06-03-2010 01:08 PM
I think many are hitting on the key factor in lead generation - quality. Quality is tied directly to the level of the person generating and managing the leads and the format of the call. If you are using a script and paying for volume, you are setting yourself up for failure. The most effective lead generation campaigns (those that deliver closed sales) are conducted by a highly seasoned sales professional in an unscripted call focused on understanding the prospects needs and leading them to want to know more about the product or service being sold. For six-figure talent at a fraction of the price, contact Speculate, LLC at 262-546-1819.
06-04-2010 09:23 AM - last edited on 06-04-2010 10:48 AM by JigsawGal
The answer is yes and no. I have been providing lead/demand generation services to IT/software companies for nearly 20 years, and have executed hundreds of campaigns, some very successful, and others, dismally pitiful. The key to determining "is it worth it?", is a THOROUGH evaluation of the proposed campaign. The vendor needs to clearly understand the the key elements to identify a qualified prospect, which includes understanding the critical business issues or pains that the product or service will eleviate. But it doesn't end there, they must also understand how these critical issues cross over the different line-of-business units. You will hardly ever "sell" software or services to the IT Exec ONLY. There WILL be buy-in from the lay people in the LOB units, and if they are not engaged in the prospecting effort, the liklihood of a sale resulting from the lead is significantly diminished. I have been amazed at the proliferation of "pay per lead" and "guaranteed leads", companies popping up in market. How can ANY vendor "guarantee" a specific number of "qualified" leads/appointments in a fixed period of time? If that were truly, consistently possible, then the organization seeking outside help, would not, and should not need that help in the first place. I would suggest, evaluating your cost-per-sale, average sales cycle time, and average per sale revenue, and typical close ratio, THEN get the quotes (hourly-rate suggested NOT per lead), from vendors, and determine if the anticipated lead production (qualified of course), and cost of campaign would be worth it.
I have always structured my campaigns so that I give myself and the client the best opportunity to succeed. Often this means hours of campaign assesment and development. I generally "share" in this cost with the client. Once we have come up with the best strategy, materials, and expected metrics, we TEST the theory in a pilot program. Whenever possible, I have executed the first week of calling from my client's offices. This way, they can see and hear what I am doing, participate, assess, and tweak the program. By the time I leave to return to my own office, everyone is confident that we are on the right track toward success. Also, we have WEEKLY project meeting to review call stats, objections, questions, lead quality, and everything else associated with that weeks work. This way, we stay on top of the expected results, updating when needed and etc... The worst thing that can ever happen, is that we find that our best prep and best efforts are NOT yeilding the needed results for the required ROI. In that case, the client's financial risk exposure is NEVER more than one weeks billing, and $35-$65 per hour, it's really not that great a risk. More often than not, by following this process, we end up with a either a successful project, or a huge homerun!!!
06-04-2010 12:23 PM
The question is, did you get any valuable intelligence from the 146 "non-appointment" contacts? I would agree that 4 "weak" appointments in 3 weeks and 150 contacts made, is pretty bad, but what were you looking for? My experience with lead gen for "agencies", is that you must focus on a common and relevant "pain" that you reasonably expect a majority of your prospect universe to have. The lead gen vendor should then focus on identifying organizations that have that problem, suggest that you've solved it for others, and determine if the contact they are engaged with, has a desire, requirement, or vested interest in solving that problem. From there, a reasonably good call for you, should be the result. In cases where those pains are not obvious to the prospect (latent pain), then your vendor needs to be fluent enough to bring those issues to the forefront of the prospects attention (assuming of course, that they exist at all). If there is no pain-based traction, then there should be some strategy, for gaining market intel from the prospect, such as, who they use currently for your services, is there a contract, how often reviewed, what are the protocols they set forth for agency relationships, how to we get on the radar for consideration, who else is involved etc... etc.... etc... At the end of your "pilot" you should at least have a few really good appointments, a lot of follow up opportunities with lukewarm prospects, and plenty of competitive intelligence, and valuable data that you can use for future "internal" efforts (email addresses, updated branch locations, key departmental decision-makers/influencers identified etc..). Don't give up on the idea of outsourcing, everyone has had a bad haircut!!
06-09-2010 11:49 AM
A company I worked for took the cheap way out. They "strongly suggested", that salespeople purchase a 'lead license' for 1,000.00 out of our own pocket. The seasoned ones balked, but eventually we were forced to follow suit, and the company had 25K of (other people's money - ours) to hire a company that considered anyone with a pulse, or even a project three years out as a lead. You could not find a single person who felt the leads were any good, and at last check, not one sale had resulted from the investment. The company didn't care. It hadn't cost them anything.
I do find it humorous that most of the posters here are prompting their lead generating services. As several others have said, quality matters. Look for companies who tie lead generation to triggering events that create a need for your product or service. If you sell a technical product or service, a telemarketer who does not know your business, can waste a prospect's time with silly questions and leave a bad taste.
11-23-2016 11:10 AM
I certainly say it is - it allows you to spend more time focusing on your customers and tasks as a business owner. Leave the following up to the pros - they know who to call, how much to time to spend on a lead and how many times to follow up. http://www.onpath.com/ is a great example of a professional lead gen company.
04-01-2017 11:57 PM
Its Awesome and yes it is worthful too....
Outsourcing saves time and effort on employee management and control;
• no need to create a new business unit with its own processes;
• no (or less) human dependency;
• pay per result;
• no overhead spent on office space and workstations;
• an increased focus on closing sales.
04-03-2017 06:07 AM
In my opinion yes! It allows time for your Sales people and account managers to work on already exsisting accounts as well as building them pipeline for net new accounts.
If you could get meetings with the correct person that you have been trying to prospect for 5-6 months and you only had to sit back and wait for that meeting to come wouldn't that be worth the money to outsource that to someone who is trained in prospecting and qualifying leads ?