The American startup domain is competitive, with more and more entrepreneurs from different industries joining the bandwagon. Statistics indicate that it is the leading country when it comes to startups, with a whopping figure of 72,560 in 2023.
You can imagine the challenge of getting your share in the market with so many new and established businesses to compete with.
Competition is one of the primary reasons new ventures fail to gather momentum and fizzle out sooner than later.
What is the secret to startup survival in a tight market? Is there a way to set your startup apart? There aren’t any shortcuts, so don’t expect magic, no matter how unique your idea or offer is.
However, you can get a head start with a robust lead generation strategy. It is the first step to attracting potential customers and encouraging them to convert and stay as loyal followers for the long haul.
But it takes a lot of work because buyers are spoiled for choice and have good reasons to choose established brands over new ones.For a startup, it is vital to understand the value of generating leads and having a strategic plan in place.
The Significance of Generating Leads as a Startup
According to a CB Insights research report, 20% of startups fail to take off because they get out-competed. That’s 1 in 5 companies!
It means you have a good chance of failing if you do not have a proper lead generation plan, right? But what if you do not have the right kind of expertise to create one?
Most startups struggle on this front because they cannot hire seasoned resources. Fortunately, you can rely on lead generation outsourcing to get your strategy on point.
Let us explain the nitty-gritty of startup lead generation and how outsourcing can set up your business for success.
Why Do Businesses Need a Lead Generation Strategy in the First Place?
Leads are the fuel for any business, whatever its size, scale, and lifespan. They translate into revenues, profits, and brand loyalty in the long run.
Not surprisingly, established brands and new businesses prioritize strategic lead generation.
Let us highlight why you should invest in it in the first place:
- Boost sales by converting prospective customers into paying buyers
- Get insights into the demographics and buying habits of your target market
- Attract quality leads with a high conversion potential instead of chasing random people
- Prevent friction in buying journey by addressing bottlenecks with effective changes
- Create brand awareness and loyal followers for the business
Not surprisingly, half the marketers consider lead generation a top priority (Source: HubSpot’s State of Marketing report). As a startup with minimal resources, you may think of leaving it to chance.
However, it is the worst mistake you can make because you may end up losing business in the long run. But before implementing a plan, you need to understand its significance for startups.
How a Lead Generation Plan Can Unlock Opportunities for a Startup?
Startups often run on shoestring budgets, so they are careful about spending every dollar. Before setting aside a budget for a strategic lead generation process, you need to understand the value it serves to your business. Is it worth the investment? Of course, it is!
It enables you to separate the wheat from the chaff and take a more targeted approach to marketing.
Imagine how frustrating chasing around random prospects can get for a young team trying to juggle loads of work. With a proper plan, it is easy to focus on prospects that are more likely to convert.
It translates into saving time, money, and effort, and all of these are precious to a new business just off the mark. While the opportunities appear rewarding, you probably need help to unlock them. Why not let experts do it? Even better, why not collaborate with someone who is good at it?
It’s a good idea to take the middle path by outsourcing expertise instead of hiring an in-house team for the job.
The model is cost-effective yet does not compromise quality, making it apt for young startups. It enables them to boost sales without burdening themselves with a huge team in the early stages.
What Are the Lead Generation Challenges Startups May Face?
Now that you know about the potential opportunities coming with a lead generation process, you must understand that there are some challenges that come along.
A study published by APSIS suggests that 68% of all businesses report struggling with lead generation at some point.
The truth is that you may face more of them as a new venture. But awareness puts you a step ahead of these challenges as you can implement viable tactics to address them. Here are the ones you may encounter-
Lack of Time and Resources
Perhaps the most common challenge for startups looking to generate leads is a lack of time and resources. New businesses often have small teams with fewer people handling more than they can realistically balance.
It is easy to miss out on calls and emails only because they get in the back of the minds of employees. Remember that you cannot cut corners with lead generation as it requires genuine time and effort, so you need people to always follow them up.
Handling Data Volume and Accuracy
Once you set up a campaign, you may get an extensive list of prospective clients. However, handling data volume can be hard, and ensuring accuracy is even harder.
What if you do not have inaccurate information, such as misspelled email addresses and wrong phone numbers? A good number of promising prospects may get wasted only because you go wrong with data.
Generating Quality Leads
Strategic lead generation is not just about numbers; it is more about quality because qualified prospects are more likely to yield conversions.
You cannot expect people to seal the deal unless they get value from your product or service, which is the key quality metric. Startup teams often go wrong by chasing numbers, so they need to overcome this challenge and get their strategy on the right track.
Another hindrance that may affect leads for a startup is a gap in the selling story. Does your team have a compelling narrative around your product or service?
Unless there is a story that highlights the value proposition of your offering, don’t expect your prospects to move down the conversion funnel. You need relevant content that creates curiosity, interest, and trust in your brand and product.
Lack of Visibility of Outcomes
Startup teams often leave things halfway because they lack experience or run short of time and visibility.What if they don’t have the right tools to track the results of your lead generation campaigns?
It is only a waste of time and effort as they cannot find the shortcomings and fine-tune them to improve campaign performance down the line.
Absence of a Proper Process
Generating leads is about having a process in place as you follow them along different stages of the conversion funnel.
But startups seldom have such processes and dedicated teams working on a single function. As employees are busy multitasking, they may end up losing track of potential clients along the way.
Another place where young teams can go wrong is generating leads consistently. A set of tactics may work once, but it may not be successful later.
Likewise, leads may trickle down at some point, even after a successful run. You cannot afford to let them dry out because it can affect the revenues and stability of a business.
How Lead Generation Outsourcing Can Set You up for Success?
Lead generation can get challenging for startups beyond the sheer cost, time, and effort. You can imagine the impact of these challenges on your business.
However, you need not worry about losing business because lead generation outsourcing is the best alternative. Statistics verify that outsourcing helps B2B players achieve 43% better results than in-house processes.
Let us explain how it can set you up for success:
The best thing about outsourcing as a startup is that it can help you save money. You get experts working for you at a fraction of the cost of hiring, training, and retaining an in-house team. You can even save a lot on space and infrastructure. Outsourcing providers have seasoned professionals on board, so you need not worry about missing out on expertise.
Beyond cost savings, collaborating with an outsourcing company can help you fuel your lead generation strategy with relevant expertise. These providers have seasoned teams with skilled and experienced resources. You may even find niche-relevant expertise to get an extra advantage.
With an outsourcing collaboration, you can gain on the efficiency front by eliminating the non-sales time. Your employees need not bear the workload of prospecting, which means they are in a better place to focus on closing more business. It definitely reduces the heavy lifting for your team, right?
Besides reducing the cost and time of leads and sales, your team has to make a minimal effort to close conversions. Your outsourcing partner focuses on quality prospects, and forwards sales-ready ones only. As a bonus, you get data resources to expand your marketing database for better results.
Lead generation companies have real-time data, so they actually pass it on to your startup and strengthen your existing market data. You get new contact information, which enables you to broaden your outreach and expand your horizons. It is surely a plus for startups still trying to gain footing in a competitive market.
Focus on Business Growth
Outsourcing lead generation to an expert means your in-house employees can focus on growth initiatives in their free time. From researching the target market to developing new product ideas and keeping pace with trends, they can do things that actually take your startup ahead.
Signs You Should Consider Lead Generation Outsourcing
As an enthusiastic entrepreneur, there is always a chance of getting started with an in-house lead generation process. But you will probably realize that it is not feasible for your startup.
The truth is that outsourcing works better for young businesses with limited resources. According to surveys, 59% of businesses embrace the model to cut costs. Watch out for these signs and consider outsourcing lead generation for your startup if you see one or more of them.
Generating Leads Is a Time-Consuming Process
If your team seems to hit dead ends or take too long to generate leads, outsourcing expertise is a far better option. Experts follow proven strategies and take a multi-funnel approach to drive better results. They can even help you uncover new opportunities to grow your leads and business.
Operational Costs Are Eating Into Your Profits
Another surefire sign to switch to an outsourced model is high operational costs eating into your profits. It is the last thing startups want to deal with because high costs can be staggering for them. Besides lowering labor costs, outsourcing enables you to save space rental, software tools, and hardware procurement.
Buyers Are Not Interested in Your Offering
Startups need to build long-term customers instead of only generating revenues. If they are not interested in your offering, something is amiss. You may need to rework your offering or change your target market. An outsourcing provider can guide you about the right strategy and help you get your startup on track.
You Are Missing Out on the Latest Tech
Besides skilled people, lead generation also requires the right tools and tech. Not all startups can afford them, so they may miss out on technology-driven outcomes or improvements. It is a sign to start outsourcing because these providers have the latest tools and tech to facilitate research and lead generation.
Rapid Scalability Is on the Cards
While all startups chase growth, some want to do it sooner than later. Consider outsourcing lead generation to reduce the workload on your in-house team so that they can only focus on closing deals. The good thing about outsourcing is that you can scale your team according to your current requirements.
How to Choose a Reliable Lead Generation Partner?
Blue Valley Marketing, a contact center service provider, notes that partnering with a lead generation company can give your startup a winning advantage in its early stages. But everything boils down to finding a reliable partner you can trust.
Here are a few things you should look for:
Most outsourcing agencies serve a diverse clientele, so they likely have expertise in almost every niche. But you must still check whether they have experience and track record in your industry to ensure the best outcomes for your lead generation strategy.
For instance, the lead tactics for a software development company will not be the same for a healthcare business. Also, ensure they have experience working with startups because the challenges and opportunities are different for this business segment.
Lead generation is a complicated task when it comes to acquisition channels. Choosing the right channel is about identifying your target audience and finding the channels they use, such as phone, email, and social media networks. Not reaching them via the right channels is as good as missing out on valuable leads.
Ensure that the lead generation outsourcing company you are considering has channel-specific expertise. It gives you better chances of reaching the right people at the right place and closing deals for your business.
Transparency is the key to a successful collaboration with an outsourcing partner, so look for someone who goes the extra with it. Checking their website is a good start.
Do they offer information about their process? What about resources like eBooks and white papers? What kind of customer support do they have in place?
You can collaborate with a provider without second thoughts if they tick all these boxes. The more information they provide, the more you can trust them.
You can even wait until you have an initial conversation with the team. Simply speaking, you should feel comfortable about the collaboration!
Did you know that 88% of consumers trust client reviews just as much as personal recommendations? It makes sense when choosing an outsourcing partner to handle your lead generation strategy.
After all, you cannot let just anyone pick such a crucial task that can make or break your business. Social proof replicates reputation and supports the agency’s claims regarding its performance.
Besides client reviews and recommendations on social media, dig deep into the agency website to get more insights. Credible providers often have blogs, whitepapers, and other content resources to showcase their expertise. You can go through them to double-check the facts about their credibility.
Culture fit is another factor startups must prioritize when it comes to bringing partners on board. Of course, you must look for it while hiring employees for your team.
But a good culture fit with your lead generation partner makes you more comfortable with them, even if they offer outsourced services. Consider their values, mindset, and principles to ensure they align with your business.
A good fit determines the success of your collaboration, so it surely deserves attention. Does the outsourcing team prioritize customer support and deliver to your expectations?
How do the employees approach their daily operations? Do they respect timelines and commitments? If you think they are like-minded, the partnership will surely set you up for success.
Value for Money
This one is a no-brainer for a new business still trying to find its footing and stay afloat. It makes sense to outsource from an that provides value for money.
You can give them a try and study the outcomes first to understand the return on investment. If you’re lucky, you may even find an agency with an ROI calculator on their website.
All you need to do is enter the numbers, and the calculator will crunch them to give you a figure that decides your expectations. Alternatively, you can discuss them upfront with the provider to ensure you can trust them enough.
Questions to Ask From a Lead Generation Outsourcing Company
Now that you know what makes a lead generation company a reliable one, you can simplify the selection further by asking the right questions from them.
Here is a checklist of questions you can follow to choose wisely:
Don’t hesitate to ask more questions and clear doubts if you have them in mind. Trust is the mainstay of a successful and long-term partnership, so you should be sure that you can rely on their lead generation plan.
Outsourcing lead generation can be a wise decision for a startup looking for viable ways to get more leads without burning a hole in its wallet.
But hiring one should be a well-thought decision, right from understanding the challenges of lead generation to digging deep into its benefits and deciding whether the model works for you. Most importantly, you must choose your partner wisely to make the most of their services and expertise.
This comprehensive guide offers a complete overview of these aspects of building an actionable lead generation strategy for your partner and finding the right partner to implement it. While it may sound like a lot of work, you have the peace of mind that your business is on the right track once you find a reliable agency.
You can even keep the collaboration in place for the long haul as your startup grows and becomes an established business. A long-term partnership sets you up for success, so don’t miss out on it.