July 12, 2016

Choosing the right lead vendor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your agency. When you have a reliable flow of leads that convert at a high and predictable rate, you can enjoy the confidence of knowing that your business has the fuel it needs to grow month after month.

How do you know that you’re dealing with the real deal, a partner you can count on to help you? Here are four clues that reveal that you’re looking at a lead vendor that can supply you with the leads you need to grow.

1) Leads Generated In House

Sadly, many lead vendors are little more than lead brokers. They buy data leads in bulk, then sell them off in small chunks to insurance agents and agencies. They have no control over how a lead is created, and don’t care whether or not they pass along leads that make your investment worthwhile.

Serious lead vendors oversee the development of all leads from end to end. They create campaigns to create leads, vet them for quality, then rapidly deliver them to agents. They continuously test all elements of this process to make progressively better. A lead vendor who takes a personal investment in the quality of their leads will always demand total control of lead flow.

2) Menu Of Lead Options

There are three types of insurance leads: shared, exclusive, and live transfer.

Shared leads are sold to multiple agents. Exclusive leads are only sold to one agent. And live transfer leads (sometimes also called “warm transfer leads”), are leads that are live on the phone and interested in buying a policy. They are transferred directly to a licensed agent so they can be closed. Check out how our health insurance lead system works for more information on these three lead types.

Your lead mix will depend on your lead budget, your goals, and the size of your organization. But the best lead vendors always offer all three. A diverse lead menu means that the provider is well versed in multiple lead buying strategies. If you operate a small or a medium sized organization, they’ll have all the tools necessary to help you grow even as your lead strategy changes.

3) Strict Limits On Sales Of Shared Leads

Shared leads can be a valuable addition to your lead mix, especially if you have a large call center. Because they’re highly affordable, you can buy them at high volume every single business day. If you have an aggressive lead calling strategy in place, these cheap leads can yield an impressive ROI.

But shared leads only work on one condition: that there are  strict limits on how often a shared lead is sold. To put it bluntly, a lead that is sold twenty times or more is worthless.

You want a lead vendor that puts a ceiling on the number of sales of a shared lead. If sales are capped at six times or less, then buying shared leads is a smart choice for certain agencies.

4) Well-Trained Live Transfer Agents

Live transfer leads are the most valuable type of lead that you can buy. They’re on the phone and ready to check “buy insurance” off of their to-do list. All you have to do is close them.

But the factor that makes live transfer leads truly valuable is the skill of the Live Transfer Agents. These are the call center representatives that dial up data leads and qualify them for transfer. The better they are at managing the lead on the phone, the higher the close rate.

For any respectable lead vendor, the Live Transfer Agent department isn’t an afterthought — it’s treated like the key to the quality of their most valuable leads. They provide these agents with an onboarding process that gets them up to speed quickly and careful management that supports them and keeps them on the right track.

Choose Wisely

The relationship between an agency and a lead vendor is very close. The best lead vendors once owned or worked at agencies themselves, and only sell leads that they would want to pitch to. If you make the right choice when shopping for lead vendors, you might have a partner for the life of your business.


Logan Strain is the Digital Content Specialist at NextGen Leads, a premium insurance lead generation platform. For more information about how NextGen Leads can help grow your business, call 877-817-3853.