Lead generation strategies form the core of any B2B organization’s road to success. There is no doubt in that! It is a major decider as to how prosperous your company would be in the future. For a start-up founder or entrepreneur, it is one of the primary objectives to identify the requirements with regards to lead generation and decide whether to employ a full-time team of in-house marketers to craft an effective B2B lead generation strategy, or go with an agency that would be able to help with customer acquisition and sales. But how would you go about selecting the right company to help you with your B2B lead generation? What are the things to keep in mind?
From a layman’s perspective, every other digital marketing agency may seem like a suitable fit for the task, but only a few would be able to actually understand the minutest intricacies of your business and get you relevant leads that would be profitable to your business. Here is how you should evaluate and select the right B2B lead generation company.
Tips to Evaluate and Select the Right B2B Lead Generation Agency
1) Check out their strengths
Knowing what a B2B lead generation company does the best is a vital element when you have to trust them with your own lead generation endeavours. Ask them what their strengths are. What are their offerings? Are they focused on the B2B sector or they cater to B2C too? Do they also offer web design and PR services? While looking out for a B2B lead generation company, it is crucial to find out what industries have they served in the past and check out the projects they have worked on. You can then decide if you want those services and expertise to be part of your lead generation strategy and what results you expect out of them.
2) Know the lead generation process
It is of utmost importance to know what measures your lead generation agency has in place to help you with the task of obtaining leads. The company should be able to inform and educate you of the steps it takes with regards to your inbound marketing strategy and lead nurturing. Where is the company going to obtain the leads from? What channels will be used? What is the process and frequency of the actions? Would the agency be buying databases in your case (because those are easily available, and cheap too, but seldom effective!) and passing those on to you? What are the tools/technology they are using? What exactly would be the strategy employed? You should, at all times, know the answer to these questions. This would also come in handy when you decide to do away with the agency and start working on your lead generation campaigns yourself.
3) Is it an “agency” or a “partner”?
This has to be identified in advance. You can have various types of associations with a B2B lead generation agency. It can be such that the agency provides you with a pre-decided number of leads per month, or engages in the overall range of digital marketing solutions. A true partner, on the other hand, will know in detail about your business and its goals, and know exactly what your sales and lead cycles are. Remember, any agency could give you a certain number of leads, but only a partner would take necessary steps to ensure the leads are of high quality and that your business actually benefits from them. They take upon themselves to craft marketing strategies that would work the best, and create campaigns to execute them. How they communicate with you to address your queries is an essential point to keep an eye on. The B2B lead generation company should work as an extension to your sales and marketing team, not as a standalone organization aimed at selling quantitative leads.
4) Vouch for quality, not quantity
There is an abundance of lead generation companies that would be able to provide you with more blog articles and marketing collaterals, and thus, leads, within a week than another company might deliver in a month. But would the results be better in terms of quality? A good digital marketing company looks into the details of the business it is handling before coming up with a plan that is bound to generate quality leads; while, on the other hand, an amateur organization will emphasize on the numbers of deliverables. I am not saying more is bad, but what matters is the quality of the leads generated. Talking to their past and present customers is often a good idea to find out about their quality of deliverables.
Make sure the company you are going forward with gets well-acquainted with the basics of your business beforehand and that the ideas resonate at all levels. The perfect B2B lead generation company should be equally focussed on response management, lead generation and qualification, and lead nurturing for the best results. It should also be ready to take responsibility of failed campaigns. The idea is to make sure most of the leads get converted into paying customers.
5) Look for an experienced team
You should be able to know the team that would be working on your company’s lead generation campaign. This is particularly important given the fact that you would be able to check in on them anytime, suggest any ideas you may have, ask for their viewpoints and inputs, and would be able to explain your requirements better. The major reason to be able to contact your lead generation team personally is because many a time, agencies hire fresh, out-of-college graduates who are just starting with their careers in digital marketing. They might not be the best fits to shape your brand’s future and thus, you should go with a team that has more experience, preferably in a field that relates to your business. They would be better able to provide their opinions, expert advices, and efforts in a bid to generate high quality leads for your organization.
6) Keep an eye on the budget
While there should be no compromise with the quality of leads attained, the budget needs to be kept in mind too. This doesn’t mean you should hire just any agency that promises you a definite number of leads at a certain price per month. For an entrepreneur or a company that has started recently, offers from organizations delivering high amount of leads may seem to be intriguing, but you need to perform a thorough analysis of their offerings and check their deliverables and past records before signing them up. A MarketingSherpa’s Lead Generation Benchmark Survey revealed that many marketers are starting to increase their lead generation spend to a large extent, mostly in social media, website optimization, and SEO.
7) Are they outsourcing?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if a B2B lead generation company has a large database of clients and it outsources part or most of its projects to other companies. A lot of agencies do so. While the results obtained may be satisfactory, you do not get to exercise enough authority over the resources and have no say in the overall process. You will just get the leads at hand in the end that may or may not be up to your expectations. If this is happening with you, it is the warning bell! Step out of that contract and start looking out for a better agency.
The process of lead generation is a very crucial aspect for the rise and fall of a business empire. Of course, there are many hurdles in the path of lead generation. Sometimes, the best of lead generation organizations fail to provide satisfactory results for their clients, and this is solely because they were not relevant! One wrong step and the hours of efforts accompanied with stashes of money spent would bear no significance. It is always advisable to consult an expert digital marketing agency for your lead generation requirements before you set foot in the world of digital marketing.
At Exentrics, we take pride in the fact that we accept an assignment only after we have thoroughly understood the client’s requirements and found ourselves suitable for the mission. Not only the higher management, each and every professional in the team is available for the clients to sate their queries as and when required; and this is what makes us one of the most sought-after digital marketing consulting companies in India.