Are Lead Generation Services Worth it in 2024?

lead generation services

Where Are Your Biggest
Lead Gen Leaks in 2023?

(Generate Your Report In Just 60 Seconds)

Where Are Your Biggest
Lead Gen Leaks in 2023?

(Generate Your Report In Just 60 Seconds)

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Leads are every business’s lifeblood…especially in the B2C market.

Without customers, clients, or prospects somehow finding you and discovering what you do, the chances of you surviving are slim to none.

At the start, this is usually less of a problem.

Often, businesses are born out of a need. A customer “needs” a service: Someone sees an opportunity to fill that need.

And from then on, throwing out the odd social media post or spending some time on the side networking, the business will tick over.

However, as job referrals from friends and other connections dry up, the economy takes a turn, or niches and industries become more saturated…

…Getting quality 3rd party leads for the business to grow is no easy feat and soon becomes a priority to keep going.

Which leaves you with two choices. 

#1 Investing in lead generation services and handing over the reins to someone else.

#2 Take the wheel and commit the time to do it yourself. (Properly)

Going with the latter without experience makes it feel like stepping into a minefield blindfolded.

And may not be the best choice for those new to this part of the business.

However, if you feel you have the necessary skills to do it, this DT/article will point you in the right direction.

Which leaves #1

However, with countless Lead Generation Services all promising the world, coupled with your truckload of fear, misconceptions, and good ol’ skepticism thrown in.

Who do you trust?

In this no-holds-barred guide, we debunk some common myths, shed light on the differences between B2B and B2C lead generation, and give you the knowledge to know what to look for when picking a Lead Generation service. 

(Plus, you will want to take advantage of one lead generation tip that makes all the difference.)

B2C vs B2B Lead Generation Services

Let’s start by clarifying what we mean when we talk about ‘b2b’ or ‘b2c’ lead generation. 

While researching lead generation services, You might have come across the terms B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer). 

In simple terms, B2B means selling services to other businesses, while B2C, which is the focus here, means selling services directly to individual customers.

Imagine you’re an Austin-based landscaper specializing in beautifying homeowners’ lawns, flower beds, and pond areas.

When attracting new customers, you’d want to reach out to Austin homeowners interested in getting their backyard a makeover.

Not other businesses in your area, like the local supermarket or restaurants, who wouldn’t need your services at all. Or commercial real estate owners who do need landscaping services, but on a larger scale.

That’s the essence of B2C lead generation.

b2c vs b2b lead generation

Another difference between the two.

The sales cycle (From introduction > to closing the sale) is usually much shorter because with individual customers, as the decision-making process usually involves fewer people and stages.

(Unlike with all the red tape in corporate.)

And unlike B2B, B2C lead generation targets a larger audience simply because there are more customers than businesses.

So, if you’re exploring lead generation services as a B2C business, it’s crucial to find a lead gen company with experience in the B2C space.

And know what strategies work best to capture the attention of individual customers and inspire them to reach out to your business.

This is even more important the other way around, if you are looking for B2B lead gen, also known as appointment-setting lead generation, you’d want an agency familiar with the specifics.

And remember that insider tip we hinted at earlier?

It ties in closely with understanding your B2C sphere and choosing a service that can navigate it effectively. But more on that later.

Preparing Your Business for Lead Generation Services

Before jumping into lead generation services or any lead generation strategy, it’s vital to have a crystal-clear understanding of your ‘ideal’ customer and a unique selling proposition that your ideal customer will find hard to ignore.

Understanding these details about your ideal customer is key to ensuring your lead generation service can provide you with the most relevant leads.

For example, let’s say you’re an Austin, TX, landscaper. You’re not just looking for ANY homeowner in Austin; your ideal customer is:

“A homeowner in Austin who has a large yard and is interested in landscaping services. Perhaps they’ve been browsing landscaping designs online, inquired about landscaping services in the past, or posted about their new home and its potential on social media.”

This may be pretty specific; however, understanding these details about your ideal customer is key to ensuring your lead generation service can provide you with the most relevant leads.

On top of knowing your ideal customer, you also need a solid sales process. 

If you’re a small business owner, you might handle the sales process yourself. 

This presents its own set of challenges:

  • Time Management: Balancing lead follow-ups with other responsibilities can be difficult.
  • Sales Skills: Without a background in sales, you might find it hard to convince leads to choose your service.
  • Continuity: If a lead isn’t ready to buy now, it can be challenging to maintain the relationship until they are ready.
  • Tracking: Keeping a tab on all your leads and where they are in the sales process can get complicated without a proper system in place.

Remember the insider secret we hinted at earlier?

It ties into this directly. The most successful direct-to-consumer businesses are those that know their ideal customer like the back of their hand and have a solid plan to navigate through potential challenges in the sales process.

The cold, hard truth is that most businesses don’t understand their customers, and once they run out of referrals, they keep spinning wheels on the lead gen track.

Don’t take our word for it; here’s a contractor who solved his marketing troubles and built a successful lead gen agency for other contractors.

But with all this knowledge, how do you choose the right lead generation service that understands your business’s unique needs and delivers high-quality, relevant leads? Let’s dive into that next. 

Choosing the Right Lead Generation Agency

Your marketing success hinges not only on the number of leads but also on their quality and how effectively they can be converted into customers.

Let’s uncover the insider tip: successful businesses don’t just buy leads—they have a deep understanding of their target customers and an effective strategy to nurture leads. They also understand the nuanced handling of third-party leads compared to referrals.

When choosing a lead generation service, remember that not all services are the same. Some might promise a large volume of leads, but as we’ve reiterated, quality trumps quantity. You’re after leads that closely align with your ideal customer profile.

The strategies the service employs to generate leads are also essential. Do they use broad parameters, or do they customize their approach based on your specific needs? 

For instance, as an Austin-based landscaper, a generic “homeowner” service won’t be as effective as one targeting homeowners in Austin who have shown an interest in landscaping (and know how to recognize this interest!).

A proficient lead generation service will ask you questions to understand your business better. 

Here’s what they might ask and why:

  1. What are the demographics and interests of your ideal customer? By knowing that you’re targeting homeowners in Austin with a specific income level and interest in landscaping, the agency can identify leads who match this profile.
  2. What is your unique value proposition? If your special offering is water-efficient landscaping, the agency can target leads specifically interested in this kind of service.
  3. Are there any common trends you see in your business? If your business thrives during spring or when people move into new houses, the agency can provide leads at the right time.
  4. What common barriers do you encounter? For example, if customers often have budget constraints, the agency can filter leads based on their likelihood to afford your service.
  5. What is your capacity for handling leads? If you can only handle a specific number of new projects per month, the agency needs to know this to avoid overwhelming your system.
  6. What is your budget for lead generation services? Your budget can affect the number and type of leads the agency can provide.

Communication is critical, and the agency should genuinely be interested in understanding your business and delivering the most relevant leads.

On the other hand, here are some potential questions our Austin-based landscaper, or any business, might find beneficial to ask:

  1. How do you ensure the leads are interested in my service? What tools or methodologies do you employ for this purpose? This is important to ensure you are getting high-quality leads who are genuinely interested in your service. A good service will be able to qualify leads innovatively using quizzes or tools instead of ancient forms.
  2. What is your experience in my industry? An understanding of your specific industry can greatly increase the chances of a successful campaign.
  3. Can you provide case studies or examples of successful campaigns in my industry? Past success can be a good indicator of future performance.
  4. How do you gauge the success of a campaign? The answer will give insight into the service values—quantity of leads, quality of leads, conversion rates, etc.
  5. How are leads delivered, and how quickly? This helps you understand if their delivery method and speed match your needs.
  6. What happens if the leads provided don’t meet the agreed-upon criteria or quality? A good lead generation service will have a policy in place for this scenario.
  7. Can I expect exclusivity with the leads provided? Some services may sell the same leads to multiple businesses. Exclusive leads may cost more but can increase your chances of making a sale.
  8. How often will we communicate about progress and results? Regular updates can help you adjust your strategy if needed.

Lastly, look at their reviews and testimonials. Are other businesses happy with their service? This can often be a good indication of what you can expect.

Remember, buying leads is just the start. Your sales approach, understanding of your customers, and ability to nurture leads play critical roles in converting these leads into loyal customers.

Are Lead Gen Services Worth It?

Listen up because this is important. 

You may be feeling apprehensive about the world of lead generation services. 

It’s new, it’s daunting, and it’s taken straight out of the classic 90’s movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”? 

This iconic movie is about a real estate company and its salesmen and how, after losing their jobs, they devise a plan to get even with their bosses.

In a memorable scene, Jack Lemmon’s character disappointingly argues, The leads are weak to which Alec Baldwin retorts, “You’re weak.”

This isn’t just a great movie moment—it offers a valuable lesson for any business looking into lead generation services.

In reality, it’s not because you’re weak.

Low conversion or sales could be any number of reasons.

  • Weak leads
  • Poor Targeting
  • Lack of nurturing
  • Overpromising and underdelivering on the offer.

And if you’ve nailed all the above, it may not be the leads at all, but in fact, the whole sales process needs an overhaul.

After reading this far, you may wonder whether these third-party leads are worth your hard-earned money.

But let me tell you this: Businesses—small, big, and everything in between—have all been in your shoes. And they’ve come out on top simply by understanding and nurturing them until they become loyal customers.

And picking the right Lead Generation service can make that happen.

Yes, job referrals are easier to close than third-party leads. But that’s no reason to back down.

Instead, see it as a challenge—an opportunity to reach customers you’d never find otherwise.

So step up, arm yourself with knowledge, align your marketing strategy, keep your eyes on the prize, and use the information above to pick a winning Lead Gen service. 

Don’t know where to start? Check out our “7 Step Guide To Get A Strategic Marketing Edge“. It offers killer insights on identifying, understanding, and serving your target audience.

Article By

Aleksandar Pesich

SEO aficionado by day, gym enthusiast by evening, and home chef by night, I expertly balance keyword strategies with deadlifts and delectable dishes.

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