There are two types of business leads: B2B leads and B2C leads. B2B leads refer to sales leads for businesses that predominantly sell to other businesses. A good example is a pension company that sells company pension schemes to businesses. The value of this type of lead can be very high because the potential profitability of a sale could be measured in millions particularly when the vendor takes into account the potential lifetime value of the customer.
B2C leads, which are business to consumer leads, tend to be worth less than B2B leads simply because most consumer sales are for items that are quite low value. However, consumers do, from time to time, buy expensive things such as health insurance, mortgages, real estate and autos and leads for these products and services tend to be expensive too.
How to get business leads
There are two different approaches to getting business leads.
Business lead generation using cold calling, mail-shots.
You can either go out and actively seek new business by reaching out to lots of businesses. You do this on the basis that some of them will be interested in what you sell. Just as importantly these businesses need to have the money to buy what you sell. They also need to be ready to buy when you get in touch with them. This is clearly an inefficient process. However, it can be made more efficient by making sure you target the right businesses in the first place. There is no point in trying to sell an expensive executive medical insurance program to a one outlet pizza company.
Business leads via SEM
The second way to approach business lead generation is to use digital marketing techniques and specifically Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The simple but powerful idea behind this method is that you get information about your products and services in front of people at the precise time that they are searching for what you sell. There are two types of search engine marketing: paid search and organic / natural search. Paid search involves using products like AdWords and Bings, Organic search engine marketing revolves around search engine optimisation.
Since 2000, businesses have steadily moved away from the traditional approach of reaching out to businesses via cold calling, mail shots etc. and focused their marketing budgets on the internet. Business leads are generally much easier to obtain online.