LeadGenius: A Race to the Top

Delivering customers robust data powered by advanced technology and a worldwide crowd of "geniuses"

LeadGenius is a data and lead generation company that has differentiated itself from market competitors. The startup company’s impact-oriented business model is delivering results that compete effectively with entrenched businesses.  Founded within an entrepreneurship class at the University of California, Berkeley, LeadGenius has grown to now serve many notable customers including Google, eBay, IBM, Square, Indeed and First Data.  LeadGenius is also known for being a pioneer signatory of The Good Work Code, a framework of values that defines how organizations should properly provide equitable, safe and supportive opportunities for employees.

The Challenge

In price-competitive industries, companies often seek survival through outsourced, inexpensive labor in emerging markets.  The data and lead generation industry is no exception, where businesses often use advanced technologies and cheap labor to provide generic data on their customers’ target markets and sales prospects.  The result is a classic race to the bottom, placing ongoing pressure on compensation and leading to little investment in human capital.

The LeadGenius Approach

LeadGenius approaches the data and lead generation market with a fundamentally different perspective.  The firm believes establishing a robust company culture and decentralized decision-making structure enables the delivery of differentiated, high-quality information.  When a client, for example, needs to identify all of the Nevada businesses with large enough rooftop space to support solar installations, LeadGenius’ skilled researchers can collaborate effectively to tackle that unique task.  When there’s a request to gather highly accurate contact information on individuals who are likely to buy a certain software within the next six months, LeadGenius’ crowd of “geniuses” can determine the best route for gathering that information and then ensure each data set is reviewed by humans for accuracy.

Impactful, Intentional Hiring

While LeadGenius’ technologies are remarkably robust, the company’s skilled, crowd-structured workforce represents the firm’s crown jewel.  The crowd is comprised of 360 individuals across 33 countries.  LeadGenius is intentional about hiring in underemployed areas and paying above-market compensation.  The firm invests heavily in a culture and system that empower individuals to recruit, train and mentor local colleagues, ensuring that crowd members work in engaged, career-advancing environments.  The result is a productive workforce with advanced skills and relatively low levels of churn.

Hearing from its Workforce

To better understand its workforce, LeadGenius conducts and distributes a crowd survey at least once per year. The most recent results showed that learning new skills, benefiting from flexible work hours and supporting families are frequent motivators for working with LeadGenius.  Additional highlights:

  • 87% of the LeadGenius workforce indicated that they suffered from poor employment conditions prior to joining the company, highlighting the need for higher-skill work opportunities in many economies.
  • 360 workers support almost 800 other individuals, of which approximately 200 are children.
  • 91% of respondents answered affirmatively when asked if they will work at LeadGenius for the next six months, signifying a high level of content across its global employee-base.

An Inspiring Example:

LeadGenius’ surveys produce more than statistics.  Workers are asked to share anecdotes on the various ways in which LeadGenius has affected their lives. One individual named Nabila said working for LeadGenius allowed her to bring a clean water source to her long-lacking village in Kenya.  “Children were dying, something needed to be done,” she said.  “Our water was so contaminated.”  Nabila looked for a job with flexible hours and good pay in order to make the bore water well project a possibility.  She found LeadGenius and within a year of working there, had saved enough money to fully fund the bore well herself.   Construction has been completed and now her village has clean drinking water for the first time.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of lives will be saved in the coming years thanks to the new bore well. Nabila is now busy saving money for her next big project: installing solar panels so that the bore well can be operated at any time, no longer relying on an erratic electricity supply.

LeadGenius hopes that its model of empowering crowd workers will set an example for others in the gig economy.  “I would love to see us inspire others to invest more in their people,” said LeadGenius CEO Prayag Narula.  “We are trying to show that turning the crowd model upside down can be good for people and good for business.”