snowy road with two paths

Updated February 28, 2022

Your sales consultants can only be as effective as the leads they have to work with. Maybe you’ve tasked them with generating leads on their own. But between that, making pitches to new clients, and managing existing relationships, your sales staff may be spread too thin to consistently generate promising leads on their own – you’ll need to find lead generation companies.

The importance of leads cannot be overstated. That’s why more and more companies are turning to lead generation services for help.

Lead generation companies support your sales consultants by regularly handing them a list of promising new leads to pursue. Your sales staff will be free to focus on what it does best – converting prospects into paying clients.

But there are multiple lead generation services on the market today. Identifying which are best for your team can be a challenge. We’ve put together the following guide to assist you on your journey. Keep reading for an overview of how to find lead generation companies that meet your company’s needs.

How Do Lead Generation Companies Work?

The concept of a lead generation company is a simple one. It’s a business that you can buy leads from to give to your sales staff. When you work with one of these companies, they’ll start by asking you for some information.

Lead generation companies typically want to know who your target audience is. They’ll ask which type of leads you’re looking for as well. They’ll want to know whether your current focus is on large corporations or small businesses. Similarly, you’ll likely be asked to share some information about your products or services and who you would expect to benefit from them.

The sales consultants at lead generation companies will use this intel to find promising new leads. They generate their leads by using processes like:

  • LinkedIn prospecting: LinkedIn is useful for building your brand, developing relationships with other professionals, and identifying leads. Lead generation companies know the ins and outs of using this platform to find prospects. 
  • Content marketing: Lead generation companies are experts at producing high-quality original content in large quantities (including videos, podcasts, articles, infographics, etc.), and posting it to various platforms to attract leads. 
  • Website analytics: Lead gen companies have access to the best website analytics tools to analyze traffic sources, landing pages, funnel steps, among other things.
  • Telemarketing: B2B sales calls are perceived differently than sales calls to individuals. Businesses expect to receive sales calls and are more open to opportunities for growth than the average individual.
  • Existing databases: The ideal lead generation company will have extensive databases of business information from using the tactics listed above. Using this data, the company can customize your campaign based on hundreds of different parameters (demographics, income, lifestyle, customer journey, etc.) 
  • Content syndication: Content syndication means sharing one’s content on other platforms. Lead generation companies may partner with other blogs and businesses to post their existing content. The idea is that other individuals or companies may find their content and continue to share it, therefore building brand awareness.

Types of lead generation services

There are four major types of lead generation services that you should know about. The first is major account lead generators. These companies focus on high-value and complex B2B leads. So you’ll receive fewer leads from these services, but those you do receive will be of the highest value.

Small sale lead generators are at the other end of this scale. They focus on lower-value deals, which typically have a $10,000 price tag or less. You can buy more leads from these companies, but you won’t net as much per conversion.
There’s also a distinction to be made between inbound and outbound lead generation services. Inbound services focus on marketing activities that bring leads to you. This can be highly effective as it gets prospects interested in your offerings before you ever contact them. Outbound services reach out to potential leads instead of pulling them in.

Know the types of services available before you find lead generation companies to vet.

Why Buy Leads?

Companies need to consistently generate new leads in order to continue expanding their businesses. But that process doesn’t occur automatically. It requires effort, investment, and a real skill for the lead generation process.

Buying leads eliminates all of this work for a company. Rather than spend hours trying to find new prospects, a company can focus all of its efforts on converting high-quality leads into paying customers.

But there are pros and cons to this, according to Marketing 360. Outbound lead generation companies can be expensive. And the return on your investment may not be what you expect. These services tend to sell the same leads to multiple companies. So your business will be in a race with several others to try to convert its purchased leads. This creates an automatic bidding war that could seriously cut into your profits.

Focusing on inbound leads can be a solution to this problem. Rather than reaching out to the same clients, your lead generation efforts will focus on pulling in a unique set of leads with a real interest in your company.

Questions To Ask Lead Generation Companies

Now that we know why buying leads can be valuable, let’s turn our attention to finding the right lead generation company for your business. To do that, you’ll need to gather some information on the companies that you’re considering hiring. We recommend that you ask each lead generation company you’re interviewing the following set of questions:

What experience do they have?

This is especially important if you work in a highly technical or niche industry. The process of generating leads for a construction company is vastly different than generating leads for a software company. You’ll want to make sure that the services you’re considering have experience in your industry before you hire them.

How do they source their leads?

Every lead generation service will tell you that their leads are the best. So how do you figure out which of them actually will give you the best leads? You ask where they got those leads from. Figure out if they use third-party data sources or conduct their own prospect research. Ask them how often they update their leads databases and the steps they take to ensure quality.

How are leads qualified?

You could buy all of the leads in the world but it wouldn’t mean a thing if they weren’t likely to be convertible into paying customers. The best lead generation services qualify their leads before sending them out. Ask what this process looks like to ensure that the leads your company receives will ultimately pan out.

Are leads exclusive?

We touched on this a bit above, but lead exclusivity is a major factor that you need to consider before hiring a lead generation company. You may be okay with buying non-exclusive leads, but that’s something you should be fully aware of (and factor into the price you pay for the leads) before you close the deal.

How will I be able to monitor the campaign?

Most companies who buy leads do so over a number of months or years. After all, you want to continue giving your sales consultants high-quality prospects to reach out to. So if you plan on creating a lasting relationship with a lead generation company, you should look into the tools that they provide to allow you to monitor the campaign.

You’ll want to look into things like:

  • Dashboards and reports
  • How often data will be updated
  • When meetings will take place and with who
  • The types of data that you’ll be able to track to verify the effectiveness of the relationship

What’s the payment process like?

Lead prices can vary significantly from one service to another. But it’s probably not a good idea to make an apples-to-apples comparison between two different generation companies. The prices these companies charge will depend on a number of factors.

For example, services vary in cost based on the scope of what they offer, the market that they target, the extensiveness of the lead qualification process, and the company’s reputation. So try to think in terms of value instead of price. Doing so will help you make a better decision about where your money will be put to the best use.

What sales consultants will we work with?

Finally, you should also know who is going to be generating leads for your company. Will it be a dedicated team or just a single individual? How much experience do they have with generating leads? How much do they know about your industry and the products you sell?

All of these questions should be discussed before you create a lasting relationship with a lead generation company. They’ll help you determine exactly what you’re getting for the money that you pay to buy leads from a generation service.

Lead Generation Companies To Consider

If your company is interested in working with led gen companies, consider the following as a jumping-off point.

  • INFUSEmedia: This fully integrated lead generation system is award-winning and highly effective. INFUSEmedia depends on content marketing and syndication. They promote original content through programmatic, mobile, social, and direct outreach campaigns.
  • CloudTask: CloudTask emphasizes sales talent development. This particular software matches companies with contract agencies.
Focusing on companies that provide inbound leads could be the way to go.

Making A Final Decision

When the time comes to make a final decision, only you can say how much all of these factors matter to you. In our opinion, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by focusing on lead generation companies that provide inbound leads. These leads don’t come from an existing database so you won’t have to share them with other companies.

Instead, leads that are generated with an inbound process put you in touch with prospects who have already demonstrated their interest in your offerings. Website analytics are perfect for this. They track who’s visiting your site, what pages they look at, and how often they return to those pages. Your sales staff can use that information to craft targeted pitches that address the prospect’s goals as accurately as possible.

If you’d like to try one of these services out for yourself, then consider using LeadLander. We currently have a free 14-day trial that you can sign up for without having to input any of your credit information.

Our service fills the top of your sales funnel by showing you who’s visiting your site in real-time. And our dashboard makes it easy to put all of this information to use. But you don’t have to just take our word for it. Sign up for a free trial of LeadLander and experience what sets it apart yourself.

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