Alternative to Buying Leads: Sales and Marketing Teams

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Zack Williamson

Sales teams perform better when they’re doing what they’re best at – closing deals. Businesses have been buying leads to expedite their sales efforts for years. However, some companies need other methods. Smaller companies without the resources to buy leads, or even bigger companies, need alternative methods to obtain leads or risk losing to their competitors.

Generating the leads yourself is a viable option for those who don’t wish to purchase leads. Having your own remote team dedicated to generating leads takes the pressure off your main sales team and allows them to close deals in a much quicker time frame. An alternative to this could be a hybrid lead generation/sales type of role where the main task is lead generation but they can also do sales as well.

Organic leads can be a reliable way to make a sale. They can be an alternative to buying leads as long as you’re generating them fast enough or by supplementing your organic leads with paid ads as opposed to directly buying the leads. A dedicated marketing team or social media specialist would help increase traffic and drive potential leads up.

In-house Lead Generation

Instead of buying the leads from a third party, you can hire remote professionals to generate leads for your sales team. Hiring a dedicated lead generation specialist, or an entire team of them, means that you have people dedicated to gathering warm leads who won’t be distracted by other tasks.

This is a huge bonus for your sales team as they won’t be bogged down by having to do cold calls, instead, they get a list of warm leads that let them go from call to call, increasing the number of deals they can close in a day.

An alternative to lead generation specialists would be remote sales specialists who also do lead generation. While this advice seems to counter the previous idea of being more productive by separating lead generation and sales, hiring cost-effective remote staff that can do both would mean having more flexible staff offshore, while your in-office team is more specialized. The benefit these types of “sales” positions offer is the ability to fill in for a sales representative in the event that you’re short-staffed for the day.

Generating Leads With a Marketing Team

A well-versed marketing team will build your company an online presence that will bring in warm leads. By knowing your target market, your marketing team can focus on creating content tailored to that demographic.

A marketing team can build a website that caters to your target market. Specific pages can be built for a higher conversion rate. A proper SEO strategy will pull more traffic to your website while content that addresses your audience’s questions or concerns will get more people to trust your brand.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your website rank higher on search engines, meaning they appear higher on the page and on earlier pages. If you search the term “running shoes” Nike appears first on Google, meaning their SEO strategy is more efficient than other running shoe companies.

The top 5 organic search results on google make up 67.60% of all clicks on the first page, meaning if you aren’t ranking in the top 5 of a keyword, chances are your website won’t be seen.

A more active strategy for bringing in leads is to do paid advertising. Your marketing team can create targeted ads for your intended audience. Sponsored results account for 65% of clicks on search queries with high commercial intent keywords, compared to the organic results, which account for 35% of total clicks.

To put it simply, when dealing with highly searched keywords, paid ads have almost double the number of people visiting them. These paid advertisements do need to be monitored, without proper management even a proper ad won’t succeed.

In addition, AB testing ads to see what type of content elicits action from your target audience is important in order to pinpoint what kind of content your future campaigns will include. This is important as higher volumes of page views equals higher chances for warm leads or even a conversion or sale.

Social Media Specialists

Why does social media get its own spot separate from marketing if it’s a part of marketing?

It’s just that big of a deal. The impact of social media on today’s society is huge. Marketing departments all over the world in companies big and small take advantage of social media platforms in order to connect directly with their audience.

A dedicated social media manager or a full-blown social media team allows for direct interaction with audiences. Companies can use these platforms to survey their audience in regard to future moves.

The fast-food chain Wendy’s used social media to its advantage back in 2010 in order to find out what menu adjustments their customers wanted. They found out that customers were more health-conscious and were more inclined to have natural fries with sea salt as opposed to the traditional salt being used on fries at fast-food restaurants. After a test run in 3 US cities, the fries launched as an official menu item with great success.

Wendy’s is now known for its use of Twitter to deliver funny, quick-witted responses and interact with its audience. Sassy comments have become synonymous with Wendy’s brand identity and its audience has enjoyed every moment of it.

Their organic engagement has grown due to this use of social media. Fans of the fast-food chain go out of their way to try and get roasted on Twitter. Anytime other fast-food chains try to make a joke about Wendy’s, the social media team at Wendy’s fires back and the interactions fly in.

While you shouldn’t copy Wendy’s strategy of being quick-witted on social media, you should stay true to your company’s values and culture while on social media. When posting an announcement or replying to a customer inquiry make sure that you’re providing quality content.

You can gauge how effective your social media presence is by the reactions to your posts. In the event that your posts aren’t gaining attention, you can look up keywords from your industry and search for posts with questions involving those keywords and reply to them with concise, informative answers. Organic interactions with your audience increase your online presence, which in turn increases the possible leads you will receive.

The Wrap Up

Buying leads is good for quick lists that your sales team can follow up with. In the event that your company can’t afford these lists or you just want to use other avenues for lead generation, you can always turn to remote lead generation specialists or hybrid sales-type positions. These remote workers are a cost-effective solution to having your sales team create their own leads list or cold calling.

Having an online presence with a marketing team is another way to generate leads. Content that attracts people to your website will help more people become aware of your presence. Building trust will make it easier for more people to reach out and contact you.

In the event that this is too slow for you, paid advertising is a faster way to attract leads as they’re a more “in your face” style of attracting clients. Social media is the other avenue for attracting attention and potential leads. In today’s society, customers are actually expecting businesses to answer on social media. Starting up a dialogue with someone online might net you a lead and even a sale.