How to outsource lead generation successfully
At the end of Toy Story, Buzz and Woody are finally reunited with their owner, Andy. Having spent most of the movie as sworn enemies, the two toys finally learn to collaborate in order to get what they both desire. It’s a lesson I’m sure we’ve all taken something from.
The most obvious lesson being that outsourcing lead generation can add enhance the efforts of internal teams. As the Buzz to your Woody, teaming up with a lead generation company means you can take advantage of their skills to complement your own efforts.
But collaborating with the right team is vital. For every hero partner, there are cowboys lurking around the corner. For each company that has the stats to back up their claims, there will be empty promises of infinity (and beyond).
If you are considering lead gen outsourcing, there are costly mistakes to avoid but huge advantages if you get it right – high ROI is very possible. This article will outline how to bring in external help – as near as buying leads as you can get – to supercharge your business and have you flying faster than if you’d strapped a toy rocket to your back.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying prospective customers, attracting them to your brand, and converting them into paying customers.
Inbound and outbound marketing tactics are used to attract customers and move them through the sales funnel. Both inbound and outbound use a variety of channels to reach prospective customers.
Explaining different leads
We all know what a lead is, but it’s worth having a quick reminder of the different types of leads that a business will see in its sales pipeline.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
A marketing qualified lead is an individual who has engaged with your marketing material in some way. They may have downloaded a white paper, so have shown some interest, but an MQL is not ready for a sales call.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
A sales qualified lead is an individual who has engaged with your business in a way that explicitly indicates that they are interested in buying your product or service. An example of an SQL would be someone who has responded positively to a prospecting email.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
A product qualified lead is an individual who has used your product, thereby showing interest in becoming a customer. PQLs generally apply to businesses that run free trials, or offer free tools (like our free B2B email toolkit!)
What is lead generation outsourcing?
Lead generation outsourcing simply means bringing in an external lead generation company to assist with driving leads into your sales team. Such a company may specialise in one particular aspect of business development – like cold calling – or could be a more generalised marketing agency.
Every company will be generating demand for their product or service internally in some way. But a fully mature marketing strategy uses multiple channels and methods – both inbound and outbound – to deliver more leads and make demand generation more resilient to changes and events outside of a company’s control.
When to outsource lead gen
So when do you outsource demand generation, and when do you leave it to the internal marketing team?
Using in-house lead generation
In order to focus on internal business development:
- You need a dedicated, experienced team working on lead gen full-time
- You should know which channels and specialisms to focus on
- You should focus on inbound marketing methods to generate leads
Outsourced lead generation
Consider external business development when:
- You don’t have the resources to hire and train new staff and build out internal marketing teams
- You want to supplement internal marketing efforts with new channels
- You want or need to focus on booking appointments (through cold calling or email prospecting – common in B2B lead generation)
- You want to launch a new product or service
- You need to pivot the business
Sales lead generation outsourcing is perfect for the last two, as it can deliver rapid go-to-market strategy that could take internal teams far longer to achieve.