“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
These often-quoted words of Emerson have been a rallying cry for entrepreneurs and inventors for generations. Creating a great product or service that solves problems for clients is how businesses are built. However, growth is determined by the quality of sales leads and the skill of your sales team at converting them. Marketing strategy is a critical component of growth, but sometimes even the best marketing fails to bring in new business.
When leads dry up, many sales teams consider investing in a lead-providing platform. Understanding the timing and pros and cons of buying leads can make all the difference in your ROI (Return On Investment). To that end, we’ve assembled this guide to the pros, cons and timing of buying sales leads. We’ve also added an overview of twelve powerful lead providing platforms with a proven track record of success.
What Is a Lead Providing Platform?
In brief, lead providing platforms sell lists of prequalified leads that would most benefit from specific products/services to sales teams. Often called Pay Per Lead (PPL) campaigns, buying leads to boost your sales revenue has its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s examine those pros and cons together so you can make an informed decision.
Pros Of Buying Leads
Give Your Sales An Instant Shot In The Arm
Probably the simplest and most powerful benefit of buying leads is the immediacy of results. Many sales and marketing teams invest in Google Ads to generate leads quickly, but there are serious drawbacks.
Google Ads depend on the keyword volume funnel, the effectiveness of the landing page, and actual contact with the lead. That can mean a long wait for results and money down the drain with little to show for it. PPL eliminates the majority of these problems by cutting out middle steps that even the most aggressive ad-buying campaigns cannot.
Easily Measured ROI
All you need to do to calculate your ROI from a PPL is divide sales revenue generated by the cost of your PPL. That’s it. You may want to subtract soft/hard costs for the most accurate calculation, but that is a matter of preference. PPL is by far the simplest sales tool when it comes to calculating ROI.
Maintain A Consistent Lead Stream
Hiring a PPL service puts multiple channels to work generating leads for your business. This process lends itself to consistency over time, and thus you maintain a steady stream of leads instead of waves.
Reasonable Lead Prices
PPL services have an excellent understanding of the value a converted lead carries for their clients. As an example, let’s say a client values the value of a successfully converted lead at $1,000. Let’s also assume that these clients convert at a rate of 10%.
From these numbers, it is reasonable to assume that the lead should be valued at less than $100 (no business breaks even all the time). Lead generation services know that their clients want a respectable ROI attached to their product and calculate accordingly.
Most businesses consider a 3:1 minimum ROI, and ideally, they want a 6:1-10:1 ROI for growth purposes. That puts the cost per lead at around $30-$50. All in all, a very reasonable price for new business and growth.
Lead delivery for PPL can take many forms in the internet age. Call forwarding or transfer, email, SMS and social media messaging are all convenient and cost-effective options. There are also options for exclusive or non-exclusive leads, each with its pros and cons.
Exclusive leads mean you are the sole receiver of the lead, and you can attempt conversion without competition. Non-exclusive leads are shared with 3-5 other PPL subscribers, and they typically come at a reduced price due to competition. You have a choice whether it’s worth the cost to avoid competition.
Cons Of Buying Leads
Reduced Lead Quality
It is an unfortunate statistic that paid leads tend to have the lowest conversion rate when it comes to any marketing campaign. PPL services can only stay viable if they generate leads in mass quantities.
This means PPLs need an aggressive presence in every digital marketing channel they can force their way into. The people they bring in often have no idea what they were signing up for or their needs. This lack of qualification often brings in more leads that don’t pan out than those that do.
Loss Of Time For Dead End Leads
Flooding your sales funnel with poor quality leads means you will hit many dead ends before finding a lead that converts. All the while, you are investing valuable time and effort into contacting and converting potential customers. Your personnel end up occupying their time qualifying and eliminating leads when there is a high probability most leads won’t convert. In sales, lost time spent on dead ends is lost money.
Sudden Lead Stream Interruptions
There is always the chance the PPL provider you subscribe to will suddenly become insolvent and shut down. The reason behind this is that lead generation programs usually offer refund policies on bad leads. Many PPL providers end up dedicating massive resources to addressing these service issues.
For many, the cost of refunds eventually overtakes their onboarding new customers, and they opreate at a deficit. When this happens, it becomes less expensive for them to cut their losses and shut down. PPLs that shut down leave their customers hanging, and for many sales teams this can lead to a sudden halt in leads.
The most significant drawback to using any lead generation service is few of them offer a free trial period. Worse still, you can’t sign up for a few leads before deciding to commit more time and money. New clients are contractually obligated to either a set quantity of leads (anywhere from 50-100), or a six-to-twelve month term. If you are unhappy with your PPL provider’s results or service, you are stuck with them until your contract is up. Otherwise, all you can do is pay an early termination fee or hope they go out of business.
Top 12 Lead Providing Platforms
Now that we have thoroughly examined the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing leads from a PLL provider, here are our reviews of the 12 most powerful lead-providing platforms for your business to buy leads.
Overview: A simple lead generation platform trusted by companies like Amazon, Google, Hubspot and more. Uplead offers plans with set credit amounts that can be traded for data, with additional credits costing fifty cents apiece.
- Extensive business network connections
- Provides targeted lists using verified data
- Users can search specific contacts at specific companies
- Some contact details may be out of date
- Lead costs vary by quality and exclusivity
- Monthly subscription service starts at $100/month
Overview: This provider offers a lead purchasing platform that can assist businesses of any size and scale to buy leads. All lead lists downloaded can be converted to.CVS files to use offline or on a local device.
- Excellent rate plans
- Simple and easy to use
- Free trial
- No complimentary services, features or add-ons
- Customers have reported client services issues
- Lead data is frequently incorrect
3. Lead Roster
Overview: This PLL provider offers purchasing and selling of curated email lists. Marketing and sales teams often choose this platform to acquire specific/targeted mailing lists on a single-transaction basis.
- Users can browse leads by industry or industry sector
- Lists are renewed and refreshed regularly
- Little to no quality control
- No software/site extras
- Some users have reported issues with lead accuracy
Overview: B2B customers seeking PLL services in the USA often choose Salesfully. This versatile purchasing platform offers leads for B2C and B2B customers.
- Simple interface
- Downloadable history for purchase tracking
- Unlimited list searches on a no-contract monthly plan
- Search engine has few features
- Clients have complained about a lack of lead accuracy
Overview: A unique provider, BuiltWith allows their clients to determine what technologies were used to power various websites. Tech companies with products and services purpose-built for these technologies can then use their information to narrow their lead list.
- A cornucopia of technical information about any website
- Functions with existing lead generation and CRM integration
- An established lead generation platform trusted by major corporations.
- Experience and expertise with web development technology is required to make sense of lead data
- Subscriptions start at $300 per month for basic service
Overview: Quality leads at prices any business can afford is what Leadrop is all about. In addition to various cost-cutting/savings measures, they also allow clients to sell leads through their services, too.
- Offers leads from many industries and business sectors
- Vague about pricing
- Some clients have complained about inaccurate lead data
7. D&B Hoovers
Overview: Dun & Bradstreet has a storied history in the business world, and D&B Hoovers is their online platform for sales acceleration. They provide sales analytics solutions and lead generation services, in addition to many other services for a higher subscription cost.
- Records are updated and refreshed regularly
- D&B lists are widely recognized for their high-quality data
- A wide variety of search filters
- The interface is not especially intuitive
- Search fields are not always explained
- Few data extraction search filters
Overview: For sales teams searching for direct contact numbers for professionals, Easyleadz is going to be your best choice. Their software parses social media and websites for phone numbers for you, storing them as contact lists.
- One-click installation
- Up to date, accurate contact information
- Excellent for initiating direct contact
- Limited functionality
- Occasionally correct inaccurate information
- Fairly high monthly subscription costs
Overview: Sales and marketing professionals who want to reach decision-makers can have a tough time connecting with the right people. Aeroleads is a web extension that allows anyone to easily add prospects directly from social media or website profiles.
- Easy to install and use in Chrome web browser
- Scans sites using a wide range of data points
- Information is generally reliable since it is from lead published sources
- May not work as well when searching industries that don’t publish contact information
- Data collected is not always accurate
Overview: This provider focuses on helping marketers and sales teams of all sizes to prospect at scale. As the name suggests, their solution is cloud-based and offers custom list requests and lead purchasing.
- High-quality lead generation
- Excellent customer service
- Lead purchasing vendor is highly responsive
- Few available case studies
- Lead delivery can be slow
- Bounce rate sometimes increases dramatically
Overview: Need contacts for networking and lead generation? Leadiro provides access to a vast database of contacts in many industries. Sales professionals can use this database to identify, reach and engage with prospects quickly and accurately. They also provide limited PPL services for an additional fee.
- Fast and easy to use
- Plenty of features and functions
- Allows for easily refined searches for better accuracy
- Dated user interface
- Some customer complaints about lack of communication
- Additional complaints about data accuracy
Overview: A business contact database designed to help businesses target sales lead lists, DiscoverOrg puts your team in touch with decision-makers. Like many PPL providers, this platform is subscription-based.
- An excellent resource for mining high-level information
- Thorough and diverse information for each lead
- Exceptional features and functionality
- Some complaints about pushy sales tactics
- Some concerns regarding data accuracy
Buying leads is a great way to increase sales revenue and drive growth. There are pros and cons, but most sales teams can derive a lot of benefit from the right lead-providing platform. Our reviews of the top twelve platforms should get you started on your lead buying journey. Explore what service is the right choice for your business, and start buying leads to build a stronger business.
Do you need help increasing your revenue and lead conversion? Contact Selling Revolution today and talk to the sales experts.