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5 Questions To Ask an Online Lead Generation Agency

There's more to your business than just getting the work done. And for anyone in the know, one of the most important pieces of your business is its pipeline. Indeed, there's no work to be done if you can't bring business through the door. That means a competent lead generation ability to ensure that your sales team has quality leads from which to work. If you wait too long, or neglect to bring in quality leads, it can impact more than just what your sales team is doing -- your entire company could suffer.

That's where an online lead generation agency can help. Instead of hoping that your sales team can make do, you'll be able to tap into the transformative power of your sales team by giving them a leg up. An online lead generation agency is an invaluable partner when it comes to high-quality leads, and that means spending more time on better prospects rather than chasing leads that likely won't pan out.

But before you can hire that next great lead generation agency, you'll need to vet their abilities as well as their approach to ensure that they'll be helping, not jeopardizing your overall efforts. Here are some questions to keep in mind when shopping for a B2B online lead generation agency.

What types of accounts do you handle?

While you can likely click around online and land on a company that purports to be a lead generation agency, it's true that not all lead generation agencies are equal. Some lead generation companies are little more than haphazard web scrapers, and the information they gather could be copied from elsewhere or contain no real value at all because it won't take your customer profiles into account. 

That can mean a huge list of bad or substandard leads, and it'll cost you more than the price of the list. After all, if you hand off bad leads to your sales team you could spend weeks or months chasing down all those dead ends, not to mention the time spent dealing with duplicates and incomplete information. Competent lead generation agencies will have a long track-record of successes and the ability to drill down into your customer profiles to generate a list that's a valuable asset, not a waste of time.

What will it cost?

It's certainly not news to anyone with a budget to manage, but beyond their capability, a lead generation agency and their services must fit your spend. While much of the price will depend on your need as well as your industry, more competent providers will be able to also qualify those leads and ensure data integrity that the others may miss. 

You might save some money up front by going with a cheaper provider, but you'll spend much more in your pipeline compensating for that bad data. In that sense, it can be valuable to consider a lead generation agency based on your real cost per conversion rather than a simple cost per lead as that says nothing about the quality of those leads.

What techniques and processes do you utilize?

Each online lead generation agency likely has some kind of unique approach to what it is that they do. The overall approach may be similar, but it's important to pay attention to where things are different. Some companies may try to pass off the work of others as their own, selling you outdated lists that may not be of any real value. Others may try to harvest bad information from social platforms, dumping it all on you in the hopes that you don't notice.

But the best lead generation companies will help you build any list from any source that you want, utilizing both their tools and their know-how to yield a list that can have immense value to your company. Some might even help you vet those contacts, helping to supercharge those leads into qualified prospects that can't wait to hear from you.

What constitutes a lead?

To you, a lead may be a certain type of a person that sits in a given role at a company. But to your lead generation agency, a lead may just be an email and phone number. To ensure success for your lead generation campaigns, you'll need to align your quality standards with your lead generation agency, assuring that everyone knows the value of a good lead and when a bad lead should be left behind.

In general, there are many different types of leads, and it generally has to do with the process. A lead generated by marketing is not quite the same type of lead than one generated by your sales team, and there's all sorts of tracking techniques to help further qualify the value of a given lead. Things like lead scoring, segmentation and managing an existing list can help generate better leads from a substandard list, but those considerations can also be designed in from the beginning, heightening the value of each lead that comes your way.

What is your experience in online lead generation agency?

An online lead generation agency that has been around for some time and that has many successful campaigns under their belt will be able to easily show you what they have done in the past, as well as how they'll be able to help with your needs. On the other hand, a fly-by-night enterprise may elect to tout their low rates and sheer list numbers to encourage a partnership.

However, while lead generation is a numbers game, a list of 50 individuals that fit your profile and that want to hear from you is likely much better than 5,000 individuals that have no use for the products or services that you offer. Generally, we suggest opting for a lead generation agency that can bring their knowledge and expertise to the table at each step of the sales cycle. Ask for referrals and other documentation that you can use to evaluate their capability up front, which can help prevent issues down the line.

Do More With SalesHive

Here at SalesHive, we've spent years as an online lead generation agency, growing the sales pipeline for B2B businesses that want to supercharge their sales. From seeding and managing a lead generation list to email marketing, LinkedIn messaging and even cold calling, we can help you build, vet or interact with valuable contacts that want to hear from you. Our lists are double validated and we include helpful data points like LinkedIn URLs and mobile numbers so that you can get the most out of your pipeline. Contact us today to get started.

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