Should you outsource B2B Lead Generation?May 16, 2019
Here at Miraget we often have ongoing discussions with clients who are using MiragetLeads, our powerful B2B Lead Generation Platform, about how the product is working for them what improvements would like to see etc.
One of the most common feedback we receive is not about the product per se but the paradigm shift of moving from having the process of generating new leads outsourced to generating their leads in-house.
In this short article we will discuss the topic of in-house vs outsourcing B2B lead generation.
Outsourcing lead generation to various agencies and third-party companies is often portrayed as more efficient than doing your own lead generation in-house. After all companies that have a huge cross channel network, a tried and tested approach to finding customers and an understanding of what you are looking for, can theoretically transform how your business finds new customers and facilitate rapid, sustainable growth. Or is it?
Lead generation is particularly effective in B2B because decisions made about business purchasing carry a lot of weight – your job and reputation in the workplace pivots on you finding a reliable and cost effective company to purchase from. For this reason, most people want to research options carefully, and this is where comprehensive content marketing can help to drive the customer to your brand. Purchasing managers and decision makers will research several competing firms before forming a shortlist of candidates that will proceed with for a direct contact or a quote.
In order to attract and close a B2B lead, customer generation companies have to employ a cross channel approach – marketing to people across all media, from paid advertising to content marketing to inbound emails straight to their CRM. This multi-channel strategy gives customers several touch points and allows lead generators to court the customer at every stage of their decision making process. The argument is that because lead generation companies have dedicated specialist teams across marketing channels, and access to data which allows them to optimise their activities in real time, they have a much higher success rate when attracting potential customers – leaving your company to focus on closing the sale.
Evaluate your capabilities
This is perhaps useful when your in-house team does not have the time, skill, or resources to perform their own lead capture activities. As with several other business activities you must evaluate whether a specific business function is best performed in-house or outsourced to an external supplier. Cost, time-sensitivity, expertise, compliance are all aspects that need to be considered before a decision is make.
If your company however has a good digital presence and already has a sales team the chances are that you are already losing if you are not using a lead generation software. For B2B sales, timing and speed is still king. If you are able to identify previously anonymous business visitors of your website using a tool like MiragetLeads and your sales team can view these leads in near-real time then you are already a step ahead of the competition. You can now make warm introductions to these companies via email, telephone, or linkedin.
Factor Lifetime Value
Once customers have used your brand for a B2B purchase or service, they are very likely to return. Research by member based advisory company CEB showed that customers who already had strong affiliations to B2B brands were more likely to consider, purchase and pay a premium from that brand in the future. Therefore, for the cost of one lead, you will often get a returning customer and the lifetime value of their repeat business for a one off lead cost.
At a previous article we explored what is the average lead generation cost by industry. Based on data collated by IMA e.g. a business in the Financial services sector will have an Average Cost Per Lead of $160. whilst the avg. conversion rate is 10%.
Remember, though, it’s not just about calculating your cost for your B2B sales leads, but more about the Return On Investment (ROI) of your customer acquisition. For example, if you product or service nets you $10,000 (dollars, pounds, euros etc) and you close 10% of your qualified leads, paying $160 per lead probably isn’t an issue. However, if you product or service nets you $500 under the same scenario, paying $160 per lead would be outrageous.
The higher the ROI, the more expensive the lead is likely to cost. Conversely, the smaller the ROI, the less you will want to pay for leads. Also there is a significant difference in the types of leads you can generate. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) are vastly different from Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s) and here is where a tool like MiragetLeads that generates leads from business visitors that have already a proven interest in your services/product can have a significant benefit over an outsourced service as the leads that are captured are more likely to be SQL ready rather than simply MQL ready.