Every new business needs customers to succeed. Companies have a limited amount of time to generate sales from the outset, or they will sink, quickly. To increase customer acquisition, many brands choose to hire outside help to manage their lead generation campaigns.
If you’re new to lead generation, it’s a fairly simple concept. In the online marketing and sales world, actively looking for potential customers and getting them interested in your product or service is known as lead generation. The point when a customer’s interest is piqued, that’s when you’ve officially generated a lead.
While it might sound easy to get customers excited about your product, it’s actually a tough process. In fact, sixty-one percent of marketers say generating high-quality leads is their biggest challenge, according to lead generation marketing trends.
Part of the challenge stems from an evolved buying process. In the digital age, customers can use Google to research products, read reviews, and conduct price comparisons from a laptop or phone. Customers have the power. So, how can a brand find new leads in this new landscape?
Many brands ask the same question and realize that developing the right lead generation strategy is a complex, time-consuming process. You have to understand your customer base, find like-minded customers on a channel they prefer, educate them about your product, and encourage action.
As this process is complex and difficult, many brands opt to outsource their lead generation program to one of many companies specifically set up for this purpose.
Why you need a lead generation company
There are many reasons to use a lead generation company, but some of the most common reasons are:
Lack of staff and education
Some small businesses don’t have the staff resources to commit to lead generation, while others struggle with the skillset necessary to find prospective customers. The sales funnel is changing, which requires savvy digital skills to hunt leads down and vet them.
Difficulty finding quality leads
Your company may be able to identify leads on its own but might struggle to find quality leads. Seventy-nine percent of marketing leads never convert to sales. Why? Either the lead wasn’t nurtured or it wasn’t a strong lead to begin with.
A quality lead is a customer with a genuine interest in your product and a good chance of buying it. You want quality over quantity when it comes to lead generation. A handful of quality leads trumps dozens of general leads every time.
Inability to cut through the clutter
Customers are bombarded with marketing messages. Between social ads, emails, and blogs promoting one product over another, it’s hard to grab customers’ attention. When a brand isn’t able to cut through the noise and get customers to see their product, it’s best to ask for help. The best lead generation companies won’t just hand you a list of names to contact, they can help you reach out to customers as well.
Growth is a priority
Brands looking to grow often turn to the top lead generation services to make sure their sales pipeline is always full. With a steady stream of qualified leads, the sales team is constantly connecting with prospects and fueling sales.
Check out the Educational Resources for Small Business
When you need a lead generation company
When is a lead generation company needed? Here are four signs you need some help drumming up leads:
A drop in sales may mean that your company isn’t generating enough leads, which can cause sales to slump.
Inactive sales staff
If there are members of your sales staff that aren’t booked regularly, it’s time to find one of the best lead generation companies out there to help utilize their time.
Too many cold leads
If the sales team spends a lot of time trying to cultivate cold leads or customers that don’t have much interest in your product or service, it means your lead generation tactics aren’t working.
Marketing team asks for help
Marketing teams are tasked with a lot, and sometimes they can’t handle it all. If someone from your marketing team asks for help developing leads, listen. It’s probably time to outsource lead generation.
How to choose a lead generation company and what to look for
If you’re ready to find a lead generation company, you’ll have a lot to choose from. When you’re researching lead generation companies, look for a company that:
Works within your niche
Some lead generation companies offer their services to every industry, but the best lead generation companies specialize in a certain area. If your company is a tech start-up, for example, look for a lead generation company that focuses on that niche.
Explains the lead-generation process
The purpose of a lead generation company is simple: to provide leads. However, the process to find leads differs from company to company. Some lead generation companies offer a list of top-of-the-funnel leads, but the best lead generation companies offer a more holistic approach. These companies do more than hand over a list of names, they work to improve your lead-capture abilities, collect customer data, help you score leads, and even help you nurture leads.
Top-rated lead generation companies will also improve your digital outreach, optimize your marketing funnel, implement lead tracking systems, and provide robust reports that show results.
Has a solid reputation
The best lead generation companies have repeat clients, glowing testimonials, experience in your industry and a track record of proven results. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and read reviews online.
Provides deeper insight into your customer base
As leads are collected, you’ll get a better picture of your customer base. In time, you should be able to identify what characteristics and behaviors make up your most loyal patrons, and can use that information to find similar prospects.
Offers great features at a competitive price
Cost is a factor for every business. As you research companies, make a checklist of the features provided so you can make a fair comparison. Remember, you want quality over quantity and that may result in a higher price.
Ensures a measurable ROI
Hiring one of the best lead generation companies will cost money, which is why you should make sure the company can prove its worth. You want a lead generation company that can show you how much money has resulted from qualified leads. More than half of all marketers (52%) say that achieving a measurable ROI is a top strategic priority.
The best lead generation companies to consider
While there are many lead generation companies out there, here’s a list of ten to consider. Each company on the list has rankings broken into four categories: overall rating, features, ease of use and customer service. The highest score is 5. The lowest score is zero.
You’ll also find a company description and pros and cons from customers willing to share their feedback on business review sites.
SalesRoads gives brands a way to outsource appointment setting, lead generation, and telesales. The company reviews your current sales process, products, and customers to create a customized solution that delivers a consistent stream of leads.
The company boasts about its ability to curate a list of potential customers, many of whom are hard-to-reach decision-makers. In the hunt for the best lead generation companies, you should focus on those that provide vetted leads, which SalesRoads does. With high-quality leads, your sales team wastes less time and has a better chance of closing deals.
What are the pros and cons? Pros include working with experienced representatives, who have an average of 14 years in the sales business. As for cons, clients mention a long onboarding process as a downside.
WebiMax is more than a lead generation company, it’s a full-service digital marketing company specializing in SEO, pay-per-click ads, web design, social media, online reputation, lead nurturing, and online PR. The company has a lot of features, working specifically with online companies to help them “rule the web.”
What are the pros and cons of using WebiMax? One of the biggest pros is the company’s impressive retention rate. The company boasts a 96% retention rate, which shows the level of commitment and loyalty WebiMax customers have to the company.
In addition, customers rave about WebiMax’s ability to improve a company’s online visibility and collect new leads. Feedback from clients suggests WebiMax’s SEO work is the catalyst for success, providing better page rankings and high-quality leads.
For some customers, a con to using WebiMax was a long introductory period that involved trial-and-error of their services. For example, some companies say it took some time to really hone-in their PPC ads before they saw results.
Price was also mentioned as a con, although their costs aren’t listed on their website. Interested companies can request a quote through the Webimax website.
Callbox makes the list of best lead generation companies as it offers a clear plan to find leads and nurture them. To find leads, Callbox identifies matching customers, targets specific decision-makers within the group, engages contacts, and works to convert them.
Callbox relies on a multi-channel approach, using email, voice, social, chat, mobile, and website channels to reach customers and educate them about a client’s product or service.
The company does specialize in ten different industries, which include information technology, software products, telecommunications, medical and healthcare, marketing and advertising, business products and services, human resources, management consulting, financial services, and manufacturing and distribution.
What are the pros and cons? Clients say that hiring Callbox is like hiring an extension of their own team. The Callbox staff understands company goals and works diligently to meet them.
As for cons, customers say it takes time for quality leads to roll in.
Pricing isn’t available on the Callbox website.
CIENCE is a people-driven solution for outbound sales assistance. The company provides experienced people, working in a remote call center, to find and nurture leads for your sales teams.
The company helps build target audiences, segment customers, collect data – you name it. Customers can pick which service they need help with, whether it’s a little marketing help or an end-to-end solution.
CIENCE can do specific tasks like send targeted emails, set up introductory calls, and offers analytics to see results as it’s happening.
What are the pros and cons? Clients say the biggest benefit is working with a trained staff that genuinely want to see your business grow. In addition, if a strategy isn’t working, many customers say CIENCE is willing to address their concerns and come up with a new plan immediately.
As you might guess, working remotely with a team can be a con. While the company is responsive to customer needs, problems must be worked out via email or phone rather than in-person.
In addition, the company relies heavily on Hubspot, so if you use a different kind of marketing software or CRM, it may be difficult to work with CIENCE.
Pricing isn’t available on their website, but they do offer several different packages that range in services.
EBQuickstart or EBQ serves as an extension of your sales team. They provide staff that can reach customers at any point in their buying journey to increase the number of quality leads as a result. The company compiles customer data, offers marketing assistance, sets appointments, provides a quota-driven sales team, educates customers about your product, and provides support to both sales teams and customers.
What are the pros and cons? Clients love that EBQ lets them scale up or down as needed, allowing companies to make strategic decisions in real-time. In addition, clients say the company provides regular status reports and always makes suggestions for improvement.
A con mentioned by customers is their internal communication. Supervisors work directly with the clients who then pass on information to those actually making the calls. In some cases, clients speak of a disconnect in the chain of command.
SalesPro Leads is a lead generation and appointment setting company that focuses on specific industries including information technology, software solutions, telecom solutions, healthcare, marketing and advertising and professional sales.
SalesPro Leads puts a lot of emphasis on getting to know your company and identifying target audiences. From there, the company offers two approaches. The first is what they call a “go to market” approach and the other is an integrated marketing approach that involves digital prospecting along with old-fashioned cold calls.
What are the pros and cons? Customers say SalesPro Leads acts as an extension of their team and represents the company well on the phone. SalesPro Lead is even willing to provide recordings of calls with customers to ensure quality control.
As for cons, several customers say they do have to ask the staff at SalesPro Leads to make changes to fit within a company workflow.
Prices aren’t available online, but you can schedule a consultation on the SalesPro Leads website.
Strategic Sales and Marketing
Strategic Sales and Marketing offers a broad range of services for complex B2B products or solutions. Strategic Sales and Marketing targets high-ranking decision-makers like owners or directors and specializes in nurturing leads that must work through a long, multi-call sales cycle.
Features offered by Strategic Sales and Marketing include appointment setting, lead generation, lead qualification, email marketing, lead management, social media lead generation, sales coaching, and website lead generation.
Strategic Sales and Marketing does focus on specific industries including Information technology, B2B services, manufacturing and distributing, and business insurance.
What are the pros and cons? Customers speak highly about the company’s owner and its staff. Feedback suggests Strategic Sales and Marketing listens to the client’s needs, makes a plan, and takes action.
The company also has a long reputation in the business. While many lead generation companies sprang up in the early 2000s, Strategic Sales and Marketing started in 1989.
Cons include a small team to work with and a fairly outdated website for a company that handles website lead generation.
To get a quote for services, clients must fill out a form on the website.
Leadium offers people-as-a-service that support your sales team. Simply tell the company what your goals are and Leadium’s team aligns with them. The company focuses on three main areas: B2B contact data, data cleansing, and outbound automation.
Leadium helps find prospective B2B contacts through specialized research. They will identify and prioritize leads for you after learning who your ideal customer is.
To reach customers with relevant information, you need up-to-date customer data. Leadium helps in this arena too by scrubbing your data clean of dated or incorrect information.
Leadium can also manage your outbound marketing with tailored, personalized messaging that encourages customers to act.
What are the pros and cons? Pros include a small, experienced team that offers customized service for every business. Customers rave about Leadium’s knowledge base and the staff’s ability to execute outbound sales programs as well.
A con mentioned by several customers is Leadium’s busy schedule. The small company can get a bit busy, which can delay communication and status reports.
SalesAladin is a full-service sales and marketing agency, which can help you identify leads and reach out to them. SalesAladin offers many of the same features as other lead generation companies like appointment setting, inbound marketing, and campaign outreach, but the company also focuses on writing. SalesAladin offers content writing and sales collateral as well. Ninety-three percent of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies, so this feature may yield big results.
What are the pros and cons? One of the biggest pros for SalesAladin is their three-month free pilot program. In other words, a company can test SalesAladin out for three months to see what kinds of leads are produced. The company also has several case studies available on its website, which gives prospective clients a look at potential workflow and results.
For some, a con is the company’s location. SalesAladin is in India, and as such, language barriers may be a hurdle.
Pricing isn’t readily available online, but the company does outline several different packages available on its website.
Salsify focuses on digital businesses. The company concept rests on the idea of helping companies “win on the digital shelf.” Since shopping behaviors have gone from window shopping to online browsing, Salesify has positioned itself as a one-stop-shop to market products online.
What are the pros and cons? The company offers a unique platform for customers to use. The platform can store a lot of assets, from pictures to product videos. Many customers rave about the centralized location of assets, but some say it’s a tough interface to learn and storage space is limited. Clients say customer service is a pro, and the ability to build product catalogs is also helpful.
Cost may be a con. Several customers commented on the cost of Salesify being a bit high for small companies. The cost isn’t available on its site but is through a form on the Salesify website.
Generating leads is a challenge for many companies, but it’s also a necessity. Seventy-four percent of businesses say converting contacts into customers is their biggest priority. Given the importance of lead generation, more brands choose to rely on a lead generation company.
There are dozens of lead generation companies available, and as you can see by the list above, each one has something different to offer. As you research the top lead generation companies, be sure you have clear goals and understand your customer base. By giving a lead generation company that information, you can start to build a plan and set benchmarks that not only increase leads but sales as well.