12 Steps To Select Best Lead Generation Company

The process of finding a lead generation company must always begin with a series of questions, the primary one being why lead generation? Or, what purpose does lead generation serve your company? How it is different from a media-based advertisement strategy, and why are you incapable of generating leads by yourself?

So right off the bat, lead generation is about finding potential clients through deep dive searches within target markets using specific means. It is a marketing method used frequently by B2B companies and B2C companies are also getting onboard the process. If you are a B2B company, then you have surely heard your peers talk about B2B lead generation and why it is important.

But finding a lead generation agency that suits your needs is a process easier said than done. In this article we will provide you a step by step breakdown of the industry nuances that define a lead generation company.

Step 1: Understanding lead generation strategies

Whether you want to employ account-based marketing, heavy email marketing, or major account lead generation as part of your lead generation campaign, you need to understand that a complete strategy needs to be devised. Right from the beginning of marketing processes to the final stage of lead conversion, the entire roadmap needs to be defined at each step. So, if a lead generation agency is promising to simply be a provider of business development services, chances are that they will not be able to help you. Always look for lead generation agencies that categorize themselves under a certain strategy.

Step 2: The lead generation strategy you need

If you are an SME in the B2B industry then chances are that you will be aiming for hiring an outbound lead generation agency. These companies create targeted reach mechanisms such as email marketing, cold calling, PPC, etc. and provide you with convertible leads. B2B lead generation agencies heavily rely on the outbound techniques to generate leads for their clients. There is also inbound lead generation which uses content creation as the primary technique for generating leads.

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Step 3: Stage of lead generation you are looking for

Most companies don’t realize that lead generation is sometimes required only partially, i.e. in certain stages. A lead travels down a marketing funnel towards finally being converted into a client or a customer. So, talk to your lead generation agency about the specific sections of your sales cycle they will be working on. Your company is always at a certain stage from which you

have to move towards conversion, and this is what the lead generation agency’s primary goal should be. Moreover, the lead generation agency you hire should be able to handle any part of the marketing funnel with professionalism, from the lead identification stage to the sales appointment stage.

Step 4: Technical aspects of lead generation

Lead generation is a technical process and there are multiple tools available to aid the techniques. Any professional business development services will be highly proficient with these tools with which they will optimize and plan the lead generation campaigns. Some of the important tools that you should look out for are analytical software, lead verification tools, marketing automation, and CRM. There is also the question of integration of these technical aspects within your business process.

Step 5: Lead scoring details

When you take out the industry nuances and the various technical details, the primary purpose of a lead generation company becomes scoring leads. And this is something that you should have a detailed conversation about while hiring a lead generation agency. What are the techniques they specialize in, what are their understanding of your business’ needs and how do they aim to serve it through their lead scoring techniques, etc. are questions that should be clarified before any deal is made.

Step 6: Industry specific lead generation vs custom lead generation

Each industry requires a certain type of lead generation based on their capabilities. If the leads you are scoring do not meet your specifications, then you are not only wasting time but also precious resources. Sure, a number of leads that you generate will never convert but that cannot be the majority. So, you may require custom lead generation techniques, and this will also affect the contact datathat the agency sources for you.

Step 7: Lead conversion

Converted leads are basically the returns that you are paying for. So, it is important that you be thorough about what goals the lead generation agency is setting towards converting leads. Even if you are starting off with the first stage of lead generation a target number needs to be put on conversions. Your ROI from hiring a lead generation agency should not simply be based on lead scoring or developing contact data. It needs to actively incorporate the lead conversion aspect as well.

Step 8: Pricing

There is no fixed price on a lead generation campaign, especially if you belong to the B2B industry. Each market has its own nuances and the time required to score leads is also different. A good way to start off is by selecting an agency that provides the pay-per-lead model so that you can pay only for your successful leads.

Step 9: Outsourcing vs hiring a team

With the number of lead generation agencies available in the market it is always a safe bet to outsource the entire task. There are agencies that concentrate on outbound marketing strategies and provide pay-per-lead pricing models. So, you are most likely to find a lead generation agency that suits your needs. On the other hand, hiring an entire team and training them from scratch can be a very cumbersome and time-consuming process.

Step 10: Sales strategy

Sales and lead generation are two sides of the same coin and they cannot be planned separately. Your lead generation strategy will be dependent on the capabilities of you sales team and your sales strategy will be built around the leads that you score. So, talk sales with your lead generation agency and make sure that they understand your sales needs. From email marketing to appointment setting, the entire process needs to be planned. Another good way to know whether a lead generation agency is capable of devising a sales strategy is by looking at their past successes.

Step 11: Identifying challenges

If a lead generation agency is not analyzing your business process to find potential challenges towards implementing their techniques it only means that they are not experienced enough. No lead generation process is without difficulties that are usually company specific and these should be sorted ahead of time.

Step 12: Post lead generation strategies

Lead generation is of course not a one-off process. Most agencies will continue to provide various types of technical and other support towards the scored leads and various other prospecting services. So, it should be your responsibility to ensure that these strategies are put in place while selecting the lead generation agency.

A good lead generation strategy in the hands of professionals can potentially change your entire business condition, but at the same time it can also lead to ruined prospects in the hands of incapable lead scorers. Keep these 12 steps in mind and you should have a better chance at seeing through the capabilities of a lead generation agency.

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