To outsource or stay fully in-house? That’s a common question for startups and enterprises alike when considering how to generate more quality sales leads.
Cost is of course a factor. The average annual wage of a sales representative ranges from around $60,000 to north of $100,000, depending on the sector, with tech sales often landing closer to the higher end. So the ability to supplement lead generation without taking on more salaried employees can sometimes look appealing.
Time is a point of consideration too. Too much research, outreach, coordination and scheduling can leave reps feeling like they’re spending more time on administrative upkeep than actually closing deals.
Beyond obvious questions about return on investment, outsourcing also requires a reputational leap of faith. Any time a company asks an outside party to represent its interests — and even speak through its email domain — some risk is baked in.
But companies that decide to leverage lead-generation services, either as a stopgap ahead of larger sales-team development or as strategic rented muscle, will still eventually need to stock their toolkit with the most intuitive, integration-friendly lead-gen software and platforms available. With that in mind we put together some of the, um, leading third-party services, plus a few notable platform providers to beef up internal operations.
1. CIENCE Technologies
One of the fastest-growing sales and marketing companies in the country, CIENCE Technologies provides three main offerings: CRM migration, inbound and outbound sales development help, and sales research outsourcing. Assisted by natural language processing, CIENCE researchers look beyond demographic basics, scouring firmographic data, social behavior data, tech stack info and more to build targeted lead lists. The firm claims a database of tens of millions of up-to-date records. Notable clients include Uber, Square, SAP and Microsoft.
This Y Combinator alum, formerly known as MobileWorks, combines artificial intelligence and human help to generate demand and build leads for a client base that has included Snowflake, eBay and DoorDash, among other tech notables. The company’s crawlers scrape the web for lead-friendly data, and researchers verify the data and assist with email outreach campaigns. At the same time, the company — which employs hundreds of independent contractors across a few dozen countries — aims to leave behind the gig economy’s uglier tendencies by instituting fair wages and career tracks.
This B2B lead-gen firm is perhaps best known for its appointment-setting services. After Belkins reps learn about a client’s business and campaign model, draw up customer profiles and launch tailored outreach, they put each call or face-to-face meeting they generate on clients’ calendars and prep reps with any must-know details. The agency also recently unveiled its LinkedIn Email Extractor application, which pulls emails, job titles and other information from profiles without actually clicking them, thus avoiding the cap on daily extractions.
Callbox pairs clients with industry-specific consultants to better customize outreach. Tech features prominently, but the firm also services telecommunications, healthcare, advertising, HR, finance, and manufacturing and distribution. The company emphasizes its multi-channel approach, using email, outbound calls, social media, SEO, landing pages and webinars to rope in prospects. Clients are also outfitted with Callbox’s proprietary CRM, which lets them keep real-time eyes on the lead pipeline.
This Bay Area company dates back to the 1990s, so the fact that its webinar-based approach dovetails with both the experiential marketing trend and the pandemic-necessitated virtualization of everything speaks more to its prescience than any perceived bandwagoning. ON24 lets users host virtual events and webinars, which can give rise to much so-called behavioral data — degrees of receptivity, interest and engagement — that are frequently more difficult to quantify than demographic data — and harder to come by.
The above listed are all companies offering the best lead generations and can be trusted with a solid track record. It is also good to conduct a personal research before choosing a lead generation company.