In most B2B organizations, there is a constant friction between sales and marketing.  We can attribute this to the MQL – SQL (Marketing Qualified Lead – Sales Qualified Lead) noise, or lack thereof, in lead generation.  A recent HubSpot finding revealed that only 7% of salespeople said that they received “very high quality” leads from marketing.

So how can you increase your lead quality and quantity by using an external lead generation team?

Here are three strategies you can use to leverage an external lead generation firm to fill the sales funnel with more MQLs:

1. Outsourcing saves money!

In today’s economic climate, we are all looking to reduce costs.  Hiring a new employee can be very costly.  In order to attract the best candidates, you need to provide a competitive salary and a variety of benefits.  According to the Association for Talent Development, companies spent on average $1,299 to train a new employee in 2019.

Before you begin your outsourcing-decision-journey, you need to develop a budget.  Think about the scope of the project, how many hours it will take to complete and the complexity.  While your in-house hourly breakdown might be less than the average hourly rate of a lead generation firm; you still might save a ton of money by not paying taxes, benefits, pension, etc. of an inhouse employee.  Plus, in most states you can get some tax back from the government off the invoiced amount.

One thing you need to be weary off is the project scope.  As I said earlier, having a clearly defined project scope with a set budget is the key to your outsourcing success.  If you think you will require overtime and extended peak-hours (weekends/holidays) from your external lead generation company, then its best to stick with your in-house team as these costs can quickly swell.

2. Data! Data! Data!

We all know that data has become the most important currency in todays lead generation.  Chances are, your team doesn’t have the most current up-to-date contact information.  And the information that they do have, well, let’s just say that 42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation.

A successful lead generation company will pride itself on the quality of their data.  They most likely have dedicated resources that constantly update and scrub the data in order to ensure the best results.  Make sure you check with your lead generation partner and ask them about their data.

Here are the three key questions to ask and get an idea about data:

1. Do you sell the leads you generate for my company to anyone else (other company)?
Will leads that I receive be leads that you’ve already sourced for other clients?
Will I own the final database at the completion of the campaign?

3. Transparency!

Qualification is confusing! This often leads to the lack of transparency with a company regarding cross qualification from one funnel to the next.  I often hear sales managers complain about the lead “not being qualified enough” or that “the lead score is embellished.” (I have put this in a much more PG 13 language) Everyone interprets lead qualification differently, even in the best run organizations.

By outsourcing your lead generation to a reputable and professional company, you can set your own golden standards to be followed.  This will give you a better start-stop qualification process that will be much more transparent than your current one.  In turn, you will be able to use set standards, or metrics, and see the results more clearly.

While there are more factors to take into consideration when deciding whether to outsource your lead generation, these three present the biggest challenge and obstacles that companies currently face.  Outsourcing is not for everyone, so make sure you set a clear target and see if the lead generation company can fulfill it and at what cost!

Guest Post by Vanja Novakovic

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