Buying business leads: the advantages, the dangers and how to do it successfully

Posted on: June 25, 2021

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Category: Prospecting

Buying business leads: the advantages, the dangers and how to do it successfully

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In the N64 version of Mario Kart, on the legendary Rainbow Road circuit, there was an outrageous shortcut near the beginning of the race. 

Positioning your driver to the far right of the track, you’d perform a sharp turn and aim your driver at the opposite wall. If you timed it perfectly, in the split second before crashing, you could jump over the barrier and sail through the air, landing gracefully on a lower section of the track.

The shortcut meant you skipped out about half of the course, almost guaranteeing your victory. However, it was high-risk. Get the jump wrong and Mario would plummet into the darkness. You would be playing catch up for the rest of the race, desperately launching red shells in an attempt to finish on the podium.

Buying leads can be a similar story. You either take a great shortcut, overtaking your competitors and their time-consuming inbound leads. Alternatively, you fall into the darkness of dodgy practices, compliance nightmares and reputational damage, forever regretting your choices.

So you’ve turned to Google and searched for ways to buy leads. The bad news is it’s a risky business: if you get it wrong, you too could be plunging into the darkness like an overconfident Italian plumber on a go-kart.

The good news is that most B2B companies can buy leads, so long as they avoid a few common pitfalls and make sure they ask the right questions. And luckily for you, this article will outline both.

Why you should buy business leads 

First, let’s cover off the advantages you bring to the table when you buy leads.

Reps can sell more

A quick stat attack: sales agents spend 20% of their time writing emails, but 40% of reps cite prospecting as the hardest part of their job. Buying sales leads allows them to book back to back calls and meetings, focusing on what they do best.

Lower cost per leads

Buying leads, or outsourcing lead gen, means bringing in an expert. At Sopro, we’ve been perfecting systems, processes, frameworks and more in the field of email prospecting for six years. This is what we do – of course, we are going to have the edge when it comes to bringing in high-quality leads at a cost-effective rate.

Increase capacity quickly

Inbound lead generation can be a slow process that requires expertise as well as budget and resources. Buying businesses leads allows your sale team to ramp up revenue generation at speed. If you find the right lead generation service to partner with, you can scale that capacity as and when you need it.

Sell more without hiring more

If you buy leads (or at least, the right leads), you can not only quickly increase capacity but you can do it without the long term investment of new employees.

This is particularly true for small businesses, which may not have the stability or cash to commit to building out the marketing function. By buying leads, they bring in sales opportunities first and can build marketing once more customers are signed up.

The dangers of buying leads

Now while all that can sound great, there are many pitfalls too: you can’t just buy B2B leads from anyone. If you are looking to buy leads and pick the wrong provider, you can do real damage to your brand.

Purchasing leads often means buying contact information. Whether that’s phone numbers or email addresses, there is a world of difference between one list of potential leads and another.

Good quality lists aren’t for sale

Buying a lead list is generally a bad idea:

  • There’s a good chance the email addresses on it have already been contacted repeatedly.
  • There’s also a good chase they’ve been deemed extinct, non-responsive, outdated, have unsubscribed or are spam traps
  • Most lists have outdated lead information: with any a static database, half of the data is obsolete within 18 months.

The contacts are unqualified

Buying leads via email lists is the equivalent of buying fake followers on social media. You might be able to get a million contacts cheaply, but they are not going to generate business so are ultimately worthless. 

They don’t know you, they aren’t targeted, they won’t respond and you won’t be generating leads.

You’ll harm your email deliverability and IP reputation

You’re sending out untargeted messages to people who don’t know you: you’ll be marked as spam, and then your email deliverability takes a hit, impacting you further.

You could be breaking GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation is a complex world that many business owners and teams don’t always understand. There is a simple point here though: buy leads from the wrong place and you might not know if the data is compliant. And that could spell trouble, for you and the provider.

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How to buy leads successfully

Despite all those dangers, you can still buy leads successfully. You just need to ask a few questions and set some quality guidelines.

You can specify your ideal customer

First up: all leads you buy need to be highly targeted, to your specifications. You should be able to contact key decision-makers that match your ideal customer.

Any data, lists, or service you employ should have multiple targeting options, including: 

  • Job titles
  • Industries
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Technology

The data is live

This is a really important one. On average, people move jobs or roles every three years. Businesses go bankrupt, new start-ups are founded.

At Sopro, we believe this is so important that we don’t have a database. Each time a client briefs us on their target audience, we go out and build a brand new audience, collecting and verifying contact information just for them. It’s a more expensive way to get contact information. But compare that to buying a list that’s a couple of years old – with up to half of those contacts now out of date – and you can begin to understand how that translates into market-leading results.

You don’t burn through your audience

If you find a supplier with good data, and they can target the right people, you may be on to a winner. 

But if they sign you up to a high-value contract with the promise of a deluge of qualified leads, you might want to pause long enough to get your calculator out.

Let’s say your total addressable market is 10,000 contacts. If you send 120 emails a day, you’ll go through that list in four months. Before long, these people are going to start getting tired of what you have to say. And then you don’t have anyone left to sell to.

Are your leads qualified?

With email prospecting, our leads start with precision targeting and live data. But before we hand any contacts over to you, another crucial step happens.

When we are handling a sales outreach campaign, there is one aim: to schedule an appointment. The email is just a short introduction to your service or product, and to ask if they are interested enough to jump on a call to learn more.

We only pass on positive replies to your sales team. By replying, our leads qualify themselves.

If you are looking to buy reliable, high quality leads, Sopro is an award-winning lead generation service rated 4.9 on Software Advice.

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