“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” – Lee Kuan Yew
Once you have decided to outsource certain business tasks, it’s time to assess various service providers. Choosing the wrong provider will result in inefficiencies, inflated costs, and frustration from your clients and employees. It can be one of the most critical decisions you make.
We’ve put together this short guide to help you answer the top things to look for when outsourcing lead generation or appointment setting services.
Price Negotiations/Cost Savings
While price should never be your number one concern when choosing outsourcing, it is obviously an important factor. Low prices can result in sub-par work. After all, as Warren Buffet famously said, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”
However, you must ensure that the outsourcing company is providing the service to you at a cost that is below what you would pay to have the projects done in-house. That is, if it would cost you less to simply hire an employee to do the work for you than it would to outsource, then you should strongly reconsider working with that company.
Look for a company that is willing to take a consultative approach to determine the exact scope of the project and negotiate on the price. Your final agreed upon price should be included in the SLA or the Service Level Agreement.
Transparency is key here. You should know exactly what you are being charged for and how much. If there is project scope creep, make sure that you have an agreement with your service provider that allows you to approve any additional expenditures before they are incurred.
Does the company have favorable ratings and reviews. If you see a slew of bad reviews followed by reviews that seem like they were written internally and by the same person, be cautious. Some companies try to conceal bad reviews by writing fake reviews that push the negative ones out of sight.
Ask for references or look for valid testimonies from companies that have outsourced to this provider. Case studies and other evidence are also a good place to start. The company you work with should have a positive history of providing good service regularly. If their service seems to be intermittent or poor, a simple Google search should reveal it.
Do They Understand Your Market?
A client that deeply understands the healthcare market but has zero to no experience working to generate leads for construction companies, may not be the best fit for you if you are a construction firm. Look for similar or like companies that have favorably reviewed the outsourcing company.
However, pay attention to processes. A company that has well-developed processes may be able to switch between industries with ease. For lead generation services, for instance, the process may be very similar for all types of industries, with the target audience and outreach strategy being the only variable that changes.
A strong lead generation service provider who has experience in multiple, various industries will be a better fit for you than one that is hyper-targeted to a single industry if you don’t fit their typical customer profile.
Does the company you outsource have the required resources and technology to accomplish the job? Or, are they operating on a shoestring budget? Is part of your bill going towards paying for them to purchase or create the technology? If you are paying an outsourcing company fees for them to purchase software or other resources, you could be purchasing those for your own in-house use.
Part of paying for the convenience of outsourcing is that the company you hire already has the required resources and technology and will be using those to your advantage.
Quality of Work/Meeting Deadlines
This is always a big problem with outsourcing certain tasks such as lead generation. Sub-par lead generation services will send you bad leads that are not qualified. This is a time-suck for your organization because your sales team now has to wade through leads that go nowhere and don’t improve your bottom line.
If the outsourcing company is producing shoddy work and the quality of the work is poor, not only do you run the risk of making your company look bad, but you lose revenue and time trying to fix the problem.
Another major issue is if the outsourcing company consistently fails to meet deadlines. While there may be extraneous issues that cause a company to miss a deadline, you should be well aware in advance of the reasons for the delay.
Which brings us to our final, and most important point. Your outsourcing company is now a part of your team. You should be in regular and constant communication and they should initiate much of that communication to keep you informed on their activities and results.
Surprises are no fun, and it’s also not fun to deliver bad news. However, if your outsourcing company conceals important information from you in an effort to look better or waits until it’s too late to let you know there is something wrong, you have a problem.
Hire straight-shooters. Your relationship with your outsourcing company should be one where both sides can clearly and effectively communicate their needs and concerns.
About Launch Leads
Launch Leads is a proven B2B lead generation service that provides marketing solutions and qualified appointment setting to help companies reduce their acquisition costs and improve their conversions. You can read about our client’s success stories. We offer transparency, communication, and expert strategy so you can be confident in outsourcing your lead generation activities to us.
Post by Scott Smith