Outsourcing B2B sales lead generation for your company can be an essential step toward increasing sales capacity and breaking into new markets. Finding the right firm to fit your outsourcing needs is crucial.
You want to identify a company with a proven process that will bring you qualified leads. One that will mesh with your organization’s sales process and has experience calling into the same, or similar space, with which you work.
As you evaluate vendors providing B2B lead generation services, you will need to consider the following to find the right fit.
How will the new firm communicate with your team? Will they be able to align with your company’s brand and messaging? Will they meet or even exceed expectations? And, will you to be able to achieve ROI from your investment in the business strategy?
Here are four essential elements to include in your evaluations:
1. Communication with Your Outsourced Team
Maintaining communication with your outsourced team is one of the critical components of a successful partnership with a lead generation firm. You understand how your company operates, what works, and what does not, so you need to be sure that the organization you decide to work with will meet your needs.
At the outset, establish your ideal scenario. What sort of communication do you want to have with your outsourced team? How frequently do you want to be updated on their efforts, and who else on your team may need to be advised?
Thinking this through and establishing your expectations at the very beginning will build the foundation for a successful business relationship between your organization and the vendor you end up choosing.
Additionally, you need to identify how you will set expectations.
After you provide your outsourced team with the initial information and the program has started, will you have an opportunity to review and make adjustments? As with any sales process, evaluation and adaptation can make the difference in meeting established objectives.
Finally, who will be making the calls on your company’s behalf? It is helpful to have an idea of who is speaking on your firm’s behalf. Will you know who is calling?
2. Alignment with your Brand and Message
Your organization has established its brand and messaging as its identity. Anyone speaking on your company’s behalf must be aligned with both.
You must be sure that the outsourced team truly understands your company’s voice, which is especially true for conversations with high-level executive decision-makers.
Ascertain the amount of time your outsourced team will spend to understand your brand and messaging. Make sure the professionals on the team are experienced in your industry.
Ask if they know industry-specific terms and whether they have enough business acumen to represent your brand accurately and speak on your behalf. Make sure you are comfortable with the level of professionalism they demonstrate when calling prospective leads.
Your outsourced team must build trust with the prospects they are calling on your behalf. Being aligned with your company’s brand and knowledgeable about your industry, its language, and trends builds trust.
In B2B sales, the sales cycle can be long and complicated. The potential relationship starts with the very first call from your team and continues with each following contact. Starting off on the right foot in the first contact begins the process of building trust and developing a qualified lead for your firm.
Identifying the expectations for your outsourced team’s work is vital to the success of your B2B outsourced lead sales. This process entails work internally to make sure your organization is on board and work externally with the outsourced team. Are the expectations clearly defined?
You will need to know what processes are in place for them to meet your firm’s expectations. Are the methods they employ time-tested and proven?
As I have said in the past, a successful firm will have the knowledge and processes to develop and execute lead generation campaigns. Campaigns that, when employed on your firm’s behalf, will meet your unique objectives and build your sales pipeline.
Reporting is another critical function. What kind of reporting can you expect to receive? The best B2B lead generation firms provide detailed profiles and data for each lead.
Consistent, thorough, and frequent reporting is essential. Be sure to ask the firm to produce an example of a “qualified lead sheet” for your review.
Proving the Return On Investment (ROI) of outsourcing B2B sales lead generation is also a desired outcome. To do so effectively, you’ll need to define what success means to your firm. Develop a plan to evaluate your lead generation team’s performance that will include the metrics you will use as you review the results.
Ask the outsourced firm to provide detail. What are they promising? Is it realistic? To what degree do they stress the quality of their work and the resulting leads? Are they promising numbers and appointments or qualified opportunities backed by real information?
If you’re basing metrics on previous lead generation campaigns, consider whether or not those have been useful and accurate.
Then take their information and fold it into your plan for evaluation. Use this information to develop a detailed and comprehensive plan to measure the outcomes for the program.
Outsourcing B2B Lead Generation: No “One Size Fits All”
When it comes to outsourcing B2B sales lead generation, there’s no ”one size fits all,” which is why including these four elements as part of your process is so valuable. Also, remember, there will be times when a prospect does not express immediate interest—this does not have to be a lost effort.
A caller who is experienced in B2B lead generation will still use the conversation as an opportunity to ask questions and skillfully reveal new business intelligence, which can lead to sales down the road and enhance the overall perception of your brand.
65% of businesses say generating traffic and leads is their biggest marketing challenge, according to inbound marketing and sales platform, Hubspot.
Outsourcing the sales lead generation process can be a cost-effective method of addressing that challenge. This is especially true when you have done the work ahead of time to find the right firm with which to partner.