Is an Outside Partnership Right for You? Finding Lead Generation Success by Achieving Balance
Many companies have sales teams that are great at building relationships and closing deals, but struggle to effectively fill the top of their sales funnels. Their staff either doesn’t have the right skillsets or, more frequently, just doesn’t have enough time.
This can be a real problem. Cold calling is one of the best ways to ensure that fresh leads are continuously emerging—particularly if your company is in growth mode or has a new offering.
Fortunately, there are plenty of firms out there willing to take on the top-of-funnel work for you—the challenge lies more in determining who to partner with, and if your offering is indeed a good fit.
Ultimately, you’ll know you have a match when you’ve achieved balance in each of these three ways:
Identifying the Right Partner
Your first (and possibly biggest) task will be to identify the right partner—a firm whose specific skillsets or expertise best matches your offering and goals.
To choose well, you’ll need to consider many factors. For example: is the value of your offering straightforward, or does it require some explaining? Are purchasing decisions drawn-out and complicated, or might some prospects want to purchase immediately? How difficult is it to reach the ideal buying persona in your target market? What’s the average value of a sale for your company?
What’s most important of all, though, is ensuring that you’re working with a company that specializes in business-to-business cold calling—not business-to-consumer. B2B firms tend to be staffed by inside sales professionals who are skilled at navigation, messaging, and facilitating institutional relationships. B2C companies, meanwhile, are more likely to take a “telemarketing” approach: simply slap the same template onto every program and begin calling.
While many lead gen firms offer both B2B and B2C services, most tend to favor one of these two approaches. Particularly if your offering is complex or requires a long sales cycle, it’s important to find a partner who’s collaborative and balances quality with quantity, understanding that the actual learning on your program will come from the calling itself.
Developing the Right Messaging
Developing your messaging is always important in lead generation. When you’re partnering with an outside firm, though, it’s even more critical to get the messaging right, since the Business Development Representatives (BDRs) who call on your behalf won’t have the same depth of knowledge about your product as would your own employees.
Therefore, you have to develop messaging that plays well to any personality type. The call script should be specific enough that even someone brand new to the program can project a familiarity with your offering, but simple enough that they’ll also be able to recite it with conviction and authority. You’ll also want to build in some flexibility so that more experienced BDRs have room to adopt your messaging to their unique conversational styles and truly make your messaging their own.
Whenever you’re developing messaging, think about what it’s like to receive a cold call—are you more interested in engaging with someone who comes across as relaxed and knowledgeable, or someone who stumbles over complex words and terminology? Are you more likely to pay attention to someone who occasionally deviates from a script, or someone who recites it so carefully and flatly that they sound robotic?
When your sales reps have conversations with potential clients, their able to draw from their entire knowledge of your company and offering, not just a single pitch. When you work with an outside partner, however, your messaging needs to be well-balanced enough to compensate for a wide range of knowledge levels and personality types. If you’ve chosen wisely, your partner will be able to help you with this.
Questions, Objections, and Responses
Once you’ve found the right partner and developed the right messaging, you need to consider how you’d like their BDRs to handle prospect questions, objections, and responses. On one hand, you want the people representing you to sound as considerate, professional, and knowledgeable as possible. On the other hand, their job is to set up an appointment with someone on your sales team, not address prospect concerns as if they’re the experts themselves.
This can be a tough balance to strike; it requires you to think carefully about how much information about your offering is advantageous to reveal on an initial call, which can vary widely by product and market. For example, if you have a multi-tiered pricing model, questions about cost are probably best referred to your experts. If the price of your offering is flat, transparent, and attractive, however, disclosing it could help persuade prospects to schedule appointments.
Above all, remember that the most important function of a cold call is to schedule an appointment. When you’re working with an outside partner, everything their BDRs say on your behalf should be driving towards that goal—including their responses to questions or objections. If you have the right partner and your offering is a good fit, determining an appropriate response structure should come naturally.
In all three of the aspects of a lead generation campaign detailed above, understanding the specific role of a BDR—and how it differs from that of someone on your internal sales team—is paramount to achieving the right balance. Ultimately, it all comes down to being able to take advantage of the strengths of a lead gen partner while compensating for their limitations.
VSA has been helping clients old and new to achieve this balance for two decades. That’s why we invest so much time in onboarding and continuous communication with our partners. We want to be able to deliver the best possible results for companies that match up with our skillsets. Now that you’ve read this article, you’re hopefully better-equipped to determine whether or not we’re a good fit.