AllianceLeads started way back in 2003, with a young team and a unique skill set. We knew how to market on the internet, and we knew how to generate tens of thousands of sales leads.
Back then, we focused our marketing primarily on targeting new homeowners with products and services that people who just moved into a home would want to buy — for example, new doors, windows, landscaping, pool supplies, and home remodeling services.
As time went on, we paved our way into offering leading banks and mortgage lenders exclusive home mortgage leads.
Today, 17 years later, we’ve expanded our company into the business sector, offering lenders a variety of different leads.
Generating sales leads for businesses has provided us with a highly unique, intimate look into how companies drive their growth. With this insight, we’re able to unequivocally say that buying leads is the fastest route to growing a business.
Are we biased, being that we’re in the business of selling leads? Sure we are.
Does that mean we’re wrong? Nope!
Can we back up our claims? Yep!
To begin, let’s take a look at how businesses most commonly grow and the difficulties imposed they see with referrals, networking events, conferences, and marketing.
Nothing beats a solid referral. Absolutely nothing.
Referrals are the crème de la crème of all leads because the business does not have to do any marketing to earn a new customer. Unless the company demonstrates a complete lack of experience, that referral should be an easy win and close.
There is a transfer of trust with a referral. When a friend refers you to buy a product or service, you’re basing your decision to purchase off the confidence of that friend, not the business’s marketing.
Word of mouth, referrals, and customer advocacy are the most sought after marketing channels for businesses. Referrals close at a significantly higher rate than all other marketing channels, and there is nearly no cost to the company to receive one.
The trouble with referrals is that they’re incredibly hard to scale. The closest method to generating referrals in mass is by creating a buzz or, as the millennials like to say, go viral.
Building buzz to get something to go vial can be costly. There are marketing agencies who specialize in PR and claim to create lightning in bottles, but these engagements don’t come cheap.
Local Networking Events
Chances are, if you live in any decent-sized city, you can find a local networking event that will cater to your needs. The website www.meetup.com is entirely focused on listing networking events around the world.
Networking events are a great way to meet professionals in your local area and exchange business cards. They’re also a fun way to spend an evening if you’re sociable and enjoy chatting it up with strangers.
Networking events are not ideal if you’re a wallflower or just a bit anti-social. Additionally, in these events, it is incredibly hard to generate new business quickly. Networking is all about building relationships, which requires nurturing and patience.
Over the years, networking events have built a bit of a bad reputation. Typically, you’ll find more people looking for a job than buyers of your product. You’ll find this becomes more of a truth the older you get.
As with referrals, networking is hard to scale. There are only so many events you can go to before burning out, and the ROI is hard to quantify. It’s not so much that networking events are expensive (although entry ticket prices can add up), it’s your time cost that you need to consider.
Exhibiting at an industry conference is a terrific way to build a pipeline of new business, especially if you’ve done your research before a show and set up meetings ahead of time.
Conferences can bring hundreds or even thousands of likeminded people together all under one roof for multiple days, making an ideal situation to network with potential customers.
Plenty of businesses have grown solely through conference exhibitions.
Exhibiting at an event does not come cheap, though. The costs can add up real quick. In addition to paying the conference host for the booth space, you must supply your booth and operate your booth, which requires paying staff to travel to the conference.
It’s not uncommon for smaller companies to pay upwards of $10,000+ to exhibit at a conference.
While attending conferences can be a terrific way to drive new growth, it is a process and requires a lot of planning.
In today’s day and age, Outbound Marketing falls under two types of initiatives: Cold Email Outreach and Cold Calling.
The physical methodology behind these initiatives is entirely different, but there are significant similarities between the two.
Both require a mass volume of leads to connect with, and an excellent hook to convert. And it is with these two points where most marketers experience the most pain.
Let’s unpack the volume issue, first.
Mass emailing has its own set of restrictions, as most ISP’s restrict users from sending vast volumes of emails. Additionally, most ISP’s have tools setup that determines how well a user’s email accounts performs over time.
The ISP tracks bouncebacks when an email is not received by the recipient and bounces back to the sender. When an email account is flagged for having sent too many bounced emails, their account and even the company domain can be blacklisted.
Once a domain has been blacklisted, any emails sent will automatically land in their recipient’s spam folder.
As you can see, email marketing requires a significant amount of expertise. Making a mistake can be problematic for the business.
Many businesses who experiment with cold email outreach get their start by purchasing a targeted lead list of email addresses from a broker, which is one of the fastest ways of launching an outreach campaign.
It’s essential to keep in mind that while purchasing lead lists from legitimate brokers, the email subscribers on that list never opted into receiving an email from any other party, apart from the one where they submitted their information.
A second thing to consider when purchasing email lists is that those leads are sold multiple times, and several other businesses are marketing to that same list.
Email marketing is a terrific channel to prospect new business.
To truly embrace this channel, it’s best to approach it with a long term strategy that employs tactics that enable you with the capability to build your email marketing list from your sources.
It’s a fact among all seasoned marketers around the world; a self-generated email marketing list is a company’s most significant asset. If you’re going to invest in one channel, invest in developing a highly qualified email marketing list.
Cold calling, like email marketing, is riddled with complexities that novice marketers should consider.
For starters, compiling an accurate list of prospects is of the most importance.
Cold calling is a time-consuming process, and one does not want to waste their time calling on unqualified prospects. And just like email marketing, cold callers have only a second of their prospects’ time to capture attention. If the opening pitch lacks a hook or fails to touch a nerve with the prospect, then there is a high probability the call will end badly.
Cold calling is an art, and in addition to a highly qualified list of prospects to call on, you need a sales script that has been tweaked to perfection.
Sales scripts can only be developed from experience. And the experience is only generated by making hundreds of calls and fumbling your way into a pitch that finally has meaning with the prospect.
Cold calling is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to market a business. It’s easy to scale, and when done correctly, could land you a phenomenal amount of new business.
But getting started requires attention and resources who can build a targeted prospecting list, and develop a lethal sales script that closes deals.
Many business owners believe that they need to hire sales reps who have been trained in cold calling. Hiring experienced reps is expensive, and they typically come already set in their ways.
If you’ve figured out how to source new data, and you’ve refined your sales script, then anyone (with a good personality) can be hired to cold call on your behalf. This little known secret is how many businesses scale on bootstring budgets.
When people say “Inbound Marketing,” they’re referring to marketing campaigns that drive prospects to their business, as opposed to the company performing outreach to their prospects.
The most common form of inbound marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing.
Digital marketing used to be somewhat simple. You, the business, would build a website and pay search engines to send qualified traffic your way. If you were any good at it, you’d write compelling content so that the search engines would send you traffic for free.
But now, things are much more complex, and there are a phenomenal number of channels all vying for your advertising dollars.
While there are courses on how to perfect cold calling, email marketing, and networking, there are now degrees in mastering inbound marketing. Simply, inbound marketing is sophisticated and requires one’s full-time attention to getting parts of it right.
A few areas one should become proficient with are:
- Paid Acquisition
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Landing Page Development
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Email Marketing
- Journey and Nurturing Development
- Content Marketing
This information is undoubtedly enough to make anyone’s head spin.
Inbound Marketing is not only complicated; it’s expensive. Gone are the days of buying traffic for pennies on the dollar. And users have become ad fatigued, and a tremendous amount of creativity is required to capture their attention on the internet. And this only gets new users to your website. Should your website fail to grasp a user’s interest within the first 3 seconds of their visit, they will bounce from your site, leaving you with nothing but a single lonely stat to look at in your analytics.
Today’s inbound marketing campaigns requires strategy and thoughtfulness. A real marketing professional will consider the moment their prospects touch the brand for the very first time, down to the moment when they’re ready to convert into new business.
Expert marketers say that a user must see your brand at least seven times before they’re willing to engage on a personal level. And, if you’re selling a complex product, such as financial services, your prospect will require hours of interaction with your brand before they’re willing to pull the trigger.
Buying Sales Leads
Buying qualified sales leads is a lot simpler than employing any of the tactics mentioned above.
With a few clicks of your mouse, you could be receiving information on prospects who have expressed an interest in your service.
It’s important to understand that not all leads are created equal in lead generation. Leads take on all shapes and sizes, and it’s prevalent for sellers to call their sales leads “qualified” when they’re nothing more than ripped off information from the web.
There are two types of leads that you need to learn about: unqualified and qualified.
Unqualified leads should not be called a lead, but a cold target. Many lead generators find contact information from various places around the web and segment them based on their business type and geography.
Targeted cold call lists and email lists fall under this category. These lists are comprised of prospects who may be qualified to use your service but have not yet expressed an interest in hearing from you. And that’s the definitive reason these should not be called sales leads, but sales lists.
Once someone takes an unqualified list and puts it through a marketing engine where the prospects have stated that they’re ready to buy a product, it is when we can call them qualified sales leads.
Qualified sales leads are hot prospects who have indicated that they’re ready to buy today and have given consent to hearing more information from a seller.
Converting cold contact lists into hot prospects requires a tremendous amount of work, especially if they need a consistent, reliable flow.
There are high costs to accomplishing lead generation at scale, which is why genuinely qualified sales leads come at a steep price.
There is also a dark side in the world of lead generation, and you typically get what you pay for when buying leads. Consider this before buying leads from a new partner: if the leads you’re buying are cheap, then chances are the vendor did not invest in the proper resources that can convert a generic lead into something of value.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the lead you’re buying is being sold to you as exclusive or semi-exclusive.
Exclusive leads are just how they sound, exclusive to you, and will not be sold to anyone else.
Semi-exclusive leads are typically sold 3-5 times and come at a much lower price than exclusive leads.
There are pros and cons to buying exclusive and semi-exclusive leads.
Exclusive leads will convert at a higher rate than semi-exclusive, but they cost significantly more since the lead can be sold only one time.
Vise versa with semi-exclusive leads. You can typically purchase these at a deep discount, but chances are, you won’t be the only one calling on that lead as they’ve been sold multiple times.
If you’re serious about your business and are looking for the best opportunity to close new deals, you’ll want to opt for exclusive leads when they’re available. You’re paying a premium not to have to deal with competitors chasing down your deals.
It’s worth noting that purchasing exclusive leads does not guarantee a position where you’re the only seller calling on the prospect. Many times, the buyer may have come across a few advertisers on the web, and they provided them their contact details. When situations like this occur, that personal information may be sent to a direct lender, or it may be sold as an exclusive or semi-exclusive opportunity to other lead buyers.
While we can’t prevent people from shopping the web, AllianceLeads has developed a marketing framework to maximize the value and viability of every lead we generate and minimize the competition.
Through nearly two decades of extensive tweaking and optimizing thousands of marketing campaigns, we’ve developed a masterfully built lead generation machine that includes many of the marketing channels shared in this article.
Buying qualified sales leads is the fastest way to fill a sales pipeline. It’s true, there is a cost, but when compared to the investment of your time and resources that would be required to develop any other marketing channel, it’s merely a no brainer.
To learn more about our process and get started visit us here.