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Archive for February, 2012

Leads360 Lead Industry Report Released Today

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Report Recognizes Top Performing Lead Providers in a Challenging Year

By Nick Hedges

February 29, 2021 — This week at LeadsCon we proudly unveiled the Leads360 Lead Industry Report (LIR), our second annual study on the state of our industry.  The report covers how our industry performed in 2011, which lead gen firms successfully navigated last year’s challenges and what to expect in 2012.

The Leads360 LIR study involved analysis of 23 million leads and their outcomes across almost 1,500 lead buyer databases and nearly 90 surveys and in-depth interviews with lead buyers and sellers.

We often get asked why we invest so much of our time completing and sharing this data-rich annual analysis. Quite simply, research is in our company’s DNA.  We hope that sharing insight from our data can serve to help businesses improve their processes, increase ROI on their marketing investments and improve overall business performance.

We encourage you to download a complimentary copy of the report here to get the full analysis and finding, including the Lead Industry Award winners in mortgage, insurance and private sector education.

Cupid! Make me a Match, Find me a Catch!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

February 14, 2021 — WANTED! Cupid! To help create sales chemistry between prospect and agents!

Companies spend a significant amount of money marketing their services or products to drive desired behaviors in prospects. They work hard to help the customer learn about a product or service, identify with the brand promise and finally to trust the company enough to reach out. The customer finally fills out a form requesting more information and receives a call back only to get a sales rep on the phone that lacks product expertise based on their unique needs, doesn’t understand specific local requirements, etc.

For many consumer sales organizations their one goal is to get leads into the hands of producers as fast as possible, the flaw in this is they aren’t able to definitively take into account skills or attributes possessed by leads or agents that may increase conversion. Many distribution models today simply rely on pure randomness, intuition, or structural and campaign-based guidelines.

Ask any salesperson, and they will tell you an instances where they seemed to “connect on a higher level” with a lead – a connection that more likely than not led to a closed sale. Maybe a bit of Cupid luck but what if you could ensure Cupid’s magic worked more often than not, proactively matching a lead to an agent based on this hidden chemistry?

Enter skill-based routing (SBR), rigorously analyzing a sales agent’s performance against lead attributes and then matching leads with a skilled sales representative who has historically converted leads with that attribute at a higher rate.

Leads360 recently partnered with a handful of clients to develop and test skill-based routing. The result of the test was a significant improvement in agent performance with skilled reps more than doubling their conversion performance. It is important to note too that these “skilled” reps are not necessarily the best reps in the organization; by and large, these are average reps with no special performance or remarkable talents. The key is leveraging data to identify the “chemistry” and to automatically match reps with leads they are most likely to close.

Learn more about skill-based routing and download the full study here.

Study: Weekend leads convert 20% better than weekday leads

Friday, February 10th, 2012

February 10, 2021 — Are weekend leads worth the money?  More importantly, is it worth staffing weekends to take advantage of these leads?

A recent study suggests the answer to these questions is YES and YES. Leads generated over the weekend convert 20% better than weekday leads, even if you do nothing more than buy them and work them during the typical workweek. What’s more, if weekend leads are worked with the same intensity as their weekday counterparts they have an even higher chance of converting. This is according to a new study conducted jointly by Leads360 and QuinStreet that looked at the performance of nearly a quarter million leads over a one-year period.

Weekend Leads by the Numbers

Contrary to what some may think, the findings from our research suggest more serious consumers are using discretionary time on the weekend to get work done and expect a timely response from lenders.  Therefore, those lenders that staff up and more aggressively work weekend leads could gain an edge on competitors.

If a company works weekend leads with the same intensity as weekday leads, the weekend generated leads perform even better. If a weekend lead is contacted it converts 32% better, if it is quoted 51% better and if it is contacted in the first 5 minutes, it converts 100% better than weekday leads.

Despite the solid performance, fewer than 29% of lead purchasers in the study purchased more than 10 weekend leads per month and less than 4% had a significant weekend lead buying strategy purchasing more than 100 weekend leads per month.  What’s more, weekend leads aren’t getting worked as hard. Response times to weekend leads were an average of 71% slower than weekday leads.

To learn more, download the study here.

Leads360’s $15M Series B capital raise

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

by Nick Hedges, CEO & President, Leads360 Inc

February 3, 2021 — As many of you may have seen, we just announced a significant milestone in Leads360’s evolution, a $15M series B round from Volition Capital and Rustic Canyon Partners. We are very excited about what this means for our customers and partners as well as Leads360’s future and wanted to share the back story on the B round.

Why we raised the money?
Simply put, we are seeing unprecedented demand for our software, and want to capitalize on this by investing in building out our team, our product and our marketing efforts over the next several years. That’s because as our product offering and the market has evolved, what we do adds value to a quickly expanding number of companies.

Back in 2004, when Leads360 started out, our software was designed to help companies efficiently manage leads that they were buying from companies like LowerMyBills and LendingTree. Over the past few years we have seen a few things occur:

  1. Companies that were buying leads have realized they need a better approach to manage all of their sales opportunities, not just internet-bought leads. Now more than half the leads we help manage are generated by the customer organically. 
  2. A large number of companies that sell to consumers have realized that CRMs like Salesforce, Oracle and SugarCRM are extremely poorly suited to their needs. We recruit companies on a daily basis who are better able to manage their sales process with our software either instead of or alongside their existing CRM systems. 
  3. Consumer sales organizations are far more successful when their sales platform is tightly integrated with their telephony systems. Our sales telephony platform, Dial-IQ, has been exceptionally well received by the market.

What made Leads360 a good investment opportunity?

We were fortunate to have many highly-regarded investors interested in Leads360. Here are a few of the things that made Leads360 a very attractive growth company.

Sales automation for companies that sell to consumers is a large and under-served market -Leads360 is the market-leading solution

In 2010, US companies spent approximately $35B on advertising aimed at generating consumer leads according to the Direct Marketing Association. Leads360 has the market-leading solution designed specifically to help these companies to convert those leads into customers.

Companies that sell to consumers need software that helps them track, interact with and convert their prospects. Unfortunately there are very few software solutions designed to do this. While there are a lot of companies that provide “sales automation” software that provides this type of functionality very effectively for companies that sell to businesses (good examples are Salesforce, SugarCRM and Oracle/Siebel); selling to consumers is very different. Big CRM is a bad solution for consumer and small business sales teams. In a consumer sale, due to short sales cycles and a need to work a much larger volume of prospective customers per salesperson, speed of response, tight sales process definition and multi-channel prospect nurturing are much more important than they are in the business-to-business sale. Unfortunately we see a lot of companies misguidedly purchasing a CRM solution and then spending a huge amount of time and money customizing the solution to handle a consumer sales process; functionality the Leads360 has right “off-the-shelf”. With our new funding we intend to generate broader awareness among companies that sell to consumers about how our products help their sales teams be more successful at converting consumers into customers.

 Our telephony platform (Dial-IQ) has created a huge amount of value for both us and our customers
At the beginning of 2011 Leads360 released a comprehensive outbound telephony solution called Dial-IQ. We saw the opportunity to build a more intelligent dialing system than any that had previously existed using the data we had access to in the sales automation platform to place calls at the appropriate time and from the most “qualified” sales rep.

Dial-IQ has exceeded our wildest expectations in terms of the value it has had to our customers and the number of customers we have gained as a consequence of the platform.

Our average Dial-IQ customer achieves a 77% increase in conversion within 90 days of turning on Dial-IQ and about a third of our entire customer base has already opted to use Dial-IQ as their sales telephony platform.

Large enterprise customers are adopting the Leads360 platform at an unprecedented rate
We have seen a very significant increase in demand for our product among Fortune 1000 companies over the past 18 months. This is partly due to a significant re-engineering effort on our platform to deliver the functionality that very large, often highly dispersed sales teams need to be more effective. What we have built is deeply configurable, highly scalable and easily integrated into a complex enterprise-scale technology infrastructure. We wish to pursue large customers with even greater vigor on both a domestic and international stage going forward. To that end we will be expanding our enterprise marketing and sales efforts considerably and building out deeper channel relationships as a consequence of the funding.

How we chose our new investors
We’ve had an outstanding experience with Rustic Canyon Partners whom we raised our $5.25M A-round from in 2007 and were excited but not surprised they were keen to participate in our B-round. In looking for our lead in the B-round we had a pretty tight set of parameters about which investors we wanted to raise money from.

  • They had to have a singular focus on growth stage Software as a Service companies and
  • We were looking for a clear track record of helping businesses cross the $100M revenue mark.

Choosing Roger Hurwitz from Volition Capital was a very easy decision for us. He brings an amount of experience to the board about what it takes to build a world-class SaaS business that we have come to recognize as being exceptionally rare.

What all this means
We have a product that is in a league of its own at automating and accelerating sales for companies that sell to consumers by phone and email. We are very excited to have the capital necessary to make that fact common knowledge and to continue building out our world class product, team and strategic partnerships.