Lead generation issues can be broken down into three distinct areas argues Thomas Brett, Contact State’s Head of Mortgage and Lending. This blog addresses lead generation from a buyer’s perspective.
Buying leads can be a fraught process. Getting agreements in place with external partners, negotiating the cost and delivery metrics, and then convincing your development team it’s important to get the integration set up, can all cause issues. Ensuring you are being delivered safe, complaint, and converting leads can be a full-time job with duplicate and returns processes and reporting becoming a real resource issue. During my 10-year tenure in managing lead buying campaigns, I bought thousands of leads from lead generation firms, the main issues we find can be broken down into three distinct categories. These stand as a barrier to healthy buyer/seller relationships, and mutually profitable partnerships.
There are many ways lead generation firms have passed fraudulent leads to unsuspecting buyers, these few ‘bad apples’ in the market, place a burden on the reputation on the many compliant, hard-working firms who set up safe and profitable campaigns for their partners.
For example, ‘bait and switch’ where you’ll be shown a compliant customer journey, advert or landing page, only to be sold leads from 50/60 different landing pages you have no oversight of. Here shows how a lack of oversight on landing pages can land a buyer in trouble.
Of course, it may not be as complicated as this, you could just receive invented data, lots of duplicate leads, or more dangerously, leads without the correct contact permissions. All of these potential pitfalls can seriously impact the return on investment from a lead generation partnership.
One of the biggest issues I found when buying leads is the element of mistrust at the beginning of partnerships with external lead generators. Buyers worry they will start paying for leads that don’t convert or aren’t compliant which puts them at risk. Once the agreement has been made to receive leads, the buyer has no oversight on where the enquiries come from.
Sellers worry the leads they provide won’t be serviced as well as they should so insist on being paid at the front end, when it’s often much more profitable to work on a revenue share.
Integration can be a real headache. Some of the APIs (links used for the exchange of data) can be years old and very messy. With buyers busier than ever, it can take weeks or even months for the development resource to become available to integrate a new seller into your CRM system.
Typically, these API links only work one way, so the seller doesn’t receive any information once the lead has been passed over. Waiting a week or even a month for a manual report doesn’t leave any time to optimise campaigns which is integral to making profitable and long-lasting relationships with the buyers.
So how can we tackle these issues?
We need to build transparency and accountability into these partnerships if we want to make lead generation better for buyers and sellers. By ensuring a data exchange and validation platform like Contact State sits between buyer and seller, we can eliminate a lot of these problems. Data certification and a firewall removing non-compliant leads for the buyer helps build trust. For the seller, this enables real time feedback, so they know their leads are being serviced correctly, in turn, opening the door for more conversations about more profitable commission/payment options.
All of this works to increase the return on investment, only paying for compliant leads, and the real time optimisation will greatly increase the profitability of these partnerships.
And finally, one integration for all. When a buyer integrates with Contact State, that’s the last integration they need to do, removing the delay and resource issue.
Having these conversations in an open and honest environment is the first step in removing fraudulent players in the market, increasing trust between buyer and seller, and making the process smoother for all. That’s why we’ve partnered with Lead Generation World. In April buyers and sellers will come together to have these conversations in a conference which is the first of its kind in Europe.
Lead sellers and lead buyers rarely get the chance to meet openly to network, chat and debate. In 2022, we're going to change that. If you’re a buyer then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be able to organise a pass for the event.