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Lead Generation: DIY or Outsource?

By Jul 18, 2014

Crumpled question marks heapBy Frans Van Hulle

Lead generation is undeniably founded on technological solutions, and the efficiency of your implemented solutions will define how successful you’ll be in acquiring customers.

Developing and implementing lead gen technologies can be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you aren’t specialized in certain fields. Thankfully, there are many external companies that offer certain services to empower your lead generation. Then again, your organization may be tech-savvy enough to do quite a few things in-house. To make the decision on whether to outsource or DIY,  let’s look at the pros and cons.

Lead Forms

A good lead generation form is essential in generating high-quality leads. Apart from technical aspects such as improving speed, real-time functionality and verification, it also has to be aesthetically beautiful to attract customers and contain the right kind of messaging to engage potential customers. Moreover, in order to optimize campaigns and forms and find the winning formula, it’s important to split-test campaigns.

  • DIY: If you have great development and design teams, you should do this in-house. Your development and design teams should also be skilled in developing mobile campaigns using responsive design in order to maximize traffic for your campaigns.
  • Outsource: If you are wasting considerable resources on developing lead gen forms without capturing high-quality leads, it might be simpler to just buy leads from an external lead generation company that design their own lead gen forms and campaigns. 

Lead Verification

Lead verification is a double-edged sword. There are many things that organizations can do in-house, such as checking names for obvious fraud, inspecting whether IP addresses match ZIP codes, or examining how much time users spent on filling in forms. Nevertheless, any solution that is not automated allows room for errors. Moreover, you might need verification in real-time to follow up faster. Many external companies offer lead verification services, such as cross-referencing information with external databases that prevent fraud.

  • DIY: There is a lot you can do internally to verify leads, but you need to be very precise, and you may not be able to do everything real-time.
  • Outsource: If you want to prevent fraud from entering your ecosystem, it’s much easier to outsource this to experienced companies and integrate their technology into your lead generation systems. 

Lead Scoring

In order to develop a successful lead scoring model, you need to be able to analyze and use all the data you’ve collected. The more data you have, the better able you are to establish certain correlations between data points with which you can develop data models that allow you to implement real-time lead scoring which will help you to predict lead quality based on the data input on lead gen forms.

  • DIY: If you know have skills in data analysis and data modeling, this is something you can develop yourself since you know your definition of “high lead quality.” 
  • Outsource: Data analysis and prediction is a highly complex field which needs continued attention and revision in order to be made more precise. If you do not have experience with data analysis or modeling, it may be better to outsource.

Lead Tracking

The easiest way to track leads is to find good customer relationship management software that is easy to implement in your organization. Choosing specialized systems can help you identify appropriate follow-up actions for different types of leads. Attempting to develop your own system can result in very messy excel sheets that are not transferrable between departments. That’s why it’s always better to choose software that can do it for you. The only issue you may have in implanting and choosing this type of tool is that you may have to train staff and align departments in using this type of tool. That’s why it’s important to choose a tool that matches your organization’s technical knowledge.

  • DIY: Not recommended.
  • Outsource: Find a good CRM tool that is easy to use and help you move leads along the sales funnel. Developing sophisticated CRM tools is an art of its own, excel files won’t do.

The decision ultimately depends on your strategy. If your aim is to be good at lead generation, and to be involved in all the details, then it’s best to execute core activities in-house as you gain full control. Being able to adapt to market changes quickly and optimizing based on lessons learned, gives you an edge in the sense that you can evaluate strategies and technologies.

Frans Van Hulle is CEO/co-founder of ReviMedia. 

  • Johanna Sági

    Also, a simple form of lead generation for ecommerce sites and blogs that have newsletter subscriptions, is an exit intent pop-up, that prevents customers from leaving the site. There are companies who offer these tools relatively cheap.

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