Lead generation is the process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service in order to develop your sales pipeline. Over the years, the buying process has changed dramatically. Businesses have to find new ways in reaching buyers and getting heard through the noise. Gone are the days when companies had to use traditional advertising and email blasts to reach customers.
It used to be that buyers expected to talk to sales and an agent expects to speak to uneducated early stage customers that may not yet be qualified. Today, with the internet, customers can now do their own research online and get to know more about the product they intend to buy through different channels such as search engines, social media, and other online channels. You need to make sure to have built your digital presence.
According to Forrester, the new breed of buyers may already be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before reaching a vendor. While it may sound easy, lead generation can often be a challenge for businesses. 61% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge.
Lead generation is an important but time-consuming activity every business should undertake. If you own a business and have employees, it will be tough to decide whether to outsource lead generation or keep it in-house. You want to acquire as many customers as you want but at the same time you do not want to overwhelm your staff. There are pros and cons that you should consider when deciding whether to outsource lead generation or not. This article will cover the following topics:
1. Advantages of Outsourcing Lead Generation
2. Disadvantages of Outsourcing Lead Generation
3. Advantages of In-House Lead Generation
4. Disadvantages of In-House Lead Generation
5. Outsource or In-House Lead Generation: Which One Is Better For Your Business?
Advantages of Outsourcing Lead Generation
Let’s face it. Lead generation is one of the biggest challenges that every marketer faces. While you may think of it as an expense if you hire a specialist agency to generate leads, you also don’t want to throw away half of your revenue for an unsuccessful lead generation campaign. The good news is that outsourcing lead generation is cost effective. Businesses who nurture leads achieve 50% more sales compared to those who don’t. Here are some of the benefits you will get from hiring a lead generation agency.
1. Lead generation companies do a lot more than you think
Maybe you are having second thoughts about hiring a lead generation company because you think they will be running away with your money. They will make one or two calls and leave it at that. It might surprise you that most agencies will not only deliver results but deliver them in various ways.
Although they may specialize in just one area, lead generation agencies can offer other services such as content marketing, email marketing, SEO, social media, and others. When you outsource lead generation, you do not only get more sales but also get other benefits.
2. They will get you to the right people
One of the main problems of in-house lead generation is that you may not have enough resources. Lead generation agencies talk to the right people because they have the correct contacts and data. This enables them to speak to the right people.
While you can easily buy access to the contacts and data owned by a B2B agency to get the resources you need for lead generation and have your workers generate the leads, it would take some time for them to build up a contact list and develop the analytical skills to separate the good leads from the bad.
3. You can focus on the things that have to be done in-house
Regardless of the area your business operates in, the one thing that will generate revenue for you is your unique selling proposition. It’s a company asset that your customers cannot buy. You need to focus your resources as much as possible on your USP. By outsourcing lead generation, you can do just that.
4. They efficiently deliver results
Most lead generation agencies are sales companies at heart and most of them earn on commission. For this reason, you can expect that these companies are geared towards delivering the results that your business demands from lead generation.
The results are presented to you as detailed reports set against metrics. This way you can easily see which campaigns are succeeding or failing. For the latter, the reports will help you make the necessary improvements as well as the quality of leads.
5. It’s a cost-effective way of generating more leads for your business
The thing with in-house lead generation is that you have to pay your sales agents to generate leads for you. Not only that, you will provide them with insurance, training, sick days, and software. Hiring a lead generation agency will spare you from all of these costs giving you a cost-effective way of making money.
A lead generation agency will drive growth for your business. They have a dedicated staff and optimized systems that are fine-tuned to develop hot leads. If you will do it yourself, you will need to hire and train staff for the job which can be costly and time consuming and take your resources away from your business USP.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing Lead Generation
Outsourcing lead generation can save you time as well as your staff’s workload and quality control. Also, you may not have the available resources to implement new processes. According to the Global Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategy and Tactics, lead generation outsourcing is still not the most popular option. Only 12% of respondents said that they use lead generation or telemarketing for outbound calls. There are also some pitfalls in hiring a lead generation agency for your business.
- The lead generation agency may have less knowledge about your business field. You want to make sure that your chosen agency has domain-expertise in your business-specific field. When you outsource lead generation, ensure that the agency has work experience in a similar field.
- With outsourcing, you cannot monitor each update and employee since they’re not yours in the first place. It can often lead to lack of business control. Always make sure to communicate with them especially if your partner is located offshore.
- Another potential pitfall of partnering with a lead generation agency is the risk that your partner may be working for several other companies. Chances are, there is a threat of depreciating focus on business operations.
Advantages of In-House Lead Generation
You may look at outsourcing lead generation as an additional expense on your part so you opt to keep lead generation in-house. But is retaining lead generation better for your organization? Let us take a look at the benefits of in-house lead generation.
- By keeping lead generation within the organization, you will have more control over your initiative. Since you own the process, you can customize it any way you want. You can make it simple or complicated as you desire. You can cast a wider net or focus on a smaller niche.
- Another benefit of retaining lead generation is that it builds a “hustle culture” by allowing teams to become high performers. It will not only generate leads but also create an energetic work environment.
- Your team will accumulate lead generation expertise as well as a thorough knowledge of offered products and services. They will gain a deeper analysis of lead generation tactics and become flexible in modifying them.
- With in-house lead generation, you gain the ability to track and modify your team’s work at any time
Disadvantages of In-House Lead Generation
Here are the disadvantages of keeping lead generation within your company.
- While sales and marketing work hand in hand, you may only have one team for both functions. Some people think that the sales team should be responsible for generating leads from their own referrals. This will still depend on the sales teams’ relationship with clients. It makes more sense to delegate lead generation to a different team so sales can focus on closing deals.
- Lead generation and closing sales are not the same. If your sales reps are the ones responsible for generating leads, management should invest in training them, which could be time-consuming and tedious.
- Your team may not have the knowledge in determining what a qualified is. Because sales is too focused on closing deals, they don’t have enough time to process some of the feedback they get from potential leads.
- Lead generation campaigns take longer to build and stabilize since you are starting it from scratch.
Should You Outsource or Keep Lead Generation?
Lead generation can be one of the most daunting tasks that any company can engage in. When deciding on in-house vs outsourced lead generation, there are many factors you need to consider. With 79% of marketing leads never converting into sales due to lack of nurture, it is important to have a solid lead generation strategy to be able to convert the lead into sales. Here are some factors to consider to make choosing the right path much easier.
One of major factors in deciding whether to outsource or retain lead generation is the financial investment involved. How much are you willing to invest for lead generation? You would want to consider both upfront and ongoing costs when choosing whether to outsource or keep lead generation in your company.
If you choose in-house lead generation, you have to consider salaries of employees as well as your overhead expenses. In addition, you also have to consider the cost for recruiting, training, and managing your team. The bigger the team, the higher is the overhead costs.
On the other hand, by outsourcing lead generation, the fee they will charge you will cover everything. The agency will have the people, equipment, and office for doing their work. This is more affordable than going in-house since the agency may already have a building for their staff.
Time and Resources
Building an in-house lead generation team from scratch can be overwhelming. Aside from the financial investment involved, you also need to commit your time and resources to become successful. Setting up the resources alone is already a daunting task. You need to create processes and support for HR issues. You also need to have support for recruitment and initial and ongoing training. You cannot expect consistent performance from your team without training, managing, and motivating them.
Lead generation agencies, on the other hand, will handle management, recruitment, and training of their team. You don’t have to worry about advertising, hiring, or onboarding the new agents. This way, you can focus on the other areas of your business.
Strategy and Processes
Managing your campaign is one of the most important things you need to get right. Whether you have an in-house team or outsourcing, your strategies and processes will determine the success or failure of your campaign.
Setting up, modifying, and managing lead generation campaigns can be time consuming and energy draining. If you have an in-house team, it will take them a long time to determine whether your campaign is working or not. It will be futile to run campaigns that don’t generate desired results.
When you outsource lead generation, you will know within weeks whether your campaign is effective or not. These companies have already handled multiple campaigns and may already have effective systems and processes in place. Outsourcing lead generation is 43% more effective than in-house lead generation.
Outsource or In-House Lead Generation: Which One Is Better?
After knowing the pros and cons of in-house vs outsourced lead generation, you may be wondering for yourself which is the most effective. Well, there is really no right answer. It will all boil down to which one is the most suitable for your business needs.
Evaluate the pros and cons of each and determine which is more likely to deliver results for your business. Consider your budget, resources, and future plans. What outcomes are most relevant to you? How quickly do you want to see results? Keep these things in mind so you can make the right decision.