Everstage, a leading commission process automation company, was struggling with its scaling efforts. Their ad spending continuously increased, while the qualified lead could not even be predicted. They had a dry pipeline, while the team effort was directed solely at the brand and product-related campaigns.
TripleDart analysed the scenario up close and implemented a specific strategy on their paid channels to deliver:
- 40% Pipeline Increase
- 37% Qualified Lead Increase
- 20% CPL Decrease
Moral of the story?
Many B2B companies struggle with lead generation. They spend millions of dollars and yet can not achieve the optimum results and have a dry pipeline. Solution? Outsourcing lead generation and getting specialists to do the job!
In today’s blog, we will cover all about outsourced B2B lead generation. Is it good for your business? If yes, then how to implement it? If not, then why not? This will be your in-depth guide to B2B lead generation outsourcing.
What Is Outsourced B2B Lead Generation?
Outsourced B2B lead generation means hiring a third-party company or agency to take over the lead generation activities for your B2B business.
Traditionally, B2B companies hand over the task of generating leads to the marketing and sales department. They perform campaigns with outbound and inbound strategies to get leads and convert them to generate revenue.
However, it takes a lot of time and effort from these teams leading to poor quality lead and a decrease in work quality. Often, these teams need to be trained for lead gen and can't optimize their processes to build a healthy lead pipeline. Hence, companies hire and outsource the lead generation task to a dedicated team of specialists.
Lead generation agencies take over certain tasks or the complete lead generation process to provide the business with qualified leads. This enables the sales and marketing team to focus on the high-value task of nurturing the leads.
These agencies or companies take over various lead gen-specific tasks like:
- Social Media Outreach
- Paid Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Cold Calling
- Website Optimization
In addition to these, many other activities come under lead generation strategies, which these agencies do for the companies. They aim to get more leads and reduce the burden on sales and marketing teams.
Should You Outsource Lead Generation?
Businesses outsource many menial tasks to third-party companies or automate them. Similarly, not all of them are equipped to handle the entire lead generation campaign.
Amongst many of them, here are the top 5 challenges that B2B businesses face when managing their lead generation efforts.
1. Qualifying Leads: The leads are of 3 types: SQLs, MQLs, and PQLs. SQLs and PQLs are more likely to convert since the leads are engaging with the product and clearing purchase-related queries. Contrarily, MQLs are low-qualified leads since the person shows interest in the content and not particularly the product. Moreover, outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads to a business.
2. Converting Leads: The sales cycle is long in B2B businesses. Hence, sales and marketing teams don't have a clear idea of when to stop investing in a lead. Moreover, often the teams are not equipped or trained for lead generation. For instance, not all sales representatives are exceptional at cold calling. In fact, the average lead conversion rate is 5-10%.
3. Relying on Referrals: Many B2B companies rely on referrals to grow their audience reach and business revenue. Even though referrals are seen as a great way to capture new audiences (more likely to convert), they are not the best option when trying to multiply your revenue and grow your business. Businesses can not sleep on lead generation and wait for leads to show up without dedicated efforts.
4. Missing Customer Data and Insights: Companies spend a lot of time coming up with new strategies and campaigns, but often forget to research customers. Moreover, they don’t have insights into customer pain points. In a nutshell, these gaps in customer data hamper the campaigns and give poor results in lead generation.
5. Lack of a Dedicated Strategy: B2B business focuses on referrals and brand building so they don't put a dedicated lead generation strategy in place. They might have few lead generation activities and tactics under process, but they have a proper strategy. This leads to a lack of insights and stagnant lead generation growth.
Lead generation is complex, demands resources, and has various challenges as mentioned above. Hence, companies believe that outsourcing, a part or whole, will get better results. But, will they?
Is It Better To Outsource Lead Generation?
Outsourcing a critical task like lead generation is risky! However, it has its own perks and solves various complexities of B2B lead generation.
1. Access To Skilled Team: Hiring a third-party agency or company for lead generation implies employing a dedicated team of experts who have mastered their craft. Instead of your sales and marketing team trying to play the complete role and accomplish everything themselves, a lead gen company assists them with specific tasks. These agencies have a team of experts who have been working in the industry for years and can do the job efficiently and effectively.
2. Get Qualified Leads: 24% of sales professionals find the task of the lead generation complex and time-consuming. A lead generation company helps sales and marketing teams get past the menial task of finding and qualifying leads. They deploy strategies and tactics to find qualified strategies and keep your pipeline flourishing all the time. Companies can outsource the parts of lead generation that overwhelm their teams and would fetch better ROI when done by specialists. Additionally, businesses save money and resources by hiring and building an in-house team for lead generation. This results in lead efficiency in a limited time.
3. Enhance ROI: A generalist might have a grasp of multiple fields, but can not beat specialists when ROI is at stake. Specialists have spent years enhancing their skills and understanding of the industry to get the maximum results. A lead generation company will be able to put all their focus onto the required areas and generate more qualified leads with equivalent resources as compared to in-house teams. They will save the time of sales and marketing teams so that they focus on tasks that they are well equipped with. Moreover, companies can attain their growth goals easily with a lead generation company.
4. Focus On High Priority Value Tasks: Sales and marketing teams have a lot on their plate ranging from customer interaction to creating content and marketing messages. Adding the burden of lead generation can overwhelm the teams and affect lead efficiency. With a third-party lead generation company, the in-house teams can focus on high-value tasks, like conversion and retention. They can optimize the inbound lead campaigns and prioritize selling over attracting new audiences. This enhances the effort of internal teams without hampering the lead quality.
5. Specific Feedback: The internal team often lacks customer insights and doesn't have clarity over which metrics to measure. A lead generation company has a proper SOP to share insights and metrics to evaluate the campaign's success. They target specific USPs to capture the relevant audience and have a clear strategy to evaluate success or failure.
6. Advanced Tech Stack: Companies planning to do lead generation themselves, especially SaaS lead generation, need to hire specialists and build a dedicated tech stack for effective implementation. However, companies with low resources or not willing to invest so much time in bringing all resources together prefer third-party lead generation agencies. They have a team and all the technologies and tools in place to run effective campaigns. All the campaigns have a set SOP and are automated for operational efficiency.
7. Experimentation: A B2B business is very stringent about its reputation and customer base. Since getting leads and customer acquisition is difficult, experimenting with it is too risky. Contrarily, a lead generation company, they have been working with similar companies for years. They have experience and know how to take measured risks in this area. So, a lead generation company doesn't shy away from experimenting and uses a multi-channel approach to tap a larger audience.
8. Global Footprint: Businesses can find it difficult to target a global market with limited resources themselves. Outsourcing the lead generation means getting specialists with multilingual teams to capture a global footprint. They can easily tap audiences across the globe with their expertise and latest tech stack. It can be a great transformation for businesses planning to expand and getting leads for new product or service launches.
9. No Team Expansion Required: 38.2% of businesses find it difficult to get adequate specialists in the team for lead generation. When the companies decide to undertake lead generation themselves, they have to plan the strategy and hire people. They spend a lot of money building an in-house team of specialists. Moreover, they need to match the headcount of the marketing and sales team to ensure no qualified leads go wasted. Hence, with outsourcing, they need not worry about building a team or matching the headcount. The sales grow rapidly without any hiring efforts.
How Does Outsourced B2B Lead Generation Work?
A typical B2B lead generation process has 3 major steps- identifying ideal buyers, choosing strategy/ setting campaign, and finally qualifying prospects. Sales and marketing departments have an equivalent role in the campaign implementation.
Identify Ideal Buyer
Who is the target audience of the business?
The first step is to identify who your product or service is catered to. This isn't restricted to their industry or job profile but goes into a deeper understanding of the ideal buyer.
Based on the information and insights, the business prepares a dedicated ICP, aka buyer persona, of the target audience. This includes a comprehensive overview of the ideal customer, including and not limited to:
- Job Profile
- Pain Points
- Purchase Criteria
Generally, either the sales or marketing department prepares the buyer persona since they are front-facing the customers, having real-time conversations. However, due to missing information and subjective bias, they can miss details and have gaps in ICP. Moreover, adding the burden of such a critical task can affect work quality.
How Outsourced B2B Lead Generation Helps?
- Analyze and plan the lead generation campaigns
- Dedicate hours building accurate buyer persona to run successful campaigns
- Share ICP and insights with the internal team to ensure enhanced conversions
Which channels will you use for lead generation?
Lead generation is not restricted to cold calling or waiting for inbound leads. A successful lead generation campaign includes various platforms and multiple channels to achieve business sales growth.
A B2B business shall deploy more than 2-3 channels to effectively capture a larger market and build a healthy lead pipeline. This includes:
- Content Marketing
- Paid Advertising
- Cold Outreach- Calling and Emails
- Community Building
- Social Media
- Website Optimization
There are many more channels and ways to tap the target audience, which vary in the buyer persona. A business based upon the buyer persona, resources, and other critical information chooses and implements a strategy.
Sales and marketing teams spend their time implementing and optimizing these campaigns and strategies for maximum ROI. It often includes each team picking on lead generation tasks like:
1. Sales Teams- cold outreach, sales cadence, social engagement
2. Marketing Teams- content creation, ABM, growth hacking
Each team aims at attracting and engaging with target customers to maximise conversion and retention. They build relationships and target key decision-makers with relevant and personalized messages. Moreover, they spend time automating these processes for efficiency.
How Outsourced B2B Lead Generation Helps?
- Plan and implement to take away any burden off the internal teams
- Help businesses decide the channels for lead gen and implement specific strategies for business success.
- Deploy the latest technology and other sales enablement tools
- Help the internal team track the progress and get access to qualified leads without the hassle
Can these leads become paid customers?
The final step of lead generation is checking if these leads can become paid customers. This involves gauging their interests and identifying the funnel stage.
Based on the funnel stage, sales and marketing teams align their efforts. The initial stages are directed more towards creating awareness via prospecting and sharing informational content. In the latter stages of the funnel, when the customer is ready to make a purchase, the sales team focuses on negotiation. Similarly, the marketing team focuses on conversational content to share product-related information. This can also include product demos and free trials based on the funnel stage. The main aim is to push the leads down the funnel stage and convert them to paid users.
How Outsourced B2B Lead Generation Helps?
- Negotiate and share high-value resources- ebooks, and white papers to close the deal
- Clear queries and take inbound calls to resolve customer issues
- Manage referrals, company database, trade shows, events, demos, etc.
- Help in content creation for the bottom of the funnel- demos, ebooks, white papers, case studies, etc.
What You Can Expect When You Outsource Your Lead Generation?
The basic aim of a third-party lead generation company is to fill the sales pipeline with quality leads. There are various types of agencies and they perform various tasks covering different funnel stages. Each one uses a different USP to differentiate. Some of the basic functions you can expect a B2B lead generation agency to perform are:
- Analyze your business- products, competitors, USP, clientele
- Create ICP and buyer persona for effective lead generation
- Identify and reach out to leads via a dedicated strategy using a multi-channel approach
- Share insights about the leads with the internal team inclusive of their queries and pain points
In addition to all these, they perform many specific tasks such as booking appointments, contacting leads, training sales and marketing teams, email listing, database scrubbing, etc.
Basically, businesses can outsource a part or whole of the lead generation process based on their resources and capabilities. A lead generation agency will take over the task and feed the sales pipeline with qualified leads.
Is It Better To Outsource Lead Generation?
37% of businesses struggle in finding qualified leads. But does every business need to spend its resources on hiring a third-party company? Here are some factors to look at to decide whether a lead generation agency is the right choice for you or not.
When to Outsource:
- Your business won't have enough resources for planning and implementing a successful lead-generation campaign
- You want to build a whole new set of skilled team and invest in the latest B2B lead generation tools and technology
- Your current SOP can easily integrate with a third-party agency to build the sales pipeline
- Your internal is skilled in the bottom of the funnel activities related to conversion
- Your team is burdened with the current workload and can't effectively manage lead generation campaign
- Your business is launching a new product/ service or planning to pivot the business
When to Not Outsource:
- You can hire and train an in-house team of specialists
- You want a dedicated team who works full-time for generating qualified leads
- Your major lead source is the inbound channel
- You don't have specific business and lead-generation goals
Top 5 Challenges of Outsourcing B2B Lead Generation (and How to Fix Them)
Even though outsourcing lead generation has a lot of benefits, many businesses don't get good results. This roots in various loopholes on the part of the business and the agency itself. All these can be avoided if precautions are taken. Here are the top 6 challenges in outsourcing B2B lead generation and how they can be addressed to handle mishaps.
Often neither the agencies nor the businesses spend enough time defining their target audience. As a result, all the efforts go futile and the money invested goes in vain. Agencies end up spending weeks or even months second-guessing the ideal audience.
- Segment your audience and create a definite buyer persona before lead generation
- Communicate the target audience specifications with the lead agency
Most businesses have databases that aren't updated for a long time. It has inaccurate information and the insights are no longer relevant. Additionally, many times, the majority of data is siloed, escalating the unavailability of critical insights.
- All the critical information shall be mapped out and shared with relevant departments
- Agencies should communicate data requirements with businesses
42.1% of businesses face problems in finding the right strategy for lead generation. They don't spend enough time choosing the right strategy and opting for an inclusive approach. This leads to hampering brand image and restricting business growth. Businesses or agencies ignore this factor and lose a big market.
- All the content and brand messages must be clear and inclusive to an underrepresented audience
- Businesses shall spend extra time with agencies to pick the strategies with the maximum ROI
Outsourcing always comes with a risk factor. Businesses have their money, revenue and reputation at stake. Lead generation involves real-time conversations with customers. This means that if the lead agency makes any mistake, the burden will fall upon the business. These mishaps can be in any form
- Poor copy
- Off-brand design
- Technical issues- domain damage, email deliverability issues, etc.
- Compliance issues
- Businesses shall share strict guidelines for the agencies to avoid any compliance or brand-related errors
- Businesses must regularly engage with agencies to see the work progress and ensure approve their strategies before implementing
- Businesses must do a thorough background check on the agency's past work and values
Lack of Dedicated Focus
Having an in-house team implies a complete focus on the business. Agencies on the other hand have many companies that take away their effort, time, and attention. This leads to reduced focus on your business operations in particular.
- Understand the functioning of the agency and the fact that the result matters more. If the agency gets you qualified leads, their working with other clients doesn't matter
- Check past works and case studies to have a clear idea of what kind of results can an agency bring to you
How Do You Choose A Lead Generation Agency?
Choosing an agency for lead generation takes a considerably longer time as the entire business revenue stakes on it. If the lead agency fails to provide qualified leads, the business wouldn't have enough sales to sustain itself. Moreover, the financial and reputational risk is another factor to consider. The real question is- Does risk overweight benefits when outsourcing B2B lead generation?
What if the lead gen company doesn't target the right audience? What if they publish content that hampers business reputation? What about instances where they aren't able to generate leads and waste our resources?
The solution is to spend enough time finding the right agency or lead generation company. Here are 6 factors to consider while picking the lead generation agency for your business:
1. ROI: Will your business benefit from hiring this agency or is it costing too much from the current CAC? The return on investment is the most important factor to consider when choosing a third-party agency for outsourcing. Consider the number of leads generated per month, compare it to existing numbers, cost of hiring, other perks, etc. The overall ROI must be positive and help in business growth.
2. Resources Required: How much does your internal team need to invest for getting positive results? Do you have to continuously intervene and help the team or are they self-sufficient? Consider how much time, money, effort, and data you need to provide on your end. Outsourcing should take away the burden, not add the hassle of managing an external team.
3. Business Goals Prioritization: What does the agency prioritize? Do they value your business goals, customers, business values, etc.? The agency should be customer-centric and plan the entire campaign emphasising business growth. They should understand the business and their USP to target the relevant customer.
5. Past Clientele: Who has the agency worked with in the past? Are they remotely related to your business? An agency will have higher chances of success if they have worked with top companies in similar industries. They must have expertise in your business industry with concrete proof of work- in the form of past clientele. Additionally, get into their success stories, case studies, and past work for understanding the success rate!
6. SOP and Strategies: Is lead generation easy or complex with the agency? The complexities root in the SOP of lead generation. Consider the strategies, team structure, technologies, automation, etc. while choosing the lead generation partner. Analyze if they hand over the lead effortlessly or if it is an added hassle!
Outsource Lead Generation For Your B2B Business Today With TripleDart!
Need help with lead generation for your growing B2B business?
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