Is it simple to compare prospects from one source with another?

06Apr09

A list supplier copied me in on a survey on LinkedIn today, asking the question ‘How would you compare a FULLY REGISTERED Website generated Lead?’

They then gave the answer options as the following:

– Equal to a Purchased List Lead
– Equal to a Trade Show Lead
– Equal to a Call In Lead
– Equal to a Walk In Retail Lead

While it may be convenient to simplify prospect list purchase decisions down to this sort of level, I find myself unable to compare apples and pears in any meaningful way.

Think of what motivates the purchase of a lead. It’s probably because you wish to identify a good prospect that will make a purchase from your products or services, hopefully on a repeat basis (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

The validation and valuation of such a prospect increases when the qualification criteria are made clear, relevant, specific and actionable.

I would naturally start to ask questions from the lead supplier such as were the prospects from website members who are empowered to make a purchase? Were they people stating an intention to purchase soon, within a specified timeframe? What level of purchase were they considering? Is location of vendor an issue? Are they empowered to add a business to their approved supplier list? Do they have a budget? Do they have specific purchase criteria that ensure relevance of your offer?

Perhaps the source of the lead, in isolation, isn’t necessarily the key point of valuation. Personally I would recommend vetting several key qualifications; who they are (validation of decision influence/making), what they want (specific purchase intention) and by when (the window of sales opportunity)? The number of prospects available and on how regular a basis would also play a part in value negotiation. As well as any competiitve lead time (exclusivity in access or limitations on competitor access), frequency of contact / data-usage allowance etc.

Just how has the data been used by your competition?

It would also be valuable to understand the propspect’s relationship and reasons for visiting the website (to complain? to be entertained? to network? to buy? to check upcoming product release date and info? etc.).

From these real-world criteria, I can’t neatly tick a box from the choices offered by the survey. I guess this says more about my wish for validation of prospect relevance than it answers the question the list owner wanted help with?

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