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Archive for the ‘Internet Leads’ Category

Working Weekend Leads Could Give you a Leg Up

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Find out how to maximize your weekend lead buys

Dec. 6, 2011 — In today’s competitive mortgage environment, working nontraditional work hours may give you a leg up on your competitors. A new study from Leads360 and QuinStreet found weekend leads perform better than weekday leads in certain key metrics.

As the mortgage industry evolves, lenders will need to adapt to meet the needs of busy consumers. Many consumers have more time on the weekend to catch up on their to-do lists and are less likely to be distracted by day-to-day responsibilities. So while it may seem like a hassle to work weekends, the opportunity may be worth it.

Are you maximizing your weekend lead buys? Attend our FREE webinar sponsored by Leads360 and QuinStreet to see how you stack up vs. your competitors on weekend leads purchased and how to properly contact and manage weekend leads based on research findings. Click here to register for this FREE webinar on Wednesday, December 14, 2020 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST!

Hey AdTech, how important is lead conversion?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

The 2010 AdTech show in San Francisco was a hotbed of on and offline marketers primarily for B2C companies. Quite simply, there is no shortage of companies that will take your money and drive clicks and maybe even leads, but do they really care what happens after that? I’m not sure that they do. In speaking with nearly a dozen marketing service providers, that incidentally offered only a slightly varied product, I found a sharp lack of concern about conversion. Well, I shouldn’t be that harsh, they care, but not that much.

Obviously if you ask about how well traffic converts, of course you can’t beat it. But in my experience the real test of quality comes in how much effort the marketer is willing to put into conversion after the lead has been generated. That means they need to care about what their clients actually do with the clicks or leads. That means they need to care about a part of the process they don’t make money from. Of course, any shrewd lead generator knows that when clients get better at this part of the process, they buy more leads; just ask Matt Coffin from LMB. But everyone I spoke to at AdTech didn’t give a “#%!!@$&” about it. Some were even quite vocal about it.

It’s sad. For us it’s sad because we aren’t likely to get referrals for their clients to use our lead management software. I can pretty much guarantee they will convert more leads and subsequently spend more money, but why would they want that. Somehow the success of the lead generation industry, and it’s embracement of lead management software hasn’t quite permeated to online marketers at large. Maybe it’s no surprise that all the lead generators decided to stop participating in AdTech; maybe AdTech is still stuck in the 90’s.

Everyone Loves a Quick Close

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The path to a successful sale is fraught with obstacles. Not a few of which are inside our own heads in the form of assumptions and erroneous beliefs.

Before we wave our fingers at the salespersons’ tendency to favor the quick close and not follow up on leads well, let’s first acknowledge that this behavior is commonplace for a reason. It makes sense. And in a world without a dedicated Lead Management Solution, it may actually be considered a best practice. What behavior am I talking about specifically? Salespersons are ‘hooked’ on the quick close. If one lead in a hundred is the one that is going to close quickly, why would you spend time on the phone with the ones that aren’t? Since the salesperson’s skill set and experience equip them to recognize when they have a lead on the line that they can close, why wouldn’t they just keep burning through calls, until they get that feeling that they have a ‘live one’ on the line? Wouldn’t you? Choosing a path other than this would mean that the ‘live one’ winds up on the line with one of the other salespeople.

Three obvious problems with basing your sales approach around the quick close are:

  1. There is a margin of error. The lead may be a ‘live one’ that can be closed, but the sales agent can’t see it
  2. It ignores the fact that 40-50% of leads will eventually close, even if they don’t close right away
  3. Slow closing leads represent 77% of total sales

If those pieces of data are not persuasive enough, consider one even more critical fact: It’s not necessary to choose one or the other. With Lead Management Software, salesmen do not have to choose between chasing the quick close and nurturing leads. By using Lead Management Software, Salesmen can turn and burn calls, while funneling leads that are not quick closers into a nurture cycle.

A lead nurture cycle serves as an automated bidirectional reminder.

  • It sends emails to the lead: “Don’t forget about this company, this sales agent, when you’re ready to buy, we’ll be here!”
  • It sends reminders to the Salesman: “Don’t forget about this lead, when they’re ready to buy, you have to be there!”

Research in neuropsychology shows that one way the human brain organizes information is by retracing the steps that lead to a desired result and trying to replicate them. Your sales agents have for so long gotten positive results by working according to the old rules: Burning through calls as fast as they can to get to the one they can close. And Lead Management Software doesn’t require that sales agents ‘learn a new way to work’. Instead, it harnesses the sales agents enthusiasm for connecting to new leads while automating the more easily overlooked tasks of following up with leads that are not immediate closers.

The new lesson that salespersons are learning while using Lead Management is this: There are a lot more deals to be closed outside of that fish that just flops into the boat.

Preparation Is Key In The Booming For-Profit EDU Industry

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Recently, LeadCritic posted an article regarding the enormous growth in the For Profit EDU sector, and how although business is good, forward thought and preparation is going to be very important. Like LeadCritic mentioned, with access to internet ever increasing coupled with the fact that the work force is actively looking to get ahead and stand out, growth is moving as fast as a freight train.

From our vantage point at Leads360, we have watched the industries we serve experience the same lifecycle again and again. We know all too well how the Mortgage industry was effected and especially know how quickly things can go from good to bad, and then to worse. Over-saturation is a common fear in growing industries, and smart companies know that even when potential business is booming, they need to prepare to weather the times when it isn’t. Companies should embrace the bountiful period, but never take anything for granted.  The point of this warning is not to scare anyone, but to bring about a call to action. This cyclical nature can be looked at as good thing, de cluttering said space, and allowing for the survival of the fittest.  The separation of the “men from the boys” can allow companies who have prepared and are following best practices to establish themselves as industry players, and can create an environment for them to continue to grow and flourish far down the road. The keys for this preparation are fairly obvious. Make sure your company is not fooled by the tremendous growth by letting standards slide. Be sure to contact leads quickly and concisely, don’t allow for precious leads to be stranded by the wayside, and utilize current technology to stay ahead of the curve. Although you may find some things unnecessary at the moment, teaching your sales force how to embrace new technology before the storm, allows for an easy transition when your company needs it most. Take heed, but enjoy the ever expanding market.

8 Tips to Buying Great Insurance Leads

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

There comes a time when companies have to start buying leads in order to jump start a new business, survive in the business they are currently in, or continue to grow and increase ROI. Even if  your company is currently generating leads they  should always aim to attain higher quality leads.

If you are an insurance provider buying leads, here are a few tips to help you purchase the best leads for your business.

1.The Lead Source: Where your lead came from is one of the most important factors to consider. Did they come instantly from a search engine, a month old sweepstakes form at the mall, the white pages etc.? Knowing the lead source should be the first objective in determining if the leads you are generating will convert to profits. If you’re buying leads from someone, make sure you know exactly how those leads are obtained. You don’t want to pay for leads that would’ve never converted in the first place, simply because of their origination.

2.The Age of the Lead: When was that lead obtain? When did that lead give up their info? Was it a year ago or 5 minutes ago? Newer leads are much easier to convert because typically the interest is still there.

3. The Cost of our Leads: The majority of the time, factors 1 and 2 will affect the cost of the lead, when it comes to attaining leads its all about the end result or  ROI. You must determine how much each lead is worth based on variables such as conversion rate and revenue per sale. There are also other factors to consider on the buying-side such as how much your competitors are willing to pay and the temperature of the lead. You should only buy leads that are worth your money AND time.

4. How many other companies have access to your leads: Do you get first dibs on them or do you have to wait a couple turns? This is a huge factor to consider.

5. What made the person give up the information: This relates to factor 1, the lead source. What type of marketing method or advertising ad was being used? Did they entice their users with incentives or prizes? Did the ad promise them the world? Do the leads even realize what they are filling out?

6. Research : ‘Google’ the company you’re buying your leads from along with terms like “scam”, “review”, “fake”, “fraud”, “cheat”, “ratings”, “listings”, etc. This will help you determine what type of company you are giving your money to.

7. How Qualified is That Lead: Was that person actively searching for your service or your help in search engines? Did it come from a form on an website notorious for providing your industry’s best information and resources? Or, did that lead come from a business owner that just wanted to download a free ebook?

8.Don’t Hesitate To Question Your Seller. The 7 tips above are all basic lead buying best practices that all dealers should be ready to address.

Use these eight tips to help you buy better leads.

For a comprehensive guide on insurance buying, insurance CRM and other methods of lead generation best practices, download Leads360′s whitepaper “Insuring Success: How to Use Internet Leads to Reach Insurance Buyers” here.

Good Luck!

Lead Scoring is Big in Education, Mortgage, Insurance; New Targus Lead Verification Integration with Leads360

Monday, November 16th, 2009

If you haven’t read the recent press release about Leads360’s integration with TargusInfo which enables on-demand lead verification from within Leads360 you should. Lead scoring and verification is relied on heavily by some of the bigger lead buyers in mortgage and education, but until recently smaller organizations were not utilizing this capability primarily due to cost. The new lead verification offering from Leads360 and Targus may change that. New leads can be automatically and instantly scored when they arrive based on phone number and address verification. Once you have this score, you can use Leads360’s lead distribution engine to prioritize follow-up.

Dupes, Dupes and More Dupes; Turn on De-Duplication Lead Management

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

About a month ago we launched began beta testing our new de-duplication management solution within Leads360. Like most of our solutions, we developed a very sophisticated and flexible de-duplication engine that can identify, merge and act on duplicates in real-time. Today we turned on the capability for our own sales team and I’ve begun using it. There are a number of uses cases where de-duplication management is useful. For some of our clients, it’s a way to identify duplicate leads sent by the same lead provider. In other cases, our clients don’t want to pay for a lead that they’ve already generated through their own website. Another use case could be simply merging multiple inquiries from the same customer. For our own sales team we use in this way:

1)       A prospect comes to the site and submits a lead

2)       Sales person speaks with the prospect and determines they are not ready to buy, changes lead to nurturing

3)       A month later the prospect comes back to the site after seeing a banner for a sales lead management whitepaper and downloads it

4)       A duplicate lead is generated

5)       De-duplication management catches the lead automatically before it gets distributed to another sales person

6)       The new lead is merged into the old lead, so all the new contact information is made available along with the original lead data

7)       The original sales person is alerted by an email that the prospect has come back into the pipeline and to follow-up

What is your challenge when it comes to duplicate leads? How do you solve that right now?

How Many Times Should You Call Each Sales Lead? Read Our New Call Attempts Study

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Here’s what our own Nisheeth Singh had to say about the study:

As you may have read on Lead Critic today, we released our newest research regarding the impact of call frequency on sales lead conversion.

To misquote a famous author: “Elementary, my dear Watson”. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s written works never actually saw this phrase although the first and second parts of the phrase were seen in close association during conversations. But I digress.

As many of you opined above and is the central premise of the paper (found here), sometimes the most obvious and logical actions are never taken by lead buyers. I don’t necessarily understand why they don’t but I do revel in the fact that it means significant upside for those that choose to engage with their leads smartly.

We conducted the study based on several million leads that our clients tried contacting over a period of many months to have as diverse a data set as possible. We studied the effects of multiple call attempts all the way to 20 and I’ve published the entire results of our study below just to whet your intellectual curiosity. Some explanation is in order:

* Column 1 denotes the call attempt

* Column 2 denotes the percentage of ‘Contactable leads’ contacted – this is key to understanding the study and is NOT the same as Contact Rate. This means that the data set excludes any leads that were never contacted. This metric is a percent of the remaining leads in our study which we define as ‘contactable leads’

* Column 3 denotes the percent improvement in the ‘% of Contactable leads contacted’ metric for each successive attempt over the very 1st call attempt

* Column 4 denotes the percent improvement in the ‘% of Contactable leads contacted’ metric for each successive attempt over the preceding call attempt

Contact    % of Contactable   Improvement       Improvement over

Attempt   leads contacted    over 1st attempt    preceding attempt


1                              39%

2                              72%                        87%                        87%

3                              83%                        114%                     15%

4                              88%                        128%                     6.5%

5                              91%                        136%                     3.4%

6                              93%                        141%                     2.1%

7                              95%                        145%                     1.5%

8                              96%                        148%                     1.1%

9                              96%                        150%                     0.8%

10                           97%                        151%                     0.6%

11                           97%                        152%                     0.5%

12                           98%                        153%                     0.3%

13                           98%                        154%                     0.3%

14                           98%                        154%                     0.3%

15                           98%                        155%                     0.2%

16                           99%                        155%                     0.2%

17                           99%                        156%                     0.2%

18                           99%                        156%                     0.1%

19                           99%                        156%                     0.1%

20                           99%                        157%                     0.1%

As you can see, the benefits of calling start trailing off pretty steeply after the 5th or 6th attempt, we chose to prescribe 6 attempts as the cut-off. I beg to defer with LeadCritic in that this is a very statistically relevant study with a data set this size and of this heterogeneity, at least at a high level. I do agree though that to get maximum benefit from a study like this, one should conduct the same study but specifically for their own sales team to understand the effect of call attempts on their contact rate.


Nisheeth Singh

Director of Strategic Intelligence, Leads360

Speed Works - The Necessity of Speed in Sales

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The necessity of speed in sales is more apparent on the internet than anywhere else. In order to maximize the results on your leads, it’s essential that companies be able to react at the speed of business. This is especially true when it comes to internet leads. High quality internet leads are expensive and cannot be wasted, making it all the more important to be the first agent contacting a lead/potential client and to do so within five minutes of receiving that lead. The first salesperson to contact a quality lead is the one that makes the sale the majority of the time, and those that can get there inside of five minutes further improve their chances.

Leads that are contacted within the first five minutes are converted at a healthy rate of 19.86%, a number that drops to 4.96 percent in the first ten minutes, 2.12 in the first 15, and continue to fall precipitously the longer it takes to contact the lead. Of course, a higher rate of conversion isn’t the only reason speed in contacting leads is so important. There’s also the fact that contacting a lead within five minutes of their completing an online application increase contact rates by over 500% when compared to those attempting first contact at the 10 minute mark. Contacting in the first three minutes also improves the rate of qualifying high quality leads to as high as 76% while only 10% reached in the first six hours can expect the same results. Finally, over three quarters of buyers wind up closing with the company that contacts them first. Beating your competitors to the punch is essential and the most effective way to convert leads into business.

The early bird gets the worm, and a sales staff that can move immediately on high quality leads is more efficient and sees much better results.  Not only will they convert their leads at a much higher rate, but they will make a first contact more often and get in ahead of any competitors. Especially with the current state of the economy, it’s essential that neither time nor money be wasted on leads that don’t convert, and the best way to convert leads is to beat your competitors to the punch and get to potential buyers in the first five minutes.