I'm curious how people have dealt with organizations in which purchased leads are a big element to their demand generation programs. I'm staunchly opposed to purchasing leads, but despite my arguments against them and how they can damage a company's reputation, are bad for compliance, etc. -- I get a lot of pushback from sales (e.g. "why can't we email these folks?")
I understand the value for prospecting, but I guess I've drank too much of the inbound koolaid to look at them as anything but a hindrance from a marketing perspective. My current organization is heavily focused on an account-based sales and marketing approach, which means actively identifying potential customers, filling up those accounts with purchased contacts and worrying about the rest later.
What are your thoughts on the subject?
Matt Stone first off, are you tracking your leads' source? If you are able to report that leads from syndicated lists 1) have longer sales cycles 2) are not interested 3) don't generate as many opportunities, you'll begin your good alliance with the Sales openers/team.
From there, you're going to want to start looking into lead scoring and start playing with Behavior score, not just Fit score.
Finally, Kristen Malkovich presented a great Workspaces webinar where she discusses how to *tactically* deal with purchased leads. New Relic doesn't sync their purchased leads over to SFDC until they meet a certain Fit/Behavior criteria! http://www.marketo.com/webinars/building-your-marketo-mansion-with-workspaces-2/
Matt Stone, I believe purchased leads are a necessary evil in B2B, and when handled correctly, can be an asset to your marketing strategy. Key term is handled correctly with proper content, targeting, and timing. Good luck.
Hey Matt, you might find it useful to do some in-depth analysis on the purchased leads versus lead from other sources. Tie in cost-per-opportunity/sale, lead lifecycle, and campaign metrics. You may find that certain list sources may do better than others, that the purchased leads do poorly overall, or that they are the strongest leads. Don't count anything out until you have the data to back it up!
I would suggest doing this two different ways. I understand the argument around ABM wanting to purchase lists, it's actually the first thing you learn in many ABM training classes.
Maybe tag specific ABM activities that are targeting these lists to determine what the pipeline is vs. other list purchase efforts. You can do this by having a lead source for the lists purchased and include ABM or Targeted Account as a tag for your program efforts that apply. Then you can run costs analysts for list purchases for different campaign efforts. This allows your team to feel like list purchases might work some of the time, but not all the time.
I also agree that your lead scoring might need to be lower for list purchases. You can say anyone from a lead source "List Purchase" that has not gone to our website and has not interacted with any of our content has "minus" points. That way sales isn't being passed too cold of leads. Some organizations may push back saying they want the perfect title/perfect company to go back to the rep. But I would suggest sharing the buyer's journey idea that leads may be taken aback if they've never done anything with your organization and have no clue what you do.
I hope that helps,