The most important goal startups have is growing fast. Effective growth means more closed deals, and for that to happen you need a good base to start with – leads for your sales team. The sales pipeline is a number game, we all know that, and if you play it smart it can be very rewarding.  

High-quality lead generation is hard and there are many ways of going about it, but in order to be effective, you really need to know where and how to dig. Aside from inbound generated leads in the hands of marketing teams, sales teams are more focused on generating leads through desktop research. These leads are cold and their conversion rates are lower, but if your targeting is right while you keep your cost per lead under control you can amplify the success rates. 

Knowledge is everything – by researching your prospects, you will make sure you are focusing on those you can actually convert to clients. 

The demand for leads is so great that an entire industry arose in the last decade. There are great lead gen options for your business out there, you just need to be sure what you need so you can control the results. We listed some pros and cons of a few most known B2B lead gen options. 

Buying Lead Lists from Web Scrapers

You can buy lead lists from companies which scrape the web and produce large lists of leads at very low prices. However, these leads are of low quality and are not verified. If you decide to buy one of these lists, you will likely end up scrubbing the data to get to the quality leads.

You may pay a low price for a list of 5,000 leads, but if you end up with only 500 quality contacts, it means you in fact paid 10 times more per lead than you think. Moreover, you will waste money by investing your time in cleaning up the data before using it, instead of concentrating your efforts on closing deals or other more strategic and profitable aspects of your business. 

Many small sized businesses are relying on this strategy as it seems less costly. That’s the biggest misconception. If you are sending a large amount of emails and experiencing a big bounce rate, your email score will decrease and you can be marked as a spammer. This can ruin your total success rate. One way to avoid this is using email sending services instead of a simple mail merge function in Outlook.

Buying Lead Lists from Intelligence Platforms

You can actually buy clean data and quality leads in fairly large numbers from Intelligence Platforms such as LeadGenius, DueDil, Unomy or ZoomInfo. The thing is – these platforms are not that cheap.

Intelligence platforms can be a good choice as they can provide company profiles which include details like the number of employees and revenue size. The issue is, their leads are 1-2 months old and mostly sourced from larger US and UK companies, usually with a 1,000+ headcount. If you, for instance, happen to be looking for leads from smaller EU companies, these lists are probably not for you.

If you decide to pay for one of these platforms, it is highly recommended you re-verify the contacts you get using Rapportive or a similar plugin. This is because lead quality decays 5% per month and as the leads within these platforms are a few months old, it’s the best if you re-verify them to avoid big email bounce rates. Ultimately, you will achieve the best results using a combination of different verification tools.

One more thing you’ll note is that, in some platforms, the lead titles are very narrow, while others are specialized for a specific industry and/or territory. 

If you’re paying good money for leads, you want them to be targeted and categorized the way you need them – focusing on a certain industry, on companies of a certain size with a certain number of employees, on leads with a certain title and position in the company.

In-House Lead Generation

You can assign B2B Lead Gen to someone in your sales team. However, quality lead generation requires a lot of time even for well versed researchers, let alone for people who don’t specialize in it. Don’t you want your sales team to focus on what they do best – on actually selling and closing deals? 

In-house lead generation is expensive and time consuming. The upside is that these people will be in constant touch with you and your sales team regarding the change in the types of leads you are looking for and the companies you are investigating. The downside is that it takes time for people to educate themselves on lead generation and acquire tactics and strategies in order to do it properly. Unless you have a big team and hefty resources at hand, which, being a startup, you probably don’t, you might want to let Lead Gen specialists help you with this.

Outsourcing with Freelancers

Another option is to have your sales team establish a lead generation process, and hire overseas freelancers to execute it for you. However, the bothersome part of this is that you need to invest a significant amount of time in order to recruit freelancers by posting ads on Upwork or Freelancer, and weed out potentially good collaborators from the sea of “I can do anything” profiles and applications. 

Another negative aspect is that you need to go through the whole recruiting process a great number of times while your Lead Generation operation is flowing, because, as we all know, freelancer turnover is very common. Independent workers get busy with other projects and can get to neglect yours, which is why you need to keep recruiting all the time. This takes up a lot of valuable time, which could be invested so much more productively into closing deals! 

The bottom line is, while hiring freelancers to do your Lead Gen for you saves you some time, it also requires a lot of time invested on your part, coming down to the same thing as if you were doing Lead Gen in-house. 

Outsourcing with a Lead Generation Company

One of the best approaches is to partner with lead generation specialists who can do this for you. You want a partner that is able to streamline the entire process, optimize it and scale up and down to meet your needs. By outsourcing this process you can cut its costs by up to 60% and increase your sales team productivity by up to 40%. Alongside this, you do not need to worry about the quality of your leads as bounce rates for leads gathered by a lead gen partner are lower than 1%. 

This is because people who are experienced in Lead Gen and work in a company specializing in it can do this quicker and better than freelancers. Additionally, they can create a more tailored approach than any online platform can, as well as provide you with account management. Perhaps most importantly, if you hire a Lead Gen company, you can request exclusive leads – contacts found for you and only you, not to be sold to anyone else. 

Cooperation with an established Lead Gen business can help you reach your targets quicker and maximize your lead quality, as well as provide you with tailored optimization and measurable results. 

Request a Free Lead Sample to test our Lead Gen services,  or contact us for a free consultation.

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