Having a lead generation program is essential for consistently bringing in new sales opportunities. If you only have a sales pipeline full of referrals, you’re missing out on significant business opportunities. Relying on referrals also means you don’t have a predictable sales pipeline, making it impossible to forecast sales and revenue.
While lead generation is necessary if you want to sustainably grow your business, it comes at a cost. Whether you do it internally or outsource it to a sales and marketing firm, it still requires your time and money to make it yield a positive ROI.
Many businesses prefer keeping all their business functions internal, but outsourcing lead generation is more often than not the most cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized businesses. But what is the actual cost of having a predictable and consistent lead generation strategy?
In this blog, we’ll cover the following:
- Average Price of an In-House Lead Generation Program
- Best Outbound Lead Generation Tools to Use (With Pricing)
- Best Inbound Digital Marketing Tools to Use (With Pricing)
- Additional Tools That Support Lead Generation Efforts
- How to Calculate Your Cost-Per-Lead
- How Much Does It Cost to Outsource Lead Generation Efforts?
Average Price of an In-House Lead Generation Program
As much as we know you want a straightforward answer to the cost of an in-house lead generation program, we unfortunately can’t give one to you because it depends depends on your unique business model, goals, total addressable market, and other contributing factors.
Determining the cost of an in-house lead generation program depends on the number of sales and marketing specialists needed on your lead generation team, the sales tools and technologies used to build and sustain your sales pipeline, general business operation overhead costs, etc.
While we’ll get into the costs of all the different outbound and inbound lead generation tools and technologies later, let’s focus on the the internal team of specialists you’ll need to execute your in-house sales and marketing efforts:
Outbound Sales Team Costs
More often than not, in-house sales teams consist of three core roles: sales development representatives (SDRs), account executives (AEs), and sales operations analysts. Here’s the breakdown of each role and their average salaries.
- SDR: SDRs are the individuals responsible for reaching out to prospects, building relationships, and securing sales meetings. Our outbound SDRs make approximately $40,000 to $65,000 annually, depending on their level of expertise and ability to set clients up with high-quality sales appointments.
- AE: AEs are the sales experts responsible for attending the sales meetings with qualified prospects, persuading them to sign on the dotted line. Our AEs make approximately $55,000 to $100,000 depending on their experience and ability to close deals with sales opportunities set up by our SDRs.
- Sales Operations Analyst: Sales operations analysts are responsible for building prospect lists and keeping the company’s CRM or lead management system organized for SDR teams, allowing them to prioritize the best prospects in the sales pipeline. Our sales operations analysts make between $70,000 to $140,000 depending on their level of expertise and ability to create high-quality prospect lists.
In summary, the average annual cost of an in-house outbound sales team is between $95,070 to $305,000. While this may sound like a wide range, there are a lot of factors that go into it including the individual’s expertise and geographic location.
When considering implementing an in-house outbound sales team, it’s important to remember while there may be three roles, there more than likely needs to be more than one person per role, depending on your business’s growth goals. As you think about the number of people you need per role, you must consider your budget as well as the size of your business. The larger and more in demand your business is, the more people you’ll need on your sales team. As a best practice, it’s probably in your best interest to start your team small and scale up as needed, so you don’t pile on immediate onboarding costs.
Inbound Marketing Team Costs
The cost of an inbound marketing team varies depending on the structure of your marketing department. Many small to medium-sized businesses often have a single person who is responsible for all marketing and public relations responsibilities.
The average salary of an in-house digital marketing manager is $79,000. However, they often outsource different marketing related projects to marketing firms and freelance marketing professionals so they can free up their time and keep costs low. Outsourcing different marketing projects can be incredibly beneficial for one-person marketing teams since they’re on an as needed basis rather than the cost of an additional full-time employee.
If a business wants to have a full marketing team, it requires hiring multiple specialized roles so they can get the most impact from their inbound lead generation efforts. Here’s a breakdown of each role along with their average salaries:
- Digital Strategist: Digital strategists are responsible for developing a strategy around your digital marketing efforts. They spend their time researching your target market and analyzing past campaigns to see where you can get the most impact from your inbound marketing efforts. The average salary of a digital strategist is $70,000.
- Web Developer: Web developers are tasked with building and maintaining websites. They spend their day taking care of the technical components of the website, such as its performance, capacity, and scalability. If the website speed is running slow, they go in and explore why it’s running poorly and make adjustments as needed. Our web developers make between $55,000 to $105,000 depending on their experience and list of web development certifications.
- Web Designer: Web designers are tasked with planning, creating, and coding web pages and blogs to present users with a visually appealing user experience. This includes combining copy with page breaks and imagery to gain and maintain the attention of users. Our web designers make an annual salary of approximately $55,000 to $105,000 depending on their experience and number of websites to maintain.
- Social Media Manager: Social media managers are responsible for developing and implementing a company’s social media strategy (both organic and paid). They are also responsible for measuring the impact of their social media campaigns, such as the number of impressions, engagements, and conversions made. While Abstrakt no longer provides a social media management service, our former social media managers used to make an annual salary of $40,000 to $65,000 depending on their previous experience and number of clients they were responsible for retaining.
In summary, the cost of a complete in-house inbound marketing team ranges from $220,000 to $345,000 annually.
When combined with an outbound sales development team, an in-house lead generation can cost up to $650,000 a year in staffing alone.
Best Outbound Lead Generation Tools to Use (With Pricing)
While lead generation specialists are the heart and soul of your business growth efforts, they can’t do it all on their own. There are various sales tools and technologies that must be implemented for an outbound lead generation program to yield long-term, sustainable success.
Here are some of the best outbound lead generation tools you need to build and maintain a sales development program, along with their pricing information:
CRM software costs start at a range of $5,000 to $9,000 a year depending on the number of users using the platform and the types of extensions needed. Some businesses choose to use a lead management system rather than a CRM; however, it’s important to remember that a lead management system may not have the ability to automate as many processes as you’d like. With a CRM system in place, you have the opportunity to automate sales and marketing services through different CRM suites or services.
Here are a few of the most popular CRM platforms companies use for lead generation efforts:
- Salesforce: Salesforce is one of the most popular CRMs used by B2B businesses, starting at $75 per user per month. For a ten-person business or sales and marketing team, this is approximately $750 per month or $9,000 per year.
- HubSpot: HubSpot’s CRM solution is free for businesses to use, but it lacks specific reporting needed for important lead generation insights. Additionally, it doesn’t align with different sales process capabilities. If you want to include reporting in your Hubspot CRM, it can be added for $200 a month.
- Zoho: Zoho CRM pricing ranges depending on whether a business wants to be billed monthly or annually. When billed monthly, the cost of Zoho CRM is $45 per user. However, when billed annually, the cost of Zoho is $35 per user, which can be significant savings if you have a large number of employees using the platform.
Each CRM software listed above offers extra add-ons that can be added to accelerate your lead generation strategy. However, it’s important to remember that the more add-ons you implement into your CRM, the more the cost goes up. To ensure you’re not spending more than than needed on CRM extensions, we suggest collaborating with an outsourced team of CRM experts that can help you find and implement the best solutions for your business growth efforts.
Prospect Database Technology
Prospect database costs differ depending on your overall total addressable market (TAM) and number of users needed to access it. On average, the cost of lead generation database technology starts with an annual cost of $8,000.
To build the best prospect lists, we recommend using multiple databases so you can compare information from both platforms, ensuring minimal time is wasted during the prospecting stage.
Here are a few of the most popular database technologies that sales and lead generation teams use:
- ZoomInfo: ZoomInfo pricing starts with a $15,000 annual subscription. However, pricing varies based on additional seats or functions needed.
- D&B Hoovers: D&B Hoovers pricing is completely custom and tailored specifically to your business needs. Depending on the size and functionality of your business, monthly D&B Hoovers costs can fall between $500 to $1,000.
- Seamless.Ai: Seamless.Ai offers a free version of their prospecting database; however, it is very limited and probably won’t help you consistently hit your monthly sales goals. The basic Seamless.Ai plan is $147 per user a month and billed annually. They offer more advanced solutions as well if you have the budget to spend more on a database.
Depending on the types of sales and marketing automation tools needed for your lead generation efforts, they can cost approximately $10,000 annually.
Automation tools are important for nurturing prospects and ensuring that your sales pipeline is consistently being refilled and managed. This part of your outbound lead generation program becomes more necessary the larger you grow and scale up your business growth efforts.
Creating sales and marketing automation sequences can help initial savings on staffing. However, overtime, you may need to hire a single person just to manage and maintain the automation sequences.
Here are some of the best sales and marketing automation tools lead generation teams can use to boost efficiency and maximize throughput:
- Outreach: Outreach is an email marketing software that helps sales and marketing teams automate campaigns and flows based on user interactions. This tool runs about $150 per user per month, with a one-time implementation fee that varies from $1,000 to $8,000 depending on the size of the company.
- Salesforce Pardot: Salesforce Pardot is a Salesforce add-on that’s similar to Outreach, but integrates directly with the CRM. This automation tool is estimated to cost $4,000 per month.
- Nylas: Nylas is an API tool used by more medium-sized businesses that are looking to integrate functions across email, calendars and CRM systems. The basic Nylas package starts at $0.99 per user per month. However, its capabilities are very limited. Most companies who use Nylas for lead generation select the Essentials or Enterprise package, where the costs vary depending on the business’s needs and number of users.
- It’s also important to consider that this doesn’t include API mapping you may need to configure tools, such as Zapier or Workato. These are powerful tools that allow you to create connections between apps that don’t have native connections.
On average, the total cost of outbound lead generation tools is approximately $27,000 a year.
Best Inbound Digital Marketing Tools to Use (With Pricing)
While many people think of marketing as a low-cost business growth solution, there are still a wide range of inbound marketing tools involved in lead generation.
Here are the most important tools needed for inbound lead generation, and some of the best marketing technologies used by growing B2B companies:
Website Hosting Platform
In this day in age, every business needs a company website to grow their clientele and generate more revenue. However, having a website means you need a host subscription to keep it up and running to produce results.
Website hosting platforms provide businesses with a secure place to store their online, digital content. Typically, web hosting costs range between $10 to $200 a month. The more a business needs for their website, the higher the cost of the hosting platform. However, the more cost-effective route a business goes, the more likely the website is to have poor results, such as slow load times which negatively impacts your website’s SEO performance.
At Abstrakt, we charge our clients $50 a month for website hosting, which includes daily and weekly backups of their website. Additionally, our website hosting costs include simple maintenance that ensures the website stays live and up to date.
SEO Content Tools
SEO content tool costs vary depending on how involved you want to get in your digital marketing strategy. While there are a lot of free tools online to help you get started with your SEO content strategy, investing in paid tools can really get your inbound lead generation program up and running for long-term success.
Here are a few of the paid SEO content tools we use to maximize our digital marketing strategy:
- SemRush: For most small businesses starting out, the $100 a month solution works best because it can give you insights into the best keywords to target for your content. As your company starts to grow, the $191 a month plan can help you get deeper insights into your website health and overall SEO performance.
- InLinks: This entity-first semantic SEO tool helps marketing teams outline content to ensure it’s following the intent that potential buyers are looking for. This SEO tool starts at $39 a month; however, the Enterprise subscription goes up to $1,999 a month.
- Grammarly: Grammarly is a content editing tool that helps marketing teams ensure their copy is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. A monthly user subscription to Grammarly is $29.95.
Want to explore some of the top paid SEO tools on the market?
Check out this blog from Search Engine Journal.
Local SEO Tools
For any local business that’s looking to ensure their website ranks when users search your product or service “near me,” you must have the right local SEO tools. While general SEO tools are great for getting your content out there, local SEO is essential for bringing in potential buyers in your service region.
Here are a few of the local SEO tools we use and suggest for companies who want to maximize their local SEO presence:
- Yext: Yext is a brand management tool designed to help businesses manage crowdsource answers about their product or service offerings. While there are more cost-effective Yext solutions, we recommend the plan that starts at $500 a year because it has a 100% optimization rate.
- Moz: Moz’s local SEO tool starts at $99 a month. This SEO software helps you improve search engine visibility, bringing the right users to your business. Moz is a great alternative to Yext and can also be used as a localized keyword research tool.
- BrightLocal: BrightLocal specializes in local SEO, using reporting that empowers businesses to improve their local rankings and generate more traffic from leads in their service region. Their local SEO packages start at $29 a month and can go up to $79 for the all-inclusive SEO Pro package.
Paid Marketing Efforts
Paid marketing efforts, such as paid search campaigns (SEM) or social media ads can go a long way for creating demand and generating leads as quickly as possible. Devoting a budget for social media or search engine ads (whether it’s Bing, Google, or both) is crucial for any growing business. However, it must be approached correctly if you want to see the most benefit without putting a dent in your company’s bottom line.
Before running any ads, check to see if your competitors are also running ads. If they are, it could be a signal for you to run some ads as well. A paid marketing budget varies depending on the industry you serve and your target region. For example, if you’re in a larger city like New York or Los Angeles, your paid marketing budget would be more significant than if you live in a smaller city or suburb. This is because there are a lot of other competitors also looking to bring in new customers.
As a best practice, we typically recommend that companies set aside at least $1,500 a month for paid search campaigns. However, you can scale up or down as needed depending on the impact of your ads, so remember to look at your results and cost-per-click daily to see how they perform compared to other ads.
Paid search campaigns can get complicated quickly. If your campaigns are set up improperly, you risk wasting your budget put towards ads, missing significant sales opportunities. Therefore, we always recommend double checking your ad setup before starting your paid campaign.
As you add up all the costs of the different inbound lead generation tools, you spend an average of $22,928. When paired with outbound lead generation tools, you spend approximately $49,928 a year on sales and marketing technology alone.
Additional Tools That Support Lead Generation Efforts
While the sales and marketing tools above are needed to get the ball rolling on your lead generation program, there are other supporting tools that should be implemented to streamline processes and gain crucial insights into your target market.
Here are a few additional tools needed to support your lead generation efforts:
- Scheduling platforms: Scheduling platforms like Calendly, Doodle, and Acuity Scheduling helps SDR and marketing teams effectively schedule meetings between prospects and the sales team. Additionally, it gives interested buyers the ability to schedule meetings on their own at a time that works best for their schedule.
- Chat functionality: More companies today are integrating chat functionality tools like Intercom, Drift, and Zendesk into their company website. This allows users to directly engage with the website and find what they’re looking for quicker.
- Website traffic insights: Sales tools and technologies like Clearbit, Lead Forensics, and Lead411 empower marketing teams to identify what kind of users are coming to their website and deliver content that they’re most likely to interact with, providing them with a one-of-a-kind user experience.
How to Calculate Your Cost-Per-Lead
Curious to see how much you’re spending on lead generation vs. the results you get from it? Calculating your cost-per-lead is essential to see if you generate a positive or negative ROI.
Here’s how you calculate your cost-per-lead:
Total Marketing Spent / Total New Leads = Cost Per Lead (CPL)
Average CPLs vary from industry to industry, so it’s important to check out the latest CPLs standards of your industry and compare where your lead generation efforts stand in relation to the average. If your company’s CPL is significantly larger than industry standards, it’s important to uncover where your marketing efforts may be falling short and make adjustments as needed.
How Much Does It Cost to Outsource Lead Generation Efforts?
Many companies are hesitant to outsource their lead generation efforts because upfront costs often seem pricey. However, when you add up all the salaries and sales tools and technologies it takes to run a successful in-house lead generation program, outsourcing saves a significant amount of money that you can put towards your everyday business functions.
To duplicate our lead generation team and sales and marketing tech stack in-house, it would cost your business approximately $699,928 a year… And this price point doesn’t include the additional tools, overhead costs, employee onboarding, benefits, compensation plans, etc.
On average, outsourced sales and marketing companies charge companies between $8,000 to $15,000 a month for a dedicated outsourced lead generation solution. However, this range depends on the type of lead generation program you choose, whether it’s outbound, inbound, or a combination of both.
While in-house lead generation is costly and can negatively impact your company’s bottom line, it also takes up a lot of time to strategize and implement for long-term success. When you outsource your lead generation efforts, you have the opportunity to spend more time focusing on what you do best—run a successful business.
Lead generation is essential for building and maintaining a predictable sales pipeline—but it doesn’t come cheap. Lead generation requires a team of dedicated sales and marketing professionals and a long list of tools and technologies to run effectively and produce results.
While lead generation is costly, it’s worth the investment. Many companies underestimate the power of outsourced lead generation because they fear the initial upfront costs. However, in-house lead generation isn’t only costly, but takes up a significant amount of time that could be used to focus on more pressing, everyday business matters.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we collaborate with small to medium-sized businesses across the nation to help them fill their sales pipelines, nurture relationships with qualified leads, and set high-converting sales meetings with verified decision-makers. When you’re ready to put your lead generation efforts in the hands of well-versed sales and marketing experts, contact Abstrakt to learn how we can be your partner in long-term business growth!
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