Outsourced Lead Generation: Benefits & Things to Keep In Mind
- Outsourcing lead generation involves entrusting external agencies with the task of acquiring leads for your company using tactics such as cold calling, cold emailing, inbound marketing, and demand generation.
- Outsourcing lead generation offers various advantages, including cost-effectiveness by leveraging existing agency infrastructure, allowing you to focus on core business activities, and ensuring the proper nurturing of leads through targeted communication.
- Researching potential partners, checking reviews, certifications, and seeking recommendations from industry colleagues can help you find the right outsourcing partner.
In-house lead generation isn’t a walk in the park for many companies. From dealing with limited resources to expertise gaps and stressful hiring processes, it’s a struggle to effectively and efficiently find and nurture high-quality leads.
So it’s no surprise to see companies take the easier route by outsourcing their lead gen process to agencies established for such a purpose. This allows them to focus on their core competencies while benefiting from the resources and expertise of the outsourcing partner.
If you’re considering whether to partner with a lead generation company, this article is for you. In it, you’ll learn what outsourced lead generation is and why you should consider it. I’ll also discuss some outsourcing issues, how to find an outsourcing partner and the challenges of B2B lead generation.
At the end of this article, you will understand what outsourced lead generation entails and whether it’s right for you.
What is outsourced lead generation?
Outsourcing lead generation means entrusting the services of external agencies to acquire leads for your company. They leverage their knowledge, tools, and expertise to identify potential customers and nurture them through various channels before passing them to your sales team to close.
Partnering with these agencies saves time and resources that would have been spent on building and managing an in-house team. What’s more, you are more likely to get better results if you lead generation in the hands of experts. But don’t take my word for it.
According to this 2022 Tenbound Sales Development Outsourcing Survey, 71% of industry leaders say their external team performed better than their internal. So it goes without saying that outsourcing lead generation might be what you need to scale your company.
Why outsource your lead generation?
There are several reasons why outsourcing lead generation can be beneficial for your business. Let’s look at some of them.
According to one SHRM HR benchmark report, the average cost of a new hire is $4,700. Unless you already have an in-house marketing team, outsourcing lead generation saves you the cost of building one from scratch.
And when you consider training, salaries, software, and other resources, outsourcing lead generation becomes a cost-effective alternative.
Partnering with an outsourcing agency allows you to benefit from their ready-made infrastructure without incurring additional expenses.
2. Allows you to focus on your business
Outsourcing lead generation frees up internal resources, allowing you to focus on other essential activities in your business such as customer service, client satisfaction, and product development.
By handing over the lead generation process to a third-party agency, you can allocate your time, energy, and resources to other areas that directly impact your business growth.
3. You get nurtured leads
Imagine you sign up for a company’s email newsletter but don’t receive any communication from them. I bet you won’t remember them when it’s time to make a buying decision. Why? Because they missed the most important aspect of lead generation—nurturing.
Most companies that generate leads in-house neither have the time nor resources to nurture them. This ultimately leads to a lower conversion rate and missed opportunities.
But partnering with an agency ensures prospects are properly nurtured across different channels through targeted communication. Also, they practice techniques such as lead scoring and automated email campaigns to keep leads engaged, which increases your chances of converting them into paying customers.
4. Flexibility to experiment with lead gen tactics
Some in-house teams struggle to keep up with multiple channels due to limited time, skills, and resources. A challenge that negatively impacts the effectiveness of their lead generation efforts.
But outsourcing your lead generation solves this problem. You gain access to a team of professionals with a wealth of experience, tools, and resources at their disposal. This gives them the flexibility to explore various methods to find the most effective lead gen strategy for your business.
As your business grows, an outsourcing partner can adjust their efforts to meet your increasing demand for leads. Also, if you need to scale back your lead generation activities temporarily, the partner can adapt.
This flexibility ensures you always have a steady flow of leads without worrying about altering your internal team or hiring additional staff. In other words, it allows you to scale your lead generation efforts according to your business needs.
6. Access to the latest technology and trends
In today’s ever-changing world, it’s sometimes a struggle for internal teams to keep up with the latest technology. This can result in missing out on tactics that could rev up your lead acquisition campaigns.
So it makes sense to partner with agencies that invest in tools that help to streamline their lead generation processes and stay updated with the latest trends, software, and strategies needed to improve leads quality.
Also, they have the knowledge and expertise to leverage emerging technologies such as AI, automation, and data analytics to optimize their lead-sourcing efforts.
Issues with outsourcing lead generation
Outsourcing lead generation is not all plain sailing, as some issues may arise if you fail to do your due diligence before hiring an agency. Let’s look at some common outsourcing issues.
Tricky if ICP is not defined properly
The first crucial step to take before undergoing any lead generation campaign is to understand your ideal customer profile (ICP). Not having one will send you on a wild goose chase as you’ll be targeting the wrong profile.
Outsourcing agencies may struggle to generate high-quality leads if your ICP is not clearly defined. There’ll be misalignment in messaging, branding, and overall strategy. The result? Low-quality leads.
To avoid such issues, ensure you are on the same page as your outsourcing partner when it comes to defining your ICP.
Grow your industry knowledge
Are you yet to define your ICP? Here are some tips to help you out.
Carry out market research to identify your target audience’s demographics, behaviors, and preferences.
Analyze your existing customers to discover their common interests, challenges, and motivations.
Identify the problem your product or service solves.
Identify the specific industries that could benefit most from your product or service.
Create buyer personas that represent your ideal customers.
Once you’ve defined your ICP, collaborate with your outsourcing partner to refine and validate the ICP, ensuring alignment on lead generation strategies.
Reputational risks if not done correctly
Your brand’s reputation is at stake when you outsource lead generation. If the agency you partner with uses unethical practices such as buying email lists, it will have a negative effect on your your brand awareness.
That’s why it’s crucial to thoroughly research and vet potential outsourcing partners to ensure they have a good track record and align with your ethical values.
Lack of control and transparency
When you outsource lead generation, you’re basically giving up some control over the process. You have to rely on the agency for all lead gen activities which may result in a lack of transparency.
To curb this issue, it’s important to set expectations regarding communication channels, reporting mechanisms, and performance metrics with the outsourcing partner. This will help to maintain visibility into how they execute the lead generation process.
Data security and compliance
When outsourcing lead generation, you will share some sensitive information with the agency. However, if proper security measures are not in place, it can put your business at risk.
Ensure that the agency follows industry best practices for data security and complies with relevant regulations, and is using a secure client portal. You can do this by inquiring about their data security protocols before signing any confidentiality agreement.
Communication & collaboration
Effective communication and collaboration are key to any successful partnership. However, language barriers, time zone differences, and delayed responses can cause problems if not addressed properly.
As such, ensure you establish clear communication protocols, and set regular check-in meetings with your outsourcing partner. This will help maintain open lines of communication and ensure that both parties are aligned and working towards the same goals.
In addition, it’s important to foster a collaborative environment where ideas and feedback between both parties are freely shared. Look for agencies who rely on a modern client portal such as Service Provider Pro.
The outsourced lead generation process
Finding an outsourcing lead generation partner can be a daunting task. It’s not enough to just hire the first agency you come across.
But with careful research and evaluation, you can find a reputable agency partner that aligns with your business needs. Here are some ways to choose the right outsourcing partner.
Case studies & references
Case studies provide real-life examples of how outsourcing partners successfully helped other businesses with their lead generation efforts. They showcase the agency’s expertise, strategies, and the results they achieved for their clients.
So when searching for an agency, look for industry-related case studies that will give you a better idea of how they operate and the kind of results to expect.
For example, if you are in the web design industry, look for case studies that show how an outsourcing agency has generated high-quality leads for similar companies.
In addition to case studies, you can also ask outsourcing partners for client references. Contact these references and ask about their experience working with the agency, the quality of leads generated, and their overall satisfaction with the partnership.
Do you check out online reviews before making a buying decision? You are not alone. Over 67% of B2B buyers admit that online reviews from peers are an important part of the buying process according to the software review site G2. This shows how important reviews are when evaluating potential outsourcing partners.
So before hiring an agency, check out their reviews on platforms such as Google My Business, Clutch, G2, Upcity, or Trustpilot. They will provide deep insights into other clients’ experiences with the agency and help you gauge their reputation.
Certifications provide evidence of a company’s expertise, credibility, adherence to industry standards, and commitment to quality. For instance, companies that are ISO 27001 certified demonstrate their commitment to protecting data.
Therefore, when searching for an outsourcing agency, look out for the ones that have professional certifications in relevant fields like lead generation, digital marketing, and content marketing.
Industry colleagues recommendations
Word-of-mouth recommendations from colleagues can be a valuable source of information when searching for an outsourcing partner.
Ask your colleagues or fellow industry contacts about their experience with outsourcing agencies. The best part? You’ll get more detailed insights beyond what you’ll find on review sites.
Here are some questions you can ask referrals:
How satisfied were you with the outsourcing partner’s lead generation services?
Were they able to effectively generate high-quality leads for your business?
How was their communication and transparency throughout the process?
Did they align with your ethical values and maintain your brand’s reputation?
Were they knowledgeable about the latest technology and trends in lead generation?
Did they provide clear reporting and insights into their lead gen activities?
These questions will help you gather valuable feedback from your colleagues that you can use to make an informed decision when choosing an outsourcing partner.
Lead gen outsourcing FAQ
Can you outsource lead generation?
Yes, there are a multitude of companies focusing exclusively on getting companies new leads, and building a pipeline that is largely automated.
What is the value of outsourcing lead generation?
The main benefits of outsourcing lead generation are that a professional company handles everything, and it doesn’t require a trial and error approach compared to doing it on your own.
How do lead generation companies get their leads?
Their strategies vary, but many of them scrape directories or websites, and enrich the data with a relevant contact person in order to provide you with a list of potential clients to target.
Wrapping it up
Outsourced lead generation can be a game-changer for your business. It allows you to free up internal resources, save costs, and access the knowledge, expertise, and tools of a specialized agency.
By partnering with external agencies, you’ll get nurtured qualified leads, and achieve better conversion rates. If your agency is looking to boost its lead generation process, outsourcing may be the right solution for you.