What is a Lead Generation Specialist, and Do You Need One?

A lead generation specialist talks to a lead over the phone.

Attracting leads and drawing them down the sales funnel are the main goals of most businesses. According to HubSpot, 67% of companies cite lead generation as their sole factor to measure success. That’s why some companies hire a lead generation specialist. In this post, I’ll tell you what a lead generation specialist is, and if you need one.

Why Are Lead Generation Specialists Important?

Marketing Sherpa found 79% of marketing leads do not become paying customers. Here’s why: companies need someone to “nurture” leads. Leads are real people on the other end of the phone or computer screen, and they have real questions and concerns. For that reason, it is important to appoint someone who can answer their questions and guide them through each step of the sales funnel. Often companies use automated emails to attract leads and answer frequently asked questions (FAQs). But it’s also important to have a real person who interacts with potential leads.

What Do Lead Generation Specialists Do, Exactly?

Lead generation specialists take the weight off marketing and sales teams’ shoulders, typically in B2B industries. They find and evaluate new leads through outbound and inbound marketing methods like cold calling, emailing, and search engine optimization (SEO). (To learn more about outbound and inbound marketing, check out my blog post “Is Outbound Lead Generation Worth It?”) They also determine which leads are likely to buy and which aren’t before passing along the names to sales teams. The sales teams deliver pitches and convert leads into paying customers. This saves time and energy for sales teams because they will spend more time talking to potential buyers rather than non-buyers. It also frees up marketers, who then have more time for things like advertising and brand promotion.

Lead generation specialists may “score” (evaluate) leads to identify likely buyers in several ways:

·      They create buyer profiles to compare leads with. If the leads do not match those buyer profiles, they identify the leads as having a “weak” chance of buying.

·      Lead generation specialists use data to discover how leads interact with your website and see whether a potential customer has intent or interest. A customer who reads your content may only be interested in the information you’ve provided but have no intention of buying anything. On the other hand, a lead who browses through your sales page often has intentions of buying. Lead generation specialists choose leads who possess intent rather than interest.

·      Lead generation specialists double-check whether leads have buying authority. It is a waste of time to use a sales pitch on an intern rather than an executive.

After a thorough evaluation, lead generation specialists pass on strong or “qualified” leads to the sales team. The sales team then attempts to convert the lead into a paying customer.

What Skills Does a Lead Generation Specialist Have?

Lead generation specialists need to have three core skills:

·      strong communication,

·      thorough knowledge of customer relationship management (CRM) software, and

·      the ability to analyze data about lead generation.

If you decide to hire a lead generation specialist, make sure to evaluate them using these three skills as a guideline.

Do You Need a Lead Generation Specialist?

Ask yourself these questions:

·      What does the data say about the effectiveness of our current lead generation tactics?

·      Even if our conversion rates aren’t terrible, could they be better?

·      Is my marketing team overwhelmed?

·      Is my sales team overwhelmed?

Answering yes to any of these questions is an indicator you may need a lead generation specialist.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Lead Generation Specialist

You can hire a lead generation specialist in-house, or you can partner with an external agency. Both of these options have benefits and drawbacks.

In-house pros:

·      In-house lead generation specialists dedicate their time solely to your company. 

·      In-house lead generation specialists can personalize strategies to fit your needs because they have an intimate knowledge of the company.  

In-house cons:

·      Hiring in-house is more costly than working with an external agency.

·      In-house lead generation specialists often can’t reach out to as many leads as those from an outsourced agency.

Outsourced agency pros:

·      Agencies offer a full team of experts. You can receive help from other professionals like conversion analysts and social media strategists, as well as lead generation specialists.

·      Hiring an agency team is cheaper. Agencies offer fixed rates, which means you can access a full team of experts for less money than if you hired a lead generation specialist in-house.

Outsourced agency cons:

·      Not all agencies are equal, and you run a risk of hiring a low-quality provider. It’s important to research all potential agencies.

·      An outsourced agency team doesn’t know the ins and out of your company the way an in-house lead generation specialist would. That means a less personalized experience and less control.

Final Thoughts on Lead Generation Specialists

A company works best when employees are not overwhelmed and can focus on their designated tasks. Lead generation specialists take the pressure off marketing and sales teams, so they can perform their best. If you want more leads in less time, hiring a lead generation specialist may be the best choice.

Do you need help with lead generation? Book a call with our experts today!