Lead Generation Consultancy – Don’t Hire Before Asking These Questions

By: Jack Reamer |
 November 10, 2021 |

Before you do a quick Google search and have a look at the top 10 lead generation consultancies out there, read this article first.

Why?

Because choosing the wrong consulting company could cost you. You might be paying them a hefty amount of money to generate leads, but you could get nothing in return. 

There are a few red flags to look out for before putting your trust in a consulting firm, and you can do this by asking these 10 questions. 

First consider if it’s the right time for your business to hire a consultant

Before you decide that it’s time to hire lead generation consulting services, you should also ask yourself questions.

You might feel that hiring a lead generation agency is the way to propel your business further, but if the timing isn’t right, you could end up losing money and feeling rather frustrated. 

So ask yourself:

Do I know who my ideal target audience is?

If you don’t know who your ideal buyer is, then you are going to struggle to make sales.

You might target the wrong people, who have no interest in what you are selling, or perhaps they might not have enough money to buy what you’re selling.

Therefore figuring out your ideal target market is key to success. 

If you don’t know the right target audience, a lead generation agency might waste time contacting the wrong people. 

There needs to be a key pattern in your sales.

You should already know who your customers are, who is buying, and have a customer base that is tightly grouped. You also need to know if the people you are targeting have the budget to buy your product.  (Read this article on how to build a prospecting list if youre unsure who your ideal client is.)

Do I have a proven product that is SELLING?

This might be some harsh advice…. But if your product isn’t great, then people aren’t going to buy it. There is no point in paying thousands of dollars on a lead generation company when your product is not 100% sales-worthy. 

First, make sure that you have a proven product that is bringing in sales, before hiring lead generation services.  

Because if you have a hot product, and it’s been selling well over the past 6 months, a lead generation company will find you more qualified leads to buy your product. 

Can I afford to hire a lead generation consultancy?

If you are a brand new start-up, hiring a lead generation agency might not be wise initially, unless you have the budget for it. 

(For example, with inbound marketing, you can expect to pay between $4000-$15,000 per month; and with an outbound agency you should expect to pay between $2000 – $20,000 per month)

Some other options that many entrepreneurs have found to work for lead generation if they don’t have the budget to hire an agency just yet is:  

  • Dabble in some social media marketing; Such as on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Do some cold calling yourself until you can hire some more people to do it for you
  • Start a monthly email marketing newsletter for your website. 

And once you get in more leads and make more sales, you can see if hiring a lead generation consultancy is now worth your while. It’s all about ROI.

So if you are ready to hire a lead generation consultancy here are questions that you should ask them, before forming a partnership.

Question 1: What type of leads does your consultancy generate? 

For example, at Salesbread we are a B2B lead generating consultancy. So if you are looking for B2C leads or something really niche, it’s important to ask the consultancy which kind of leads they specialize in generating. 

Another question to ask is if they have had success in generating leads in your industry.

For example, if you are in the Fintech space, ask if they have generated leads in Fintech. Or if you are in Healthcare, find out if they generated leads in healthcare previously. 

Question 2: What channels do you use for generating leads?

If an agency only uses one outreach channel be wary. 

The reason?

Because if they can’t reach potential customers on one channel, they might be able to on another.

At Salesbread, we make use of Linkedin, as well as cold email lead generation campaigns

Therefore, if we can’t reach a prospect on Linkedin, we will then reach out to them via cold email. 

You could even ask an inbound agency if they offer social media and content marketing in the same package, for example. And if they offer social media marketing, which platforms are included? 

If providers offer more than one outreach channel, hiring them would be a better option in comparison to hiring a lead generation consultancy that only does cold calling, for example. 

Once again, why? Because you can reach more high-quality prospects. 🙂

Question 3: What is your exact lead generation strategy for my niche?

If you are in a specific niche, ask the lead gen company what their strategy is for finding potential leads in your niche. 

For example, if you are looking to target podcasters in the “mommy influencer” niche, ask them what their exact strategy is. 

If they aren’t willing to share it with you, be cautious. Generating leads shouldn’t be a secret, and they should be able to explain how they intend on helping you find them. 

At Salesbread we offer complete transparency. The articles we even post on our website are testimony to this. 

We have no secrets, and if our clients would like to know our exact strategy, we are always happy to get on a call and discuss how we plan on helping them find qualified leads.

Question 4: How many leads can I expect and when can I expect them?

If you are planning on using a company that specializes in digital marketing and SEO, be wary if you are promised thousands of viewers to your site within a week or so. SEO takes time, and on average it can take 6 months to a year to start seeing an increase in traffic. 

But if you’re working with an outbound agency, you should see leads within the first week.

In fact, 92% of Salesbread clients receive their first lead within the first 48 hours of partnering up with us. 

It’s also important to have a discussion about how many leads you can expect. Perhaps you’re expecting 600 leads within the first month, but realistically, you might not get that many. Therefore this is a vital conversation to have. 

 Another concern is if an agency promises you thousands of leads within the first month. They could be overselling just to land the contract, and then you’re stuck in bed with a company that’s giving you very little ROI.

At Salesbread we make it easy. Expect 1 lead per day and your first lead within 48 hours. It’s as simple as that.

Question 5: Is there a minimum monthly retainer that needs to be paid?

If there is, then this should sound alarm bells. (Unless they are an inbound agency, and it takes time to build up new leads.) 

Why? 

Because, if you are working with an outbound sales team, leads should come in immediately. This means that there shouldn’t be a need for a monthly retainer. At Salesbread most clients are getting their first lead within the first day. 

That’s the beauty of outbound, leads should come in within the first few hours. 

Question 6: Do you use personalization?

If you have decided to work with a cold email consulting business, do they use personalization in their messages? Sending generic emails, or Linkedin messages are not going to get you results sadly. Personalization needs to be used if they are going to capture the prospect’s attention. 

Think about how many cold emails you get per day from marketers… How many of those emails do you ignore because they have been sent out via automation tools, all with the same message to just about everyone? 

Personalization breaks the “delete-spam” cycle, thus capturing the attention of potential clients

Question 7: Is there a fixed contract that needs to be signed?

Ask the agency what the contract entails and if there is a fixed contract.

For example, will you be locked into a contract for 3 months, 6 months, or a year?

At SalesBread, we don’t lock our clients into legal contracts because it’s our results that will get the client to stay. 

There are reasons to stick around for three months; things do ramp up after the second month, as it does take time to get those follow-ups going.

BUT you should be happy within the first two weeks. (Especially with an outbound agency. Remember online marketing can take some time to bring in quality leads, whether it’s SEO, PPC, or social media marketing.) 

With successful lead generation efforts (especially in outbound) you should see results within the first 2 weeks, if not, then you should be wary. 

Have a very clear discussion on the minimum engagement process. Ask what you can expect realistically within the first month, before signing anything.  

Question 8: How much will your service cost?

This goes without saying, but always check the pricing before signing anything. Ask for a breakdown of the fee structure if need be, so that you aren’t terribly surprised at the end of the month with a huge bill. 

Be sure that you understand where your money is going and how it will be used. At Salesbread you can expect to pay between $2000 and $5000 per month, depending on your needs. This will all be discussed with you in detail before we partner up. 

Question 9: Do you have any case studies/testimonials that can be reviewed?

Case studies are also a great way to gauge a lead generation agency. If they have had some successful case studies, ask to read them. At Salesbread, we have various case studies in our articles section that our clients can read. 

For example, we managed to generate over 1400 leads in HR and Healthcare for a company called Connex Partners – Which you can read about here. 

(Here are some other case studies.)

Choosing a lead generation consultancy doesn’t have to be complicated.

Whether you’re looking to find referrals, or contact the decision-maker directly, the right lead generation agency should be able to get you the best leads within a matter of a few days. 

By asking the above questions, you can separate the great from the not-so-great agencies out there and get qualified leads in your sales funnel in no time at all.

If you are interested in seeing what Salesbread can do for your company, let’s get on a free 15 minute strategy call. 

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