If you’re reading this, then your business is ready to scale. And you’re probably wondering if a lead generation consultancy can get you to the next level.
(the answer is yes, btw.)
This article will guide you through a couple of ideas about what to look for in a lead consulting firm.
And explores how to find the agency that’s a perfect fit for your circumstances.
How Does A Lead Generation Consultancy Work?
Sales leads are the result of putting your value proposition in front of targeted decision makers.
Value Proposition x Sales Targeting = Sales Lead
So to create leads, a consultancy does three things:
First, we optimize your unique selling proposition for email. We’ve done this a long time so it’s pretty easy to predict what messages will get positive engagement.
Next, we build you a b2b email list of decision makers that fit your targeting requirements. You’ll be given the database for future use.
Finally, we deliver your message. For email, this requires understanding about how ISPs filter email to ensure your messages go to the inbox, every time.
In a nutshell, we help you refine your messaging. And put it in front of the people who are most likely to need your solutions.
Getting Value From Your Lead Consultant
The first step to getting value from your lead generation partner is to fully understand your business challenges.
In a perfect world your value proposition has already been refined. You know exactly who you want to contact, and why they are going to buy from you.
In other words, you’ve already achieved product-market fit. So all you need to do is amplify your reach.
And of course we can help with that.
Iterate And Try Again
But many companies haven’t reached perfect product-market clarity. In fact, most haven’t.
And that’s where a lead generation agency can add a ton of value.
When you reach out to a group of people, you get immediate feedback.
It only takes about 200 people to know if you’ve got a good message-target fit. The responses (or lack thereof) will tell you if you’re on the right track. Or if you need to refine your approach.
Your goal isn’t to achieve statistical significance. You just want to know what message-audience combo gets good results.
So be prepared to try a couple of ideas until you get a strong outcome. Then accelerate your outreach to fill your sales pipeline.
Grow New Solutions & Markets
Outreach is also perfect for testing ideas. Got a new market you want to expand into? Test it!
Or maybe you have a new solution, and you want to see if there is a strong market. We’ll share your idea with your best buyers.
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There’s More Than One Type of Lead
There are LOTS of ways to generate leads. So work with your lead generation consultant to find the right kind for your business.
Pretty much everyone says the same thing…
“I want meetings with decision makers at my target companies.”
That’s understandable. Your business needs lots of strong meetings to thrive.
But let’s take a moment to consider that statement. What would happen if we changed just a few words?
“I want new relationships with decision makers at my target companies”
It seems kinda the same. But it’s not.
When you swap ‘meetings’ with ‘relationships’ your options for lead generation massively increase.
Instead of asking for a meeting you can offer something informative – like an ebook.
You can invite them to a networking function.
You can ask for their advice.
You can send a friendly message to introduce yourself.
You can invite them to an online event, or webinar.
You can offer to send them something.
You can offer to share content with their audience.
And so on.
When you approach prospects with an intention of giving value, amazing things happen. People love cold email when it’s genuine and helps their situation.
We’ve got a client who creates at least one high value relationship every single day. And her process is so simple that anyone can replicate it.
First, she makes it clear that she knows who they are and what they do. She did her homework.
Then she offers them some valuable information that will make their business better.
That’s it. It’s nothing fancy, but it works. Her leads appreciate her help; and she gets to demonstrate her expertise to the very people who might need her services. It’s an amazing way to simultaneously build her business, and her brand.
Sales & Marketing Need To Work Together
A perfect sales lead is someone in your target demographic that expresses interest in your solution.
Mostly that’s correct. But there’s a bit more to it.
The way the lead was generated matters. A soft lead is easier to get, but they are less likely to convert than a hard lead.
For example, a lead that expresses interest in your ebook has a different intent than one that requests a product demonstration.
And they need to be treated differently by your sales team.
Which is a lengthy way of saying that your sales processes need to support your lead generation.
Or your lead generation needs to be crafted around your sales process.
Either way, the two systems need to work hand-in-hand.
When you speak with your lead generation consultant, discuss the types of leads you’ll be generating. And what the next steps of your sales process will look like.
Strong lead generation deserves to be paired with a sales process that supports it.
Why Work With A Lead Generation Consultancy?
There are 4 simple reasons that working with a lead consultant makes sense for most companies. Here they are (in no particular order).
Save on Costs:
Lead generation has two main expenses. The cost of various tools needed to do the job properly. And labor required to make them work.
For an mid-sized company the tools cost between $300 to $900 per month.
But it’s the labour that really gets you. Lead generation is a FULL TIME job. That means you need to pay at least one full salary / month. More, for larger firms.
At Sales Higher, lead generation pricing is a fraction of what you’d pay to do it in house. So it makes sense to hire a professional to do the work for you.
Don’t underestimate how much time is needed to make a lead generation campaign work. It really is a full time job.
And if you’re wondering why it takes so long, the answer is cleaning & personalization.
A spreadsheet full of names and companies and email addresses isn’t in a usable format. It needs to be cleaned before you can upload it as a contact.
This means finding and validating email addresses. And editing names to fit email copy.
You wouldn’t write, “How are things at Coca-Cola South Pacific Pty Ltd?”
Instead you’d ask, “How are things at Coke?”
The data cleaning process is very detail oriented work that requires a lot of focus.
Personalization is also very time consuming. You need to hunt down information about the person or company. And put it in a spreadsheet. A single contact can take a few minutes, so imagine how much work it is to personalize a spreadsheet with 1000’s of contacts.
The best messaging in the world only works when your target audience sees it.
A lead generation consultancy can ensure your email delivery is as high as possible. Which means higher open rates.
Be sure to discuss what steps your consultant will be taking to get good open rates. While industry norms tend to be around 20%, you should reasonably expect to see open rates at 50% or higher.
There are many companies that claim to do lead generation. But they also ‘specialize’ in 10 other areas of marketing.
So when you explore working with a lead generation consultant make sure they are niche experts.
At Sales Higher we only do one thing. And we do it really, really well. We’ve consulted on 100’s of lead generation campaigns. And have accumulated industry expertise that’s second to none.
Is It The Right Fit?
Pricing & Budget
The obvious place to start is to confirm there’s compatibility between your budget and the solution provider’s pricing.
Pricing will vary widely, depending on the input costs required to manage the campaign.
For example, cold calling campaigns cost a lot more because they require full time staff to make calls.
And ad based campaigns are generally expensive because of the ads themselves.
At Sales Higher we work very hard to provide affordable lead generation for any sized company. We charge at our actual cost plus a small markup. And have yet to find a company that produces better leads, relative to price.
Another consideration is whether your lead generation consultant will be your primary source of leads.
Or will they supplement other marketing channels?
Do you need a specific number of leads?
Or are you looking to test new markets to see if they’re viable.
Give some thought to your exact requirements. And discuss this with your lead consultant. They may have some ideas about what’s actually possible, given your circumstances.
It’s tempting to think about data as being limitless. After all, there are billions of people on the planet, right!?
Unfortunately, there are hard limits to your universe of prospects. You should be targeting a very specific group of people. And there’s only so many of them.
So you’ve got to squeeze the most value out of every opportunity.
Work with a lead generation consultant that’s going to help you maximize the value you get from every opportunity.
Ask the toughest lead generation questions you can think of.
You may discover that many ‘experts’ have only run a few campaigns. And your knowledge levels aren’t much different from their own.
Find a company that’s been around for a while, and only does ONE thing – lead generation. You don’t want to work with a consultancy where lead generation is one of many solutions they offer.
Understand how your consultant works. You DON’T want to work with someone who will treat your data set like data. Everyone in your database is a VIP you want to work with.
Ask your lead consultant how they ramp up a campaign. And find out how they ensure target-message fit before accelerating activity.
There’s NO point accelerating a process that doesn’t work. You want to get it 100% perfect, then step on the gas.
Availability & Rapport
Finally, work with someone you get along with. Your lead generation consultant is an important part of your business and it’s nice if you’ve got some rapport with them.
More importantly, they’ve got to be available to help when you need it. Do you need to pause a campaign? Or double up on leads for next month? Your consultancy needs to be communicative and flexible to help you as much as possible.
The Perfect Lead Generation Consultancy
The right lead generation consultant is going to be a bit different for every company.
I’d sincerely love to hear your feedback. What are you looking for in a lead generation consultant?
Is the research process difficult? Or maybe you found the right partner already?
Let me know!
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Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.