Customer Acquisition: In-House or Outsourced?

Generating leads is an integral part of any business today. What is a business if not for customers?

“You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect!” – Zig Ziglar

61% of marketers say that a lack of resources like staff, funding and time, is their biggest obstacle when it comes to their B2B lead generation efforts.

In light of this, many businesses are looking for more ways to keep the influx of leads consistent. One method is to outsource lead generation initiatives so the in-house sales team can focus on driving prospects through the sales funnel.

But, will hiring a third-party lead generation team really improve both the quantity and quality of your leads? Or is it better to keep the lead generation activities within your organization?

In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of both internal and external customer acquisition and how both can help your business achieve its sales and business objectives.

Key Takeaways:

  • In-house lead generation can offer more control and potential employee motivation.
  • Utilizing a legitimate lead generation company can provide your business with data-based, quality leads and give sales teams more time to focus on closing deals.
  • Asking the right questions ahead of time can make sure your team doesn’t end up tied to a bum lead generation company.

In-House Lead Generation

Advantages

Control

The biggest advantage of keeping your lead generation initiatives within the organization is that it gives you more control. Since you own the process, you can customize it in any way you want.

You can make it as simple or as complicated as you wish. For instance, in-house teams can either cast a wider net or focus on a smaller niche as they choose.

Employee Motivation

Another potential advantage is that it builds a “hustle culture,” which enables teams to become high performers. This type of business culture generates not just leads, but also an energetic work environment which can propel your business to greater heights when managed properly.

Tread lightly here though. With the great resignation upon us, a “hustle culture” may turn toxic quickly when handled poorly, and employees are no longer taking –ish from unfair companies!

Image Source: Statista

Disadvantages

Stretching your team too thin

While sales and marketing teams work hand-in-hand, some companies only have one team for both functions. Some people think that sales teams should have the responsibility of generating their own leads from referrals. Though this depends on the sales teams’ relationships with clients, it makes more sense to delegate lead generation activities to a different team so that your sales team can focus on closing deals.

Training needed

Generating leads and closing sales are not the same. If your sales reps are the ones doing the lead generation activities, the management team should invest in training them, which could be time-consuming and tedious.

Too focused on the close

Another disadvantage of an in-house lead generation initiative is that many find it difficult to determine what a qualified lead is. Perhaps, the biggest disadvantage of an in-house customer acquisition department is that many sales professionals and teams can become so focused on closing deals that they don’t have enough time to process some of the feedback they get from potential leads.

Time consuming to start

Lastly, setting up an in-house lead generation initiative takes longer to build and stabilize, since you’re starting the system from scratch.

Outsourced Lead Generation

Advantages

Image Source: Margen.net

A dedicated team

The biggest advantage of outsourcing customer acquisition is having a dedicated team doing the tedious and time-consuming research for you. It’s like you’re adopting a team of experts! Plus, since most companies’ goals are based on client sales, you’ll know they’re working tirelessly to get you a genuine lead, not just fluff that will never close.

This group of professionals is experienced in all facets of lead generation and are already familiar with the practices needed to grow your customer base. This saves your company both time and money on in-house training.

Always based on data

Outsourced lead generation teams utilize a lead scoring system, which means that they have the data to figure out how likely each lead is to convert. This gives your in-house sales team the advantage of knowing how to approach them before they even make the first contact—enabling more accurate targeting through personalization.

Saves time for your sales team

Another great advantage is that an outsourced team will handle the preliminary communications with prospective clients. This service provides your sales team with a solid foundation before they speak to leads. While your own sales team can very well conduct the initial communications, this is something that you can outsource so your team can focus on the leads most likely to make a purchase.

This will save your sales team a lot of time. This can give the sales team an even better chance of moving prospective leads down the sales funnel and developing genuine rapport.

Library of resources

Chances are, if you’re outsourcing to a credible lead generation company, they have a vast library of contacts already at the ready. While they’ll research more and find you specific new candidates, you have the chance to see new leads fast.

Disadvantages

You don’t own them 

With all the convenience of an outsourced lead generation team, the biggest disadvantage is that, well, they aren’t yours. They’re an external team whose expertise is available to a wide range of clients. Simply put, they have other accounts to focus on, so you might not always be their top priority. But, find the right company and this obstacle shouldn’t be felt at all.

Learning curve

Depending on the size and scope of the lead generation company you chose, they may not have experts in your field. This doesn’t mean the job won’t be well done, but there might be a learning curve in the beginning.

Are You In Or Out?

While having more control is a great advantage, the outcome of outsourcing to a dedicated and experienced team may be quite beneficial. When you factor in how much time, effort and financing it takes to build an in-house team, small businesses (especially startups) without the necessary resources will find the idea of outsourcing lead generation far more attractive.

Check out this checklist from Dan Harsh of Concept Services to help understand how the two compare:

Keep in mind that even though you are hiring lead generation experts, they’re not miracle workers, and they still require time and attention from your internal teams to make the process work. But, the faster ROI can cancel out some of these disadvantages.

The most important thing is to do your research in the beginning so you don’t find yourself tied to a bum lead generation company. How do they measure success? What kind of communication will be standard? Ask the important questions upfront so you can be confident in your outsourced lead gen efforts.

The same goes for outsourcing other marketing initiatives for your business. A prime example is outsourced content marketing, growing more and more popular every year.

If you’re curious about content marketing and what it can do for your business, check out our SEO blog writing services or set up a free consultation with our team!  

Giana Reno

Giana is the Director of Content for Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.

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