How much attention do you pay to your leads? It may sound like an unnecessary question, but not all companies focus their efforts on this step. To put it simply, there can be no sales without first having prospects, unless you don't work with strategy, which can be serious.
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Despite its importance, for start-up companies and in some cases companies with years of experience, it is difficult to focus their efforts on creating a good database of quality leads. Those who suffer the most from this lack are the sales teams, who have to wade through a sea of obsolete contacts in order to reach a potential customer, spending most of their time on activities that are not their expertise: sales.
What is lead generation?
It is about defining and identifying your potential customers within your market. It is the opening step to attract them to your company and make a sale. This step is mainly focused on the search for profiles that meet the characteristics of your ideal customer and there is a way to contact, nurture and convert these leads to potential consumers of your products or services.
When should I look for an external marketing team for lead generation?
Having an external team allied in the lead generation activity can be in many cases the best decision for your company, however, this logic does not apply in all cases.
If you have already invested time, money, and efforts in a marketing and sales team the best decision is to keep your strategy, you can add an external company as a consultant to give a boost but the truth is that you have already done much of the work.
On the flip side, if you are at the beginning of building a marketing team, the best decision is to free your company from the training time, overhead and other hurdles you will encounter before you start generating leads.
Outsourcing your lead generation will make sense when you don't have the resources and time to create an in-house department. In the U.S., the average annual salary of a Business Development Representative (BDR) is around $60k per year, plus operating expenses.
Outsourcing your lead acquisition can also be beneficial if you focus your marketing efforts on channels other than those already covered by your in-house team. The same logic can carry over to improving your sales team's processes, hiring an external team to create a useful prospect list will help your salespeople streamline their sales by focusing on what they do best. In addition to this, having a lead generation provider will keep your lists up to date.
The latter is a bigger problem than it sounds. In the U.S., 40% of salespeople consider prospecting to be the most difficult part of the sales process, due to lack of tools, access to data, and other problems. This slows down lead acquisition, consuming up to two-thirds of their working time. Salespeople only spend a third of their time selling, doesn't that sound crazy to you?
How do you outsource lead generation?
Once you have done your introspection and defined whether you need (or not) to hire a lead generation team, it is time to establish a series of steps that will help you choose the perfect partner.
We recommend that before you start with your search process you define very well what you expect to get, and what is your ideal customer profile. You must define this very well since it is the starting point for your search for leads to have a positive result, how will you know where to go if you have not defined where you want to get to?
How to choose the right lead generation company?
There are several factors to take into account, we list here the most important ones to consider:
Look for their case studies or success stories: companies or agencies that have done a good job usually present their projects on their platforms or websites so that interested parties can see a bit of their methodology. Take the time to look into their previous projects, the clients they have worked with, and the clients they have worked with.
Make sure there is the experience in the market of your product or service: this step can be complementary to the previous one, when looking at the case studies of your potential ally put a radar on projects related to your industry. This will show you if the company knows about your product, costs, and sales cycles, among other factors.
Experience within your market: it may be that your product is new or that the external team simply hasn't worked with something similar to it, but having experience within your target market is already a great differentiator. This will ensure that they already know what communication and prospecting strategies to employ.