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How to Sell Leads to Maximize Profit: Everything You Need to Know

how to sell leads

Lead distribution is a process that involves capturing, validating, and distributing leads in real-time. 

With verticals such as healthcare, auto, legal, finance, and more, lead buyers across multiple industries are looking to purchase high-quality leads that result in new customers. For lead sellers, this presents the opportunity to drive qualified traffic that results in top-tier leads that can be sold for a premium. 

From generating and validating leads to sourcing buyers and selling leads, lead distribution involves a lot of moving parts, however, that’s where automation comes in. With lead distribution, it ultimately boils down to –  how to sell leads for the highest possible prices – while ensuring you make a profit and your buyers are satisfied.  

This blog answers the most frequently asked questions our team receives from both prospects and customers when determining how to sell leads and optimize their lead distribution program to maximize profit.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I sell leads to multiple buyers? 
  • How do I find lead buyers?
  • How do I generate leads?
  • What is ping post and how do I leverage it to sell leads for the highest price?
  • What are best practices for managing leads?
  • How do I track lead status after the lead has been sold?
  • How do I avoid selling duplicate leads to my buyers?
  • How do I control and improve lead quality?


How do I sell leads to multiple buyers? 

Of course, you want to sell your leads for the highest possible price, while simultaneously keeping your lead buyers happy. Fortunately, you can accomplish both. First, you must identify how to sell leads based on buyer demand. Below are the three main lead selling approaches:

  • Exclusive – If a buyer contract indicates they want exclusive rights to a lead, then leads that go to this buyer cannot be sold to any other buyers. 
  • Multi-sell – In this model, leads selling to one buyer, also must sell to another buyer as well. If there is not an additional buyer, then the lead will not sell. 
  • Hybrid – This approach allows a buyer to participate in both multi-sell and exclusive (if no multi-sell partner(s) are available). This furthers the likelihood that a lead will be sold if it’s the only eligible buyer or if it can also be added in a multi-sell situation, which will earn the client even more money.

Below is an example of bidding in action. In this scenario, the lead seller would likely sell the lead to both buyer 2 and buyer 3, because combined the final sale price would be $11, versus an exclusive sale of $10 to buyer 1. Keep in mind that buyers are typically willing to pay more for exclusive deals. However, for a multi-sell approach, bidding should go to the highest paying buyers so you are maximizing your profit. 

  • Buyer 1 (Exclusive) – $10
  • Buyer 2 (Multi-sell) – $5
  • Buyer 3 (Multi-sell) – $6

A robust lead distribution software should allow you to monetize lead traffic through advanced selling tools such as dynamic lead prices and the setup of a ping tree in the order you want. A ping tree is a clients list of eligible buyers on each lead sale attempt. A ping tree allows lead sellers to set up a workflow based on buyer rank, round-robin functionality, weighted prices, pre-defined buyer volumes, and more.

For instance, this is how to sell leads with a ping tree based on buyer rank as the main criteria. Typically you leverage buyer rank when you favor one buyer over the other, or perhaps when you are trying to grow that relationship and are willing to make less money on the initial sale for a long-term partnership. In this example, buyer 1 would receive the lead sale because the seller has prioritized a rank over price within their ping tree.

  • Buyer 1 (Exclusive and 1st rank) – $10
  • Buyer 2 (Exclusive and 2nd rank) – $11
  • Buyer 3 (Exclusive and 3rd rank) – $12


How do I find lead buyers?

Establishing and maintaining relationships are key for success with lead distribution. Here are a few recommended approaches for finding lead buyers.

  • Attend trade shows – A great way to meet potential partners is for you to attend industry trade shows such as LeadsCon and Lead Generation World, premiere events with opportunities to network and learn from top experts in performance marketing. Also, consider attending events specific to your target vertical industries. 
  • Ask for referrals – If you are already using a lead distribution software, don’t hesitate to work with your contact to get introductions. They are already working with a large base of both lead generators/sellers and buyers and are invested in helping their customers succeed. At the core, lead distribution is built on nurturing partnerships that benefit both sellers and buyers.
  • Get creative – Conduct searches that look for vertical-specific lead buyers and connect with them directly. For example, perhaps you have generated qualified leads looking for help with debt settlement. Reach out to debt settlement companies directly by calling or filling out their form and letting them know you have qualified leads available for purchase. 
  • Use your own network – To start forming connections search for “lead buyer and seller” groups directly on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Consider adding in vertical language or using longer-tail terms to the searches as well. For example, “lead buyers and sellers debt,” and the results will return groups specific to the finance vertical.


How do I generate leads?

  • Leverage social media – Lead generation companies fill their lead funnel using social media platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Through paid social media, lead generators can launch segmented campaigns that target the right type of potential customer that fit the purchase criteria of their buyers.
  • Engage affiliate partners – Forward-thinking lead generation networks drive traffic to landing pages through affiliate marketing. Typically, affiliate marketing campaigns set commissions based on a pay-for-performance model, thus eliminating the need to invest marketing dollars without guaranteeing returns. The affiliate channel continues to grow in popularity, in fact 90 percent of advertisers consider it essential to their marketing strategy. 

Quick tip – If you are hosting the landing page, ensure your form is well optimized to capture the most conversions. Include a powerful call-to-action (CTA) that is complemented by an aesthetically pleasing design. Additionally, only include the form fields you actually need. The more optimized your landing page and forms are the more fruitful your lead generation efforts will be. Companies like FlipForms take the guesswork out of landing pages and forms by combining conditional logic with tailored landing pages to drive more conversions.


What is ping post and how do I leverage it to sell leads for the highest price?

To sell leads for the highest price, ping post provides a mutually beneficial situation. You make the desired profit margin, while your buyer is satisfied because they set the price. Here’s how it works. The ping post functionality is ideally set up to give buyers a preview of the lead details from a form submission (e.g. lead’s zip code, salary range, case notes, etc.) without providing contact information. This allows buyers to indicate the amount they’re willing to pay for each lead depending on its content and quality. If you decide to sell it to the buyer for their proposed amount, you can then post the full lead to the buyer. 

For example, on the ping, your lead distribution software will gather the dynamic bid prices from each eligible buyer after viewing the lead preview. On the post, it will attempt to sell the lead to the buyer who responded with the highest ping bid first.

  • Buyer 1 (Exclusive) – $7 ping
  • Buyer 2 (Exclusive) – $8 ping
  • Buyer 3 (Exclusive) – $5 ping
  • Buyer 4 (Exclusive) – Rejected the initial ping as the lead preview did not meet their criteria.


What are best practices for managing leads?

Here are four best practices for both you and your buyers to follow:

  • Ensure data security and privacy With lead distribution, both you and your lead buyers are dealing with consumers personally identifiable information (PII). With an ongoing commitment to consumer privacy, most notably with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), all partners must comply with regulations to avoid fines and ensure the integrity of data collection and distribution protocols. You can implement tools like Jornaya and Trusted Form to further enhance your compliance efforts.
  • Work in real-time On average, prospects are filling out three to five lead forms a day during their online searches. This translates into multiple buyers vying for the opportunity to win each lead over as a customer. As the lead generator, using automated lead distribution software to capture, validate, and distribute leads to the right buyer results in an 87 percent higher conversion rate. On the flip side, once the lead is routed to the buyer, they need to work fast. 27.5 percent of leads will go with the company that responds first, plus if you wait to call a lead more than five minutes after the lead submission, there is a 46 percent lower qualification rate
  • Qualify leads – With many verticals like legal for example, where buyers are paying a premium for leads, quality is key. High-quality leads result in more sales for your buyers and fewer lead returns to you. To properly qualify leads, utilize call centers that can verify the identity of the lead submission.  
  • Measure lead sources – Gather a holistic snapshot of the lead acquisition funnel by gathering campaign tracking parameters so that you and your partners can collectively identify the best performing lead sources. Combining tracking parameters with anecdotal buyer feedback, you can piece together the original lead acquisition source, how much it sold for, and lead quality to determine the true effectiveness of your spend. Equipped with these insights, you can spend more on high-performing lead sources to fill your buyers’ buckets.


How do I track lead status after the lead has been sold?

This is a two-part answer that focuses on two audiences – you and your buyers – and the lead distribution technologies leveraged by both parties. Your technology should be able to label leads and have manual or automated capabilities to update those labels (For example, with CAKE there is an Admin API if the network wants to do it or the buyer API if the buyer wants to do it). On the other side, a buyer’s system should be able to report a lead sale in real-time. If not, their responses should include some sort of status. At a minimum, they should have a portal where you can see leads progress through different statuses. For those tech savvy buyers, they should have an API that pushes out lead status updates, which you can then connect via API to get those updates back into your lead distribution system.


How do I avoid selling duplicate leads to my buyers?

A lead distribution software should have the option to identify a duplicate email address or phone number within a specific time-frame. This will ensure that the leads you are selling to buyers are not duplicates and will maintain the integrity of the quality you deliver to your buyers. 


How do I control and improve lead quality?

To control and improve lead quality there are two steps you can take:

  • Lead Validation – This is a vital step that takes place before selling leads to your buyer to mitigate returned leads and ensures they are not coming from fraudulent traffic sources. Your lead distribution software should have built-in validation leveraging third-party tools like Xverify, Neustar, or eHawk that focus purely on lead validation.
  • Lead Enrichment – This ensures you have the quality leads to drive the highest revenue per lead to maximize probability. For most forms a maximum of three-five fields is ideal to avoid deterring individuals from providing their information. In some scenarios, you may not receive all of the information you need regarding the individual from the fields, so you can use third-party enrichment tools or a lead-enrichment process such as a call center, that provides additional information about the lead. When it comes to lead enrichment, it really depends on what information you are not collecting on the form that you actually require to guarantee the highest sale price. In some scenarios, you may need to leverage lead enrichment to provide additional criteria such as a credit score or driver’s license. 

Let’s look at the lending vertical where prospective leads are asked for their credit ratings in terms of poor, fair, good, and excellent. On the backend, the lead seller might choose to run credit checks to secure the actual credit score numbers to improve the overall lead credibility and make them more desirable for buyers to purchase.

This video covers best practices for validating and enriching leads.


To learn more about launching and growing a lead distribution program, download our latest guide here

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