Outsourcing Your Lead Generation: Freelancers Vs. Agencies

The reasons behind sales and marketing professionals deciding to outsource lead generation are mostly the lack of time and internal resources backed by a wish to focus on more important tasks. 

Sure, some will say that it’s better to keep the lead generation in-house, but as you may know, there is no magical place where you can get leads – a lot of hard work is invested in a good lead generation. The only question that remains is - do you have time to do it yourself.

If the answer is no, then you already know the solution to your problem - outsourcing.

But let’s say you decided to outsource – should you choose a freelancer or a specialized agency?

Both options, outsourcing your lead generation to a freelancer and to a specialized agency have their ups and downs, but it mostly comes down to a good old principle - value for money.

Outsourcing Lead Generation To a Freelancer

The main reason for outsourcing to a freelancer could be just an affordable service. You will log into Upwork, for example, find your preferable lead gen professional and explain your offer and your price.  As long as you communicate your goals clearly and give detailed instructions, providing you selected a good candidate, your freelance outsourcing should be a breeze.

The other main reason for hiring a freelancer for lead generation is that there is no paperwork needed, no contract approval and signing. It can all be done within minutes if you’re really in a hurry to get the leads.

But this is where the trouble begins.

Let’s assume the freelancer is not native English speaker – you may have a trouble explaining your needs and they may have a trouble understanding. The end result is that you didn’t get what you needed.

If the freelancer is a native or advanced English speaker, they still may not be business oriented. Meaning, they can’t suggest how to improve your lead gen efforts. Freelancers may not know the entire sales and marketing process and how their lead gen efforts need to correlate to content marketing, social media, customer profiling, etc.

Unfortunately or understandably, most freelancers will do only what is asked of them and what they’re paid for.

The quality of leads will inevitably vary from a freelancer to a freelancer and their previous lead gen experience. Subsequently, you may find yourself filling up your CRM with bad data that will sooner than later have to be updated.

The freelancers will try their best to complete the work they agreed upon, but there’s only so much they can do on their own.

But what happens when you suddenly need a large number of leads that one freelancer simply can’t provide? 

You guessed it - you will have to hire multiple freelancers, educate each new hire and then answer their questions and coordinate their tasks accordingly. If your job title is not managerial, you will quickly find out how tiresome managing a team can be.

Outsourcing Lead Generation To a Specialized Agency

The main reason people are not sure whether or not to outsource to a lead generation agency is that they usually assume that it will take up a lot of their time.

This is simply not true. Right after the terms are agreed upon, the contract between the client and a lead gen agency can be signed within hours. The specialized agency will do its best to help you determine your Ideal Buying persona, if you already don’t have one, or find the companies similar to the ones already on your list of clients.

Lead generation agency can even help you write your email messaging and send it in your name. It can automate the entire process, manage your CRM and track campaign success to the point where you only have to reply to your prospect’s email.

What is best, lead generation agency usually has its own team of researchers that are experts in finding the perfect leads for your business. It’s up to an agency to dedicate a certain number of people that will work on your project and determine, with or without your input, how many industries or verticals they should cover.

What is more, any good lead generation agency will provide you with Account Manager i.e. a single point of contact who you can rely on for all of your questions, changes in strategy and number of leads, additional data points and, more importantly, advice. They will ask you right away what data points you need (job title, department, email, phone, etc) and make sure that you get as much information as possible.

The downside, of course, is that the better the agency – the more expensive its services are. If you are looking to get a lead list in bulk, scraped off the web, it will be a lot cheaper for you now, but more expensive in the long run.

If on the other side, you want highly targeted hand-picked leads that will be a perfect fit for your business, you may have to pay a bit more.

Can you find leads quickly with advanced sales tools?

There is numerous online lead lists and Account Based Marketing or Account Based Selling tools that can help you get leads, even social media will help you now, but you can never be sure of their quality. Nevertheless, high-quality leads are the foundation of your business, especially for startups.

Tools can’t always be precise when it comes to targeting, the lead quality can be questionable and bounce rates can be huge.

You will find yourself in the same mess except you wasted your time instead of someone else’s.

Best advice would be to take a look at your budget and see what you can afford. If you can afford lead gen agency and high-quality contact list - go for it. It will pay off immensely. 

If you have just enough to hire a freelancer, make sure you create a precise brief and you can start your search.

If you need any more help with lead generation outsourcing or have a relevant experience regarding our topic that you would like to share - let us know.


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