You should be prepared for every call before picking up the phone. Be proactive and learn everything you can about a consumer before cold-calling him or her. Research is a crucial part of every marketing strategy and will allow you to tailor your sales pitch to specific individuals. Entrepreneur Magazine notes you can just use a basic Google search to find some background information. In most cases, you’ll be able to find social media profiles and blogs so you can learn personal details that will help your sales representatives make successful calls.


There are plenty of companies out there who are happy to take your money in order to provide you with what they promise are seemingly inexhaustible numbers of companies and contacts for you to call. While I don't suggest that you never pay for leads, you should always look at your return on investment (ROI) after the fact and make sure your money was well spent. For each list, how many sales opportunities did you create and how many deals did you close?


Each lead generation technique usually has a tradeoff between quality and quantity. For example, a form on the company website that visitors can fill in to request a call back will generate high-quality leads – these visitors are very likely to buy since they're interested enough to want to hear more – but probably won't generate a lot of leads. On the other hand, a lead list that's based on a newsletter subscription list from another company may generate a lot of leads, but they won't be nearly as interested or qualified. This tradeoff is another reason why companies are wise to use many lead generation methods.
Service qualified leads are contacts or customers who've indicated to your service team that they're interested in becoming a paying customer. An example of an service qualified lead is a customer who tells their customer service representative that they'd like to upgrade their product subscription; at this time, the customer service representative would up-level this customer to the appropriate sales team or representative.
At the end of the day, what’s most important is finding a lead gen provider with a proven track record, whose programs align with your sales and marketing needs. That might be us, or it might be one of our competitors. If you’re still in the research stages, deciding whether or not to outsource and where to invest your budget, check out some of our blog resources for demand gen marketers: 

If you are fanatical about having the most comprehensive listing of companies available, then Hoover's may be for you. It consists of what is probably the largest datatabase of business in the world, a mind-boggling 65 million+ companies and 85 million+ individuals within those companies. Hoovers is a standard fixture at many professional sales organizations and the premium version lets you create lists and have access to more information that the free version.

BoomTown is missing a lower-cost option for smaller agencies and individual agents. Even though their lead generation marketing efforts and CRM combine the best use of communication and technology to produce a great product that stands out among real estate lead generation companies, BoldLeads or Real Geeks might be a better choice if budget is an issue.


Your content is the foundation of your inbound marketing efforts. According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. Think of content as the fuel to all of your marketing campaigns from email to social. Create content that is impactful to your audience and drives sharing. Through creating high quality content, you can begin to gain your buyer’s trust and start breaking through the noise.
This mainly happens through digital channels, using inbound marketing techniques and a little bit of old-school outbound marketing (more on that in a minute). Buyers today do so much online information gathering on their own, they’re not so keen on listening to traditional sales pitches. Instead, companies have to meet prospective buyers on their own turf: the internet.
Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.
Sales pipelines are only as good as the leads you put into them. Fill your pipeline with quality leads, and it’ll reflect a sales team that’s actively closing deals and generating revenue. Fill the pipe with unqualified leads, and it’ll show sales reps working hard with not much to show for it because the leads are actually nowhere near ready to buy.
Don't use CTAs to drive people to your homepage, for instance. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product (and perhaps not an offer like a download), you should still be sending them to a targeted landing page that's relevant to what they are looking for and includes an opt-in form. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.
Your content is the foundation of your inbound marketing efforts. According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. Think of content as the fuel to all of your marketing campaigns from email to social. Create content that is impactful to your audience and drives sharing. Through creating high quality content, you can begin to gain your buyer’s trust and start breaking through the noise.
If you are looking for a ready made list of companies with contact information, email address and phone numbers all set out for you to start calling then there is a good chance that you will have to pay for such a list (anywhere from 25 cents to over 1 dollar per contact). Apart from the expense, pre-built lists are often outdated and contain a lot of irrelevant information that may end up wasting time.
“We have found Zillow leads to be consistently strong compared to those from other sources. Zillow almost always provides complete information, which lets you know the information is coming from more motivated buyers. Making this investment frees me up to spend more of my time serving clients, rather than chasing down hundreds of leads that may never turn into sales.”
Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.
Unsurprisingly, the more revenue a company has, the more leads they generate. The differences are most drastic at the highest and lowest end of the spectrum: 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month, whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leads per month.
Market Leader stands apart from BoldLeads and Real Geeks because they do not resell leads to different agents in the same location. Zillow Premier Agent offers the same lead count guarantee as Market Leader, but the 48-hour lead return option of Market Leader enables agents to preview contacts and give them back. No other lead generation company on our list allows contact returns.
Leveraging a lead generation and management system can help you increase conversion rates — how many leads turn into opportunities and, ultimately, sales. As crazy as it sounds, when you’re just starting out and can count your customers on one hand, dropped leads are a real problem for growing businesses. Lead generation software can help not only with finding new leads, but also with keeping track of who they are, how to reach them, and how you found them in the first place.
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