Lead generation is a major component of your marketing plan. Once you have enough traffic to your website, social media, or business, you need to turn those visitors into leads who can eventually become potential customers. It’s a delicate art of finding high-quality leads and appealing to their interests without being overbearing. This is why many businesses hire lead generation specialists to help with this part of their marketing.
When hiring lead generation professionals, you can outsource or you can hire an in-house department. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. It’s important to study these in order to decide which is the right option for you.
An outsourced lead generation is a professional or team of lead generation professionals who work as independent contractors. They run their own marketing or lead generation firm, and they take on clients. You can hire them to help with a particular project or come up with a retainer agreement to work with them long-term.
Although an outsourced lead generation team is paid for their services, they are not a permanent addition to your team. Thus, with an outsourced team, you will not need to pay for benefits like insurance, time off, and so on.
- More time for running your business. Not every business owner is a natural when it comes to marketing — and you may not feel that you have the time and resources to learn. When you outsource your lead generation team, they can take care of lead generation while you focus on running your business.
- Specialized marketing knowledge. You know you’re dealing with a lead generation specialist when outsourcing a lead generation team. These professionals work with lead generation every day and know the ins and outs of it.
- Easy to implement. There is far less paperwork with contractors than with full-time employees, especially since you don’t have to worry about benefits. They can get you into their system as a client quickly and then start generating leads right away.
- High upfront costs. The cost for the retainer fee and taking on an outsourced lead generation team’s services can be high initially, although it can save you money over time.
- No opportunity for cross-training your team. If you outsource your lead development, you won’t have a lead development team in-house. You likely won’t train yourself or your employees to have those skills. So if something falls through with the team you hire, you may be out of lead generation until you find another solution.
- Less personal knowledge. A lead generation team may be experts in lead generation, but they won’t know your product or services as well as someone in-house.
An in-house lead generation team means starting a lead generation department or having a permanent employee whose main job is lead generation. You might train someone already within your company, or you might hire permanent employees specifically for the job. These employees are full members of your company and will receive the benefits and responsibilities that come with that.
- A more personalized approach. Your in-house team knows your product better than any outside professional ever will. They also know your customers and target audience better, so they may have a better idea of how to market to them.
- Higher ROI. Because an in-house professional knows your lead generation needs, your target audience, and your product so well, they will be able to rule out lead generation that is likely to be unproductive and focus instead on the strategies that will lead to the best ROI.
- Cross-training opportunities. You can train members of your team with other jobs to do lead generation as well, so that if there are ever any shortages, your lead generation needs are still covered.
- Higher cost over time. You will have to cover benefits and potentially overtime for a permanent employee, as well as the cost of their equipment and training. This can become expensive in the long run.
- May have to merge with sales. If you don’t have the resources for a marketing or lead generation department, you may have to merge lead generation with sales. This may sound like a good fit, but sales and marketing are actually different skill sets. Lead generation falls somewhere in between the two, making it complicated.
- Less specialization. Unless you hire someone specifically to be a lead generation professional, you will lose out on the specialized experience that comes with an outsourced team.