Outsourcing lead generation: The what, why, when and how

A move to a new market can breathe new life into your tech business. Hit that new turf running with a multichannel marketing strategy to beat the competition and start trading successfully and with speed. And one of the easiest ways to do that is with the help of an outsourced B2B lead generation team. 

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation is the first and important step in the process for successful sales — important to get it right, and get it set up fast. It encompasses the vital first steps of:

  • Sourcing - using multi-channel marketing strategies to locate the right buyers who require your solution, be it a product or service. 
  • Connecting - making that all-important first connection, by direct call or social media introduction. Making the right connections, not a one-size-fits-all sweep but a selective amount of quality prospects.
  • Nurturing - relationship building, and keeping those prospects warmed up and interested. The competition is only ever one tab away so it’s vital that they are kept warm.
  • Converting - turning those prospects who show a passing interest into potential B2B buyers, ready for handing over to the international sales representatives. 

A lead generation team is comprised of four parts:

  1. Researchers - for all sourcing and throwing out the initial net.
  2. Content creators - for multi-channel marketing (social media, email, phone) and compelling campaigns.
  3. Sales development representatives -  who continue to build on initial relationships and arrange the first meetings.
  4. Account director - to keep all the cogs running smoothly and to provide results from carefully managed and reviewed metrics. 

Outsourced B2B lead generation, specifically, means you are partnering up with a reputable external outsourced sales agency, to help you drive leads to your sales funnel faster than you could do so yourself or with your existing team.  You’re availing of their deep knowledge of successful sales in your area of industry, of their experience and their advice. 

An outsourced lead generation function will work behind the scenes, sending out quality and driven content, creating those compelling campaigns, building relationships, and qualifying those all-important leads. 

Why do you need outsourced lead generation?

Assess the extent of your own capabilities, and see if it makes sense to outsource versus hiring and training yourself, that’s a vital question you need to first ask, according to Hubspot, who advise that outsourcing makes perfect sense if you do not have the resources to devote to staffing a full internal department.

In fact, there are various reasons why you think you might need to avail of outsourced lead generation. 

  • First, you need to get in front of new prospects as soon as possible, and close deals. 
  • Maybe you have noted how successful the other foreign competition is and note that they use an outsourced sales agency? 
  • Perhaps a partner or client recommends the services of one? 
  • Or you might not be so confident you have the right existing team to take to new territory.

All of those reasons are viable. But, there is another one that should not be overlooked. If you plan to scale up into unknown markets, one of the best reasons to use the services of an outsourced sales agency is because you look and act like a local.

You may already have a confident and workable inbound sales and marketing team that includes fully functional B2B lead generation. But new countries mean fitting in, and there are hurdles to jump. There are new language barriers, cultural differences and nuances, and different employment laws to get to grips with. Europe is one continent but it encompasses 44 countries. Have you really got time for all of that? Are you prepared to have and pay for a full time HR or recruitment consultant to spend many man-hours setting all that up?

That’s why you need to consider all of your available options,  and the obvious one is outsourcing your lead generation and saving the hassle, expense and time of in-house hiring. They already know the market, and already have highly-qualified tech buyer networks. They know what they are doing and can do it faster, and that is what you need.

When should you outsource lead generation? 

As soon as you make plans to scale-up is when you should also be making plans to outsource your lead generation. Moving to or expanding to a new European country is daunting enough and you should take all the help you can get. Partnering with an outsourced sales agency is a timely intervention. Setting up early means you’re not wasting valuable time struggling to create a localized campaign for a foreign market.

Remember that it takes an average of 12 points of contact to turn a prospect into a sales-qualified lead. At your earliest opportunity, you need to communicate the right message to the right culture to successfully begin to build your brand to a new market (in their language) so the sooner the better you set that chain of events in action. 

How should you outsource lead generation?

There are many outsourced sales agencies to choose an outsourced lead generation package. So you will need to be prepared and carefully evaluate a good one that offers the best return  for your business.

Start with some solid planning and evaluate your own needs first. Take your requirements as a wish-list and see who fits the bill. 

You will need to agree on where you are going, and how soon you want to get there. You’ll have to be clear on cost and agree on what you can afford — but remember there is always the option to scale up or scale down with outsourced lead generation. You should choose an agency that has proven close-alignment experience with your vertical. Do proper due diligence. So check out their past clients and references before you sign on the dotted line. Be clear on how they will deliver reports, and metrics — how often will they measure results? If you don’t measure you cannot improve. 

How successful are they as a business themselves? That’s a good yardstick to use of how thorough they will be with your business.

Qualified leads to signed deals: Outsourced lead gen plus inside sales

What comes next after the what, why, when and how? Well, you might decide to add on another service, such as inside sales, in order to naturally complement the outsourced lead generation and move up a space. 

This can all be achieved in weeks, allowing for you and your business to make a greater impact in your chosen new territory, faster. 

You need to make a name for your brand as soon as you land, and, when done properly, outsourced lead generation will take you from qualified leads to signed deals, fast.

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