Lead generation is one of the hot new emerging trends in online business, but even for a young field it has a fairly large number of software providers, aimed at different segments of the market and addressing different needs. The other articles in this section present more in-depth information on the lead generation concept in general, but here we give a brief run-down of the main contenders.
This is a low cost option which is maybe most suitable for those wishing to dip their toes into the lead generation market, to see if it could suit their business. If you’re used to using major analytics software such as the ubiquitous Google offering, then you’ll be right at home with A1. It has all the features you’d expect from a powerful analytics service, with the addition of some B2B lead generation features. However, these added features are somewhat rudimentary – the depth of company data provided is limited, and so on – but as there is a free trial available and no monthly contract, it may be worth trying as a first step into more advanced analytics.
This is a step up the ladder in terms of features but still plies its trade at the low cost end of the market. A good example of this tendency to fall between two stools is the fact that it can generate real time alerts when an interesting visitor arrives at your site, but only for pre-identified return traffic. Nonetheless, the ability to deep-track traffic through your site can be very useful if you have a prospect you want to keep a particular eye on.
It is at this level that things begin to get more interesting. Ruler offer a full-featured analytics service including the ability to track direct marketing and other types of campaign, and offers a data export function to integrate a little more closely with external systems. The data this service provides about site visitors is a little more comprehensive – for example it provides company turnover, although still missing items such as company SID – but it lacks more advanced lead generation features such as definable trigger reports, automatic lead allocation, and CRM integration. As the name suggests, at its heart this service is still largely a traditional analytics package, albeit an advanced and powerful one.
This package is one of the most fully-featured available, providing deep company data on visitors, plus customisable reports generated on a daily or weekly basis or at the click of a mouse. It integrates directly with leading CRM software such as Salesforce, but lacks the ability to automatically assign leads to different members of your sales team – this must be done manually by the system admin.
Lead Forensics is also a top end package with all the features you’d expect, from deep visitor data and tracking, to custom reporting, automatic lead allocation, and CRM integration. It is definitely at the top end of the price scale too, but for the price you get all the features you could want, plus the services of a dedicated support team who provide not only technical help but advice on how to use the software to increase business and visitor conversion. There are cheaper alternatives to Lead Forensics but will you get the same level of service?
As always, lead generation isn’t necessarily a good fit for every online business, but the range of options available make it possible to try out the concept in simple terms before moving up to a more professional package that can provide your business with the full benefits of advanced visitor identification and tracking.