One of the challenges that business-to-business companies face as they grow is to figure out which of their business functions are core and which are ancillary and can therefore be outsourced. Many business-to-business (B2B) companies choose to outsource functions like IT, HR, and accounting because they’re support functions. Outsourcing is proven to work well - 75% of businesses worldwide report positive experiences with outsourcing. But some functions are more naturally kept in house. Sales and operations, for example, are often considered core and are handled by internal staff.
But what about lead generation, and marketing in general? It’s a business function that can be strategic for some B2B companies, and a support function for others. Even companies who consider marketing to be strategic might choose to outsource it at a particular stage of their growth, or to permanently outsource some elements of it. For example, the 2020 Benchmark Report from the Content Marketing Institute reveals that half of B2B companies outsource at least one component of their content marketing.
Many B2B companies haven’t had an in-house lead generation team in the past. So when they want to get serious about building their pipeline with consistent lead generation activities they’re faced with building a new team and function, often with a limited understanding of what is needed. If you’re in that situation and are debating the pros and cons of outsourcing your company’s lead generation, here are a few of the reasons that B2B companies choose to outsource:
Get a Range of Capabilities
Hiring an employee to handle your lead generation can work, in some cases. But perhaps your budget is limited, or having a full-time person for lead generation would be overkill, or you need a broad range of skills to make lead generation successful (digital marketing, events, sales enablement, content development to name a few). This is when outsourcing makes better sense.
Outsourced lead generation can provide a team of people who have specific knowledge in the variety of skills needed to make lead generation work. This saves you from hiring multiple in-house people and gives you flexibility while avoiding the risks and overheads of full-time hires.
Identify the Right Lead Generation Tactics
There are many ways to generate leads for a B2B company, from digital advertising and social media, to tradeshows and speaking at events to direct mail – and many others. How does a B2B company that hasn’t done a lot of lead generation in the past know what they need to do in order to get their pipeline growing consistently?
An outsourced lead generation partner will identify which tactics will produce the best results, so their clients get to skip the guessing game. And they are adept at implementing tactics to test results, so they’ll be faster at determining the best channels and messages than most companies are at their own trial and error processes.
If lead generation and driving sales is where you are heading, read more about finding the right lead generation partner.
Working Within a Limited Budget
Many B2B companies struggle with spending money on communications tactics that aren’t generating results after a few months or years. Ineffective lead generation can be caused by various issues – from lack of strategic alignment between the tactics and business strategy, to weak execution.
Outsourced lead generation companies are focused on measurable and identifiable results. As such, you can set limits on the expenditure of resources and time to fit your budget in advance, so the team can create projects that work for you.
You Need Senior Experience
Most B2B companies need a marketing and lead generation strategy that lines up with their sales and business strategy. The problem is that developing an effective strategy is a senior skill, rarely possessed by a new (and inexpensive) marketer. But it’s also a skill that is only needed for a short period of time.
Once the strategy is established by an experienced person, the focus can then be transferred to people with different skill levels who can execute well. Outsourcing gives your company the ability to get the expertise it needs, when it needs it – and only then, rather than paying for more than you need.
Is it time for your company to consider outsourced marketing? It’s a growing trend used by B2B companies, with more than one-third of small businesses currently outsourcing a business process, and more than half planning to outsource this year.