As Bob Dylan once said, “The time’s they are a-changin.” The digital-information age has given power to the buyer like we have never seen before in human history. Information is leverage and as a society we have stood up and said we aren’t paying for things we aren’t using.
Cable companies have asked us for years to buy big gawdy packages with channels we never watch. Our response was to cut cords. The music industry wanted us to buy full albums even if we only enjoyed a few songs. iTunes and other streaming services liberated us so that we could buy just the music that we wanted. In the case of sales organizations that were paying for lead generation services, they were paying for time spent as opposed to the results. The answer was the pay per lead model.
Sales is a results-oriented game. Why should the very foundation of it, lead generation, be any different? The answer my friends, is that it shouldn’t.
Okay, let’s start from the beginning and make sure everyone is on the same page from jump street. Lead generation is as it sounds, a process of creating leads for your sales pipeline. It can be done in numerous ways but to generalize, it’s a series of sales and marketing tactics that end up with qualified leads in your pipeline.
The parameters if this will depend on your company essentially you are looking for prospects that qualify for you to sell to. Most organizations will have separate teams for different territories, companies of different sizes, and even different products lines or services. You also want the true decision makers contact information. This is very important and cannot be stressed enough. Many salesmen waste their time selling to the wrong people. The best of the best does not begin sales conversations unless they are talking to the right person. Lastly, you want current and correct contact information. The right email address, the right office address, the right phone number, and so on. This may sound silly and obvious, but you also want to know if this business is still actually in business. Without all of this information, the leads are not qualified, and they are a waste of your time.
While some organizations keep lead generation in house or even the responsibility of the individual salespeople, some look to lead gen firms to handle this task. Shipping out this task is a way to free up your salespeople to just sell while still having an influx of leads.
The problem here is that when you move any business process out of house, you are conceding a certain level of control. This task is no longer being done under your watchful eye and you can’t guarantee the efficiency of the process. Essentially, you are paying for the time to produce these leads which may be subject to inefficient processes from the firm. Sure, you’ve done your due diligence to partner with the best firm you could find, but in the end, there is only so much that you can really know.
There was a major need for a solution here.
The pay per lead model was the answer to this problem. By paying by the qualified lead, your business receives quality assurance that the firm you are working with is working efficiently to deliver quality leads. It also incentivizes the lead generation service to work with results-oriented mindset that focuses on what you need. It’s a win-win for both sides.
Sales is not some easy game of who has the most charisma and or the thickest skin. The best salespeople are almost surgical with their approach to their profession. They are tactician’s that understand that every step of their process is invaluable to the one after it and the one before. One weak link in the chain can take down the whole process.
Lead generation pumps the blood to the rest of your sales process. It has to be quality and it cannot be a blackhole for your money. Going away from the in-house approach makes sense for many companies but you should utilize pay per lead to guarantee your money is being properly spent. Sales is a results business and lead generation should be no different.