What’s hot and what’s not in B2B sales leads lists

4 minute read

women validating a sales leads contact list on her computer screen

There are warm B2B sales leads, hot sales leads and those that are just simply not really B2B sales leads at all. So, how do you know the difference between what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to purchasing potential sales leads? Consider these three things when determining the quality of B2B sales leads:

  1. Sales leads list buying
  2. Pay more for leads unique to you
  3. Are these leads specifically interested in you

Sales leads list buying

Buying a list of companies with contact information, while it may have some value, is simply not sales leads. The number of people that call and ask if 360 Leads sells lists, and assume that their sales lead generation efforts are almost complete, is a function of list companies representing their lists as qualified sales leads. How is a B2B lead generation buyer to know that a list is not sales leads, particularly if the buyer has limited experience dealing with professional lead generation companies? We are not going to tell you not to buy a leads list as everyone needs to start somewhere and to close deals, even us, but a few things to consider is they can be costly and the accuracy of their data must be verified.

What’s the first thing to consider here? Like any good marketing or PR campaign, determine your target audience. Who is your persona? Define that and then buy your list. Try to narrow it down as much as possible to industry, job title or responsibilities as opposed to a generic B2B list. This way, you won’t pay for unqualified or uninterested leads. You can define the “WHO” by ranking your existing customers – who you favour or who you prefer to serve, their profitability and cost per acquisition and the length of time it took for them to move through the buying journey/your pipeline. From here, you can extrapolate even more, go even deeper in your research with things like demographics, industry and/or job title paint points/challenges, their personality, information sources these audiences like to read, and so on. A good lead generation or appointment setting vendor will get you the exact data that you need, to ensure quality leads.

Pay more for leads unique to you

List aggregators are commonplace, reselling the same so called sales leads to anybody who will buy them. You’ll want to evaluate the quality of the sales lead, are the sales leads unique to your company or have they been resold over-and-over again.  If you are the first buyer of those sales leads, then jump on it quickly and maybe you have a chance if the lead meets your qualification criteria. But chances are those so-called sales leads have been resold by list brokers to multiple buyers who believe they are getting bona fide sales leads, when in-fact they are getting leads that are simply warmed over. Should you decide to pay for a leads list, costs can vary based on factors such as:

  • The quantity of sales leads
  • B2B industries lists allow you to get more targeted, but they are more expensive than generic business lists
  • The nature of the data that you want, like emails and company revenue may cost you more
  • Data accuracy will cost you more. You can always clean and validate email lists via a service such as mailercheck.com

Something that you can do, after you buy a list of sales leads, you and your business development team can break up the list, make calls to clean up the list and ensure data accuracy. The lists that you buy should always be considered as a starting point to your efforts, which means that you’ll need to go through each contact to disqualify or qualify them, unless you have a system that could do this for you. For our own clients, we always validate by checking out contacts on LinkedIn, company sites or other contact verification sites to ensure the lead is human and still works with the same employer. Or, if the lead moved on and still has the same email and phone number. We do all of this upfront for our clients, get the details right and then set the appointments with qualified leads that are interested in buying their service.

Most lead list companies have monthly or annual payment models which really lends itself to having fresh, not stale, sales leads data that is more of a look-a-like to your chosen target. A good lead list company prides themselves on accuracy to ensure you get exactly what you pay for, healthy sales leads that you can reach out to and build relationships.

Leads interested in converting with you

We’re not shy about our view on the third main factor to determine sales leads quality – are the sales leads specifically interested in a conversation with your company? If the answer is they have never heard of you and you’ve never spoken with them, how can they be truly considered sales leads? The prospects become bona fide B2B sales leads when you’ve engaged with them through intent based appointment setting, digital lead generation campaigns, PR & content marketing services or other lead generation campaign activity and they have indicated their interest in meeting with your company or learning more. You can tailor your specific campaigns, calls, emails, ads, presentations to the most qualified targets. 

So what to do about it?

While list quality is a factor in building a healthy B2B sales pipeline, the best sales leads are the ones that are generated specifically for the company who wants them. Uniquely qualified B2B sales leads maximize a sales team’s efforts and can shorten the sales cycle. Why chase poor quality prospects, some of which are also being chased by competitors who have bought the same sales leads?