Outsourced lead generation: How to choose the right lead generation service

Cold calling. Email marketing. Referrals. LinkedIn. Facebook Ads. Content Marketing. SEO. You see where we’re going? 

There are many ways you can generate leads for your business. But that doesn’t mean lead generation is easy! In fact, according to a recent HubSpot report, 61% of marketers rank lead generation as their biggest challenge.

So, it’s no wonder you’re considering outsourced lead generation as a way to grow your business. Outsourcing can save you time and provide you with a consistent stream of leads ready to convert.

But… that doesn’t mean you can hire just any lead provider and expect amazing results. It’s, unfortunately, not that easy either! But we’ve put together this quick guide to help simplify the process.

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn:

  • The value of lead generation outsourcing
  • The pros and cons of outsourcing lead generation 
  • When you should consider outsourcing 
  • How to choose a lead generation company 
  • The best platform to generate leads above the funnel
  • The benefit of using exegraphic data for outsourced lead generation

But, first, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what outsourced lead generation means!


What is outsourced lead generation?

Outsourced lead generation is the process of hiring a third-party lead generation service to find leads for your business. Outsourced lead generation service providers also guide prospects through the initial stages of your funnel, priming them for conversion for your sales team. 

Most B2B lead generation companies begin by creating your ideal customer profile (ICP), identifying companies that share characteristics with that profile and then doing common lead generation tasks like:

  • Cold calling and emailing
  • Cold messaging on social media platforms 
  • Running content syndication campaigns 
  • Using outbound and inbound marketing techniques to promote your product or service
  • Following up with prospects to schedule demos and appointments with your sales team 

Of course, if you have the resources, you could take care of all those tasks in-house. So, you’re right to wonder: what’s the value of outsourcing lead generation?


Is it better to outsource lead generation?

Outsourcing lead generation can be a great option for businesses of all sizes. The following sections will help you thoughtfully decide whether it’s better to outsource your lead generation or commit to keeping it in-house.


Pros and cons of outsourcing lead generation


  • Time saved. Lead generation can be a time-consuming process. And by outsourcing, you can free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Cost-effective. Hiring a full-time employee or team for in-house lead generation can be costly. And if that person or team doesn’t have enough marketing and sales experience, you may not get the results you want.
  • A team focused exclusively on lead generation. When you outsource lead generation, you work with a team of professionals who are focused exclusively on the task of finding qualified leads. This means they’re likely to have processes in place to generate leads effectively.
  • More leads, more often. A lead generation service provider will likely have more manpower to dedicate to providing leads frequently. They’ll also likely have access to a database of potential leads, which they can tap into quickly.
  • AI technology to find and manage the most qualified leads. The best lead generation services will use AI-powered automation to identify and manage the most qualified leads.
  • Shorter sales process. By hiring a lead generation service, your sales team can focus on selling, rather than spend time cold calling and scheduling demos. This can help to shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.


  • Potential for low ROI. If outsourced lead generation is not done correctly (i.e. quantity of leads is valued more than the quality of leads), it can be very costly with little to show for it in terms of new customers. This is why it’s so important to do your research and choose a reputable service provider.
  • Less control. By outsourcing, you give up some control of your sales process. If you’re not actively involved, it can be difficult to track the results of your outsourced lead generation and make changes as needed.
  • Requires an investment. The cost of lead generation service can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per month.


Questions to determine if it’s better to outsource lead generation

Pros and cons may help give you a general idea. But, eventually, you’ll need to think about the specifics of your business to determine if outsourcing is a good option. Here are some guiding questions to help: 

  1. Do you have the resources to staff an entire team of experienced marketers and sales reps to generate leads?
  2. Do you have a method of consistently getting leads that match your ideal customer profile?
  3. Are you happy with your business’s current cost per lead? What about the quality of leads?
  4. Are you generating enough leads to support your sales team’s quota?
  5. Do you have the internal infrastructure to support a successful lead generation program? 
  6. Does your marketing team have the capacity to focus on outbound AND inbound lead generation? 

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, outsourcing to a B2B lead generation company is worth considering. Your efforts in-house can only take you so far. Outsourcing could allow you to skyrocket your growth by establishing a system of regularly sourcing leads that are likely to convert.


How do you choose a lead generation service?

Unfortunately, outsourcing lead generation doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed results. There’s no shortage of lead generation companies that are more than happy to charge you a high price for a list of leads that aren’t a good fit for your business. 

So, what should you look for when choosing a lead generation service? How do you make sure you’re working with a company that won’t waste your money? Here are a few recommendations:


Check credentials

Make sure the company you’re considering has experience in lead generation and a proven track record with companies in your industry. You might also check to see what professional certifications their team has. 


Read online reviews

When you’re considering outsourcing lead generation, you should read online reviews to get a sense of what other companies have experienced. You can look at Google reviews or Clutch.co to read reviews of companies.


Look at previous clients and case studies

Case studies are one of the best ways to see if a company can actually deliver the results they promise. Any good lead generation company will have case studies on their website that you can review. If possible, try to find case studies for businesses in your industry.


Request a demo

Whether you’re looking at a lead generation agency or software, you should always get a demo before making a decision. This will allow you to see the product or service in action and ask any questions.


Ask these essential questions

Lastly, you should speak to one of the company’s sales reps and ask these questions:

What processes do you use for lead generation? Some companies focus only on a specific lead generation activity. So, you need to make sure the company can provide you with the service that best fits your company’s needs. 

How do you know that your process is effective? You want to know how they measure results and determine their success rate. It should always focus on lead quality rather than quantity. 

What criteria would you use to qualify a lead for my business? Lead generation service providers use data to match companies to your ICP. You want to make sure the data used will share reliable characteristics for determining what can be considered a qualified lead for your business.

Which software platform(s) do you use to generate leads? If your service provider doesn’t use software that collects the type of data and generates results in the way you need, the whole process easily becomes a waste of time and money.


Which platform is best to generate leads?

Lead generation teams have many software platforms to choose from. Some platforms help manage a particular part of lead generation while others provide tools to manage and generate leads at every stage of the sales process. 

Here are a few examples of tools used to generate leads: 

  • Customer Relationship Management Platforms (CRMs) help sales reps manage their interactions with leads and customers
  • Account-Based Marketing Platforms (ABM) help sales and marketing teams target key accounts and orchestrate account-based campaigns 
  • Sales Engagement Platforms automate repetitive sales tasks, like emailing and prospecting, to help sales reps sell more efficiently 
  • Demand Generation Platforms (DGPs) help sales and marketing teams generate demand for their products or services 
  • Sales Development Platforms (SDPs) help sales and marketing teams build prioritize target accounts lists—backed by data—for each channel

Which one’s best? Well, it depends on what your business needs and your budget. But, if you’re outsourcing lead generation because you want help with one of the most difficult parts of lead generation—finding leads above the funnel, before they’ve heard of you or your competitors and that match your ideal customer profile—make sure that your lead provider uses exegraphic data.

What’s that? If you’re unfamiliar with the term, exegraphic data refers to data that shows how companies operate and behave. For example, you can learn how quickly a company tends to adopt new technology by looking at exegraphic differences between companies. And it’s these types of insights that make it one of the most powerful resources for lead generation.


The power of exegraphics for lead generation

They might not want to admit it. But if you analyzed the typical sales development reps’ (SDR) methods for prospecting, you’d quickly realize one thing: there’s a lot of guessing going on. 

How so? Well, SDRs usually spend hours searching for companies that meet certain criteria, usually detailed in a company’s formal ICP doc. But more often than not, they’re guessing at which companies really “fit” the profile. 

Guessing, really? Yep! They’re guessing based on superficial data on things like employee demographics, company revenue and technologies currently being used by the company. 

But does any of that information really signal whether a prospect really “fits” the ICP or is showing signs of “readiness”’ to purchase? Not really. So, many SDRs fall into the trap of wasting even more time and resources trying to chase down prospects that will never close and leads that end up “clogging” their funnel.

Does any of this sound familiar? This inefficient lead generation strategy could be one of the reasons you’re looking to outsource in the first place. But why outsource to a company that’s just going to run into the same problem, providing you with an expensive list of lackluster leads? You shouldn’t and you don’t have to.

Rev helps sales reps avoid all of that guesswork, making it one of the best platforms for outsourced lead generation. Yes, that’s us. Yes, we’re slightly biased. But here’s why we say it with confidence: 

With Rev, any company can upload a list of their best customers, and AI analyzes that list and produces reports, based on exegraphic data, that essentially say, “here are the behavioral characteristics of your best customers—and, oh by the way, here’s a prioritized list of other companies that look and act like them too!” 

With that information, you gain a better sense of who your best customers are, how they behave and how to best reach them–enabling sales teams to meet prospecting and revenue goals faster and with more predictability.


Final thoughts

Lead generation is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks for sales and marketing teams. But it doesn’t have to be.

By making sure Rev’s Sales Development Platform is part of your outsource lead generation strategy (and even your outbound prospecting strategy), you can grow your pipeline with high-quality and high-volume leads. Using AI technology and exegraphic data, Rev shows you the fastest route to your revenue goals by listing out the companies you should target next, even before they show intent! 

Curious to learn more about exegraphics and how they can improve your lead gen strategy? Contact us, and we’ll give you a sample list of accounts that look and act like your best customers.