There's good lead generation, and then there's great. (Let's not even bother with bad because who has time for that?) So, how do you know if the one you're considering is one of the top lead generation companies?
How can you tell if a potential lead generation company will connect you with the businesses that need your product or service at the right time? Here are four strategies a great lead generation company utilizes.
1. Understands Your Company, Your Challenges, And Your Prospect’s Challenges to a Frightening Degree
You know those couples who finish each other’s sentences? The ones who know each other so well they don’t even have to ask, “What do you want to eat tonight?” It’s like they can read the other’s mind.
While that connection can feel a little overbearing for personal relationships, it’s exactly what you want from your lead generation company. You are creating a partnership, not just buying some list. And the partnership is most successful when the other party truly understands you, your business, and your clients.
When they understand your challenges, they know whether you have a problem turning cold calls into sales. When they understand your client’s challenges, they know exactly how to build a relationship that will be beneficial for you and your client.
And don't be swayed by shiny demographics talk. Knowing your potential customers means more than filling a database with facts. A great lead generation company understands the wants, needs, and pain points of your potential client. They know how to help you show the prospect why you're the best choice to address those issues.
2. Spends More Time Prospecting Than Almost Anything Else
It’s easy to overlook the importance of audience building, especially when we have access to great list tools like ZoomInfo, SalesNavigator, etc. But you're not in the list building business, and a top lead generation provider shouldn't be either. (Unless your company is some sort of list manufacturer, but that’s a different story.)
We like to believe that we can solve any client's problem, but the hard reality is that not everyone is going to have a need for what you’re selling. Maybe they will next quarter. Or maybe they did last quarter, and they've already moved on to one of your competitors. The only way to know is to perform extensive prospecting.
Finding qualified prospects at the right time of their buying cycle is an art as much as it is a science. In order to successfully practice that art, a great lead generation company will take the time and effort to build and cultivate an audience. Because you can empathize with an audience, but you can't empathize with a list.
3. Focuses on Quality over Quantity
For the cookie cutter provider of leads, it's all about the numbers. They want to impress you with the size of their database and how many meetings you can book in a month. Unfortunately, this often just leads to churn, to your sales team staying busy without being effective.
With a top lead generation company, they care about the end game. They’re almost more excited than you are about you closing deals.
Their goals don’t revolve around the number of meetings they get you. Instead, they want to know the outcome of those interactions. If they ask you more about the quality of your meetings than focusing on “vanity metrics” like opens and replies, you’ve snagged a good one.
4. Tests, a lot (more than you would believe)
No, really. Even more than that. Testing is essential to any solid lead generation strategy because it allows you to build a focused, narrow audience.
Thorough testing helps a company understand the potential client better, and it provides ways to weed out the prospects who look good on the surface but who will never buy from you.
So when you're talking to potential lead generation providers, ask about their testing strategies. There isn't a particular best answer you're looking for, but they should be able to discuss their approach in detail. From Subject Lines to Calls to Action, they will have tested even the most seemingly unimportant pieces of content to optimize for responses.
Many lead generation companies are close-lipped about their processes. They are worried about losing their advantage over a competitor. The top lead generation companies, though, should be willing to discuss their approach with you.
If you come across a lead generation company that does all of the above, you've probably found a great match.
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Or, if you're seriously considering help with lead generation go through our checklist first:
"5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Lead Gen Company" Guide below to make sure you're getting the best lead generation services for the right cost.