September 5, 2019

Howdy Partner: Questions To Ask A Lead Generation Company During Your First Meeting

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You’re ready to start buying leads. 🙌

You’ve got a bunch of nurture campaigns set up, your funnel and pipeline have been perfected, and your sales reps are ready to start calling on some new leads. All you need is a lead generation partner.

Or maybe you’ve worked with lead gen providers in the past, and you want to diversify your lead pipeline. Great idea!

How do you know this new vendor will be the right partner? Before you ride off into the sunset with a new lead gen vendor, you’ll want to do your due diligence.

To separate the white hats from the rest, you have to ask questions. Those initial conversations can tell you a lot about what your eventual relationship will be like with your lead provider. What questions should you ask? That’s a great question. Start here:

Questions to ask a lead generation company during your first meeting

How are leads qualified?

Verification is different from qualification. If you purchase verified leads, you pay for the assurance that the lead is a real person who exists at a company. Verification can happen via LinkedIn, email, telemarketing, or other methods that ensure the contact in question does, in fact, work for the company.

Some companies purchase all their leads and hand them over without doing any quality assurance (QA) or follow-up. Others put the work in and verify their leads, sometimes several times over, before they pass them on to you. Look for a lead generation partner who is up front about where their leads come from, whether they’re sourcing them directly, pulling from an internal database, or purchasing from another vendor.

Qualified leads that have expressed their interest in your product, or given one or more qualifications toward BANT. Qualification can also come in different forms and often requires direct contact with the individual to verify interest.

So when you get on the phone with that lead gen partner, check whether you’re purchasing a list of contacts, verified leads, qualified leads, BANT qualified leads, or highly qualified leads. The pricing of each lead should reflect how qualified the lead is. The more qualified the lead, the more you’ll pay for the lead, but the less work you’ll need to do to nurture the lead.

How often and how does the team update the contact list?

Lead generation companies come by their contact lists in different ways, but the biggest indicator of the company’s quality is how recently they have updated their contact list. Those companies who sell the same information they initially purchased in 2015 without any updates can’t guarantee the quality of that information.

How many people do you know who have changed company or position within their company in the last four years? Most of your friends. The workforce isn’t any different.

Your lead gen partner should be able to tell you how often they update their contact list and how quickly they age their contacts out of the main list. Data is their product, so they better be able to answer you directly.

What’s your return policy?

We all make mistakes, and even the most diligent lead gen companies can get it wrong sometimes. You want to work with a partner who’s willing to admit when they make a mistake and who’s ready to make it right.

Even more importantly, you’ll want to ask about any situations where you wouldn’t receive a refund for leads. Gather some example scenarios from your experience or from your sales teams where leads have not fit your requirements, and ask how the partner would handle those situations. Ask these questions to better understand how the partner defines a valid lead. This can tell you a lot about what actions are expected on your end for those leads.

What education do you offer for managing these leads?

Your lead gen partner should be the experts on their leads. They should know how these leads were gathered, how many touches they’ve received, and what the next steps should look like.

The lead gen partner should be invested in your success. Both parties want the best from this relationship if it’s to go long-term. Work with a company who’s invested the time and effort into understanding its leads and who are ready to help you get to know those leads.

What follow-up steps do you suggest for the type of leads I’m buying?

In addition to giving you education on where the leads have been, your lead gen partner should have advice on how to build the most profitable campaigns to convert them. You want and deserve more information than funnel stage and company size. A lead that has been responsive to email campaigns may act differently than one that responded to telemarketing.

Your lead gen partner should be ready with sales books, best practices, and personalized guidance to help you convert as many of your leads as possible. You need to work with a group that’s just as good at marketing to the leads they’re generating as they are at gathering them.

How do you calculate the CPL?

You really need to know that your cost per lead (CPL) comes from somewhere other than a mysterious “formula” that lives in the sales manager’s head. Ask how they get to that number. This is a good question to give you an idea of why you pay what you pay, but also to test the salesperson’s knowledge of their business.

Bonus points: if you want to look even smarter, ask the salesperson what particular difficulties the lead gen partner will have to fulfill your targeting. Then ask how you might change your targeting to improve your lead volume without diluting quality.

We can answer your questions

We can help you find the right audience for your software and help you sell better to those leads. Join forces with a company that’s not afraid to answer your questions and share some best practices. Find out more about our lead generation programs today.