What should stop you outsourcing your lead generation?
If the value of your product or service is too lowThe value of your product/service (or your sales size) drives the return-on-investment (ROI) of your programme and if this is too low the programme will not be worthwhile. A good rule-of-thumb is if your sales value is below the $15,000-$20,000 mark (as either a one-off sale or as an annualized amount if you operate a monthly subscription model) then outsourcing your lead generation might not deliver for a strong ROI. A good lead generation company should guide you on this and be able to let you know the potential ROI you can expect for your project.
If you have unrealistic expectations
Outsourced lead generation is not a magic bullet that can expertly cut through your sales cycle so that every person spoken to will want to buy from you. It can deliver incredible results but it’s important to have realistic expectations at the outset of the campaign. Companies don’t outsource this sales activity because it is easy to do – if it were, they’d simply expand their sales team and see immediate results. So make sure that your expectations are realistic and are based on sound numbers. For example, in many cases an agent will make around 15-20 calls per hour, but they may only get to speak with 3-5 decision makers in this time. So expecting one lead to be generated every hour means that 20% – 33% of the total market of prospects is interested in your products or services and ready to meet you now. Is that really likely to be the case?
If you’re not committed to giving it time to succeed
Lead generation programmes need time to gain momentum, often taking 6-9 months to deliver their ROI. In the same way you wouldn’t expect a new employee to deliver sales on day one or even month 1, you cannot expect to see sales from a very limited trial or a very short campaign. You have to allow time for prospects to work through your normal sales cycle plus allow time for your programme to develop and be refined. Running a short trial for a month or even two simply won’t deliver meaningful results or be a reflection of what could be achieved with the proper time invested in the project.
If you’re not willing or able to build a relationship together
Lead generation companies worth their salt will want to build a partnership and collaborate closely with you so they can learn how your business and your products/services operate. Nobody knows your business and products better than you, so communicating your advice and experience is vital to success. Remember, they are experts in their field but they’re not experts in your business products, so they will need time and support to get things right for you. This means access, regular meetings and involvement from your in-house sales team. And things don’t always go to plan, so it’s important to be able to have an honest and open conversation with your outsourced sales supplier. Work with them to find solutions and spend time listening to their agents making calls. If a supplier isn’t prepared to let you listen to their agents, or see how they train their agents on your programme, take them off your list at the supplier selection stage. They need to be transparent about their processes to ensure your partnership thrives.
If you don’t have sufficient cash flow
It is important to understand how much you will need to outlay before your programme starts to generate a return (i.e. sales revenue in the bank). The number of leads generated plus the length of your normal sales cycle will drive this. It’s worth noting that cashflow is very often overlooked at the start of a project, despite being essential to the decision-making process.
Check out our video where Richard Forrest, MD of Forrest Marketing Group and Owen Richards, MD of Air Marketing in the UK, dive deeper into the topic discussing the impact of pricing models and perceptions of supplier collaboration on the success of lead generation initiatives.
Forrest Marketing Group (FMG) is proud to represent some of Australia’s best-known brands with our telemarketing agents generating millions of dollars of new sales opportunities for our clients each year. If you would like help implementing and conducting a successful lead generation programme, get in touch. Our expert team have years of experience across a wide range of industries and will be able to help you reach your business goals. Call: 1300 396 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org