Customer Acquisition: In-House or Outsourced?
Lead generation capabilities have become a key factor that determines a business’ success or failure.
“You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect!” – Zig Ziglar
A survey from Ascend2 found that 70 percent of B2B marketers said that improving the quality of their leads is the number one objective of any lead generation strategy. Furthermore, 72 percent of the companies surveyed believe their lead generation strategy was successful “to some extent” in achieving business objectives.
In light of this, many businesses are looking for more ways to keep the influx of leads consistent. One method is to outsource lead generation initiatives so the in-house sales team can focus on driving prospects through the sales funnel.
But, will hiring a third-party lead generation team really improve both the quantity and quality of your leads? Or is it better to keep the lead generation activities within your organization?
In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of both internal and external customer acquisition and how both can help your business achieve its sales and business objectives.
In-House Lead Generation
- The biggest advantage of keeping your lead generation initiatives within the organization is that it gives you more control. Since you own the process, you can customize it in any way you want.
- You can make it as simple or as complicated as you wish. For instance, in-house teams can either cast a wider net or focus on a smaller niche as they choose.
- Another great advantage is that it builds a “hustle culture,” which enables teams to become high performers. This type of business culture generates not just leads, but also an energetic work environment which can propel your business to greater heights when managed properly.
- While sales and marketing teams work hand-in-hand, some companies only have one team for both functions. Some people think that sales teams should have the responsibility of generating their own leads from referrals. Though this depends on the sales teams’ relationships with clients, it makes more sense to delegate lead generation activities to a different team so that your sales team can focus on closing deals.
- Generating leads and closing sales are not the same. If your sales reps are the ones doing the lead generation activities, the management team should invest in training them, which could be time-consuming and tedious.
- Another disadvantage of an in-house lead generation initiative is that many find it difficult to determine what a qualified lead is. Perhaps, the biggest disadvantage of an in-house customer acquisition department is that many sales professionals and teams can become so focused on closing deals that they don’t have enough time to process some of the feedback they get from potential leads.
- Lastly, setting up an in-house lead generation initiative takes longer to build and stabilize, since you’re starting the system from scratch.
Outsourced Lead Generation
- The biggest advantage of outsourcing customer acquisition is having a dedicated team doing the tedious and time-consuming research for you. This group of professionals is experienced in all facets of lead generation and are already familiar with the practices needed to grow your customer base. This saves your company both time and money on in-house training.
- Outsourced lead generation companies utilize a lead scoring system, which means that they have the data to figure out how likely each lead is to convert. This gives your in-house sales team the advantage of knowing how to approach them before they even make the first contact—enabling more accurate targeting through personalization.
- Another great advantage is that an outsourced team will handle the preliminary communications with prospective clients. This service provides your sales team with a solid foundation before they speak to leads. While your own sales team can very well conduct the initial communications, this is something that you can outsource so your team can focus on the leads most likely to make a purchase.
With all the convenience of an outsourced lead generation team, the biggest disadvantage is that, well, they aren’t yours. They’re an external team of B2B marketers whose expertise is available to a wide range of clients. Simply put, they have other accounts to focus on, so you might not always be their top priority.
Are You In Or Out?
If you’re deciding whether or not to try to outsource your lead generation efforts, it’s important to agree on what you want your internal teams to focus on. Are they closing leads or sourcing them?
While having more control is a great advantage, the outcome of outsourcing to a dedicated and experienced team may be quite beneficial. When you factor in how much time, effort and financing it takes to build an in-house team, small businesses (especially startups) without the necessary resources will find the idea of outsourcing lead generation far more attractive.
Keep in mind that even though you’re hiring lead generation experts, they’re not miracle workers, and they still require time and attention from your internal teams to make the process work. But, the faster ROI can cancel out some of these disadvantages. Still, proper coordination is necessary to make any form of outsourcing work.
Thinking about outsourcing your lead generation function? Be sure to read our lead generation outsourcing guide first to make sure you’ve got your bases covered!