“Leads are the metric that, as marketers, we have to rely on. Because leads mean money.” Kipp Bodnar: B2b Inbound Marketing Strategist at HubSpot
The “Lead Generation Benchmark Survey” of a couple of years ago, jointly published by Ascend2 and Marketing Advocate showed that nearly 2/3rd of all Enterprises and nearly ½ of all SMBs were already outsourcing some or all of their lead generation activity. The survey also revealed that the majority of these organizations were seeking improved quality and a larger number of leads. What these organizations need is good quality leads, in sufficient number and at a consistent rate of flow. As Bodnar has stated clearly, leads are the fuel that drive the sales engine. It is our contention that this focus on quality and quantity of leads also makes an outsourced lead generation team more suited to the job than an internal one.
The argument, traditionally made, in favor of outsourcing is one related to cost, less management effort, and team scalability but the greatest value from outsourcing lead generation lies elsewhere.
- Expertise: Outsourced lead generation agencies are generally staffed with telecallers with vast experience of calling – they are experts at starting and carrying forward conversations and understand all the nuances of the interaction. These experts are also led by experts – veteran team leads and managers with the experience to match. In addition, they have access to the accumulated knowledge of the whole agency – all those little tips and tricks that can make the difference between a confirmed appointment and a failed call.
- Process: It’s hard to overstate the importance of the tried and tested processes outsourced lead agencies can bring to bear on prospect outreach. These are processes designed and honed over time to maximize chances of success. Hiring the outsourced agency brings the process with it – a far better option than you having to spend time and energy to reinvent that particular wheel for yourself.
- Analytics: Lead generation agencies know which metrics to keep an eye out for, what the numbers mean and perhaps even more importantly what the numbers don’t reveal. It’s not just the number of calls and the leads generated – agencies know how to take a holistic view of the data generated over the entire lead generation process and draw out insights that can help keep improving the outcomes. As sales pro-Steve Cuningham said, “Constant analysis is key in successful selling and when included as a best of practice and performed as a routine, many low producing sales months can be avoided.”
- Accountability: Outsourced lead gen teams are usually more goal oriented since often their compensation is fully or partially tied directly to results. This is often presented as a cost-related benefit but the fact is this also makes the agency more directly accountable. Internal teams, almost always, get cut more slack because of organizational and personal issues. Think what happens when a high performing team member leaves – the new person is naturally allowed time to settle in before expectations to perform pile up. In outsourcing the lead gen, it’s the agency that has to deliver the results and they have to do so irrespective of any such issues – hence the greater accountability.
- Focus: This is an oft-mentioned benefit but worth repeating nonetheless. The outsourcing of the lead generation directly benefits the sales team as they can focus on customer relations, problem solving and closures. All this since the lead gen team takes care of the activities in the early stages of the sales cycle and feeds high quality, qualified leads to the sales team. Most organizations agree that this super-specialization helps achieve better sales results – isn’t that what all of us are seeking?
There is plenty written about how lead generation should be outsourced to save money – our view is it should be outsourced if you want to make money!
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