As a long time sales guy that made a decent living cold calling and pursuing new business, I have been known to air on the side of outbound dialing as a means of building my book of business. There is no question that the rules have changed, and getting people on the phones these days is nearly impossible. Technology and learning curves have caught up with sales techniques, leaving cold calling in the dust. However, there is still room in your day to smile and dial. The question I have is: who should do the smiling and dialing?
For many years, I’ve had companies tell me that they are willing to do lead gen for my business. I’ve always considered them as a viable option, but never pulled the trigger. There are tons of these companies out there and all of them claim to be able to book qualified meetings and stage new business by getting my prospects on the phone. But in the back of my head, I could never go through with it and here is why:
- No matter the reputation, I can’t really determine the skill level of the person making the calls by listening in on 3 or 4 conversations.
- There is always a learning curve and even the sharpest person still needs spin up time to understand my business and value propositions.
- The conversation with the prospect can go in a multitude of directions. There is no way that this person will have all of the answers even if the script is comprehensive.
- The lead generation company is being paid by the hour. Although some are on a commission basis, the ultimate payoff is in the sale, which is not typically part of the process.
- The lists that the company provides is a list that I can buy on my own. 9 times out of 10, the list is dated. Unless I give them clean data, there is no telling how much of my money is being spent on dials that go nowhere.
- Unless I commit to a long term agreement, the pursuit is short lived. Calls are made in a 6-8 week span and it’s almost a one and done process. I can’t measure results unless qualified meetings are being booked left and right.
- Do I really want my prospects thinking or knowing that I am outsourcing the front-end of my sales process?
All in all, I just can’t see the value. Of all the people that I’ve ever know to use lead gen services, I can’t say that I could reference a single success story.
So, what’s the conclusion? Well, outsourcing lead gen calling is probably not the right avenue to take, in my opinion. However, outsourcing lead generation based on content marketing is a whole different story. Check out a different way to see how Lead Generation can ignite a business.