B2B sales have become more customer-oriented and data-driven through automation tools and advanced analytics. Companies that adopted B2B sales strategies achieve 2.3 times higher revenue growth, 8% higher shareholder value, and 3-5% increase in profitability than the industry average. Lead generation is an essential part of the B2B sales strategies. Yet, it is a challenging practice leading companies to outsource B2B lead generation. Outsourcing lead generation is advantageous in terms of reducing costs while increasing capacity and sales growth.
What is B2B lead generation?
B2B lead generation is the activity of identifying ideal customers and directing them to purchase by leveraging B2B data.
There are three types of B2B leads:
- Marketing-qualified leads: Marketing qualified leads are individuals or businesses who have engaged with the company’s marketing material but have not yet reached out to the company. For instance, they show some interest by downloading a white paper.
- Sales-qualified leads: Sales qualified leads are individuals or businesses who explicitly indicate that they are interested in buying the product or service, and they reach out directly to the company
- Product-qualified leads: Product qualified leads are ones who have already benefitted from the products or services, either by directly buying it or leveraging a free trial.
What is outsourced B2B lead generation?
Outsourcing lead generation is the practice of hiring an external sales department to promote a company’s products or services for a lower cost.
What are the benefits of outsourcing B2B lead generation?
Focus on selling
Sales representative allocate their time on any tasks other than selling. For instance, they spend time on cold calling or email prospecting. Outsourcing optimizes their sales processes and focus on selling.
With an external sales team, companies receive a new channel for leads instead of spending time and resources building up their internal teams and developing new channel strategies. The companies that lack the resources to hire and train new staff and build internal marketing teams increase their capacity in a shorter time by outsourcing.
Sales growth without headcount growth
Mostly, companies expect to increase their sales to be able to expand their marketing headcount to increase sales headcount which will generate more sales. Yet, many small companies lack the capacity. These businesses can focus on the sales cycle by using the vital revenue for business growth.
Testing new channels
Companies might outsource lead generation as a way of outsourcing risk while they pivot the business. Pivoting refers to a fundamental change in the direction of a business or a drastic shift into a new marketing strategy. Companies test the viability of a channel before bringing it in-house by outsourcing.
Working with a specialist company, businesses might lower their cost per acquisition. For example, For instance, companies might choose outsourcing lead generation while promoting a product or service that is recently launched. In this way, they reduce the extra cost of lead generation for the new product/service.
How does outsourced B2B lead generation work?
B2B outbound process is the way B2B lead generation functions in sales. This process includes:
- Cold calling: It is the process of telephoning B2B leads, explaining the benefits of their product or service, and qualifying the lead for future engagement. Cold calling can be done manually or through automated technologies such as marketing chatbots.
- Outbound email: Sales representatives contact B2B leads via email to strike up a conversation. Many businesses use email marketing platforms to automate the outbound email processes.
- Social selling: Sales department follows B2B leads on social media (e.g. LinkedIn) to engage and develop relations with them over time.
- Sales cadences: Cadence is the combination of all these strategies which are employed by sales departments to increase B2B lead response.
Demand generation is crucial for B2B lead generation. There are several tactics that marketers can leverage to generate leads and increase demand. They include:
- Growth hacking: B2B marketers or growth hackers provide unorthodox techniques to create demand and grow their business quickly (e.g. provide incentives, contests and free tools).
- Content marketing: Marketers publish relevant, valuable content and promote it to their target audiences. Content can take many forms, including blogs, videos, webinars, podcasts and eBooks.
- Account-based marketing (ABM): Marketers identify the key decision-makers inside a specific company (or account), and then create marketing campaigns personalized to those leads.
What are the challenges of outsourcing B2B lead generation?
Not defining ideal customer profile (ICP)
When companies do not pass the ideal customer profile (ICP) to the third-party agency, the lead quality becomes weak and unproductive. To overcome this challenge, companies are recommended to specify their market segment and buyer personas they are targeting.
Businesses should check customer and marketing data and remove out of date information. A misguiding variable in the data might cause an additional cost and affect results negatively. For instance, an previously identified lead may have changed the industry. Having the outsourced marketing team contact them will be a waste of resources.
Reputational, financial and technical risks
In some cases, outsourcing lead generation might increase the risks of copying badly, off-brand designing or dodgy messaging. These all are risks harming the reputation of the company. Reputation damage can occur through technical risks as well. A poor campaign with email deliverability issues affects the domain reputation of the company. Compliance risk is even more risky when the third-party ignores local finance or compliance rules and regulations.
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If you believe your business can benefit from outsourcing B2B lead generation, let us walk you through the process and find the right vendor:
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