On the surface of it, lead generation services sound pretty great. They do all the legwork, and you get to reap the rewards and have a full sales pipeline developed for you - no research involved!
Unfortunately, though, services like that are almost always too good to be true. While it might look like a great opportunity initially, once you take a deeper look, it begins to unravel. The fundamental problem with buying leads? It will not help you build a brand.
At the end of it, yes, it might help you make a few quick sales. But the keywords? Quick, and few. While you might want to simultaneously build your brand and make sales, lead generation will only help you accomplish one of the two. And the possibility of a quick sale is created in an unsustainable manner.
Let's unpack lead generation, and take a closer look at why it is not a sustainable business practice - whether short-term or long-term.
Problem #1: Lack of exclusivity
The first and foremost problem with lead generation services? There is no loyalty and no exclusivity. Lead generation services are not selling to just you, they have a broad audience.
With so many companies fighting over the same leads, it leads to lowered prices to beat the competition and a headache to manage...for just one prospect.
PROBLEM #2: It's not scaleable
Lead generation services are simply not scalable, and it will make it that much harder to actually find leads and close sales in the long run. It is a service and if its efforts cannot be replicated on your own, then it might be time to evaluate your marketing and sales strategy.
Your business should not be solely reliant on lead generation services on the bulk of sales, and there should be processes in place to help you achieve this on your own. It might be difficult to establish in the beginning, but it will provide worthwhile results.
PROBLEM #3: Proves to be more expensive in the long run
The price tag for lead generation services itself needs to be considered in the process. Many are lulled into a false sense of security with the few possibilities of sales and end up not examining the true worth of the service.
At the very least, the services should provide enough leads to break even for the cost of the services itself. If the service is not even able to do that, and you end up having to cover costs out of pocket, then it is not worth the price. With so much competition afoot, the quality of the leads will likely suffer and you may not end up getting what you paid for.
Problem #4: Not a way to build a brand
It is not just the monetary costs that must be considered, but also the time and resources being spent. Yes, you might save a bit of time by using a lead generation service. However, it comes at the cost of building your brand and relationships.
Use the time and money to get more involved in the community, and build lasting relationships with your customers. These relationships will last longer and yield better returns. Rather than spending copious amounts of resources getting their business, learn more about them and find solutions for how your brand can solve their problems.
Problem #5: Makes sales harder to close
While yes, you will have leads to contact, it is important to understand how much harder it becomes to close that sale. There are likely multiple providers contacting that sole lead, which subsequently leads to the lead becoming frustrated and annoyed. This does not set a foundation for a happy and amenable customer, making it that much harder to close.
Ultimately, it is better to divert attention away from lead generation services and work on building your business from the roots. Work on your brand, its messaging and marketing strategy rather than trying to find leads from services that cannot always deliver.
Once you have a clear message and a strong marketing campaign, your business will be unstoppable - and will outgrow its needs for lead generation services.
To learn more about sales, inbound marketing and how to take your marketing strategy to the next level, please contact us.
Jake Fisher, a co-founder of Bridges, is a multilingual B2B entrepreneur. In 2012, Jake co-founded Bridges with Ashley Quintana, a former coworker at Tyler Media. Within two years, the partners scaled Bridges to more than one million dollars in gross revenue from a $10,000 initial investment. Combining business knowledge and insight with the comedy from his radio days, Jake regularly speaks at events sanctioned by organizations such as the American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America, and HubSpot.