I am a reader. Since I'm in the lead generation business I often read lead generation blogs.
There are a whole host of good writers and quality articles in the marketing space (shout out to some of my favorites: Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim, and Seth Godin's Blog). I also have a few lead generation related blogs that get lost in the mix and read infrequently.
Among the dregs of my Google Reader, I found a piece of work called 12 Reasons why not to outsource lead generation and appointment setting on the LEADSExplorer blog by...well, it's anonymous.
Now, I'm not one to bash someone else's hard work but I take exception with this particular article. I know that often companies will put out a semi-useful article chock-full of SEO terms that they are competing for, but can we please have a LITTLE substance, Mr. Unknown Author? Maybe it just makes me bitter because the article's content is all about why NOT to use a company like ours, but mostly it's because the arguing points are minimally developed and just plain off in some cases.
Let's examine the author's points about "why NOT to outsource lead generation" with rebuttals from the other side of the coin:
1. Learning curve.
It is well known that it takes 6 months before a sales rep. has acquired enough knowledge and insight to start and close any deal. How can a lead generation and appointment setting service become effective and efficient almost instantly ?
Most lead generation companies can ramp up in sufficiently less time than six months. At Vendere Partners, we record our phone calls and send them to clients, so messaging can be changed on a dime. By the way, why would you hire even an internal sales rep that took six months to really get going?
The employees of the outsourcing company interpret your information. During their lead generation they interpret the messages from the suspect which they have to communicate to you. It is evident there will be a loss in translation.
See previous reply about recordings. Vendere sends recordings of conversations along with the sales appointment. You get to hear exactly what the suspect says to the questions you want asked and answered. Even lead gen companies that send just a lead sheet and no recording MUST be taking decent notes. Right?
The people to contact are found and the initial contacts are made by the outsourcing company. The first lap of any relation is outsourced and will be missing for taking the next steps.
4. Common relations.
Over the years in business a sales rep. has build up his relations and contacts in the business. Even during a first contact these relations and references can play an important role in getting more information and setting the appointment. The operator of the outsourcing company misses all of these relations and references making it harder to set the appointment.
I think I understand what he's getting at here. That a sales rep is better off making the first contact himself and can then name-drop clients and contacts. An outsourced lead generation company who does their due diligence for you on the front-end will be able to do the same, no?
5. Market noise.
Sales reps. know what is happening in an industry and can chat about it with the suspect as he has also his view on the industry. This is interesting for both parties.
As the people working at the outsourcing company have no knowledge or insight in the industry the chances to engage in a conversation is minimal.
You should only hire a lead generation company with competent lead generators that dedicate the time to understanding your business, your market position, the competition, differentiators, etc. Vendere dedicates the first week of any campaign to an Awareness Phase. It's free-of-charge, and the sole purpose is to know everything possible about our client-company.
6. Scripts are static.
An outsourcing company requires a script for their telephone conversations. However as they are dealing with humans having a certain responsibility a script might turn out to be too rigid. When a salesman calls his messages, questions and pitch will change during the conversation in order to adjust to the needs, requirements or views of the callee.
I don't know about other lead gen companies, but ours uses mindmapping software in lieu of a rigid script. The mindmap focuses on questioning rather than droning on.
7. Information loss.
As the initial contact is being made using a conversation or communication by a third party the exact messages and questions from the potential customer are lost.
See replies about conversation recordings.
8. keep the conversation going.
How can the operator of the outsourcing company keep the conversation going on his call or first contact ? The experienced sales rep. will be able too.
Really? At the expense of sounding blunt, how does ANYONE keep ANY conversation going? Just ask intelligent questions and relate to the prospect. I would even wager a guess that lead generation companies are BETTER at keeping conversations going since that is part of THEIR CORE COMPETENCY.
9. Lead qualification.
Each lead is an investment in time, money and resources. Hence the requirement of lead scoring. If the leads are generated and the appointments are set by the outsourcing company then you make your investments of limited resources based on the lead qualification by a third party.
...Which is why, whether you outsource lead gen or keep it in-house, you have to lay out what actually constitutes a qualified lead.
10. Appointment setting.
Appointment require a agendas to be shared between the sales rep. and the workers at the appointment setting company. The agenda needs to be updated all of the time causing overhead for the sales rep. as he needs to update his agenda online almost immediately.
This one takes the cake. OK, ignore the grammatical errors, and I'm still left with the question - Why isn't your sales rep updating his calendar anyways? And why is "appointment setting" one of the reasons not to outsource appointment setting?
The probable customer has a form of trust with the person generating the lead or setting the appointment. Hence a possible disillusion when he meets the sales rep. who is probably quite different. This can wipe out the initial trust.
Meaning what? Only one person and one person only should interact with any given prospect?
12. Market changes.
During lead generation and appointment setting process you will learn about the requirements, demands and changes in the market. If you use a lead generation or appointment setting service you will miss all the changes in the market too late as it not included in your script or standard questions.
Most lead generation companies like Vendere Partners offer dedicated reps whose sole purpose it is to serve you and keep up with your market.
You know, I don't mean to be catty or argumentative with this blog, but authors beware. You have to give some support to your points and develop them or else it just becomes empty chatter.