For many different kinds of businesses, selling sales leads may be a lucrative undertaking. Learning how to sell leads could be a very useful ability, regardless of whether you manage the marketing operations for an insurance company and need a way to sell surplus lead volume or own a marketing agency and are seeking for a new source of income. You might even wish to launch a lead generation business whose sole source of income is the sale of leads. Learning how to sell leads gives you the chance to help customers in several high-demand markets as well as an outlet to grow your business.
You are in the right place if any of these situations describe you. Below are some pointers and strategies for selling your leads generation services.
1. Organize Your Lead Offering
If you want to sell leads, you must first decide precisely what your offering will be. Choosing one or more lead verticals to operate in falls under this category. You must determine the precise lead fields that will make up your lead type once you have chosen one or more lead verticals. These are the fields you’ll record on your lead form and give to your lead purchasers along with each lead’s contact information.
After you establish your lead verticals and the lead fields to capture, you need to decide what your exact lead offering will be. This means that you have to decide if you plan on selling leads in “packages” (e.g. 100 leads/month) or if you want to invoice your buyers for each individual lead they purchased in the previous week or month. You also have to decide whether you will sell leads exclusively (one buyer per lead), non-exclusively (multiple buyers per lead) or both and what pricing structure you will use for each.
Every lead seller is a little different, so if you are not exactly sure how to handle any of these options, let us know.
2. Acquiring Leads To Sell
Once you have built a framework for your lead offering, its time to get the leads that you plan on selling. There are two main strategies for acquiring leads.
- Generating Leads: This is the most common lead acquisition strategy and the option most marketing experts choose. However, this post will not dig into any specific lead generation strategies. All lead generators have different strengths and opportunities so a lead generation strategy that works for one business may not be as effective for another.
- Buying Leads: Many lead sellers resort to buying leads to supply or supplement their lead flow. Buying leads in real-time from another lead seller does not require you to maintain your own marketing efforts, but instead allows you to use your network of buyers to find a service provider for each lead you purchase. However, it is important to remember that if you are purchasing leads only to resell them, it is in everyone’s best interest that you provide additional value to the process.
- Many lead buyers utilize a call center to reach out to their purchased leads and verify their information and update any conflicting information before selling the lead to a buyer. This is known as call center verification. Other companies utilize a call center to contact the lead and a lead buyer at the same time, introduce the lead to the buyer and transfer the live call to the lead buyer. Each of these options provides additional value to the process, making your service stronger, improving the experience for the lead and ensuring that you are not simply a middleman that can be easily replaced.
- What To Avoid: It is also important to qualify exactly what we mean by getting leads. We are not talking about scraping the internet or databases for email addresses, purchasing cold email lists or anything other than real-time lead acquisition. If you are working with old data or lead details that were not recently provided by the leads themselves in exchange for a specific service they requested, then we cannot help you. Lead selling requires fresh, targeted, real-time leads.
3. Build A Buyer Network
Once you have established your lead offering and determined exactly how you will acquire your leads, your next step is to assemble a network of buyers to purchase your leads. This is one of the most important and difficult steps when building your lead selling process. If you plan on running a long-term lead selling business, be prepared to dedicate much of your up-front and ongoing efforts to finding and working with your lead buyers.
- End Service/Retail Lead Buyers: When selling leads, the greatest clients are end service providers (also known as retail buyers). These are the buyers that plan on reaching out to and making a sales pitch to the leads themselves. Because they are the end service providers, retail buyers are the highest paying lead buyers on the market, but they are oftentimes limited geographically or have set lead needs that sometimes limit the leads you can sell to them. In the insurance verticals, these buyers are insurance agents. In the home improvement industry, these buyers are contractors. It is important to know exactly who you are hoping to sell leads to before starting your buyer research.
- Lead Aggregators/Wholesale Buyers: Lead aggregators (also known as wholesale buyers) purchase leads with the intention of re-selling those leads to their own network of buyers. Although lead aggregators pay less than end service/retail lead buyers, they can still be very valuable clients. They are typically easier to find and begin working relationships with and can provide a wider lead coverage than your retail buyers alone can.
- What about a lead buying/selling network? There is no standard lead network or exchange that allows you to “plug into” and sell leads through. Although many companies have tried to organize this, there are several reasons that this typically fails. The first is that lead networks take a cut of every lead that is bought and sold. This cuts into the already small profit margins that exist in the lead industry.
The second large issue with communal lead networks or lead exchanges is lead ownership. Most lead exchanges are built by lead generation companies or lead sellers. This means that the very data that you are pushing through the network is extremely valuable (even vital) to the lead network provider. In essence, anyone posting leads into a lead exchange is willingly providing their leads to what amounts to a competitor, simply hoping the exchange alerts them of a sale and compensates them accordingly.
This is typically the reason lead networks fail. This completely strips the lead company of any of its selling power and forces them to rely on an external system to get the best possible price for each lead. For this very reason, the biggest and best lead companies build their own buyer networks even if it starts with just a handful of different buyers.
How will you bill your client after they purchase a lead? Setting up a structured billing arrangement is essential as well. It should specify whether you will bill for leads in real-time, issue invoices at the end of each week or month, or even start automated re-billing based on a time or trigger basis.