Is one of your major goals for 2017 to increase profits? Are you planning on doing that by acquiring more customers than you did this year?
If so, you’re probably considering a lead gen solution to ensure success.
After all, over 80% of B2B companies find that they struggle with internal lead gen campaigns. It’s time to divert your energies to your real talents; let a professional handle lead gen, so your team can get back to what they’re best at.
But choosing the right lead gen solution is a challenge. It’s a process that will be unique to your business and your needs.
Here are some tips to help you pick out a lead gen software that fits your needs in 2017:
Define What Success Means for You
When you’re approaching a topic that you’re not familiar with, especially when speaking with an expert about it, it’s not uncommon to feel that you aren’t qualified to say what “success” looks like. Resist this feeling!
Take a look at your budget for lead gen services, and analyze how many incoming customers would make that investment seem fair. For most lead gen services, that’s a percentage of the total number of leads they send you, so they’ll have to factor that into their agreement.
That’s your minimum number for true success. Be clear about your expectations to your new lead gen partner, and hold them to that standard. It’s important to have a discussion with your team to ensure you have a few specifics to start your search with.
Decide Who Does What with CRM
As you speak with lead gen providers, discuss who would handle The List - the target marketing database that will serve as the bedrock of your program. Determine if this is something you’d like to have ownership of or if you’d rather they handle it.
Additionally, consider if you need any customization. Also consider how old their list is, if they generate new data for each new customer, or if they aggregate already “found” leads that didn’t work out with others in your industry. The price point here will vary, and will likely be the determining factor for your decision about this topic.
Lastly, ask how they organize their information and status. Make sure you can seamlessly integrate their efforts with your own team's efforts.
If you use a CRM system already, can the provider integrate with it? If not, what do they use as “home base,” and how much access will you have as they work?
Ask if They Offer Opt-Ins
Whether or not you want telemarketing and phone confirmation of interest may vary by your field and who you’re targeting, but regardless, whether or not they pick up the phone and call leads is an important question to ask.
If they don’t work off of the phone, check out if they offer opt-in emails. Opt-ins always produce more qualified and interested leads, so if you can, include this in your package.
Determine How They Find Leads
This is a critical question, as the way they find your leads will be a factor in how many and how warm they are when they get to you. There are many lead gen firms that collect leads through advertising campaigns, content marketing, or by culling lists of executives.
The best lead gen solutions use state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, which allows them to scour the professional world for those potential clients who don’t know about your brand yet, but will love it when they see it.
Some rely on third party AI, which can work on a smaller level, but for premium results, you’re actually going to need to look for a lead gen company that’s full of statistics enthusiasts.
Lead gen services that operate on the principal that “if it looks like a customer, and acts like a customer, then it’s most likely a customer;” the more sophisticated their artificial intelligence engine, the better their model of a customer will be.
Another tip-off that the lead gen company knows what it's doing? They should ask you for a list of your most qualified, loyal, and valuable customers to analyze, so they can find more that are just like them.
Last Word—Lead Gen Shouldn't Be Scary
Finding a new vendor for any reason can be challenging. When it’s a vendor you’re entrusting the success of your business to, it can also be daunting. Lead gen shouldn’t be scary!
Just keep the tips we discussed in mind and look for a partner that fits your exact needs. Doing so, can help you generate more customers in 201 and boost sales and profits.
And if you have any questions about how to pick out a great lead gen solutions provider, give us a shout - we’re always here to help.