Lead Generation
4 min read

Why Small Businesses Need Lead Generation Services

The blog post discusses the importance of lead generation for small businesses, the challenges they face in implementing it, and why outsourcing to a lead generation service provider can be a good option. It defines lead generation as the process of creating and capturing interest in a product or service to increase the client base and revenue.
Kevin Warner
Founder & CEO
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If strong customer relationships are the "heart" of a successful small business, then lead generation is its "lifeblood." A business organization, no matter the size, needs to have a continual influx of new customers in order to stay financially viable, not to mention growth-oriented. Of course, customer acquisition is usually "easier said than done." 

Let's talk about the importance of lead generation for your small business, some common challenges that SMBs face, and how you can effectively implement a lead generation program that will help you to enjoy tangible, sustainable results for years to come.

Why Lead Generation is Critical for Your Small Business

Lead generation is not optional if you want your small business to thrive. It is a critical component of any successful marketing plan. Let's first define what lead generation is, and then we'll explore why it matters to your business.

What is Lead Generation?

According to one definition, "lead generation is the process of creating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of increasing your client base and revenue... Lead generation often uses digital and social channels, and has been innovating rapidly the last few years with the rise of new online and social techniques."

Put another way, lead generation encompasses the system, processes, and techniques you implement in order to turn prospects into leads, with the aim of ultimately converting those leads into paying customers. A lead generation strategy may involve reaching out to your consumer base via multiple marketing channels, and with highly targeted messaging. One example of a lead generation tactic would be a sign-up form on a landing page designed to capture the prospect's name and contact info in exchange for a free download or discount code.

Why Does Lead Generation Matter?

In a highly competitive marketplace, it's absolutely essential that small businesses catch (and hold) the attention of potential customers. This is why an effective lead generation strategy is so important — it enables small businesses to do just that in a systematic, repeatable way.

Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to implement lead generation. For example, many modern consumers are turned off by aggressive outbound marketing tactics, such as telemarketing or direct mail advertising. Business expert Rune Hauge puts it like this: "Small businesses [can] ... earn new customers by engaging leads through relevant content offerings, which establishes trust and the opportunity to form a relationship."

When your lead generation strategy plays to the strengths of your business and aligns with the sensibilities of your consumer base, then it can play a key role in transforming your small business into a big business.

Challenges Small Business Owners Face in Performing Lead Generation On Their Own

Even though lead generation is a critical component of any marketing plan, there are some definite challenges that small business owners have to navigate if they decide to perform it without any outside help. Here are 3 of the most common challenges that operators and managers have to deal with:

  1. Ensuring that high-quality leads are generated. In some cases, it may be possible to generate a high volume of leads. However, the question becomes: What is the quality of those leads? In other words, do a reasonable percentage of them become paying customers, or do the vast majority turn into a "dead end street?" Low-value leads can become a huge waste of your time, energy, and resources, and a source of endless frustration. 
  2. Spending the right amount on lead generation initiatives. Small business owners don't operate under a limitless budget. They have to make tough decisions on a daily basis, and that may include not only where to spend marketing money, but how much to spend. For example, if your cost per acquisition (CPA) is $50, and your average sale is $60, then you could end up losing money on lead generation, even if it's pulling in high-quality leads left and right.
  3. Implementing an effective lead generation strategy. Making lead generation work requires a certain level of technical proficiency and experience. For many small business owners, this isn't one of their core competencies. They may not have the prerequisite knowledge (or the time to gain that knowledge) needed to leverage SEO keyword research, web development, social media advertising, and so forth into tangible results.

With such challenges in mind, it's no surprise that many small business owners decide to outsource part or all of their lead generation strategy to a 3rd party provider — e.g., a lead generation service company.

Do I Need a Lead Generation Service Company?

If this is a question you're wrestling with, you're certainly not alone. In fact, a 2017 study found that over two-thirds of B2B companies (68%) struggle with their lead generation systems. 

The fact is, you only have two basic options when it comes to lead generation: in-house or outsourced. For most small businesses, trying to fulfill all the demands of a lead generation strategy in-house is a risky proposition, for a number of reasons. For instance:

  • It can be expensive to retain dedicated marketing staff on your payroll. 
  • On the other hand, if you don't have team members specifically dedicated to marketing/lead generation, then asking them to wear multiple hats can lead to sub-par results.
  • Effective lead generation is a time-intensive process, and an in-house approach can detract from other key areas of operation within your business.

An outsourced solution completely sidesteps these and related issues. At Leadium, we provide a low-cost, low-risk alternative to in-house lead generation that can help you to obtain the results you want without the need for an internal sales development team.

Benefits of Choosing a Lead Generation Service

There are several benefits associated with choosing an outsourced lead generation service provider for your business. Depending on your specific needs, you can partner with a lead generation company that specializes in one or more of the following areas:

  • SEO
  • Content creation and marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Appointment setting
  • PPC (pay per click) advertising
  • Etc.

Working with experienced lead generation professionals can help you to find more high-value prospects in a number of ways, such as by providing you access to contact databases, bolstering your brand presence online, or refining your marketing campaigns to include multiple channels. As an example, if your business process includes appointment-setting as a key component of the lead nurturing workflow, consider working with a lead generation company that has experience in appointment-setting via channels such as social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), telemarketing, and web forms. Such an integrated approach will likely serve your business very well.

A reputable lead generation company will also partner you with an experienced account manager, who can work with you to develop a customized solution that will meet your marketing needs without driving away potential customers through too much aggressiveness. Your account manager should be able to help you reach local consumers with your content, if you run a geographically-based business. The account manager will also provide you with robust reporting tools to help you manage your leads in real-time, as well as tracking software and lead scoring tools to verify each lead's contact information and help you to focus on the leads with the highest potential value to your business.

In summary, the benefits of partnering with a lead generation company include:

  • Higher productivity. You'll be able to leverage their expertise to reach out to more prospects in a shorter amount of time.

  • Reduced costs. Instead of hiring and maintaining a large, dedicated sales/marketing team, you'll be able to allocate more money to other critical areas of your business, such as supply and logistics.

  • Increased efficiency. You'll receive only the most qualified prospects into your sales funnel, which means you'll spend the most time with the leads that matter most to your business.

  • Greater scalability. Working with an outsourced lead generation partner means that it will be much easier to scale your required service as your business grows, compared to retaining an in-house team.

  • Enhanced quality control. A lead generation expert can help you to periodically audit your lead generation system, and work out any kinks that are holding you back from optimal results.

Use Lead Generation Services to Grow Your Small Business

It's not hard to see why lead generation is absolutely essential for the long-term growth of your business. The good news is, you don't have to go it alone. You can receive expert assistance to optimize your lead generation strategy, acquire more customers, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

At Leadium, our data acquisition team can help you to supercharge your research and lead generation efforts. We offer a wide variety of solutions that will help your team to "hit the ground running," and we always tailor our approach to the specific needs and goals of each client. If you'd like to learn more about our lead generation services, and why we're a leader in digital-first outbound sales, contact us today. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Lead generation is not optional if you want your small business to thrive. It is a critical component of any successful marketing plan

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