Advanced Training: Admin

Lead Providers

Many organizations outsource a portion of their lead generation activities to third-party providers, most of which live on the Web. There are dozens of providers for insurance, home mortgage, rental housing, and dozens of other markets and industries.

Lead providers offer lists of individuals with their contact information. These individuals are generally relevant to the industry vertical that you're targeting in that they expressed interest or they meet certain "qualifying" characteristics. For example they may have a mortgage, they are nearing retirement age, or they recently purchased a new car. Depending on your business these individuals may make a good match for your sales presentation.

Exclusive or Semi-Exclusive?

Lead providers offer these lists on the basis of how "exclusive" they are for you. When they sell you an "exclusive" list, the understanding is that they are not selling the list to anyone else. "Semi-exclusive" then means that the lists may be sold simultaneously to other customers, and this is not all bad. The semi-exclusive leads will be priced lower and, as research suggests, whoever reaches those individuals first will have the highest probability of selling. An example of this is "Lending Tree" who advertises that they will deliver mortgage refinance offers from up to four companies. Whoever sets up their operation for speed and efficiency will get great returns on low-cost leads.

Of course the most "unexclusive" type of lists will be the "shared" leads where the provider makes no secret that they are as public as a telephone directory. In reality though, you can hardly call "exclusive" leads "exclusive" since it's impossible to say whether those individuals didn't sign up for information on several different web forms across the internet.

Utilizing Web Post Integration

If your organization is purchasing leads from an online provider, we highly recommend automating the process of getting the leads from the provider and adding them your database.

For many organizations, this process is no different than creating a Post Integration. You can ask your lead provider to post the information directly to your database, creating a post URL with a field mapping.

To do this, you'll need to make arrangements with your lead provider(s) to do the actual post. You'll also need to have them provide a list of the post variables that they use, since each provider may use slightly different variable names.

Once you've created a mapping, ask the provider to test it with a sample post. When finished, any leads you get from that provider will post automatically to your site—just as if the Lead had gone to your Web site and submitted the form themselves.

Whenever possible, this is the recommended solution for automatically adding third-party provider leads. Assuming the lead provider is willing to work with you, it's fast, relatively easy. Remember, the goal is to respond as quickly as possible, getting them on the phone nearly as quickly as they come in.

Again, the steps to take are:

  1. Contact your lead provider and let them know you'd like to do a Web post integration.
  2. Get a copy of the variables the provider will use in the post.
  3. Create an integration and field mapping for that provider.
  4. Send the URL from your mapping back to the provider.
  5. Send a few "test posts" through the system to make sure it works.
  6. Figure out how to route the leads to your agents, and get them called within minutes or seconds.

Web Post Via Email Parsing

Some lead providers can't or won't offer the ability to use a Web POST. In these cases, an alternative solution is to set up an automated email parser.

A parser is a third-party piece of software that runs alongside your system and your mail client. When a lead provider emails a lead, the parser scans the contents of the email, extracts the relevant lead data, and posts it to your system. is more than willing to help you with this process, but there will be a service charges to do so. Most of our clients that choose to do an email parser find that convenience, and speed of response more than defrays the cost, usually in a matter of weeks.

If this is an option your organization needs to pursue, please contact an support representative for more details.

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