Most B2B companies would agree that generating quality leads is challenging yet critical for sales and revenue growth.
The good news is that by strategically outsourcing lead generation, B2B companies can tap into the expertise and capabilities of specialized agencies to drive more qualified leads and align efforts to core sales goals.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of outsourced B2B lead generation and provide a framework for partnering with lead generation agencies to execute multi-channel campaigns, track KPIs and optimize for increased conversion and ROI.
Introduction to Outsourced B2B Lead Generation
Outsourced B2B lead generation involves partnering with a specialized agency to handle critical parts of the lead generation process like identifying prospects, contacting them, qualifying leads, and nurturing promising opportunities before they are passed to sales teams. This allows companies to focus on their core business while leveraging external expertise and technology to drive more qualified leads into the funnel.
Defining Outsourced B2B Lead Generation
Outsourced lead generation is the process of contracting an external company to handle key aspects of lead generation. This includes researching target accounts, identifying key prospects, obtaining contact details, initiating outreach campaigns, qualifying interest levels, and nurturing promising leads before transitioning them to sales teams.
The outsourced partner brings specialized technology, databases, and personnel to streamline this process through automation and optimization. This allows them to generate more qualified leads more efficiently than most companies can do in-house.
Exploring the Benefits of Outsourcing Lead Generation
There are several key benefits to outsourcing B2B lead generation:
- Cost Savings: Outsourced providers can generate leads at a fraction of the cost of maintaining in-house staff and infrastructure. This converts previously fixed costs into flexible operating expenses.
- Increased Efficiency: Specialized agencies focus solely on lead generation allowing them to constantly refine processes. This results in higher productivity and conversion rates.
- Flexibility: Lead generation needs fluctuate so the ability to easily scale up or down is invaluable. Outsourced partners offer on-demand flexibility.
- Advanced Technology: Outsourced providers invest heavily in lead gen technology like data enrichment, predictive analytics, campaign automation, and AI. This brings cutting edge capability.
- Sales Team Focus: Freeing up internal teams to focus on qualified opportunities instead of prospecting activities.
Aligning with Sales Goals and ROI
To maximize value, outsourced lead generation programs should align with overall sales objectives by:
- Establishing lead quality standards and key buying criteria for ideal prospects.
- Setting volume goals for target lead types and associated conversion rates.
- Using cost per lead/cost per acquisition metrics to calibrate spending.
- Assigning leads to nurture streams based on buyer readiness.
- Integrating with existing sales processes and tools.
- Reviewing results regularly and optimizing based on data and feedback.
Taking this strategic approach allows outsourced efforts to operate as an integrated extension of sales – contributing directly to pipeline growth, reduced acquisition costs, and revenue expansion in a measurable way.
Can you outsource lead generation?
Lead generation outsourcing involves partnering with an external company to assist with driving new leads into your sales pipeline. This can help businesses in several key ways:
Access Specialized Expertise
Outsourced lead generation partners focus solely on lead gen activities. They have the expertise to execute strategies like cold calling, email outreach, content syndication, paid ads, and more. This specialized skillset can generate higher quality leads more efficiently.
Scale Lead Gen Capacity
In-house teams often get overwhelmed handling both sales conversations and lead gen simultaneously. Outsourced providers dedicate full resources so you can scale lead flow without expanding internal headcount.
Gain Data-Driven Strategies
Reputable lead gen companies rely heavily on data analytics to optimize programs. They test approaches and fine-tune efforts based on response rates, cost per lead, sales velocity, and other KPIs. This data-first methodology improves results.
Focus on Core Priorities
Freed from manual lead gen tasks, in-house teams can better focus on high-value activities like closing deals, account management, product enhancements, etc. Outsourcing lead gen lifts a burden so companies can realign internal priorities.
In summary, outsourced lead generation can pay dividends through specialized expertise, scalability, analytics-based strategies, and realigned focus on core priorities. For any growth-focused organization, it’s an option worth exploring. Reputable providers help transform sales pipelines by delivering higher quality, higher velocity leads.
How much does B2B lead generation cost?
The cost of B2B lead generation can vary significantly depending on the level of qualification and enrichment required. Here are some key factors that influence pricing:
Data acquisition: Obtaining quality contact data from targeted companies requires extensive research and prospecting, which can be expensive. Prices range from $50-100 per raw lead.
Contact verification and enrichment: Validating emails, phone numbers, and other data points increases costs. Enriching leads with additional firmographic details also adds to the price per lead, ranging from $100-250.
Multi-channel outreach: Conducting personalized outreach across email, phone, social media and other channels takes time and effort. This can add $150-300+ per lead depending on extent of nurturing required.
Vertical expertise: Certain specialized verticals like healthcare, financial services and technology require industry expertise for effective lead gen, further increasing costs.
Competition: Highly competitive industries drive up lead generation pricing due to increased effort required in research, outreach and lead nurturing.
On average, qualified and enriched B2B leads tend to cost around $200-250 each. However, costs can exceed $500 per lead for highly targeted, high-value prospects in specialized verticals. Leveraging automation and AI where suitable can help optimize lead generation spending.
How do I generate leads for my B2B business?
Generating leads for a B2B business can seem daunting, but there are proven strategies that can help. Here are some of the most effective ways to get started:
Make Many Landing Pages
Creating targeted landing pages for your products and services allows you to capture leads through search and paid advertising. Make pages focused on specific offerings, keywords, and buyer personas.
Use Inside Sales
Leverage an inside sales team to qualify inbound leads and conduct outbound prospecting. This expands reach and surfaces new opportunities.
Use Email Marketing
Nurture leads by sending a series of emails that provide value. Share industry insights, product updates, event invites and more to build relationships.
Host or Attend Conferences and Tradeshows
Position your company as an industry leader by securing speaking sessions at events. Attend to network face-to-face with prospects.
Webinars establish thought leadership and allow lead capture through registration. Promote widely through email, social media and search ads.
Leverage Your Referral Program
Encourage customers and partners to refer new prospects through incentives. This surfaces qualified leads at low acquisition costs.
Use Search Marketing
Run paid search and SEO campaigns focused on commercial intent keywords to drive visits from those actively researching solutions.
Write High-Quality Content
Publish educational blog posts, ebooks, case studies and more optimized for keywords potential buyers use during research.
By testing and optimizing across these key channels, you can generate a consistent pipeline of sales-ready leads over time. The key is taking an integrated, metrics-driven approach across both digital and offline channels.
How do you find leads for outsourcing?
Finding quality leads is critical for successful outsourced lead generation. Here are some effective strategies:
Use Social Media Ads
Run targeted Facebook and LinkedIn ads to reach your ideal B2B prospects. You can define audiences by demographics, interests, behaviors and more to hone in on organizations likely to need your services.
Leverage LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This tool allows you to search for and connect with decision-makers at companies that fit your customer profile. Reach out to generate interest and capture leads.
Send Cold Emails
With some research you can put together a list of prospect companies and contacts. Carefully crafted cold emails can pique interest and drive conversions.
Attend Industry Events
Get out from behind the computer screen and network in-person. Have conversations, collect business cards, and explain your offerings to event attendees.
Offer Free Trials
Consider providing free lead generation trials to a limited number of qualified prospects. This allows you to demonstrate your capabilities hands-on.
Be persistent and track your results to determine which tactics deliver the highest quality leads. Then double down on what works to continually expand your pipeline.
Strategic Planning with Lead Generation Outsourcing Companies
Mapping the Buyer’s Journey
Understanding the typical B2B buyer’s journey from initial awareness to purchase is key for aligning lead generation efforts. This journey often includes stages like:
Awareness: The buyer realizes they have a problem to solve or goal to achieve. They may start researching potential solutions online.
Consideration: The buyer identifies and evaluates a shortlist of possible solutions/vendors. They consume more content to learn.
Evaluation: The buyer engages with a small number of vendors, gathering quotes, product demos, free trials, etc. to deeply evaluate solutions.
Purchase: The buyer selects the best solution for their needs and makes a purchasing commitment.
Effective lead generation focuses on moving potential buyers through this journey – from building awareness to driving consideration, then nurturing evaluation interactions that result in sales.
Defining Ideal Customer Profiles for Targeted Outreach
Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) outline the key attributes of your best-fit potential buyers. Well-defined ICPs help focus outbound messaging and campaigns. Useful ICP filters include:
- Firmographic data like company size, location, and industry
- Technographic details like tech stacks used
Combining filters lets you target niche groups with the greatest potential value. Outbound campaigns tailored to ICPs see higher engagement and conversion rates.
Choosing Appropriate Outreach Channels
Channels like email, phone, LinkedIn, and events each have pros and cons for lead generation outreach. Choosing channels based on ICP preferences is important. Consider:
- Email: Scalable but low response rates. Useful for high-volume outreach.
- Phone: More intrusive but higher response and conversion potential. Better for nurturing promising leads.
- LinkedIn: Leverage existing professional connections and relationships.
- Events: In-person networking yields quality connections.
An integrated, multi-channel campaign aligns touchpoints to ICP preferences for optimal results.
Developing Value-Driven Messaging
Craft messaging that speaks directly to the pains, goals, and preferences of target ICPs. Effective messages clearly convey:
- Relevance: Show you understand their problems.
- Value: Position your solution as the answer.
- Call-to-action: Drive them to take a next step with you.
Refine messaging through testing and optimization based on campaign analytics.
Executing Multi-Channel Lead Gen Campaigns
Strategically orchestrate lead gen initiatives across multiple channels for an integrated campaign. Continual optimization is key:
- Launch aligned campaigns and track performance.
- Analyze metrics to identify high-performing segments.
- Optimize spend, messaging, offers towards best segments.
Taking an agile, data-driven approach lets you efficiently convert promising leads into sales pipeline.
Selecting the Right B2B Lead Generation Agency
Choosing the right partner is key to getting results from an outsourced B2B lead generation program. Here are some best practices for vetting and selecting agencies that offer the expertise, technology, and fit needed to meet your sales objectives.
Capabilities to Look For in a B2B Lead Generation Agency
When evaluating potential partners, seek agencies that provide:
- Proven methodologies for reaching your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
- Research to deeply understand your ICPs and tailor outreach
- Multi-channel outreach technology like email, LinkedIn, phone
- Lead qualification processes to ensure relevancy
- Transparent reporting on key performance metrics
These table-stakes capabilities indicate the specialization required for B2B lead generation excellence.
Assessing Company Experience and Credibility
An agency’s track record offers credibility indicators such as:
- Case studies demonstrating success with similar clients
- Client lists across industries
- Testimonials confirming capability to hit KPIs
- Leadership experience in sales and marketing roles
Vetting these signals ensures your potential partner has real-world expertise to execute effective campaigns.
Understanding Pricing Models for B2B Lead Generation Services
Common pricing models include:
- Low risk, aligns incentives
- Retainer/fixed fee
- Predictable budgeting
- Commission/success fee
- Highly aligned with sales impact
Choose an model that incentivizes lead quality while optimizing budget efficiency to maximize ROI.
Asking the Right Vetting Questions
Qualifying questions to ask potential partners:
- How will you research our ICPs?
- What channels will you use to reach our ICPs?
- How will you qualify leads before passing them to sales?
- How do you measure and report on campaign success?
The answers will reveal true capabilities beyond marketing language.
Securing Buy-In across Stakeholders
Get alignment by highlighting:
- Expertise fit to goals and ICPs
- Technology fit to processes
- ROI impact of higher sales capacity
This builds confidence across execs, sales, marketing in your choice.
Leveraging Outsourced Sales Support for Lead Generation
Ensuring Transparency and Communication
Regular communication and transparency are key for successful outsourced B2B lead generation campaigns. Partners should provide access to real-time campaign data and metrics through an online dashboard. Additionally, schedule weekly or bi-weekly status update calls to discuss campaign performance, lead quality, and any issues that need to be addressed.
Make sure there are clear protocols in place for providing feedback, change requests, and optimizations on an ongoing basis. Both parties should feel comfortable proposing ideas openly in order to drive better campaign results over time.
Closely Tracking Program KPIs
When launching an outsourced lead generation initiative, clearly define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will determine program success. Typical KPIs to track include:
- Cost per lead, per marketing qualified lead (MQL), and per sales qualified lead (SQL)
- Lead to opportunity conversion rates
- Impact on overall sales cycle velocity
- New customer revenue contribution
By monitoring these metrics, you can continually optimize based on actionable data vs subjective perceptions of what’s working.
Leverage A/B Testing for Optimization
Effective B2B lead gen partners provide robust A/B testing capabilities to experiment with messaging, content offers, outreach channels, and other campaign variables to improve results.
For example, you could test how call vs email outreach impacts lead conversion rates for various personas. Or test if a particular content offer generates a higher percentage of sales qualified leads.
Continual testing allows you to double down on what works and phase out what doesn’t.
Monitoring Lead Quality and Taking Action
While hitting lead volume targets is important, monitoring lead quality is equally critical for an outsourced program’s success. Make sure your partner provides real-time alerts if lead quality scores start to dip below acceptable thresholds.
Also have protocols in place to quickly investigate the root cause – whether it’s targeting the wrong titles or companies, ineffective messaging, over-aggressive outreach, etc. Then collaborate to implement corrections to prevent extended periods of low quality output.
Regular Reviews and Goal Setting
Schedule quarterly or bi-annual reviews of your outsourced lead generation program’s performance and set goals for the next period. Key areas to discuss include:
- What’s working well and should be expanded
- Any current challenges and how to address them
- New target personas, titles, or companies to pursue
- Additional channels, use cases, or content to test
- Volume and revenue goals for the next 3, 6, or 12 months
This ensures your program can scale efficiently over time. And that it continues filling your sales pipeline with quality leads.
Conclusion and Key Takeaways
Outsourced B2B lead generation can provide significant benefits for SaaS companies looking to drive sales pipeline and revenue growth in a cost-effective manner. By leveraging external expertise and capabilities, firms can gain flexibility, specialized skills, and sales team alignment towards core priorities. However, realizing success requires careful strategy development and optimization based on data insights over time.
Summary of Core Benefits of Outsourcing B2B Lead Generation
Key advantages of outsourcing lead generation include:
Cost Savings: External providers can generate leads at a lower cost per lead compared to in-house teams. This frees up budget to allocate towards other sales and marketing efforts.
Flexibility: Seasonal or urgent lead generation needs can be addressed without expanding internal teams. Campaigns can be rapidly spun up or down as required.
Expertise and Capabilities: Experienced providers possess specialized lead generation skills and supporting technologies that are challenging for in-house teams to develop and maintain.
Sales Team Prioritization: By handing lead generation tasks to an external partner, sales teams can focus their efforts on highest-value activities like closing deals.
Process Optimization: Providers continually refine processes through data analysis to improve lead quality, response rates, and other KPIs over time.
Critical Success Factors
Key elements for effective outsourced lead generation include:
- Executive buy-in and support
- Clear goals and transparency between partners
- Rigorous provider capability assessment
- Data-driven campaign optimization
- Continuous lead quality monitoring
- Tight sales and marketing alignment
Developing an impactful outsourced lead generation strategy with the right partners can significantly accelerate pipeline and revenue growth for SaaS firms. However, truly optimizing results requires a data-driven approach to continual optimization and alignment across sales and marketing objectives over time.