Lead generation is a crucial part of the sales journey. It aims to fill the sales pipeline with potential prospects for your sales team to work.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation uses various techniques to gain prospects’ interest and move them through the sales pipeline. The ultimate goal of this process is to ensure that the sales team has enough opportunities to pursue and convert.
Businesses directly benefit from lead generation because it:
- Replaces churn: All customers will eventually churn. Without a lead generation strategy, your business will not have enough leads to convert, affecting your company’s ability to achieve revenue goals.
- Shortens the sales cycle: A solid lead generation strategy ensures that prospects engage in all stages of the buyer’s journey, making conversion faster and easier.
- Increases revenue: The more leads your business has, the higher your chances of closing deals.
Outsourcing Lead Generation
Outsourced lead generation involves hiring a third-party agency or freelancer to work on specific lead generation tasks or to take over the entire process. Lead generation is an excellent process for outsourcing because it:
- Is Highly Specialized: Most lead generation strategies need in-depth industry knowledge and experience for successful execution. Outsourcing allows companies to tap experts without the high cost associated with hiring full-time employees.
- Takes time to generate ROI: Processes such as content creation, cold emailing, and lead qualification are time-consuming and labor-intensive. If salespeople carry out these lead generation duties, they will not have enough time to prepare for presentations and other essential tasks for closing deals.
There are various types of lead generation tasks that you can outsource. These include:
List building involves acquiring a database of potential customers. It’s the first step to any successful sales and marketing strategy as it’s more efficient to sell to prospects who fit your company’s ideal customer profile.
This process requires a lot of research to ensure that the data is credible, which can be both time-consuming and labor-intensive, making it a good candidate for outsourcing.
Appointment setting is the strategy in which sales development representatives identify high-quality leads and persuade them to book appointments with account executives.
You might want to consider outsourced appointment setting services, especially if your marketing team provides you with a long list of low-intent leads.
“Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts” – Dayna Rothman, CMO at OneLogin1
Content plays a vital role in lead generation because it can capture the attention of your target audience. High-quality content increases your brand’s authority and credibility, making it easier and faster for your sales team to convert leads.
Not all salespeople have the skill to create content for lead generation, and even when they do, they have other tasks that require their attention. This is why content creation is a frequent lead generation task to outsource.
There are lead generation agencies that specialize in content creation. They have experienced writers and editors that will create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience.
Pros and Cons of Outsourced Lead Generation
|Empowers your sales team||Service delivery issues|
|Increases sales efficiency||Data management concerns|
|Reduces potential missed opportunities||Miscommunication|
When done right, your company can benefit from outsourced lead generation by:
- Empowers your sales team: Your sales team doesn’t have to worry about whether or not they have any more leads to follow up on. They can focus on nurturing leads, closing deals, and building relationships with clients that will last.
- Increasing sales efficiency: When you outsource lead generation, you get a list of highly qualified leads that are likely to turn into paying customers with the least amount of time and effort.
- Reducing potential missed opportunities: Every prospect who enters the pipeline gets the attention they deserve when your sales team doesn’t need to focus on generating leads.
- Saving costs: You don’t pay salaries, benefits, and training costs for outsourced teams. If the lead generation strategy fails, you can cancel the project without worrying about the personnel.
Outsourcing lead generation also has its fair share of challenges, including:
- Service delivery issues: How an outsourced lead generation company executes your strategy might not align with your standards. Even if they achieve the results you are looking for, an inappropriate approach can affect your company’s reputation.
- Data management concerns: Most lead generation tasks require handling customers’ personal information. If the outsourced lead generation company does not manage the data well, you can face backlash from potential customers.
- Miscommunication: Because you are not present in the day-to-day operation, it may be difficult to influence the lead gen campaign.
Despite its potential challenges, businesses of different sizes have found outsourcing to be a strategic method for growing their operations. 82% of small businesses2 have increased their reliance on outsourcing post-COVID-19.
Steps on How to Find a Reliable Outsourcing Lead Generation Service Provider
Finding the right service provider is crucial to building an effective outsourced lead generation strategy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to choose the right option for your business:
Step #1: Identify what type of lead generation service you need
First, determine if you want to outsource the entire lead generation process or specific tasks.
There are several ways to assess what type of lead generation service you need, such as:
- Conducting a SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s a framework for analyzing your company’s internal and external strengths and weaknesses, making it easy to determine which lead generation tasks you can do in-house and which ones you need to outsource.
- Identifying competition best practices: Examining your competitors’ lead generation strategies can help reach your target market. You can emulate and improve on these techniques. If you lack the necessary skills or staff to implement a tactic, consider outsourcing it.
Step #2: Research the top-rated companies
Once you identify the ideal lead generation tasks to outsource, the next step is to find top-rated service providers.
When researching top-rated service providers on search engines, pay attention to their specializations. It’s highly recommended that you work with an outsourcing company or freelancer specialized in the task you need and with proven experience in your industry.
Lead Generation Agencies vs. Independent Freelancers
You have two options for outsourcing lead generation tasks: hire an agency or an independent freelancer.
If you are outsourcing to grow your business, working with an agency is a strong choice. Agencies are more likely to have enough human resources to accommodate your growing needs.
Independent freelancers, on the other hand, usually offer specialized services. There’s also less chance of miscommunication with freelancers because your instructions are delivered directly to the person who’ll execute the task.
Whether you choose an agency or an independent freelancer, you should treat them as a business partner. Do extensive research to ensure they can help achieve your objectives and that their business ethics match yours.
Step #3: Check their credentials and methodologies
By now, you only have a handful of potential service providers on your list. You can further narrow it down by checking their credentials. Keep an eye out for:
- Professional certification of their lead generation experts
- Industry experience
In the video below, SalesRoads’ president, David Kreiger, talks about how to reveal an appointment setting partner’s industry experience by examining case studies that fit into your business.
- Awards and merits
Another crucial point is their methodologies. Pay attention to how they:
- Allocate lead generation personnel to a project
- Manage data
- Supervise day-to-day operations
Step #4: Compare their cost to your budget
Comparing the cost of various companies will help narrow down your options.
If you are looking for custom solutions, request a quotation from multiple service providers. Most are willing to give you an estimate for the lead generation services you require. By comparing the different prices of various service providers, you can easily tell if you’re getting a fair price.
Look at their Success Rate
The success rate of a sales outsourcing company is a direct result of its performance. If they have plenty of satisfied customers willing to recommend them, it’s likely that they stay true to their promises and provide a positive customer experience.
Some outsourcing companies have a readily available success portfolio. They might offer it to you when you inquire about their services, or you can request it.
To be even more diligent, check third-party review platforms and see what previous clients say about the outsourcing company. You can also reach out to their old customers and ask about their experience working together.
Pay Attention to How They Communicate
Picking a responsive outsourcing company will facilitate communication in moments of concern. You can measure their responsiveness by paying attention to how they respond already on the first contact.
An outsourced lead generation service provides value communication when it offers:
- Multiple communication channels: You can reach out to them through different platforms.
- Helpful answers: The company’s reply must be helpful and informative. Look for other options if they tend to give evasive, incomplete, or misleading answers.
Lead generation is vital to businesses because it brings in prospects and shortens the sales cycle. By outsourcing lead generation, your sales team does not need to worry whether they have enough leads to pursue, allowing them to focus on essential tasks for closing deals.