Managing False Expectations From Your Lead Generation Agency

Posted by LinkedSelling in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Development

It’s a common story for any lead generation agency… 

A company signs a contract with an agency, hopeful that this will be the driving force that makes an economic difference for them. They also hope to see a direct ROI from their lead generation efforts, and with reason; they need to validate the agency they work with. 

Then one day, they look at the numbers with a sigh of dissatisfaction… 

“I was promised X number of leads per month.”

Or, “These leads aren’t converting.”

How should an agency respond?

Of course, one would hope that any transparent and well-meaning agency would take responsibility where possible and work to rectify the situation. 

Most companies have tried many different things to find that perfect strategy that just works.

At LinkedSelling we often talk about a lead generation “machine,” where you know that if you invest X amount into it, you’ll get X result. 

However, that’s very much an oversimplification, where companies and agencies can potentially fall into false expectations. Where is the line between an agency’s best guess and the reality of what kind of ROI you can expect?

This post is a candid letter to you, if you’ve experienced disappointing results, so that you know how to manage expectations for any agency you’ve partnered with to provide lead generation services.

“I was promised X number of leads”

First of all, if you've experienced this, we understand the disappointment you’re experiencing. 

It’s not immediately obvious that lead generation campaigns will not provide X return, especially right out of the gate.

A major problem we see in the lead generation industry is that companies promise a specific number of leads per month. 

To be clear, any agency that promises this is, frankly, A LIAR - plain and simple. 

There is no way any agency can promise a specific lead volume outcome without testing.

Another issue, which we’ll discuss more in the next section is that there is simply too much outside of our control in order to make any result-oriented promise with further testing. For this reason, we don’t promise lead volume. 

Instead, we promise consistent and strategic action toward the most effective lead generation and sales development methods available today.

On top of that, how does the agency define what a “lead” is? Is it a warm prospect who has booked an appointment? Or is it a name on a list for a person who doesn’t remember how they got on it? 

Any agency needs to be very clear about this.

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“These leads aren’t converting”

For our part, we make every effort to deliver quality leads. We are not a company that delivers leads from a random list. We want you to have every chance possible to close them. 

Which brings us to an issue we mentioned before… 

Once we execute a robust lead generation campaign on your behalf, including research, copywriting, outreach and ad strategy, as well as continual optimization, we have no control over your sales process - or how many leads convert.

We deliver sales appointments and create the opportunity for your team to sell. There is simply too much outside of our control to be able to promise sales. For example…

Your Offer

Your offer represents a value to your prospect that we don’t control. We can help set the stage, but the structure, the value, the messaging and positioning, that’s outside of our control completely.

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Your Branding

We work with you to start conversations. We do that by...

  1. Running ad campaigns designed to pique interest (to see exactly how we do that, you can find everything about our process here) and then follow-up with email and phone calling, 
  2. Executing a targeted outreach campaign, again designed to start the conversation and then implement a back end follow-up system (see that here).
  3. OR... a combination of the two. 

Within all of that, we need to position you as an expert. For some campaigns we make the collateral. We write the messaging. We orchestrate the outreach campaigns. All with your approval of course, but if your company has certain branding restrictions that actually work against our efforts, or more likely, that don’t particularly contribute to them, we will respect that, even if it’s contrary to what we believe is the best strategy.

your sales process

Again, once we give you the leads, it’s your team’s job to run with it. We have no control over your sales process. We do have sales resources for the partnerships we work with in a lead generation capacity to provide training and ideas to optimize a system that will take leads and convert them.

At the end of the day, though, that’s really up to you.

Now, we value transparency and do our best to take responsibility where possible. We’ve been known to sit down with our clients and go line by line through the leads generated.

That’s really the only way to get a full picture about the type of leads, and more importantly, where any bottlenecks might be in the system. It’s not uncommon for it to be a sales problem (the sales team needs to increase their conversion rate), and sometimes it’s a marketing problem (the messaging or the targeting is off, for example.) 

We discuss how we sit down and go line by line in another post - and how to know what to look for. 

Once we can find where the root of the bottlenecks lie, we can address them.

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What Can I Realistically Expect?

To sum up, what you get when you hire an agency is NOT a final number. It’s not a one-and-done deal where we send out some emails or set up an ad and you see results. In actuality, the results are a moving target. 

What you can realistically expect when working with a competitive lead generation agency is a system. A tangible system that takes time to create, run, optimize and produce results.

This system replaces the incredible effort it would take for a single sales rep to balance along with taking sales calls and focusing on closing deals. We go through that in-depth here.

We can’t promise specific results, however, we can cut through the noise for you and execute those tasks that have been proven to generate quality leads - and that we’re constantly putting to the test.

This is why what you get when you partner with us is a PROCESS. From the strategy, to the copywriting and positioning, to the creation of a backend follow-up system - AND the continual optimization of all of it. 

We focus on what we can control.

This is how we give companies more control as well; we’ve found that this approach, in most cases, delivers great results. That’s because we trust the process. Like a person who wants to lose weight really has little direct control over their metabolism or their hormones that affect weight, they can’t actually dictate how their body loses weight, or when, or how much, but when they focus on what they CAN control, like eating better, moving more, getting better sleep… 

When applied consistently, and find out what works for them, they tend to meet their weight loss goals. 

It’s the same with lead generation. The ebb and flow of marketing and sales is a process. With so many pieces to the puzzle, getting everything aligned takes time. Usually, in the end, it’s worth it.

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Think We Can Help You, Too?

If you would like more control in your lead generation and over your sales pipeline, why not learn more about our approach? We’ll discuss strategy in a free consultation and cover what you’ve tried, who you want to reach, and what your goals are, along with what we recommend - and maybe even how we can work together to make it happen. But only if we both see that we’re a fit. 

At minimum, you get a free strategy session with a lead generation expert. Expect to walk away with ideas to implement. 

If that sounds good to you, click below to schedule a call. 

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