things can greatly increase your chances of success.

Set Objectives

While it may seem obvious, many lead buyers forget that leads are just a means to an end and that end is sales and revenue. Often lead buyers think about conversion rates and lead prices in abstract terms rather than how these two metrics relate to the actual overall performance of a campaign.

For example, if an adviser expects 20% of leads to convert into business and purchases 100 leads but only 15% convert into business then they may consider the campaign to have been a failure. However, the revenues generated from the 15 sales might be large enough to amount to a strong return on investment.

Advisers should look at lead generation in the context of their whole business. They should ask themselves how many cases do they need to process and then see what they need from lead generation to help achieve this.

The other thing to consider is that the objectives for an experienced lead buyer and for a novice lead buyer should be very different. As it can take at least a few weeks for a lead buyer to refine their processes, often breaking even from the first campaign is a good achievement.

Allocate an appropriate budget

The surest way for a lead generation campaign to fail is to allocate too small a budget and buy just a handful of leads. Even for products like life insurance where conversion rates can be more than 20% it is necessary to buy in volume as these figures are based on huge amounts of data.

If you buy 10 leads, the outcome of the campaign is more down to luck than anything else. You might get lucky and convert the first two leads you buy but there is also the chance that you don’t manage even to contact anybody!

As a general rule no lead buyer should take any less than 30 leads for a given product to get an accurate assessment of performance. However, for some lead products the budget required to purchase this many leads can be fairly substantial. For advisers new to lead generation the best thing to do is start off with much cheaper leads even if they aren’t what you really want to purchase as it will allow you to gain some experience with lead generation and refine your processes without spending too much money.

Plan your contact strategy

When you look at conversion data from lead buyers the most noticeable difference between those that are successful and those that aren’t are the contact rates. Fundamentally, the more consumers you speak to, the more opportunities there will be to convert the leads into business.

Studies in the US analysing millions of leads show that you are four times more likely to convert a lead that you contact within 60 seconds compared to making contact after a minute.

This means you need to be set up to action every lead as soon as possible. Many lead providers offer things like SMS alerts to allow you to follow up with every lead almost instantaneously.

The other important thing to consider is not just the speed of the initial contact but also having the time and possibly the personnel to follow up every lead until you can categorically say they are uncontactable. Industry best practice recommends four attempts each day for four days as a minimum.

Develop some simple objection handling techniques

While the rapid rise of the internet has created a whole new world of opportunities for old and new businesses alike it has also ushered in a new breed of consumer with a very specific set of behaviours. The best way to describe this new type of consumer is somebody looking for instant gratification online whether that’s being able to purchase a new DVD with just a few clicks of a mouse or getting financial advice.

One of the reasons why lead generation is so powerful is that you can capture the consumer at the exact moment they are interested in your product of service but this interest is fleeting and if you don’t make that instant connection you will often be confronted with a consumer that doesn’t want to engage. The most successful lead buyers know how to turn these consumers into sales.

Remember a mortgage lead is a consumer that has not only seen a mortgage advert online but clicked on the advert and then filled in up to 30 fields of a form to speak to somebody about their mortgage requirements so even if you hear a “no” on first contact they are genuine prospects and can be turned into valuable clients.

Use a Lead Management System

To quote a famous old adage “half of my advertising is wasted – I just don’t know which half”. Well, that may be true for many forms of advertising but this doesn’t apply to lead generation! There are many programmes that can be purchased for just a few pounds a month that can monitor your entire lead generation campaigns from lead purchase to sale with minimal effort.

They will help you maximise your contact rates but also enable you to record the outcome at each stage of the sales process. Only with this type of information can you accurately say whether your lead generation campaigns have been a success or not and whether you have achieved your objectives.

In addition many of these programmes enable you to keep in contact with your customers and all those leads you weren’t able to convert straight away which will yield incremental revenue over time which can be tracked back to the initial lead spend.

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