It is planning season. Although things are returning to some version of normal, many things are still different than years past. For B2B organizations, 2023 is shaping up to be a critical year for sales leaders. The “new normal” is now becoming the “next normal” as we continue adjusting our sales, marketing, and business development strategies accordingly.

One aspect of daily lives that isn’t new is the need for organizations to retain and grow their revenues. Another, oldie-but-goodie is the never-ending need for sales teams to have a steady supply of qualified opportunities in their pipelines. So, as we accelerate digital transformations, debate the pros and cons of remote work, and collectively wonder if and how shaky the economy is, let’s focus our attention on B2B lead generation.

b2b lead generation services

Let’s examine three basic lead generation strategies. First, you can have sales reps do their own prospecting. Next, you can maintain an internal business development team to generate leads. Another option would be to partner with an outside lead generation firm. In this article we will focus on outsourcing and provide thoughtful advice on what to look out for so don’t get burned.

In one of those typical “it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN” scenarios, outsourced lead generation programs run the risk of failure. Whether you outsource or do it in-house, there is always a chance that your lead generation efforts render disappointing results. But if you do your homework and know what to avoid you can greatly increase your chances for success.


Here are five Ways to Avoid Disaster with Outsourced Lead Generation in 2023

1. Assume that your contact list is lousy.

Yes, that list you built over the years, or procured, or inherited. Your list stinks. All lists stink. Of course, you need a list. So, what do you do? Work with an outsource partner that understands the importance of defining your TAM, developing personas, and focusing on your ICP. An experience, honest lead generation partner will take your original list of 10,000 and cull it down to those that satisfy minimum requirements to be in your audience. If a vendor doesn’t go through this process with you, then don’t sign up for their services.


2. Don’t use a script.

The outbound calling efforts necessary for generating leads aren’t going to be successful if the phone reps are following a canned script. Identifying and qualifying leads relies on back-and-forth discussion and the rep’s ability to listen, confirm what they’ve heard, and clarify with the prospect that they are interested in solving problems. You can’t do that with a script. Effective outsource partners work with clients on developing a playbook. The playbook provides comprehensive background, competitive analysis, industry terminology and call flows based on potential paths each conversation may take. If a vendor asks you for your script or doesn’t have a process for developing a playbook with you, then move on to someone else.


lead generation program success is measured by leads and sales3. Have one, and only one, accepted definition of a lead.

A shared and agreed-upon definition of a qualified lead will help to bridge gaps in the process and help keep your lead generation provider and your sales teams in alignment. It also provides for the establishment of a service level agreement between the two groups. In other words, the outsource vendor will agree to only pass qualified leads to sales and sales will agree to follow up on those leads. With one lead definition you will minimize the chances that sales refuse or ignore a lead while also holding the vendor to a standard they must meet before passing a lead along to sales. If an outsource lead generation firm stresses quantity over quality, then look elsewhere.


4. Don’t be tempted by the cheapest price.

Yes, everything comes at a cost, and you have a fixed budget that needs to be used on a multitude of things. One common mistake sales and marketing leaders make is to settle for the cheapest solution. Far too often, the budget-friendly option provides mediocre results. Which, then puts them in the undesirable situation of having to start over and do so with fewer resources in the piggy bank. When evaluating outsource lead generation vendors look for the value they can provide, especially within the context of driving revenue. Once the first program is successful it becomes much easier to justify extending the program and allocating additional funds. So, if a potential outsource partner’s sales tactic is to lower or match prices to close a deal that should raise some red flags.


5. Don’t pass the buck.

As much as you’d like to, don’t hand the reigns over to someone on your team. Stay involved. Senior level sales and marketing leaders who stay involved will see better results. By doing so you will be able to make more informed, quicker decisions on any proposed adjustments. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting watered down, secondhand information making it more difficult to maintain your lead generation program’s intent. Additionally, with your personal involvement you immediately raise the visibility and perceived importance of the program, which is something you lose by delegating to a member of the team. Avoid vendors who don’t strongly encourage you to stay directly and intimately involved in the program.


In 2023, successful lead generation initiatives will be as important as they have ever been. By knowing what to watch for and establishing baseline definitions and minimum standard requirements, you can avoid disaster when outsourcing lead generation. The experts at Growth Orbit will be happy to talk with you about your unique situation and help you determine the best path for outsourcing your lead generation needs.