This article focuses on some of the common issues B2B companies experience during the sales process, and how to solve them with lead generation services. Augmenting your sales team with a dedicated lead generation function (internally or through an agency) will address these issues and provide greater scalability, increased sales, and lower costs.
The Problem: Not Enough Qualified Leads
Most companies experience this pain at some point, and many companies consistently lack qualified sales leads. It is easy to measure the number of qualified leads, but the challenging part is determining why there aren’t enough coming in.
Sales executives are frequently burdened with the process of generating new leads rather than giving the qualified ones their best attention. In many cases, they have no choice.
According to HubSpot more than 62% of sales reps state that lead generation is the “most difficult part of their job”, whereas only 36% see the closing sale as most challenging.
A recent study by InsideSales.com revealed a major clue why sales representatives see lead generation as so difficult. It comes down to how their day is allocated, and it doesn’t look promising:
Other studies replicate these numbers as well.
Lead generation isn’t rocket science, but the intense effort necessary to make it work places even more on sales execs’ plates. They encounter numerous barriers that reduce the effectiveness and quantity of lead generation activities, including account and contact research, administrative tasks, managing multiple communication channels, meetings, and more.
Studies go on to confirm that the MOST EFFECTIVE activities for sales executives (pipeline management, forecasting, follow-up, and account planning) generally receive the LEAST amount of attention.
This is 100% upside-down and results in less market penetration, a thinner sales pipeline, wasted costs and fewer sales.
The reality is that qualified lead generation involves planning, orchestration, time, and dedication. If your company doesn’t have a dedicated lead generation team, then you are likely short on qualified leads and your sales executives are being asked to do something critical they neither have the time nor systems for.
Increasing Qualified B2B Leads
To accelerate the flow of qualified leads, B2B lead generation services must orchestrate, consolidate, organize, and execute campaigns across multiple communication channels. This lets your sales staff focus on closing high-quality leads that have already gone through the new lead and discovery stages.
These are the core outbound lead generation services you should have in place:
Outsourced Sales Development (phone + voicemail + email) – A dedicated Sales Development Representative (SDR) learns your business, value proposition, and messaging. The SDR then engages targeted prospects on your behalf using the phone, voicemail and emails. Discovery calls with qualified prospects are scheduled directly in your sales staff’s calendars.
LinkedIn Lead Generation – LinkedIn is the largest B2B social selling platform in the world. Using LinkedIn to target and engage with sales leads correctly (i.e. in a non-spammy, high-touch manner) generally delivers solid results. Your company’s presence is optimized to convey a concise value proposition. This also greatly reduces the amount of research your sales staff needs to do on LinkedIn and gives them more time to engage with qualified leads.
Outbound Email (small-to-midsize target companies only) – Create and administer professional campaigns that promote your company’s value and credibility using your target criteria. Each campaign includes a personalized multi-step sequence with the goal of generating discovery call opportunities. This takes much the administrative burden off your sales staff for managing email campaigns and surfacing new leads.
These core lead generation services can extend your sales team, accelerate qualified lead flow, and help your sales execs focus on closing new business.
The Problem of Cost Per Lead (CPL) in Outbound Sales
B2B sales teams use various metrics to measure progress, track KPIs and targets, and confirm ROI. One of these metrics is Cost Per Lead (CPL). Many companies use CPL to keep a balance between sales results and spending to acquire new customers.
Outbound lead generation traditionally costs more than inbound due to the intense human activity required. According to a recent survey of 3,000 B2B companies, those with 51-200 employees have significantly higher outbound CPL costs than any other category:
One major reason why small- to mid-size companies have higher outbound Cost Per Lead is because their sales reps take on all facets of the sales process, from lead generation to closing the sale.
Let’s explain how this works:
The highest cost of a sales team is its staff. In the B2B world, good sales executives command top dollar. How they’re utilized makes a big difference to CPL.
For example, let’s assume you have 3 three sales reps who are each paid $100,000 per year. Using the data from earlier in the article, if 63% of their time is spent on non revenue-generating activities, then each year your sales team is spending more money on tasks they’re not hired to do:
These numbers can vary, but your highly-paid sales staff should be focused on the highest-value activities. Companies that don’t have a dedicated lead generation team run the risk of their top people performing low-value activities. This sends their cost per lead and return on sales (ROS) into the stratosphere.
How Lead Generation Services Lower Cost Per Lead
A good B2B lead generation team will stack multiple outbound lead generation channels and work them simultaneously, turning over qualified leads more quickly and in greater numbers.
Imagine your sales representatives trying to determine what communication channels their targets prefer, then organizing and managing targeted email and phone campaigns, going through trial and error in determining when the best time to reach their contacts, qualifying their prospects after weeks or months of effort, etc. This simply doesn’t work.
Lead generation services execute these multi-channel activities at scale, resulting in more qualified leads and lower CPL.
Your organization will work more efficiently. Sales staff will focus on high-value activities. The fixed, predictable costs of outside lead generation services allow your organization to save money, reduce sales hiring and training costs, and generate more sales opportunities. Your cost per lead is clear by keeping the true costs in the open. A good lead generation partner will work with you to test different campaigns and make adjustments based on tangible results, not conjecture.
Scalability at a predictable cost will benefit your CPL. Instead of hiring an internal team to generate leads and effectively raise your current CPL, why not pay a known price for services that will most likely lower your CPL and increase your qualified lead flow?
Outsourced Sales Lead Generation Services
FunnelProfit delivers onshore B2B Lead Generation Services leveraging multiple outbound channels to grow your sales pipeline. Our experts deliver high-quality sales leads for your sales team while conducting business with integrity and quality.