Luckily for you, the days of cold-calling and manually sending emails to contacts from a spreadsheet are a very distant memory, or perhaps a nonexistent one.
But the constant pressure to generate more and better leads is as present as ever.
Lead generation has long been a challenge for companies, tracing back to the era of door-to-door salesmanship, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Today’s early-stage startups must continue to tackle the beast of finding relevant potential customers, making them aware of their solution, and of course, achieving the ultimate goal: getting them to purchase it.
Moreover, they must decide how they’re going to navigate that challenge.
Thus comes the big question: to hire in-house lead generation or to utilize outsourced lead generation services?
This blog aims to unpack the pros and cons of both, so you walk away equipped with the information you need to make the best business decision.
How Lead Generation is Different Today
Before we begin unpacking the different options, we must first understand in more detail how lead generation has changed over recent years.
Apart from the obvious digital transformation that the world has undergone over the past decade, there are other vital evolutions that startups must keep in mind when deciding how to handle their lead generation tactics.
1. Overcrowded Markets
Firstly, today’s market is highly saturated, with countless startups fighting to dominate each industry. This makes it increasingly challenging for companies to capture the attention of potential leads.
What does that mean? Businesses must adopt more innovative and compelling approaches to stand out amidst the noise. This means unique value propositions, storytelling, and experiential marketing to create memorable engagements.
2. Personalization & Targeting
Advancements in technology and data analytics have empowered businesses to gather detailed insights about their audience, enabling hyper-personalized campaigns and content. Companies that wish to succeed must utilize this data to deliver tailored messages, customized offers, and individualized experiences at each point of the buyer’s journey.
In this same vein, companies have also been adopting niche targeting, which improves lead quality and enhances customer engagement and conversation rates. Ultimately, this drives more meaningful interactions and long-term relationships.
3. Economic Uncertainty
Of course, another very relevant circumstance that must also be taken into account when it comes to lead generation tactics is today’s economic state. Recent years have been marked by economic uncertainties, forcing companies to navigate a landscape of fluctuating markets and tighter budgets.
In response, businesses have had to become more resourceful in their lead generation strategies, focusing on cost-effective approaches that deliver maximum impact. Leveraging technology to automate processes, optimize marketing spend through data-driven decisions, and emphasizing high-ROI initiatives has become imperative.
4. Focus on Customer Experience
Lastly, the shift to a consumer-centric paradigm bears no exception when it comes to lead generation. Companies that succeed at maximizing lead generation efforts are those who prioritize exceptional customer experiences.
Acquiring leads isn’t just about closing a sale anymore, but rather fostering genuine connections. By putting the customer at the forefront, companies not only attract and retain leads but also benefit from increased advocacy and referrals, ultimately bolstering the impact of their lead-generation efforts.
Modern Lead Generation Tactics
Knowing these impactful factors, let’s discuss what companies need to be doing to capitalize on them.
Of course, like most things in life, there is no one-trick pony that trumps them all, and certainly not when it comes to lead generation for startups.
This is why a fantastic lead generation machine, whether in-house or outsourced, will blend a variety of traditional and digital strategies to fill a company’s pipeline with new leads:
- Content marketing
- We’ve all heard the saying: “Content is king.” Churning out organic and paid content is a must for any startup that wants to generate leads. This includes social media content, blog posts, whitepapers, videos…the list goes on.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Optimizing your website and website content can seriously impact your Google search rankings. By targeting specific keywords that are relevant to your product or service, you are feeding that lead generation churn.
- Email Marketing
- Part of lead generation is nurturing your existing leads. Email marketing is a fantastic way to bolster your demand generation channels, enticing your contacts with new content and announcements and offering them free trials or demos.
- Webinars & Events
- Attending conferences and hosting or collaborating on webinars are great ways to both engage with existing customers and create new leads among your target audience.
- This may seem obvious or silly, but a lot of companies forget this one. Instead of using cookie-cutter methods that customers have seen a million times, great lead generation strategies incorporate creativity in order to multiply their impact.
Now that we’ve covered some of today’s most effective lead generation tactics, the question becomes – who do you hire to get the job done?
Outsourcing Lead Generation
Outsourced lead generation involves hiring an external entity or agency to manage and execute demand generation.
Instead of handling lead generation tasks internally, a company delegates these responsibilities to third-party organizations that specialize in demand generation for startups.
Let’s delve into the benefits and disadvantages of demand generation outsourcing as opposed to hiring an in-house lead generation team.
Benefits of outsourcing lead generation
According to Saleslion, outsourcing lead generation generates 43% better results than in-house lead generation.
Why is that? Let’s discuss the key benefits you receive if you choose to outsource lead generation.
Agencies specializing in lead generation are composed of lead generation experts who are well-versed in the latest trends and most effective techniques across a variety of industries. This knowledge means higher ROI for your lead gen efforts and spending.
Agencies can scale and adjust their efforts quickly to meet the changing needs of your business. This flexibility is particularly useful for startups or companies that do business in rapidly evolving industries.
3. More Focus Left for In-House
Demand generation outsourcing allows you to focus on the projects that must be completed in-house rather than spending time on lead generation. This can enhance overall productivity and efficiency.
Disadvantages of outsourcing lead generation
Outsourcing demand generation for startups means relinquishing some control over the lead generation process. However, partnering with the right agency will ensure robust and transparent communication, fostering a relationship built on trust.
A lead generation agency might not have enough expertise in your specific industry. Therefore, when searching for outsourced lead generation services, you must ensure that the agency you choose has experience in your field.
In-House Lead Generation
The other option is to hire in-house lead generation. Let’s dig into the pros and cons.
Benefits of in-house lead generation
Internal teams already possess an understanding of their company’s unique value proposition, industry nuances, and customer pain points. This familiarity enables a nuanced approach to lead generation.
Being in the same physical location or time zone can facilitate quick and direct communication, fostering great collaboration and coordination. However, some agencies can establish a physical presence in their clients’ offices, which also provides this benefit.
Disadvantages of in-house lead generation
Lack of Expertise
In-house teams may not always have the same level of expertise as specialized agencies when it comes to effective lead generation for startups. Staying updated with the latest lead generation trends can be challenging if it’s not your specialization.
In-house teams may face resource constraints, especially during peak periods or unexpected demand spikes. They have more responsibilities than just focusing on lead generation, which can hinder scalability and focus.
Should You Use In-House or Outsourced Lead Generation?
Questions to ask yourself
What is my budget?
First, consider your budget constraints. To outsource lead generation may have upfront costs, but it could be more cost-effective in the long run compared to the investment required to build an in-house team with the right qualifications.
What is the volume and consistency of leads required?
How much growth do you need? If you’re looking for continuous and high-volume lead generation, outsourcing may offer scalability and flexibility.
How critical is ongoing monitoring and optimization?
Assess the need for continuous monitoring and optimization of demand generation channels and strategies. In-house teams may allow for real-time adjustments if they aren’t too busy with other responsibilities, while an outsourced team has the time to stay focused on growth.
Does my in-house team have the bandwidth to effectively manage lead generation? Do they have the expertise?
Evaluate whether your team possesses the necessary skills and knowledge for effective lead generation. Do they know how to analyze results and adjust accordingly? Do they have proven experience with lead gen in your industry?
Moreover, will giving them the responsibility to focus on lead gen detract from their other responsibilities? If not, outsourcing to an agency that specializes in lead gen gives you a far greater chance of positive results.
Am I happy with my company’s current lead generation strategy?
If you are searching for new lead gen strategies, that probably means you’re not satisfied with the current state of things. What’s going wrong? What do you think needs to change?
Taking all of these questions and information into account, you’re well-equipped to make the best decision for your startup.