If you want to grow your business, you need leads. Period.
But finding qualified prospects and nurturing the relationship isn’t easy.
Inbound lead generation takes serious time and effort. Not every business has the resources to do it right ‒ or at all, in the case of some small businesses.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone else handled it all for you?
Outsourcing your inbound lead generation lets you build your lead pipeline quickly and efficiently.
In our experience, businesses with small in-house marketing departments tend to benefit the most from working with a lead generation agency ‒ but there are times when larger businesses with a full marketing team can benefit greatly from working with an agency as well.
In this blog, we will look at whether outsourcing lead generation is right for your business (including why it’s not always the best choice) and what you need to do in order to get the best results.
1. Outsourcing Your Inbound Lead Generation: What You Need to Know
There are two types of lead generation: inbound and outbound. Inbound lead generation is about getting prospective customers to contact you, while outbound is reaching out to potential leads yourself.
Here, we’re talking about inbound lead generation.
The goal of inbound lead generation is to find and nurture qualified leads so you can convert them into sales once they’re ready to buy.
We already mentioned how outsourcing your lead generation saves you time. Instead of burning all your time hunting for new prospects to pitch, you can hire a lead generation agency to bring qualified leads right to you ‒ so all you need to do is close the sale and start the work.
You instantly free up hours of time to devote to other tasks that will help your business grow.
But time savings aren’t the only reason to partner with a lead generation agency.
a) Get an Entire Expert Team for the Cost of 1-2 Employees
A basic lead generation campaign typically includes:
- Digital Advertising
- Technical set-up
- Targeting and research
- Landing Page
- Web developer
- Email marketing expert
- Marketing asset
- Technical integrations, as needed
- Web team
Other things to consider are:
- Organic social media posts
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Public relations, like press releases
- Influencer marketing
It’s rare to find someone who is proficient in all those things in-house; which is one of the biggest reasons hiring a lead generation agency can be useful.
For the price of one or two employees, you get the skills and knowledge of a complete team of lead generation professionals.
And that’s not all…
b) Gain Valuable New Perspectives on Your Business and Market
Here’s what we’ve noticed working on hundreds of campaigns for companies across North America:
Many in-house marketers know their business a little too well.
The longer you spend working in-house, the harder it gets to think like a customer. And it’s really tough to write compelling copy and campaigns when you’re stuck inside of that box.
Outsourcing your lead generation to an agency lets you avoid this pitfall entirely.
Best of all…
c) Reduce Costs and Increase Profits
Hiring an agency to do lead generation for you can actually save you money in the long run.
When you outsource, you don’t have to spend time training and managing anyone or buying all the essential tools they’ll need to do the job right.
Outsourcing the work can help your budget go farther and be more cost effective, driving a higher return on investment without all the legwork.
Your internal sales team can even work alongside an agency for faster ramp-up and increased lead efficiency, putting your business growth goals in reach!
2. When Outsourcing Inbound Lead Generation is Worth the Investment
From our experience as a digital marketing agency focused on acquisition marketing, there are three factors that contribute to a successful lead generation outsourcing relationship:
- You’ve developed your brand with an in-house marketing person/team.
- You’ve set clear lead generation goals for the near future.
- You know what a quality lead is to you, and you have a process for defining them.
Generally, outsourcing your lead generation to a digital marketing agency works well when your business has a small in-house marketing team, or even a single marketing person.
This team should have already established brand guidelines that can be used alongside more targeted lead generation campaigns. Generating leads while you’re still nailing down your brand is more challenging and less efficient.
A small, busy marketing team cannot handle lead generation on top of all their other duties (see the list above), and hiring and training someone in-house specifically for lead generation work is an expensive and time-consuming investment.
A lead generation agency fills that gap more cost-effectively.
Hiring an agency that specializes in lead generation is also the best option if your business is looking for a quick turnaround. What might take an in-house team months to implement can be handled by outsourced digital marketing professionals in just a few weeks.
That said, it’s important that you have SMART goals in mind for your lead generation before you hit the launch button. You shouldn’t be making it up as you go along, or drastically changing course in the thick of it. Effective lead generation starts with clearly defined objectives.
Finally, it’s important to make sure your process for qualifying leads is set in stone before hiring a lead generation agency. This process is crucial to setting up lead generation campaigns that will bring in qualified leads rather than low-quality ones.
3. When NOT to Outsource Your Inbound Lead Generation
In our experience, businesses with small in-house marketing departments tend to benefit the most from working with a lead generation agency.
Full-time marketing teams may not need support all the time or as consistently as smaller teams, but can often benefit greatly from partnering with an agency on an as-needed basis. If you need extra help with a lead generation campaign in-house, or need training, consultation, or feedback, a lead generation agency can be your best friend.
There are also cases when fully outsourcing lead generation might be a good idea for larger companies. If you’re launching a new product or expanding to a new market, for example, you benefit greatly from hiring a lead generation agency who has experience in that market.
Another situation where outsourcing your lead generation may not be the best option is if you just don’t have the budget for it yet. A good lead generation campaign can be expensive, and an ineffective campaign can cost you more than none at all.
If your business is still in its infancy, consider starting small with an email campaign, building your community through social media or ads linking to your website as a first step.
Should You Leave Your Inbound Lead Generation to the Experts?
Outsourcing lead generation can be a great investment for your business. It saves you time from training or hiring your own team, produces better results, and gives you more flexibility as your business scales and adapts to a changing marketplace.
You should hold off on hiring a lead generation agency if you’re still working on branding, goals, and a process for qualifying leads. And if you have the resources and time to invest a portion of your in-house digital marketing team to lead generation, you should!
To learn more about lead generation and talk to a digital marketing professional, contact our team here at TrafficSoda. We’ll help you find the perfect balance between outsourcing lead generation and in-house lead generation for your business.