4 Attributes To Distinguish True Partners From Mere Vendors
Your sales team is busy enough without having to worry about generating new leads for your business. Instead of relying solely on referrals, web traffic or other inbound leads, you need a solution that frees up your sales team to close deals, not just chase after prospects. In short, you need outsourced lead generation.
Yet, deciding to outsource your lead generation and deciding on the right outsourcing firm for your business are two completely different decisions. There are plenty of lead generation vendors out there – but your business deserves a long-term partner who has your best interests in mind.
So, how do you distinguish a true partner from a mere vendor when it comes to outsourced lead generation? Start by looking for these four attributes:
Attribute #1: They Gain Your 100% Approval – Before They Begin
From the beginning of your engagement with an outsourced sales lead firm, a true partner kicks off the partnership by clearly defining success for your business and your sales pipeline. However, this definition phase shouldn’t include advice that ignores the nuances of your company – a proper partner co-creates your definition of success.
During this definition phase, pay close attention to how much a partner prioritizes your approval of their success metrics. A less reliable B2B sales vendor focuses less on the definition phase or creates their own definition of success that may not fit your company.
Once your outsourced lead generation partner establishes success metrics (with your personal approval), the lead qualification and handoff process is much more successful. With approved metrics and goals, many lead generation partnerships result in a 100% lead acceptance rate, decreasing the amount of time you waste on poorly qualified leads.
Attribute #2: They Provide You With Hard Data – Not Just Predictions
An outsourced lead generation partner executes one of the most important functions for your business: finding you more business opportunities. That’s why you should never work with a vendor who doesn’t provide you with hard facts, figures, metrics and data about the performance of your lead generation activities.
A reliable partner drills into your data with scientific precision to unearth new leads and other opportunities to improve your overall sales process. Without this level of visibility, you’re leaving the success of your sales cycle to chance.
Not only should you receive up-to-the-minute analytics on your lead generation and sales activities (in a closed-loop cycle with your marketing), but your analytics should be customized to your company’s particular needs. In addition, all data and metrics should be compatible with your specific CRM, and no data should be in a form you can’t understand or utilize for future improvements.
Attribute #3: They Invest In Their Team – While Managing Turnover
The third attribute of a solid sales and lead generation partner is their positive track record with their own team members. An exceptional outsourcing partner should manage the turnover they do have in an effective way – so neither your business nor your prospects ever suffer negative consequences
But effective turnover management isn’t the only process you should investigate. Make sure you also look into sales training and retention programs. The sales industry is constantly evolving, and a reliable outsourced lead generation partner consistently develops their team to keep them ahead of those industry changes. Ideally, an outsourcing partner should have a structured professional development program that advances each employee’s sales expertise.
Attribute #4: They Work Across Multiple Channels – Not Just One Silo
Every business – including yours – needs to increase the number of marketing and lead generation channels in its current portfolio, because only by expanding and experimenting with as many marketing channels as possible does any company discover and grow its revenue capabilities. The right lead generation partner should help you make those discoveries and leverage each channel for maximum ROI.
B2B sales and marketing channels are diverse. Each one has its own strengths, weaknesses, budget commitments and time constraints, yet none of those factors should mean an automatic dismissal by your company. Instead, working with your outsourced lead generation partner, you should be continually expanding into new channels to find new prospects.
Beware of a lead generation vendor who isn’t willing to experiment with new marketing channels or who only works within one channel. These vendors may be able to generate new leads for your business for a season, but soon enough, the opportunities will dry up.
As you search for an outsourced lead generation firm for your business, make sure you’re looking for a partner and not just another vendor. While the difference may seem small on the surface, the four attributes discussed above help you make that distinction for yourself – and your bottom line.
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