Research shows that early-stage leads make up 40-70% of potential sales and that most of these leads are often lost, ignored, or discarded by the company’s Sales team.
Businesses that recognize this and are proactive about winning some of these missed opportunities are either hiring very expensive, sophisticated marketing teams or they are looking to a lead generation services partner to fill in the gaps.
Choosing the right lead generation partner is a mission-critical decision for any business. Differentiating among vendors and their offerings can be challenging.
Before hitting Google to start your search, consider these 15 things you need to know about your lead generation partner before turning over the keys to your kingdom.
15 key points to choosing the right lead generation services partner:
1. KNOW WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE – You need to know, your boss needs to know and you need to make sure your new partner knows.
2. THE LIST – This is the foundation for any lead generation program. Who handles target market database (lists) building? If your potential lead generation services vendor is going to, do they do any customization and how are they ensuring their lists are current?
3. WHO IS WHO – Will your lead generation services partner market on your behalf, i.e. using your name, representing themselves as your company? If not, how do they represent themselves?
4. INBOUND LEADS – Who is going to handle inbound leads as they come in? Who will track lead source?
5. GENERATING NEW LEADS – what is their experience and who manages outbound messaging and content creation? Be sure to ask for lots of samples and results metrics.
6. LEAD NURTURING – Lead Nurturing is key to helping leads move into and through the sales pipeline. Does your lead generation services partner manage this?
7. TELESALES/TELEMARKETING – Will there be calling campaigns in addition to the outbound marketing? Where is that done? Can you listen in on calls?
8. CURRENT CUSTOMER MARKETING – Will your lead generation services provider also help nurture your current customer base for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities?
9. CRM – Having a seamless process is very important. Ensuring that all information collected about a prospect (either by your lead generation services team or your own internal team) is kept in a central location is key to accelerated sales cycles. Will your lead generation services partner maintain updates in your CRM?
10. LEAD EXPECTATIONS – What should my sales team expect when a lead is passed over?
11. REPORTING – you need metrics and analytics that prove success. Make your list and ask your lead generation services vendors to share what they have. Together you should be able to come up with a report that works for you and your team.
12. POINT OF CONTACT – Will there be just 1 account manager or a team? Who should be contacted for what?
13. GUARANTEES – Are there any guarantees?
14. REFERENCES – Ask to speak to references in companies like yours or at least in your industry. Be sure to also ask both the lead generation services vendor and the reference about expectations and results.
15. WHAT ELSE? – Find out what is expected of you and your team once you have selected your lead generation services partner? After all, it is a team effort if you really want to be successful.
Have we left anything off the list? If so, please let us know!