According to HubSpot, sixty-one percent of marketers say lead generation is their number one challenge.
Unfortunately, this leads to a lead quality issue. Sixty-one percent of B2B marketers send all their leads to sales, but only 27% are qualified. That's why it's essential to focus on lead quality over quantity.
Quality leads have shorter sales cycles and become better long-term customers.
And if you don't feel your in-house lead generation is bearing enough fruit, you may want to outsource the process to an expert.
This article is for you! We'll show you what you should look out for when hiring a lead generation company, what the best options are so you can focus on driving growth in your business, and work with a partner that shares your goal.
They might fill out a form, sign up for a free trial, or download a lead magnet.
Lead generation is the process of attracting people to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing. You want to warm up potential customers.
The process of lead generation is pretty simple and should be intuitive:
- A person discovers your business through researching their problem or query on Google and finding your blog, website, or social media content.
- They consume your content and click on a call-to-action (CTA) button or image that encourages them to take action.
- They click through to a landing page, and you capture their lead information in exchange for an offer.
There are other ways to capture leads, too. But remember, you're looking for qualified leads, not just a high quantity.
What Do Lead Generation Companies Do?
The primary function of a lead generation company is to deliver warm and qualified leads directly to your business. They can target your ideal customers with personalized campaigns and ensure that you get sales-qualified leads.
Lead generation companies then sell you the leads they gather. It's best practice to partner with a lead generation company if you want genuinely qualified leads, but you can also buy a list.
However, this is risky, and you won't know how accurate the data is or if those leads are qualified. Also, once you stop paying for leads, you stop getting leads.
What Should You Look Out for When Hiring a B2B Lead Generation Company?
Before you work with a lead generation company, ask the following questions:
- Are they data-driven?
- Do they work with you?
- Where do they source their leads from?
- What is their lead generation process?
- Who are their existing and past clients?
- How do they qualify leads?
Any company worth its salt will have answers to these questions, and if they don't? Steer clear.
6 Best B2B Lead Generation Companies
- Belkins - best for outbound appointment setting
- Callbox - best for global enterprise businesses
- Operatix - best for mid-market businesses
- WebFX - best for SEO and PPC
- Cleverly- best for LinkedIn lead generation
- Lean Labs - best for organic growth
Features: Belkins promises to "deliver top-notch appointments to skyrocket your business." They do this with a customized outreach approach. They create marketing campaigns based on your ideal customer profile (ICP), value proposition, and market research.
Belkins experts then design templates to win the hearts of your ideal prospects and set up appointments as a result. As of writing, they've set up over 200,000 meetings for their clients. Most reviews of Belkins are positive.
What customers say: "Cloud and Belkins immediately found a common language, the work was in full swing, and progress went very quickly. And in 4 months, we have achieved the results that we needed." Belkins User
Features: Callbox aims to arm you with the data, people, strategies, and tools needed to execute your lead generation plan. Trusted by companies like DHL, HP, and eBay, Callbox works across various industries. They have offices across the world.
They use a multi-channel marketing method to target leads. Their process is transparent. It starts with the initial engagement and carries all the way through to nurturing leads until they're sales-ready.
Reviews are generally good, but being a global brand working with hundreds of clients, some businesses feel customer service is poor.
What customers say: "Callbox really has the right set of tools and methodology to generate leads. They are using a combination of voice, email and social for the outreach. They have also taken the time to understand our business in a very short period of time." Callbox User
Features: With a deep knowledge of the B2B tech market, Operatix understands the IT landscape, its buying centers, and hierarchies. Another company with global coverage, Operatix sells in 17 different languages and offers a comprehensive service.
Their approach combines account-based marketing and account-based selling. From Operatix: "Through our team of 200 SDRs based in London & Dallas, we help our customers accelerate sales cycles, increase their average deal value and close more business."
What customers say: "Once we found the right team, we achieved consistent performance month after month. There is also excellent communication between the team and us, and we have generated some great energy in our regular catch-ups." - Operatix User
Features: WebFX, a full-service company with over 450 digital marketing experts, specializes in data-driven revenue marketing. Their services include PPC advertising, content marketing, and account-based marketing. You'll work with a dedicated account manager to build a custom lead strategy.
You can track calls, leads, and revenue using their in-house technology. Reviews are generally excellent, with customers praising their high-quality content and account management.
What customers say: "I like the tracking the best. It helps us see exactly where leads are coming from so we can record our date correctly. They are also very good at communication and letting us know what is being done at all times to improve our website." - WebFX User
Features: Cleverly focuses on LinkedIn lead generation. Boasting clients like Uber, Paypal, and WeWork, Cleverly leverages high-performing data from thousands of outbound B2B campaigns to target and engage qualified decision-makers.
Working with agencies, startups, B2B services, and freelancers, Cleverly believes that crafting the right LinkedIn strategy takes continuous optimization and focus on four areas:
- Profile optimization
- Lead generation
- Content and Ghostwriting
- Sales strategy
Rated excellent on Trustpilot and Clutch, Cleverly has a fantastic reputation for getting results on LinkedIn.
What customers say: "From day one, the Cleverly campaign exceeded my expectations. Our connections acceptance rate and reply rate are currently 26% and 25%, respectively — much higher than the anticipated 15-20% we were promised." - Cleverly User
#6. Lean Labs
Features: Lead generation is part of an overall growth strategy. Our approach is to attract qualified leads with growth marketing and a high-conversion website. We focus on the buyer journey so that any leads we generate are warmed up and ready to buy.
Through valuable, relevant, and consistent content, we help SaaS and Tech brands fill their pipelines with leads. We need you to know you're not paying for leads when you hire Lean Labs. You're investing in a robust growth marketing strategy and a partnership with one goal: massive growth.
What clients say: "Working with the Lean Labs team has been a pleasure to work with from the very beginning. Their expertise, responsiveness, and ability to listen and understand our vision and requirements have been critical in developing a functional and beautiful website that we feel proud of. We're confident this new website will help fuel our future growth." - Lean Labs User
B2B Lead Generation Companies: Which One is Right For You?
As always, depending on the size of your business and your goals, you can find a lead generation company to fulfill your needs.
Just remember, the quality of leads is far more critical than quantity. Do you want the best ROI for your marketing efforts? Of course, you do. So you need to pass qualified leads to your sales teams to make their jobs easier.
It's best to work with a company that will partner with you. Outsourcing lead generation and forgetting about it is a mistake. Can anyone else honestly know your customers? And if they do, without constant communication, how will they know if any changes occur?
Lead generation is only part of the process. What happens once you've acquired leads is more important. It's best to work with a growth team that's invested in your revenue growth.
For example, at Lean Labs, we focus on Tech and SaaS brands and use a "value over profit" model, meaning that if the leads we generate don't reliably ascend to customers and drive business growth, we don't profit.
If you want to know what we would do if we were your growth team, check out our free resource, the Growth Playbook. This is our most valuable training, as it lays out the exact steps for how to plan, budget for, and accelerate growth.