Questions to Ask Lead Generation Companies!

The process of reaching new customers has changed, and businesses in all markets have to make necessary adjustments to find new ways to reach buyers and get their products, services and information out loud and clear. Learning to build continuous relationships with potential customers takes more than just a single contact. Utilizing email marketing and tried and tested lead generation techniques is the future. Here are some questions to ask your lead generation company to ensure you have the information to make the decision to tap into new markets and grow.

Questions to Ask Lead Generation Companies

Generating leads for a software company isn’t the same as generating leads for an ecommerce company. Generating B2B leads requires a different approach than generating B2C leads.

And if you’re in a very niche space, the more familiar the lead generation company is with your niche, the more effective they’ll be.

Fundamental lead generation principles are the same across industries, so this shouldn’t weigh too heavily in your decision, but it’s definitely a factor. Don’t choose a good lead generation company over a great one just because they have some experience in your niche.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with two lead generation companies that seem to be about equal, this can be a tiebreaker.

The quality of the leads will tend to vary based on how they get them. For instance, if they have telemarketers calling people randomly to build a list of leads, those leads probably won’t be very good.

If they have built out a comprehensive content marketing strategy that attracts potential customers, those leads are much more promising.

Do they call them? Or do they just collect contact information through a form and fire the leads off to their clients? More direct contact typically means higher quality. Take a look at their process and try to determine.

I submitted a form asking about direct mail once, only to be totally surprised when my phone began to ring off the hook with people trying to sell me on their direct mail companies. That’s not likely to lead to a sale. You don’t want the leads you buy to be surprised to hear from you.

The best lead generation companies will have a phone conversation with potential leads to make sure they’re a good fit for your business. (They’ll also provide you with notes from this conversation.)

Will you be the only one receiving the leads or do they send them to multiple companies? If the leads aren’t exclusive you’ll have to fight for them. Don’t buy leads like that unless you have a sales team in place who can handle the competition.

Lead generation companies that provide exclusive leads charge more, but depending on your ability to follow-up, the bigger price tag might be worth it.

Depending on how much bandwidth you have, it may be worth paying more to find a lead generation company that will handle more of the process for you. If your team is very small, you may prefer to work with an appointment setting company.

Whatever you choose, be sure to find out (1) if they provide you with notes from their phone conversation with the lead, and (2) if they have an integration for your CRM or do you have to manually enter the lead.

Is every lead the same price? Or does the company charge more for leads with more employees (or according to some other criteria)? You’ll need to take this into account when determining whether or not the leads are worth it.

Based on how much they charge, you’ll have to look at how many of the deals you close and how much it costs to close them to see if everything adds up.

If you’re paying an average of $100 a lead and you can only close one out of every ten, you’re paying $1,000 a customer. If a customer is only worth $900, it’s time to find a new lead generation company.

Do they charge per lead or per customer? Some companies charge for every lead, others don’t charge you unless you close the deal. Ideally, aim for the latter. Just know that they will be more expensive.

Anthony says “programs that require a contract are typically not a good engagement. Partnerships give you an easy out.” For example, all of SALT’s contracts can be terminated with 30 days’ notice.

Outsourcing lead generation to an appointment setting or lead generation company can be very expensive, so do your due diligence. Make sure you get the answers to these questions from any lead generation companies you’re considering before you make a decision.

Anthony Colarusso, CEO of SALT says “the best way to engage a lead generation company is to treat it like hiring an employee.”

He recommends asking a lot of questions and even visiting their headquarters if you can, and “learn about the people who will be working your account.

There’s only one way to determine whether outsourcing lead generation is right for your business. Test it.

Research the companies that serve your industry, and find one that looks like a good fit. Give them a trial period, and be very careful about tagging and tracking the leads you get through the lead generation company.

At the end of the trial period, assess the leads you’ve received:

  • How many leads did you get?
  • How many of the leads became customers?
  • How much did you pay in total?
  • How much did you profit off of the leads?

If you profited more than you paid, then the lead generation company is probably worth it. If not, it’s time to try something else.

For instance, you might try generating your own leads with the help of a consultant. If that’s something you’re interested in, schedule a free consultation with me.