Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales
Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales

Buying B2B leads – a waste of time?

To save time and money, contact information for potential new customers can be bought from agencies and lead exchange platforms. This has its advantages and disadvantages. Find out here what you should consider when buying leads.

Paths of lead generation in the B2B segment

In the B2B segment, there are various options for generating new customer contacts, known as leads. In the digital world, social networks are playing an ever-bigger role as touchpoints for cultivating contacts. In the business customer field, professional networks like LinkedIn or XING are most suited. But all forms of content marketing with industry-relevant content have also proven to work for generating leads.

Despite the digital transformation, leads in the B2B area can continue to be generated via analogue channels. Trade fair booths, networking events or traditional ads in trade publications are the first and foremost paths. Detailed tips, like how you can win B2B leads by following a system, can be found in the guide Generating B2B leads – tips for marketers.

The disadvantage of all these paths of lead generation: they require a high amount of effort. If you don’t have or can’t take the time, you have the option of buying B2B leads from a specialised agency or lead exchange platform.

Buying B2B leads: pros and cons

As you’ve gathered already: buying B2B leads can really make sense. The major pros and cons at a glance:


  • You save time and money, as you use access to the market and industry without having to develop it yourself. Especially for small companies, who don’t have their own marketing department for instance, is this aspect a decisive advantage.
  • Serious agencies offer pre-segmented leads according to criteria such as industry, company size or location.
  • You can calculate a fixed price per contact.


  • The leads are generally not tailored to your company and are therefore more difficult to convert.
  • The contacts are not exclusive, which means competitors also have access to them. This is why the needs of those customers may already be met.
  • A portion of the datasets could be old or wrong, making your attempt at contacting destined to fail.
  • There could be a host of contacts amongst the leads which you already have in your databank.

What you should consider when buying B2B leads

  • Check the offer from the agency to see if it is serious. A starting point for making sure you don’t end up in the hands of a dodgy address trader is provided by the list of the German Dialogue Marketing Association (DDV).
  • Let the provider document that the contact data has been collected in line with legal regulations. Pay attention to EU GDPR compliancy. The conditions of use must account for passing on data to third parties.
  • Make sure the leads are provided in the right format, with the aim of keeping the effort for databank entry as low as possible.

The costs of buying B2B leads

There are numerous agencies on the market who promise a quick increase in sales through their brokering of new customers. Their prices vary heavily depending on the amount of data captured, the industry, competitive situation and “maturity” of the leads, in other words which phase of the sales funnel they are in.

What’s more, the price per lead increases the more conditions and limitations you set. The prices for purely company contacts without names or email addresses of decision-makers start at around 15 euro cents from affordable providers and for one-time use only – and there’s no stop to how high the prices can go.  For instance, the lead agency works at a price of 120 euros per qualified lead from the areas of web design, online shops, APP programming or graphic design. These leads have been contacted by the agency in advance and intend to place an order.

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