Lead validation services are, unfortunately, often where much of the B2B lead generation industry falls down.
However, this vitally important part of the lead generation process is the difference between lead generation and quality lead generation – and all too often ignored by untrustworthy suppliers, or left incomplete by businesses lacking the resources or knowledge to carry it out.
The best B2B lead generation companies provide cutting-edge, in-house lead validation services to ensure you're getting the best value for money in your leads.
For example, the final step in our lead generation process is dedicated to lead validation and quality control. Through a combination of manual validation processes and our AI tool, Headley Validate, Headley Media's lead validation services ensure every lead generated and delivered to our technology clients is transparent, relevant, and high-quality.
In this blog we'll discover:
- What is lead validation
- What lead validation services are available?
- How to generate high-quality leads
- The best lead generation for B2B
What Is Lead Validation?
Lead validation is the process of ensuring the contact details of your leads are accurate, but also that each lead has explicitly consented to hear from you.
Although B2B marketing has in the past relied on implied consent, GDPR and other data privacy laws passed around the world have now made data privacy high on people's agenda, meaning you shouldn't contact people without their permission.
As a B2B marketer, you have a responsibility to know where your lead data is coming from, and to feel confident in the permissions given. Lead validation services can reassure you that all your data is compliant with the relevant data privacy laws.
Data privacy is one part of it. The other is data accuracy.
Poor quality data costs businesses $12.9 million a year on average according to Gartner, and it's so easy to get wrong.
Within lead generation, common types of data inaccuracy include:
- Out-of-date personal details. For example, B2B contact details can frequently become out of date if a contact moves company, or their email address or phone number is wrong, or their job title or role changes.
- Typos. Email addresses and phone numbers are all too easy to mistype. Even people's own names are frequently spelled wrong on online forms, and data is often typed into the wrong box. All these errors require cross-referencing with other data sources and lead validation software to ensure accuracy.
- Date conventions. For example, MM/DD/YYYY in the US becomes DD/MM/YYYY in Europe. So if the date is given as 12/07/2023 on an internationally-used form, is that 12 July or 7 December? This type of data validation requires human input, which is an important part of the lead validation process.
Each of these data inaccuracies requires validation, and how your B2B lead generation provider handles data validation is just as important as how they generate your leads.
Lead Validation Services: What Are Your Options?
It's one of the great paradoxes of modern B2B marketing: buyers want more and more personalization. They want vendors to know their business needs intimately, and to only be sent relevant information, but they're also more reluctant than ever to share their data.
Salesforce says 76% of B2B buyers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations. But according to Security Magazine, only 21% of people trust brands to keep their data safe.
The key is trust.
The best way to ensure accurate, quality lead generation from the start is to choose a lead generation company that's trusted by potential leads.
There are thousands of businesses out there offering to find you leads. You have to vet them carefully to ensure:
If you've already used a lead generation supplier who provided you with a list of leads that have proved worthless, some of the best lead generation agencies out there will offer a lead validation service as a standard, so it's worth doing your research.
You want to find a lead generation supplier whose lead validation services will check and improve the accuracy of the data you receive. Explore Headley Media's lead generation and validation process for an example.
“I applaud those [agencies] that have a 1st party relationship or a really strong relationship with their audience and their partners, who use that advantage and find ways to delight their audience... And then when that lead gets passed on, it's actually a lead, it's somebody who's been warmed up, and that's going to be the key difference.”
Kevin Flint Principal Consultant, tenx4
How To Generate High Quality Leads
Part of the lead validation process is ensuring your leads are as high-quality as possible in the first place.
For example, Headley Media's content download forms don't allow readers to use a personal email address, which means leads come to us with business-relevant details from the start.
The main indicator of high-quality lead generation is knowing the source of all your leads.
Whether you generate leads yourself, for example using inbound lead generation strategies, or you run outbound marketing campaigns with lead generation specialists, the key is being able to trace each lead's digital journey.
The best way to tempt new leads is to offer them something in return for their details.
Business decision-makers are much more likely to be aware of your brand and form a relationship with you if you've given them something useful. In fact, it's one of the top benefits of running content syndication lead generation campaigns.
Free software, instructional videos, webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies are all fantastic resources that technology businesses can use to generate high-quality leads, through their own channels or through a 3rd party lead generation agency.
What Is the Best Lead Generation For B2B?
We may be biased, but we think the best lead generation for B2B is content-based outbound marketing – and specifically, content syndication through a 3rd party lead gen agency.
Why? Well, promoting your educational whitepapers, eBooks, case studies, and research reports with a quality lead generation agency's owned B2B content syndication platforms, is a great way to build your audience and attract new leads. Even better if you find a supplier who's content syndication platforms are trusted and used by millions of decision-makers in relevant sectors.
Lots of lead generation agencies appear to generate leads in-house but actually buy them from other 3rd party suppliers.
By working with the best B2B lead generation companies, which own their own content libraries and can put you in direct touch with their audience, your data is more likely to be accurate – after all, you know for sure where it has come from.
Trusting the quality of your leads is important for two main reasons:
- Business contact information has a short shelf life. Decision-makers change jobs; they move to new businesses or get promoted; they even change their names... If you've bought a list of leads from a non-reputable supplier, how do you know when those leads were generated? They could be years out of date.
- Data privacy laws such as GDPR require consent for you to contact. And a long list of 'leads' who have not, to your knowledge, actually consented, is a potential lawsuit.
Lead Validation Services with Headley Validate
Headley Validate is the standard for all of our lead generation services at Headley Media, to ensure the B2B leads we supply are made up of relevant, high-quality, and up-to-date data.
All of our leads are generated through our content library websites, which offer valuable resources to decision-makers in the IT, cybersecurity, HR, fintech, martech, and electronics industries.
Every reader gives us their business contact details through a content download form in order to access a piece of content. Each reader must also check a box to give their consent to hear from our clients, which means they're fully compliant with data privacy laws.
Before supplying leads to our clients, we put every lead through our rigorous dual AI and manual data validation process.
Each lead is uploaded to our custom-built AI lead validation software, Headley Validate. This mimics human validation on a large scale, cross-referencing the details supplied by each lead with other sources of data, including LinkedIn, the lead's company website, Xing, and national and regional business registers.
Our in-house quality control team then checks each lead manually, using ping testing and further checks, before delivering the list of leads to our clients.
We can deliver leads weekly in an encrypted excel format, uploaded to a 3rd party platform, or through real-time integration with your CRM or marketing automation platform.
Contact us today to find out more about our lead generation and lead validation services.