We get it—many B2B companies like to keep their operations internal. While we understand how important complete transparency is for your internal functions, we also know just how costly internalizing every business operation is, especially when it comes to B2B lead generation.
Not only is it costly, but it requires hiring, onboarding, and training a list of qualified sales, marketing, and sales development experts to make it work cohesively, providing you with the results you want to see to consistently grow your business.
Outsourced B2B lead generation services provide growing businesses with significant benefits (and we only named a few… the list goes on, believe it or not). When looking into B2B lead gen outsourcing, there are a lot of things to consider.
Throughout this blog, we’ll uncover all that you need to know about outsourcing B2B lead generation services (and not every outsourced sales and marketing firm is open to sharing these secrets, so consider yourselves lucky).
Here are the core topics we’ll cover throughout this blog:
- Common B2B Industries That Outsource Lead Generation
- How to Know If B2B Lead Generation Outsourcing Is Right for Your Business
- Main Reasons to Outsource Your B2B Lead Generation Strategy
- Things to Look for When Hiring a Third-Party Lead Gen Company
- What to Expect From an Outsourced B2B Lead Generation Company
- Mistakes to Avoid When Searching for an Outsourced Lead Gen Company
Many B2B companies across various industries are turning to outsourced lead generation to help grow their sales pipelines. Some of the most common industries that leverage outsourced lead gen services include:
While these are the most common that we collaborate with, B2B lead generation outsourcing services can be applied to any industry. However, as we’ll dive into later, it’s important to consider all the different types of companies and industries that the company you’re looking into partners with. The more clients they have in an industry that relates with yours, the more likely they are to understand the different pain points of your business and effectively resonate with decision-makers in your target market, resulting in higher revenue generated.
For the full scope on what kind of industries we serve for B2B lead generation, check out our list of industries here.
Outsourced lead generation can provide great value for B2B companies, but how do you know if it’s the right choice for your business? Here are some signs that your company could benefit from outsourcing its lead gen function:
You need to scale lead generation quickly.
If your business is growing rapidly and your sales team can’t keep up with lead generation while also closing deals, outsourcing allows you to quickly scale qualified leads. Outsourcing lead generation efforts enables you to maintain a steady stream of thoroughly evaluated leads, strengthening your sales pipeline. Lead gen outsourcing empowers your business to have a more adaptable framework that aligns effective lead generation, resulting in more (or less) leads, depending on the needs of your business.
Your cost per lead is too high.
If your lead generation efficiency is lacking and your cost per marketing qualified lead exceeds industry benchmarks, engaging in outsourced lead generation can greatly enhance your cost structure. Outsourcing not only addresses existing shortcomings but also serves as a catalyst for achieving improved financial stability. This collaboration introduces a framework where optimal costs align with industry norms, resulting in a dynamic environment where success is shaped and propelled by efficient resource allocation.
Your sales team spends too much time prospecting.
When your sales team is preoccupied with prospecting and self-managing lead generation rather than closing deals, outsourcing B2B lead generation is the solution. It liberates your salespeople from lead sourcing tasks so they can concentrate on sales efforts. This strategic shift optimizes their productivity, redirecting their energy towards the core selling process.
You lack lead generation expertise.
When your team lacks proficiency and experience in lead generation, collaborating with a dedicated B2B lead generation provider introduces valuable expertise that might be absent within your team. This partnership bridges the skill gap. By leveraging the provider’s in-depth understanding of B2B lead generation strategies, your team gains a competitive edge. This alliance allows your business to navigate the intricate landscape of lead generation with confidence, ensuring effective outreach and fostering a more robust pipeline of potential clients.
You need better data and tracking.
Outsourced lead gen companies integrate customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing automation tools to gather comprehensive lead data. Through these technologies, they systematically collect valuable insights on potential clients, enhancing your understanding of the lead pool.
This data-driven approach further facilitates transparent reporting, shedding light on essential key performance indicators. With these insights at your disposal, you can make informed decisions, monitor progress, and fine-tune strategies. The synergy of CRM and marketing automation empowers your business to navigate the lead generation landscape with precision and adaptability, fostering improved performance and strategic clarity.
Your leads lack qualification.
If your in-house team generates leads that result in low conversion rates, outsourced partners apply proven qualification processes to improve lead quality. By subjecting leads to greater evaluation, the outsourcing strategy refines the selection criteria, resulting in higher-quality prospects.
This approach ensures that the leads presented in your sales pipeline possess a greater likelihood of conversion, optimizing the effectiveness of your sales efforts. Through this collaborative effort, your business gains a competitive edge by focusing on leads with the most promising potential, ultimately contributing to improved overall conversion rates.
Your pipeline has too much leakage.
Outsourcing B2B lead generation ensures that potential customers stay involved in the B2B sales journey, which prevents opportunities from slipping away. These experts work to keep prospects interested and committed at every step of the process. By doing this, they plug any gaps in your sales pipeline, so fewer chances are lost along the way. This means your business becomes much more efficient at turning potential customers into actual clients. It’s all about having a skilled team that understands how to keep the momentum going and capture every possible opportunity for successful sales.
You need expanded prospect reach.
B2B sales and marketing firms can penetrate into new markets and audiences that your current efforts may be missing. These experts have the know-how to dive into unexplored territories and connect with people you might not have been able to connect with on your own. It’s like expanding your reach to places you didn’t even know existed. By tapping into their expertise, your business gains access to fresh opportunities and a wider customer base. They’re like your secret weapon for uncovering untapped potential and broadening your impact in the business world.
More and more B2B companies are choosing to outsource their lead generation to specialized lead gen providers. Here are some of the top reasons why outsourcing sales development and marketing functions makes sense:
Access to Specialized Expertise and Technology
Lead generation agencies focus solely on lead gen and have invested heavily in the latest techniques and technologies. This allows them to generate leads more efficiently and cost-effectively than an in-house team.
For an in-depth look into the true cost of lead generation, read our blog here.
Increased Lead Volume and Quality
Outsourced teams have the skills and resources to execute multichannel lead generation campaigns at scale. This results in higher lead volumes and allows for greater lead qualification—from marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and qualified prospects to sales qualified leads (SQLs) and opportunities.
Faster Implementation and Optimization
External teams can get lead gen campaigns up and running quickly compared to an in-house B2B lead gen team. They also continuously test and optimize different strategies to improve results for each client and industry they serve. Therefore, they also have a tried and true process that yields the best results, reducing the risk of trial and error.
More Sales Team Bandwidth
Freeing up your sales team from lead generation lets them focus on high-value activities like closing deals, significantly boosting overall sales productivity. Additionally, if you don’t have a sales team and only rely on your account execs to close deals, this empowers account executives to effectively shift their time from prospecting to generating more revenue and keeping current customers satisfied and loyal to your business.
Flexibility and Cost Savings
Outsourcing provides greater flexibility to scale lead gen up or down as needed. Service-based pricing also converts fixed costs into variables, reducing risk of wasting a significant amount of time on an internal B2B lead gen strategy that doesn’t work for your target market.
Focus on Core Strengths
By outsourcing B2B lead gen efforts, companies can redirect internal resources from lead generation to other high-priority initiatives that drive strategic value, such as implementing new product or service solutions. Additionally, it empowers your business to prioritize overall employee and company satisfaction, resulting in lower turnover rates.
When looking to outsource your lead generation, it’s important to find the right partner. Here are some key things to look for when evaluating lead gen companies:
Experience and Expertise
Look for a company with a proven track record of success in your industry. They should understand your target audience’s pain points and how to reach them effectively.
Lead Qualification Process
The leads generated should match your ideal customer profile (ICP). Make sure they have a solid process for qualifying and nurturing leads before passing them to sales.
The best firms use a mix of B2B lead generation strategies from cold call, email, content marketing, social media, and more. Understanding this diversity and how they approach it helps generate more (and better) leads for your pipeline.
Transparency and Reporting Procedures
Your B2B lead gen service provider should give you clear campaign analytics and reporting on lead volume, quality, costs, results and ROI. This enables optimization of your lead gen strategy as it seems, leading to better results.
Their (And Your) Company Fit
Make sure your values, work styles, and approaches to business growth align. Strong communication and collaboration is key for success.Therefore, if your company and brand values don’t align with theirs, it’s not worth wasting the time, money, or energy on a partnership that doesn’t see eye to eye.
Ability to Scale as Needed
As your business grows, they should be able to seamlessly scale lead gen efforts without loss of quality. To overcome this obstacle, ask for some case studies or testimonials to see how they’ve scaled up clients like yours in the past.
Online Reviews and References
And last but not least, check their reputation online. Exploring online reviews through Google or Yelp is the new “word-of-mouth” advertising, because these companies see first hand what impact the outsourced lead gen company can make. Additionally, ask for references and reach out to past clients to learn about their experiences, specifically clients that serve the same industry. This allows you to see what they’ve achieved for businesses like yours.
Abstrakt Marketing Groups provides growing B2B businesses with lead generation services that empower them to fill their sales pipelines, get more qualified sales leads, and generate more consistent streams of revenue.
Outsourced B2B lead gen companies are more than just generating new sales opportunities. While that may be their ultimate goal, they have a lot more to offer than just bringing in new revenue. Once you’ve partnered with a lead generation firm, here are some of the key things you can expect them to provide:
Proven-Effective Lead Generation Strategy
B2B lead gen firms will work with you to develop a customized strategy focused on your goals, ideal customers, key messaging, products, services and more. Many B2B lead gen companies will provide both outbound and inbound lead generation strategies, so they can work with you to explore what solution is best for your business and target market.
Streamlined Campaign Execution
Lead gen providers will handle the heavy lifting of executing multi-channel campaigns, from content creation to marketing automation and ads. Your role within this process is to provide them with any information they may need about your business or target market, allowing them to effectively pitch your company to decision-makers. From there on out, it’s in the hands of your outsource team to provide the results.
Ability to Build Prospect Lists
High-performing lead generation providers have the ability to build prospect lists full of both outbound and inbound leads.The outbound prospects are generated by using prospect list building techniques such as taking advantage of prospecting tools like ZoomInfo, D&B Hoovers, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Additionally, they may already have the vetted prospects you’re looking for based on previous research and experience in that target market with former campaigns. Inbound leads can (and should) be implemented into the sales pipeline for further engagement, ideally resulting in more sales meetings and closed business.
Consistent Lead Nurturing Efforts
They will nurture prospects by sending relevant, valuable content over time. This builds trust and interest before a sales conversion. Outsourced sales development teams do this by making warm phone calls and sending follow up sales meetings over time, full of content that’s relevant for the decision-maker and their lead segment.
CRM Integration Capabilities
Your CRM and marketing automation systems will be integrated to seamlessly handoff leads and track campaign performance. This allows you to see directly where prospects and leads are in the buying process. Additionally, sales development representatives (SDRs) can leave notes under the contact’s name so they know where to pick up on the next follow-up connection, resulting in an accelerated experience in the lead generation and marketing funnel.
Thorough Data Reports and Analytics
Looking at response metrics, pipeline stages, lead quality trends and marketing ROI will enable data-driven optimizations from your outsourced B2B lead gen team. For example, if the lead gen company notices that your company’s lead nurturing email campaigns are getting a lot of clicks but not a lot of responses, they can explore where there may be a disconnect between the subject line and the content presented within the email. Then, they can collaborate with your company to discover a better approach to your email marketing efforts.
Lead Gen Tools and Technology Expertise
Many B2B lead gen firms have the sales tool and technology stacks to enhance the results from sales and marketing campaigns: marketing automation, lead scoring, call tracking, landing page builders, etc. Not only do they have access to these costly sales tools and technologies, but they also have the expertise to use them to their full advantage, which often takes a significant time to master, especially if you’re new to the concept of lead generation.
Data-Driven Campaign Optimization
Top sales development and marketing firms continually A/B test and fine-tune campaigns based on data to improve lead quality and lower customer acquisition costs. A/B testing can be accomplished through various sales and marketing tools that provide specific users with different actions and terminology, seeing how they navigate the buying process.
Relationship-Focused Account Management
When you partner with an outsourced lead generation team, you’ll be assigned an account manager who is responsible for overseeing the results of your campaigns, providing strategic counsel on your next best moves, and sharing optimization ideas on how you can get the best results from your business growth efforts. Additionally, they serve as a liaison between you and everyone else involved in your B2B lead generation program, ensuring your company is being perceived how you want to establish your brand voice.
Outsourcing your lead generation can provide tremendous benefits, but only if you find the right partner. Here are some key mistakes to avoid when searching for an outsourced lead gen company:
- Not clearly defining your goals: Before starting your search, take time to clearly define your goals and ideal customer profile. Understanding exactly what you want to achieve will help you find a provider suited to get you there.
- Neglecting company fit: Make sure the provider’s values and work styles mesh with yours. Strong communication and trust are essential when outsourcing such a critical function.
- Focusing too much on cost: Price is important, but it shouldn’t be the determining factor. Find a provider who can deliver quality while meeting your budget needs.
- Not vetting their process: Ask detailed questions about how they source leads, qualify prospects, nurture relationships, etc. Understand exactly what tactics they use at each stage.
- Not checking reviews: Speaking with current and past clients is a must. Hear first-hand accounts about their experience partnering with the provider.
- Not defining tangible metrics: Agree on quantifiable metrics upfront to track the success and ROI of the partnership. Leads generated, cost per lead, sales pipeline created, and revenue produced are common examples.
- Not considering scalability: As your business grows, make sure your partner can seamlessly scale with you. Discuss their capacity to take on more workload as your needs expand.
- No clear ownership: Designate an internal owner responsible for managing the relationship and ensuring the provider has everything needed to succeed.
- Limited visibility: Require regular status updates and have access to a real-time dashboard to view campaign performance and key metrics.
B2B lead generation outsourcing may seem scary to many companies that want to grow their book of business. However, it provides significant benefits to small to medium-sized businesses that have limited funds, resources, and expertise to the world of B2B lead gen.
Before selecting an outsourced sales development and marketing firm to work with, it’s important to consider all the key points above to ensure you get the most benefit from your business growth efforts.
At Abstrakt, our sales development and marketing teams collaborate with growing B2B businesses across the nation to help them find a lead generation strategy that works, fill their sales pipelines with qualified prospects, and effectively move each lead down the sales funnel.
If you need a B2B lead gen partner that provides results and meets your business growth needs, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt!