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Buying B2B Outbound Leads: Why Your Leads Cost 125% More Than You Think

Cost of B2B Leads

Sourcing new outbound leads is never-ending for sales and marketing. Even these days of inbound marketing, prophesies of cold calling being dead have not come true. To fuel the engine of fast sales growth, all prospecting channels are needed.

Leads typically come from several sources:

  • Internally-generated leads:  Referrals, word of mouth, events, etc.
  • Intelligence-based leads:  Newsfeeds, industry alerts, personnel changes, etc. InsideView is one good example of this, but we believe LinkedIn also fits this mold (the evolution of this is exciting)
  • Special or vertical lists:  Trade associations, commerce groups, organizations operating with a geographic charter
  • Compiled lists:  D&B and InfoGroup, including credit files

As any sales and marketing manager knows, simply dumping more records on a sales rep is a thing of the past. Lead nurturing and scoring are the norm, where prospects are nurtured until they raise their hands as hot sales qualified leads. They are then forwarded to sales. In addition, predictive modeling should be part of the mix, to identify the most likely prospects based on “ideal customer” profiles.

Why Outbound Leads Cost More Than You Think

Outbound prospects at the top of the funnel – the ones you might pay for – are not sales ready. Further criteria and filters must be added which reduce the number of truly viable sales-worthy leads.

Let’s look at how the leads get whittled down in the pipeline. We call this the “prospect waterfall”:

Sales Funnel FOI

The net result is, if you pay for leads and then “throw away” 55% of the records, which is typical from our experience,

your true list cost goes up by almost 125%!

Add processing costs, sales rep fatigue and opportunity costs, and you can see why your prospecting results and ROI are not what you had hoped for!

For best ROI, pay only for what you use.

If your current processes throw away prospect records that you paid for before the sales reps see them, it is time to reassess your lead generation program. Or as one of our clients put it, “stop buying leads until you figure it out.”

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