The old saying “you get what you pay for” is very true in the lead business. Often companies want leads of high quality but also want a high quantity. Unfortunately the higher quality lead cost more and there are fewer of them compared to the high quantity lead that are at a lower price. But this does not always mean one type of lead is better for your organization than another. Some organization with good call centers can have a better ROI with a lot of lower quality leads because they are so efficient in selling or because in some industries the quality of the lead is not as important. For example a high priced service or a very technically specific product can require a more thorough qualification process. But if you have a low cost service or a very generic service, a good sales person can plow through the calls and can get around almost any obstacle, closing enough to make the ROI target. Another factor is if you are purchasing B2C leads compared to B2B leads. With B2C leads it is possible to have a good ROI on a less qualified lead.
The real issue is lead quality expectations and return policy. The lead company usually states how they qualify their leads and what their lead return or credit policy is. Lead quality can range from electronically checking name, phone and address to phone verification / interview and matching of the lead to the best vendor. If a company is purchasing low cost leads, high quantity, then they should expect a higher number of leads are required to get a close. And the return policy to not be as lenient.
For a general guideline, if you are purchasing leads in the $15 to $35 dollar range you are purchasing low cost leads and should expect to purchase more leads per close. The price range is due to the type of industry and size of lead. There are a few companies that phone qualify leads in the $20 to $35 range but the only way they make a profit is to sell the lead to 4 other companies. For 100% qualified, exclusive leads with a 100% return or credit policy you should be paying well over $100 a lead.
Remember the lead generation company has a cost per lead which is a lot higher than most companies purchasing the leads realize. If you are curious, open up a Google account and run some ads. You will quickly see that acquiring leads is much more expensive then paying for them via a lead generation company. This is compounded by the fact that you can not get a return or credit for a lead from Google for example.
One last point… If you want to purchase more leads, do not be as specific in the type of lead you want. Often a lead generation company will sell you more leads if you take all size projects or leads across the country compared to leads in a specific region and project price range.