Leads 101: The Seller’s Perspective

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Leads 101: The Seller’s Perspective

This article is courtesy of our partners at ActiveProspect.

This is Marco.

Marco: Hello!

Marco is a lead seller (in the industry some are also known as a publisher, a network, or an aggregator)…

Marco: Yep, I do it all.

… who works at a large demand generation company (or demand gen for short) that generates, aggregates, and sells leads to other companies. It’s fast-paced with new leads streaming in from multiple sources and leads streaming out to (hopefully) interested buyers. There’s a lot of lead data moving in and out, but Marco sees it as a new opportunity every day to connect the right leads to the right buyers.

Marco: I like to say that we make the magic happen!

One of today’s opportunities is from a lead buyer (also known as an end buyer, advertiser, or brand) who has previously given him an Insertion Order (IO) detailing what the buyer will buy, such as the geography of a lead, product details / requirements, and consumer contact information. In this particular request, Marco’s buyer wants leads who are interested in auto loans and live in a specific area grouped by zip codes. Marco knows he can move campaigns around to get the best leads for this request. (A campaign could cover multiple sites and sources but is specific to a request, like consumers who may want auto loans.)

The first step for Marco is to gather leads from different sources. Some of the leads are O&O (owned and operated) leads because they come from a website that his company owns and runs called www.bestcarloans.com. This site shares auto loan information from different brands with the consumer if they complete a contact request form. He feels pretty good about these leads because they are high intent, which means the consumers actively searched for auto loans themselves and completed the form on the website because they want to be contacted.

Marco: A good analogy would be if the consumer walked into your store with plans to buy something specific that day from you. That’s high intent versus someone just walking by store fronts doing some casual window shopping, which would be low intent.

Unfortunately, Marco doesn’t have enough volume of leads coming from www.bestcarloans.com to satisfy the buyer’s need. One thing he can do to increase the volume of leads is to start an affiliate program with other sites. This means that those sites will agree to post links on their pages directing people to his site, thereby driving more traffic to www.bestcarloans.com. More people looking at his site means more leads!

BUT… that’s still not enough leads.

Marco: It rarely is, but that’s not a problem. I have other resources!

Marco’s company also buys leads from other sellers that they can then resell. This means they’re not just a lead seller that generates and sells their own leads; they’re also a lead aggregator or network, which is an entity that buys and resells leads.

Marco: I can add the leads we bought from that network to the leads we generated ourselves, and, BOOM, I have the volume to impress my buyer! Now I just need to get the leads over to them.

Depending on the lead buyer, there are multiple ways that Marco will share his leads. The smaller buyers may just use email delivery for negotiating with him and other lead sellers. The more sophisticated buyers are very concerned with “speed to lead” which is the ability to contact a consumer as quickly as possible after they have submitted a contact request. For this reason, many lead buyers have their own online systems with specific posting instructions (posting is like sharing or submitting the leads) that gets the lead into their operations in “real-time”. In that scenario each lead seller will have an identifying access key that differentiates him from other lead sellers using the lead buyer’s system.

Marco posts and sells his leads and his buyer gets interested consumers… which leads to more revenue for the both of them. It’s a win-win!

Marco: On to the next opportunity!

That’s the spirit, Marco!

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Updated on 9 June 2022