The 6 Best Lead Generation Companies & How to Pick One

Lead generation is a serious undertaking, and not all businesses have the time to devote to bringing in leads for their sales department. Do you? If not, don’t worry about it— some companies don’t even have a sales team in the first place! Lead generation companies may hold the answer.

Many businesses turn to lead generation companies or appointment setting companies to help them bring in more sales leads. This can be a good solution, but you have to make sure you choose the right one. So if you’re thinking about outsourcing lead generation or appointment setting make sure you do your research first. I’ve written this guide to help you with that.

First let’s cover what you need to know before you choose a lead generation company.

Choosing a Company to Generate Sales Leads

This article will guide you through the questions you need to answer before you choose a lead generation company. At the end, I’ll share the top 6 lead generation companies to give you an idea of where to start your research.

But before we get into the specifics, if you’re looking for a lead generation marketing agency in Greenville, SC, then you’re already in the right place! Email me to set up a free consultation, or read on to discover the 6 best national lead generation companies.

I’ve worked in lead generation for over eight years, and I’ve dealt with vendors who sell leads and lead generation services on more than a few occasions. Based on my experience, I’ve put together this guide to help you make the right choice for your business.

At the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know to make sure that you don’t waste any money on bad leads from lead generation companies that don’t know what they’re doing.

How Do Lead Generation Companies Work?

Lead generation companies find businesses who are looking for sales leads, then determine what sort of the leads they’re looking for, and sell the businesses leads that match their customer profile.

Lead vendors generate the leads in a number of ways including:

  • Existing databases
  • Content marketing
  • Telemarketing

Appointment setting companies will actually set appointments for you with the leads, lead generation companies just send you the leads and you’re on your own. Some companies, like Software Advice, offer both options.

In other words, every lead generation company is different. To make sure you choose the right one, you need to ask the right questions.

Questions to Ask Lead Generation Companies

Outsourcing lead generation to an appointment setting or lead generation company can be very expensive, so do your due diligence. Make sure you get the answers to these questions from any lead generation companies you’re considering before you make a decision.

Do they have experience in your industry?

Generating leads for a software company isn’t the same as generating leads for an ecommerce company. Generating B2B leads requires a different approach than generating B2C leads.

And if you’re in a very niche space, the more familiar the lead generation company is with your niche, the more effective they’ll be.

Fundamental lead generation principles are the same across industries, so this shouldn’t weigh too heavily in your decision, but it’s definitely a factor. Don’t choose a good lead generation company over a great one just because they have some experience in your niche. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with two lead generation companies that seem to be about equal, this can be a tiebreaker.

How do they get the leads?

The quality of the leads will tend to vary based on how they get them. For instance, if they have telemarketers calling people randomly to build a list of leads, those leads probably won’t be very good. If they have built out a comprehensive content marketing strategy that attracts potential customers, those leads are much more promising.

How do they qualify leads?

Do they call them? Or do they just collect contact information through a form and fire the leads off to their clients? More direct contact typically means higher quality. Take a look at their process and try to determine:

  1. Will it generate the sort of leads you’re looking for?
  2. Will the leads be expecting you to reach out?

I submitted a form asking about direct mail once, only to be totally surprised when my phone began to ring off the hook with people trying to sell me on their direct mail companies. That’s not likely to lead to a sale. You don’t want the leads you buy to be surprised to hear from you.

The best lead generation companies will have a phone conversation with potential leads to make sure they’re a good fit for your business. (They’ll also provide you with notes from this conversation.)

Are the leads exclusive?

Will you be the only one receiving the leads or do they send them to multiple companies? If the leads aren’t exclusive you’ll have to fight for them. Don’t buy leads like that unless you have a sales team in place who can handle the competition.

Lead generation companies that provide exclusive leads charge more, but depending on your ability to follow-up, the bigger price tag might be worth it.

How do they hand off the leads?

Depending on how much bandwidth you have, it may be worth paying more to find a lead generation company that will handle more of the process for you. If your team is very small, you may prefer to work with an appointment setting company.

Whatever you choose, be sure to find out (1) if they provide you with notes from their phone conversation with the lead, and (2) if they have an integration for your CRM or do you have to manually enter the lead.

How much do they charge?

Is every lead the same price? Or does the company charge more for leads with more employees (or according to some other criteria)? You’ll need to take this into account when determining whether or not the leads are worth it. Based on how much they charge, you’ll have to look at how many of the deals you close and how much it costs to close them to see if everything adds up.

If you’re paying an average of $100 a lead and you can only close one out of every ten, you’re paying $1,000 a customer. If a customer is only worth $900, it’s time to find a new lead generation company.

When do they charge?

Do they charge per lead or per customer? Some companies charge for every lead, others don’t charge you unless you close the deal. Ideally, aim for the latter. Just know that they will be more expensive.

What’s their refund policy?

If they send you a bad lead, will they refund your money? How easy is it to get a refund? What do they consider a bad lead? If you can’t get in touch with the lead after making a reasonable effort, or if the lead wasn’t qualified in the way you agreed with the company, the lead generation company should quickly refund your money.

Should I outsouce lead generation?

There’s only one way to determine whether outsourcing lead generation is right for your business. Test it.

Research the companies that serve your industry, and find one that looks like a good fit. Give them a trial period, and be very careful about tagging and tracking the leads you get through the lead generation company.

At the end of the trial period, assess the leads you’ve received.

  • How many leads did you get?
  • How many of the leads became customers?
  • How much did you pay in total?
  • How much did you profit off of the leads?

If you profited more than you paid, then the lead generation company is probably worth it. If not, it’s time to try something else.

Top 6 Lead Generation Companies

Here are the top 6 lead generation companies, according to their topseos scores. (Read about topseos’ evaluation criteria here.)

  1. | 100%
    Contact Ken Wisnefski at 844-350-5689 for more information.
  2. VJG Interactive | 99%.
    Contact Rachel Gray at 844-318-9153 for more information.
  3. Digital Marketing Agency | 98.4%.
    Contact William Clanton at 800-569-2754 for more information.
  4. Disruptive Advertising | 97%
    Contact Jake Baadsgaard at 866-700-1547 for more information.
  5. Bruce Clay | 90%.
    Contact Bruce Clay at 866-517-1900 for more information.
  6. LeadGenerators Ltd | 90%.
    Contact Frank Orman at +44-2033049811 for more information.

Now you know where to start, who to call, and (most importantly) what to ask them. Good luck with your search! Shoot me an email at [email protected] if there’s anything I can do to help.