This article will be focused on providing advice, tips, and tactics for companies who are buying leads to optimise their lead distribution process and unlock growth. By implementing the following strategies lead distribution can be used a vital tool in customer acquisition.
What are lead distribution strategies and who can implement them?
Lead distribution refers to the processes and movement of a person’s personal data - typically someone who has expressed an interest in a product of service. The key function of lead distribution is to move this data between two separate functions within a business, usually marketing - whether this means internal or external marketing - and a sales function. Leads might also be moved between various softwares and systems with the ultimate aim of converting said interest and intent into an actual sale.
Traditionally, lead generators and lead sellers have optimised methods of lead distribution in order to enhance performance and increase the sales of leads. In this article we will focus on how the companies buying leads can implement their own lead distribution strategies to optimise performance, reduce costs, and increase conversions.
1 - Deliver the lead to the right place to make a sale
When lead generators are selling leads they typically set up a ping tree and sell one to many. Lead buyers need to approach lead distribution in the same way by:
- Sending the lead to the correct salesperson
- Sending the lead to the correct department
- Sending the lead to the correct branch
- Sending the lead to the correct system
Oftentimes, old fashioned methods of lead distribution include spreadsheets, shared documents, and various plugin systems. This can be hugely time-consuming to operate, reduces the real time delivery required to optimise sales, and provides a huge security risk to the data.
By implementing the use of Condition Sets, Rules and Lead Scoring, the lead buyer is able to automate this process, in real time, to reduce risk and improve the chance of the lead being converted into a sale.
2 - Track performance at a granular level
When buying leads - whether that means an internal marketing team generating the leads or from an external lead generator - it is absolutely vital to track every single bit of information concerning that lead.
Brands and Lead buyers need to track:
- Where the lead came from
- The ad that generated the lead
- The landing page the leads submitted on
- The form the lead submitted through
There are many benefits to collecting, storing, and being able to easily access this information (as we will discuss later in article) but first and foremost is the ability to identify exactly where sales are coming from.
By tracking at a granular level, lead buyers and brands are able to identify the individual moments that are leading to sales and adjust spend accordingly. This all requires automation and accurate reporting, but it empowers the lead buyer to make better, more informed decisions based on the data.
3 - Use lead distribution to improve speed to lead
Speed to lead simply refers to the time taken between the point a lead is generated and the point the lead is contacted. It is considered by many as the number one factor is improving conversion rates: the faster the contact time the higher the chance of conversion.
While there are new trends emerging which challenges this to a degree - the idea of scheduling times for a call, booking appointments etc. - it remains vital to act quickly when buying and contacting leads. Everything must happen in real time and this includes lead distribution. By automating your lead distribution and delivering leads to the correct endpoint as quickly as possible you can maximise the chance of conversion for that lead.
This is a vital lead distribution strategy and the very reason lead distribution systems exist.
4 - Verify and qualify all leads
In some ways this is the most simple yet invaluable of all lead distribution strategies for a lead buyer.
Buying and distributing invalid or unqualified leads is a surefire way to miss targets and eat up budgets.
Always be sure to run Verification and Qualification on all leads you buy and when applicable ensure the following:
- The lead represents a real person
- The telephone number given is correct for that person
- The email address given is correct for that person
- The home address given is correct for that person
- The person can actually be a customer
- The person is not already a customer
- The person is not a duplicate lead
- The person has not been suppressed for any other reason
While there are subtleties and nuances to some of these rules, the fundamentals must always apply: Does the person exist and are they able to be your customer?
Get this in place before distributing leads onto a sales team and transform conversion rates instantly.
5 - Ensure security and compliance
Buying and distributing leads can be a risky business IF you do not have the correct procedures and protections in place.
If you were following the regulations set out by the ICO to the letter of the law, there would be no way you deliver leads other than through a secure, military grade encryption API or an sFTP. The easiest way to do this is by using a dedicated lead distribution system such as Databowl.
Not doing this puts your company at huge risk of gigantic fines and legal action.
It is simply vital you have this strategy in place to protect yourself.
6 - Feedback results to lead sellers in real time
Whether you are working with an in-house marketing team or an external lead generator it is absolutely imperative that you feedback results to them, in real time, so they are able to improve their performance and the performance of the leads.
Without this information they will not know where to spend money and generate better leads. They will not know what good leads and bad leads look like. They will be forced to optimise their performance for leads but you want them to optimise their performance for sales.
Create a feedback loop from the sales mechanism back to where the leads are being generated and transform the quality of leads you are seeing.
If you do that an upturn in sales will naturally follow.
7 - Employ De-Duplication
De-duplication is the act of using software to identify and remove duplicate leads from your system. In the most basic of iterations the software can flag up duplicates and save you wasting money on leads you already have. This in turn cuts costs and increases conversion rates.
There are, however, certain nuances and complexities that need to be understood and accounted for using special Rules within your dedicated lead distribution software. For example, the following questions should be asked:
- What is the intent level of this individual?
- Have they re-submitted because they have new or renewed intent to buy?
- How long since they initially submitted?
- Were they contacted last time?
- Were they previously submitted for the same product / service?
- Are there now additional details? Can we append the original lead with this?
De-duplication isn’t always as simple as rejecting duplicates outright, and sophisticated de-duplication is a vital part of any successful lead distribution strategy.
Watch the Databowl guide to de-duplication:
8 - Spread your risk for better forecasting
If you are only working with a limited number of suppliers it follows that you are vulnerable to huge upswings or downswings in their performance. Neither option is actually good as it makes your forecasting volatile and unpredictable.
By working with a larger number of suppliers you are able to stabilise growth and forecast in a more predictable and reliable manner. You will be less vulnerable to sudden changes in the performance of individual suppliers and you will be able to control the process and more accurately predict results.
This strategy requires linking back to strategy 2 - Track performance at a granular level - insofar as the only way to effectively scale up and see a more constant and consistent upturn in performance when working with multiple suppliers is to be able to identify where your best sources actually are and react quickly, empowered by the data.
9 - Use a dedicated lead distribution system
Each of the above strategies can neatly be wrapped up into a single idea: you need a dedicated lead distribution system that enables you to carry out each of the other individual strategies.
Once you have this in place your lead buying and distribution will go from being a risky, unpredictable process to secure and predicable. You will be able to optimise the performance of the leads you buy, waste less, increase conversions, and see a rise in sales.
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