Lead generation is the lifeblood of any sales force and the chief function of any marketing team. Unfortunately, too many B2B organizations aren’t equipped to do it the right way and what you’re left with are leads that aren’t truly qualified, a dry pipeline, and unaligned sales and marketing teams that are constantly playing the blame game. If you’re seeing this in your organization, here are four reasons why you should consider outsourcing your lead generation to somebody that does it for a living.

1. It’s more cost effective to outsource

Think of all of the costs involved to build an in-house lead generation engine – inside sales reps (ISRs) with their salaries, benefits and monthly expenses; sales managers to manage them with their salaries, benefits and monthly expenses; technology, both software and hardware, to help manage the process; offices to house them (they’ve got to sit somewhere don’t they?), etc. The list goes on and on. What if you could outsource it to a team that has all of this covered? What if you could have 1-2 (+) people dedicated to your account and you pay them on a retainer basis? Or what about performance-based contracts, meaning you only pay for the leads delivered to you that meet a defined criteria? You’re not paying for garbage, you’re paying for quality. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?

2. It’s not what you do

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair (and fellow Houstonian)

It’s simply not what you do. You don’t have the process or technologies in place; you don’t have the people that have the experience to get the job done; and a lot of the time the good people you do have are completely out of bandwidth, meaning you’re out of resources to do the job right. Outsource this function to professionals that can provide the horsepower you need while you and your team focus on closing business. “Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.” – Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great

3. Your sales reps are more entitled than ever before

That might sound aggressive, but it’s true. Today’s B2B sales reps, more often than not, want qualified leads delivered to them on a silver platter and they’re not willing to make the amount of touches necessary to drive leads. They don’t want to hunt. And when you tell them that’s a part of their role, they begrudgingly do it. This leads to resentment amongst your sales team, which leads to unenthusiastic calls (in terms of first impressions, having the wrong tone can be an absolute killer), poorly scripted out emails, and overall poor results. And for your sales reps that aren’t entitled, many times they’re getting poor training because their managers and supervisors don’t know how to implement an effective lead-gen strategy. Remember, it’s not what they do (see reason # 2). This is an instance where outsourcing this function to a lead generation partner is a necessity. Look at the commitment it takes to drive a sale at your company. Ask yourself, “Is my team willing and ready to do this?”

4. Setting appointments is just the tip of the iceberg

Many of today’s lead generation providers do a lot more than what you might be accustomed to. Scheduling the initial appointment with your ideal prospects is just the beginning. Look for providers that can shorten your sales cycles and increase revenues by helping you:

  • Build targeted lists that you don’t have the bandwidth/technology/resources to build in-house
  • Qualify inbound leads so your sales reps don’t have to, giving them more time to actually sell to existing leads
  • Nurture leads that aren’t quite ‘sales ready,’ ensuring that you stay relevant and on their radar when they’re finally serious and ready to begin the buying process
  • Promote and drive traffic to events where you’ll have a presence, resulting in more in-person meetings and better event ROI
  • Build relevant content that you can use to more effectively generate leads from your targeted account list

If you’re current ISRs are doing a poor job of filling the calendar and the pipeline, and you’re looking to get more return on your lead-gen investment, outsourcing should be at the top of your to-do list. Just make sure you do your due diligence on your lead-gen partner of choice. There are a lot of swindlers out there that muddy up the waters for the rest of us!

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

A lot of marketers want to make webinars a part of their content marketing and lead generation strategy, and why not? Webinars are the ultimate tool to extend your reach, engage your target audience and drive more pipeline. However, you can’t just jump into a webinar initiative without proper planning. In this blog, we outline the 5 things every company should know before they start a webinar campaign.

1. Outline Responsibilities

Responsibilities need to be defined before, during and after the webinar. Consider the following questions:

  • Who are the folks that will be building the topic and description for the webinar?
  • Who is going to build the project plan for the webinar and ensure that your team is staying on schedule?
  • What marketing tactics are you going to use and who will be managing/overseeing the promotions of your webinar?
  • Who are your speakers and how are you sourcing them? Who will be responsible for making sure your speakers are comfortable with the presentation, as well as the webinar technology, the day of the event?
  • Who will be building the slide deck and other supporting content in the webinar? Will it be audio or video-based and who is responsible for recording?
  • The day of the event, what members of your team will be there to support the event to ensure its executed flawlessly?
  • Post event, how are the leads going to be distributed to your reps for immediate follow-up? Who’s going to ensure that the on-demand version of the webinar is used properly so it continues to generate leads for your business for months to come?

2. Appropriate Bandwidth is a Necessity 

Many folks are shocked when they enter into a webinar campaign, only to find out that they don’t have the necessary bandwidth to execute their webinars the right way. In cases like this, it could make sense to work with a vendor that offers a managed-service option. Vendors like this can handle all technical and production details from registration page creation to event archive, allowing you to focus on putting together a top-notch webinar presentation and promoting it the right way to drive the traffic you want. We’ve often found that the #1 reason marketers don’t execute more webinars is because they simply don’t have the bandwidth to do so, regardless of how well their webinars have performed in the past. A managed-service webinar vendor can make this challenge obsolete.

3. Your Audience Doesn’t Want a Company Commercial

Too often, companies use webinars as an opportunity to tell their audience how great their company/product/service is. The truth is, your audience doesn’t care because they didn’t sign up for a 45-minute commercial. They want your webinar to be an educational experience, one that gives them tips/pointers and helps them understand how your company has helped businesses like theirs. This doesn’t only pertain to the webinar itself, but to the registration page and promotions as well. Your registration page should clearly outline who your webinar is meant for, what attendees will learn by taking 45 minutes out of their day to hear what you have to say, and the value they’ll get out of attending. If it doesn’t do that, you’re losing before your webinar even takes place.

4. Different Webinars Serve Different Purposes

If you’re using webinars for marketing purposes, there are different types of webinars to use throughout every stage of the funnel. There are webinars for top-of-funnel lead generation; webinars to turn existing leads into working opportunities; and webinars that actually close business. It’s important to understand different segments of your audience and what webinar fits them best. There are also webinars to improve the customer experience that can help establish a larger footprint in your client accounts; webinars for sales and partner enablement; and webinars for overall training purposes. Whichever way you plan on using webinars, just make sure that that you get the right webinar in front of the right audience.

5. Webinars Have Long-Tail Impact

The biggest mistake marketers make is putting all of their emphasis on the live webinar and completely disregarding the on-demand version. Yes, everybody wants a large live audience so they can immediately turn those attendees into qualified leads. However, its important to properly extend the shelf-life of your webinar content so it acts as a lead generator for your business for a long time to come. Your on-demand webinars can also be re-purposed into other forms of content – highlight reels, short videos, whitepapers, eBooks, blogs, etc. – that can drive significant pipeline for your company as well. When you are planning out your overall webinar strategy, be sure to outline what your on-demand plan is going to be for each webinar. Treating on-demand webinars with as much care as the live event can significantly increase the ROI of your webinar campaigns.

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com