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B2B Lead Generation Companies: Are They Worth the Cost?

Published 09 Jul 2024 by Tim Langley, CANDDi
Read this in about 10 minutes

You know how important it is to keep a steady flow of leads coming into your business. After all, without new prospects in the pipeline, your sales will eventually dry up. But generating quality leads can be a real challenge, especially if you're trying to do it all in-house.

In fact, 61% of marketers say their biggest challenge is generating leads and traffic. With lead generation being such a major pain point, it's no wonder many B2B companies choose to outsource it.

In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the world of B2B lead generation companies. You'll learn what they do, the benefits they offer, and how to determine if the investment makes sense for your business.

B2B Lead Generation Companies: Are They Worth the Cost?

What Are B2B Lead Generation Companies?

You might be wondering, what exactly do these B2B lead gen companies do? Essentially, their whole job is to find potential customers for your business and get them interested in your products or services.

They use a variety of tactics and tools to identify companies and individuals that fit your ideal client profile. This could involve things like:

  • Searching online databases and directories

  • Running targeted advertising campaigns

  • Attending industry events and conferences

  • Leveraging their own networks and referrals

Once they’ve identified some promising leads, the company will gather key details like contact information, company background, and buying signals. Their goal is to qualify these leads as much as possible before passing them along to you.

The specific lead generation services offered can vary quite a bit. Some companies just provide lists of raw leads for you to follow up on yourself. Others take a more comprehensive approach, nurturing leads through email campaigns, content marketing, and even initial sales conversations.

No matter what methods they use, the end result is the same - delivering a steady stream of pre-qualified prospects who are interested in what you have to offer. This saves you from having to spend time and resources identifying leads from scratch.

Benefits of Outsourcing Lead Generation

Partnering with a B2B lead generation company can be a game-changer for your business. These specialized firms bring a level of expertise and capability that is difficult to replicate in-house. By leveraging their skills and resources, you gain a significant competitive advantage.

One big advantage is that the leads they provide are much higher quality. Lead gen firms use special techniques to identify prospects based on your specific requirements. The companies and contacts they find are way more likely to buy from you compared to you trying to find leads yourself.

Another benefit is that these companies help you reach new markets that may have been too difficult to break into on your own. Their huge databases and prospecting skills open up a whole new pool of customers for your business.

Using a lead gen partner also frees up time for your team. Finding good leads takes a ton of work - researching companies, building lists, sending emails, and making calls. When you outsource this, your employees can focus on their main jobs that make money for your company.

Lead generation requires very specialized skills like:

  • Data mining

  • Copywriting

  • Effective B2B mamarketing

  • Sales acumen

These firms have entire teams dedicated to using the latest lead gen tools and tactics. It would be expensive and time-consuming for you to develop this level of expertise yourself.

Finally, these partners provide valuable market data that can improve your sales and marketing strategy. The real-world buyer insights they collect can help shape your messaging, content, and overall business approach.

Evaluating the Cost of B2B Lead Services

So the benefits of using a B2B lead generation company sound pretty great, but you’re probably wondering - what’s the catch? How much is this going to cost me?

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Lead gen companies use different pricing models, and the costs can vary quite a bit depending on several factors.

Some companies charge a flat rate per lead delivered. With this pay-per-lead model, you might pay anywhere from $20 to $500+ for each qualified lead. The price is higher for more in-depth vetting and nurturing.

Other lead gen firms operate on a monthly retainer basis. They might charge a fixed fee of $1,000 to $10,000+ per month to provide an agreed-upon number of leads. This model gives you a predictable cost.

So what determines the actual pricing?

A lot comes down to your specific industry and how targeted your ideal customer is. Highly specialized or niche markets tend to cost more since leads are harder to find. The geographic territories and data sources being used also impact pricing. Broader searches across multiple regions and databases require more resources.

When evaluating costs, you have to look at the potential return on your investment. If a $100 lead results in $10,000 in new sales, that’s a pretty good deal! But if the leads don’t convert well, it’s harder to justify the expense.

The best lead gen companies will provide plenty of metrics to analyze. Pay close attention to lead quality, conversion rates, cost-per-acquisition, and overall lead generation ROI to determine if their services are worth the price tag.

Evaluating the Cost of B2B Lead Platforms

Maybe hiring an entire lead generation company seems like too big of an investment right now. Another option to consider is using lead gen software to handle things in-house.

There are quite a few different tools out there that can help streamline and automate your lead generation process. Platforms like Canddi use data mining and AI to identify promising prospects that match your ideal customer profile.

So, how much do these software solutions typically cost? Pricing can range quite a bit, but there are generally two main models:

Subscription Plans

Many vendors offer monthly or annual subscription pricing based on the number of leads or contacts you need access to. For example, Canddi’s plans start at $99/month for up to 1,000 leads.


With this model, you only pay for each qualified lead the software delivers. Costs are usually $1-$10 per lead depending on filters, research depth, and contact info provided.

When evaluating lead gen software, look at the data sources and quality controls involved. The best tools will be tapping into multiple databases and using AI to continually refine their search criteria.

It’s also important to consider integration capabilities. Leading solutions can sync directly with your CRM, marketing automation, and sales engagement tools. This creates a seamless experience for capturing and managing new leads.

The upfront pricing for software may seem high, but it could be very cost-effective compared to hiring an entire agency. You’re essentially renting out theirrospecting technology and skills.

Keys to Getting Value From B2B Lead Gen Companies

Okay, so you’re convinced that working with a B2B lead generation company could be beneficial for your business. But how do you ensure you actually get your money’s worth from their services? Let’s review some key things you should focus on.

Before you ever engage a lead gen partner, you need to have a crystal clear picture of your ideal customer. What industries do they operate in? What are their company sizes and revenues? What roles do your buyers have? The more specific your criteria, the better the leads will be.

It’s important to remember that lead gen companies aren’t miracle workers. They can’t produce dozens of hot, ready-to-buy leads overnight. Have an open discussion about reasonable volume expectations based on your budget and market. Start with a pilot program to establish a baseline.

The leads you receive are just the starting point. You need a solid process in place to nurture those prospects throughout your sales cycle. Use marketing automation, sales cadences, educational content, and more to systematically advance leads until they’re sales-ready.

Even after outsourcing lead generation, you’ll need internal team members dedicated to working those leads. Make sure you have the sales and marketing capacity to properly follow up in a timely manner.

By following these best practices, you’ll be well-positioned to realize the full value and ROI potential from your B2B lead generation partner. Up next, we’ll look at scenarios where outsourcing makes the most sense.

When Does It Make Sense to Outsource Lead Generation?

Deciding if you should outsource lead generation or keep it in-house is an important choice. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are certain situations where partnering with a lead gen company makes a lot of sense.

Too Many Low-Quality Leads

One major sign it’s time to outsource is if your internal lead gen efforts are really struggling. If the leads are low quality, don’t convert well, or take forever to close deals, that’s a problem. Getting outside help can give you a much-needed boost.

Expanding Into New Markets

Entering into totally new markets is another good reason to outsource. These lead gen firms already have experience and data in those industries or locations. They can help you break in much faster.

Stretched Thin Resources

If your team simply doesn’t have dedicated resources for things like finding prospects, nurturing leads, marketing automation, and analyzing results, you’ll have a hard time generating good leads yourself. Outsourcing gives you access to those specialized skills.

Maybe your team is just spread too thin juggling multiple priorities. Outsourcing lead generation ensures it gets the proper focus and attention. Is your company launching new products, or services, or trying to grow rapidly? An experienced partner can quickly ramp up the number of leads to meet that increased demand.

Outsourcing is also a smart way to test new lead gen strategies before committing resources internally. Want to try account-based marketing, a new prospecting channel, or different targeting? A pilot program is lower risk.

Of course, there are times when keeping lead gen in-house makes more sense, too. If you’re a startup, have a very niche offering, or are on a tight budget, you may need to build those capabilities yourself first.

The key is looking at your current resources, processes, goals, and growth plans. Then you can decide if the benefits of outsourcing outweigh the costs for your specific situation.

How to Choose the Right B2B Lead Generation Partner

Okay, so you’ve decided that outsourcing lead generation is the right move for your business. But with so many companies offering these services, how do you go about selecting the best partner? Here are some key factors to consider.

You’ll want to thoroughly evaluate a provider’s lead sources and data quality controls:

  • What databases and directories are they tapping into?

  • How often are those sources refreshed?

  • Do they employ techniques like AI and machine learning to continually refine their searches?

While some lead gen companies cast a wide net, it’s usually better to find one that specializes in your specific industry or niche. Firms with deeper domain expertise understand the nuances of your market and buyer personas.

Don’t settle for simply receiving lists of leads. The best partners provide robust reporting dashboards with transparent metrics around lead quality, engagement, conversion rates, and more. This data insight is critical.

Look for solutions that can seamlessly integrate with your existing sales and marketing tech stack. Direct integrations into your CRM, marketing automation, email tools, and more, create a smooth experience.

If the lead gen partner will be involved in any sales conversations or nurturing, ensure their training and processes align with your company’s sales philosophy and buyer’s journey.

Keep in mind that you’ll be working very closely with this partner, so take the time to evaluate their company culture, communication style, and level of customer focus. The fit needs to be right.

Maximize Your Lead Flow

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding if B2B lead generation companies are worth the investment for your business.

One company that checks all of these boxes is Canddi. Our AI-powered lead gen platform mines data from over 200 million companies to deliver highly qualified, targeted prospects. Canddi specializes in numerous B2B industries with sector-specific data models.

Our pricing is extremely flexible and you get access to transparent reporting on lead quality, engagement metrics, and cost-per-acquisition. Plus, we integrate seamlessly with popular CRMs and sales tools. Enjoy your first 30 days free, or book a personalized demo to see how it works.

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