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Ask Murray: Is a B2B Lead Generation Campaign Worth It?

Q&A with Murray Goodman on the ROI of Outsourced B2B Lead Generation

According to one survey, 42% of reps say that prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process, more than closing deals (36%) and qualifying leads (22%). Fortunately, there’s an easy way to fill your pipeline with quality leads, so your reps can spend more time talking to prospects and less time finding prospects with whom to speak.

Outsourcing a B2B lead generation campaign can drive outstanding results for your company. What kind of results? Murray Goodman, CEO of Intelemark, has some insights and words of advice for businesses who are thinking about outsourced lead generation and worried about the kind of ROI they can expect.

How do you suggest businesses think about and measure the ROI of a B2B campaign?

“There are a couple of different perspectives when it comes to measuring the ROI of a B2B lead generation campaign. The obvious one is immediate revenue from a lead or appointment, but there are still other ways to measure success. For example, ROI may be measured in terms of future revenue from companies that you have a chance to nurture once they are in your sales pipeline. ROI could come many months after first speaking to a prospect who might have changed jobs and remembered the positive interactions they had when speaking to a representative of your company. It would be someone you spoke with at one company telling an associate at another company. A lead generation campaign positions your company to provide solutions at a future point when the prospect is ready to buy. There is certainly a case to be made for the goodwill that comes from the introduction made on your behalf.”

How long does it take to see returns on a lead gen/appointment setting campaign?

“When you’re doing an outreach program, ROI may be slower than leads from traditional advertising, but you must also understand that you are trying to reach decision-makers at companies that you might not reach any other way—they haven’t engaged with you in any other manner, and may not even know your brand, so it may take some time before they understand who you are, what you offer, and how  your offering  solves their critical business issues. However, profit margins should allow that if you can make just one sale resulting from a B2B lead campaign, you would at least cover your costs and even make a small profit. An important consideration in a lead generation campaign is: can one deal at least cover the cost of the campaign?”

Can appointment setting or lead generating companies guarantee any sort of ROI?

“There’s no guaranteed ROI in the world of B2B lead generation, but some companies do offer a guarantee on the number of appointments or leads they will deliver. However, companies that make guarantees such as these are really guaranteeing something they don’t know anything about. There are many variables that go into providing a successful campaign.” Companies that offer such guarantees are really betting that they can do what they promise without understanding market conditions, quality of messaging or the competitive environment into which they are selling. All of the risk they have in making that bet is passed on to the customer in higher prices per appointment.

Does the pricing model impact the ROI (or success) of a campaign?

“B2B lead generation and appointment setting companies that operate under a performance-based model typically employ commissioned salespeople. These agents are usually just there to make their own buck and not necessarily to represent the interests of the clients they are representing.”  And, too often, they are not concerned with protecting the client’s brand or making certain that the prospect has a positive view of your campaign.

What factors impact the success of a B2B lead generation campaign?

“A successful campaign is directly related to the compelling nature of the offering. The value proposition must evoke interest and be articulated properly. If B2B appointment setters or calling agents must evangelize every time they reach out to a prospect, it can be very difficult to reap the full benefits of a lead generation campaign. To the extent that companies are able to focus on who their most appropriate and interested buyers are, the more successful these campaigns will be. It’s also critical that you can tell a story that’s relatable and explains how your solution solves any of the critical business issues facing your audience.”

How does an agency like Intelemark help businesses improve their messaging?

“We modify the message based on the constant feedback we get from the marketplace. Poor rate of conversions? Lack of interest? Lots of pushback? We know that the messaging isn’t resonating with prospects. And, we move very quickly to adjust the messaging.”

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