21 Best Lead Generation Companies for Small Businesses
Outsourcing sales to lead generation companies for small businesses is one of the most underrated growth hacks. Those that don’t barely scratch the surface of what’s possible when you work with top lead generation companies.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any business, but it’s often difficult to do successfully. It is particularly challenging in saturated or new markets, such as the North American tech market.
Acquiring enough good-quality leads requires a lot of resources and expertise. Nurturing the ones you do get requires a highly trained and professional sales team. Not to mention all the problems with bad data, buggy technology, measuring performance metrics, and high ad costs.
If you’re a small business looking to grow, working with established lead generation companies can solve most, if not all, of these problems for you and unlock your growth.
The Evolution of Lead Generation
From the time when merchants sold their wares in open-air markets and relied on referrals for growth, the problem with lead generation has always been about circulating information and building trust with customers.
Gutenberg’s printing press, Marconi’s radio, Bell’s telephone, and Philo Farnsworth’s television all revolutionized marketing and advertising. The Industrial Revolution and mass production allowed companies to serve a much wider audience, hence the need for effective marketing.
Each leap in technology represented a giant leap in marketing tactics. Traveling salespeople, sales catalogs, telemarketers, and the iconic yell-and-sell TV ads are classics.
These forms of marketing had one thing in common: the seller had all the information. They could say anything they wanted and customers believed them.
Today, the rise of the internet and the information age represents the biggest paradigm shift in how marketing works. Customers now have access to unprecedented amounts of information. They have more choices in what they can buy, especially now that the outrageous ads of the television age have eroded our collective trust in brands.
This power shift permanently ushered in the age of inbound marketing. Companies need to produce reliable, trustworthy information to attract users.
However, any company that relies on inbound leads and referrals is a sitting duck. You’ve also got to exercise outbound marketing strategies, especially in the B2B space. The most effective way to do that is by working with a lead generation company already in your industry.
Criteria for Choosing a Lead Generation Company
Choosing a lead generation company is tough, but it becomes easier to decide once you understand what you need.
- Industry expertise – a solid understanding of the industry niche in which you operate reduces ramp-up time, reduces costs, and is invaluable in handling prospects.
- Bespoke options – the company should have the versatility to create a tailored strategy for you with all the services you need.
- Service range – a mix of full-service and tiered packages works best to cater to different client needs. The best companies allow for some level of self-directed control to maximize cooperation.
- Pricing – standard packages are easy enough to price, but things get complex once custom services and stand-alone packages are involved. Consider which company has sustainable pricing for the ROI you’ll likely get.
Finding the right B2B lead generation company is more difficult given the challenges of the B2B sector as a whole. B2B marketers need to work harder to build longer, more complex relationships before closing a deal.
This usually means developing high-authority content such as white papers and hyper-targeted ads. With gated content, businesses can acquire useful contact information that’s usually very difficult to get in any other way. Outbound marketing techniques such as cold calling and email marketing also work when done with the right strategy. Consider whether the lead generation company has expertise or services related to a campaign calling center, especially if outbound marketing techniques are part of your strategy.
In general, B2B marketing is best when you partner with professionals who have done the groundwork to understand the market and develop effective strategies to reach prospects. This translates to finding the right type of lead generation company for your business.
Segmenting Lead Generation Companies
Each lead generation company has an area of expertise that defines what they do for clients. It can be difficult to cut through all the marketing language and understand what the company is offering, but here are the main lead generation strategies available:
B2B Outbound – the company uses outbound tactics such as cold-calling and email marketing as their main source of leads. They will usually have a large prospect database and an impressive stack of prospecting tools.
Advertising – involves the use of digital, TV, and other advertising strategies to generate leads, usually with heavy investment in data analytics to help with targeting, monitoring, and measuring results. Some also use email, text, and in-app ads.
SEO lead generation – has a main focus on organic content marketing to generate inbound leads. Has a high initial cost but often brings in the most valuable leads.
Inbound B2B lead generation – agencies using this strategy rely on multiple inbound marketing tactics such as content marketing, surveys, social media, email marketing, and SEO.
Of course, most lead generation companies offer several small business lead generation services. Each of the 21 companies we cover next have a particular area of expertise, which should help you figure out which one is right for your business.
B2B Outbound Lead Generation Companies
Outbound lead generation is all about attracting the interest of prospects who may not already know about your company or your product. Sometimes, they don’t even know that they need your product until you convince them otherwise.
As such, outbound B2B marketing involves sending out highly targeted but unsolicited communication to prospects who may be interested in buying your product. The communication methods vary and may include cold calling, direct emails, physical mail, and social selling.
This type of lead generation requires sales development reps (SDRs), or sales executives, with a deep understanding of the client’s needs and their decision-making process. Most such companies operate in a specific niche where they accumulate priceless expertise and data.
#1 in Outbound B2B Marketing – Martal Group
One of the best companies offering lead generation for small businesses is Martal Group. Martal offers personalized B2B lead generation services for fast-growing tech companies and helps them take off quickly and affordably.
With over a decade of experience in the tech industry, Martal has developed a proprietary signal-driven prospecting process to deliver sales-qualified meetings to over 2,000 brands. These campaigns are executed top-performing sales executives from around the world with rich backgrounds in over 50 verticals.
It’s this kind of experience that allows Martal Group to ramp up sales pipelines 3x faster than an internal team while cutting costs by up to 65 percent.
Callbox specializes in lead generation services for small businesses. The company works with cold and warm leads to help businesses maximize conversion rates using the power of AI, with services such as appointment setting, AI-powered telemarketing, and automated outreach.
CIENCE offers People-as-a-Service lead generation through the power of AI and advanced technology. It’s particularly suited to small businesses without their own sales teams and helps them create a single point of contact for all sales and marketing activities.
Belkins.io specializes in appointment setting, although the company also offers various lead generation services such as cold email outreach and sales development. Belkin’s approach is heavy on email marketing, and the company currently doesn’t have cold-calling services. They also offer prospect research.
Leadium also offers B2B appointment setting and lead generation services and promises to source leads in real-time. The company’s strong suit is its research team which helps provide on-demand and clean up existing prospect databases.
The Marketing Practice
The Marketing Practice is a leading name in this field with a wider range of offerings. The biggest one is Account-Based Marketing (ABM) for niche B2B markets, but the company also offers services in more traditional printed media as well as website enhancement and design.
Iron Paper is a niche B2B agency that specializes in lead generation for B2B businesses with long sales cycles. The agency relies on Inbound Marketing, account-based marketing (ABM), and various sales enablement techniques to serve clients in tech.
Upcall offers cold calling services from dedicated outbound call centers. However, it also has lead generation and conversion services. It relies on technology and expert sales professionals for cold calling and lead qualification services.
Pearl Lemon Leads
Pearl Lemon Leads is a cold calling and call center outsourcing company based in the UK. They offer appointment setting, cold call & email, and outsourced sales to clients worldwide.
Advertising Lead Generation Companies
Paid advertising can be a lucrative way of generating leads quickly, but it’s also high-risk and can burn through your marketing budget in weeks if you’re not careful. Working with companies that have built expertise and experience in this field is critical, especially when it comes to B2B lead generation.
Advertising is a unique and complex lead generation strategy. You need complete control over who sees your ads as well as when and where. Measuring results can also be difficult and requires many expensive tools to track. However, it can be worth it when done properly. Examples of advertising include:
- Search engine advertising
- Social media adverts
- Video advertising, e.g., Youtube
- Display advertising, e.g., banners on websites
The various advertising channels call for specialized expertise and experience. This method of lead generation is often prohibitively expensive for small businesses.
Lead Generation Advertising Companies – WebiMax
WebiMax is a full-service marketing and lead generation agency with a focus on advertisements and custom landing pages. The company also offers reputation management, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and content writing services. As an approved Google AdSense partner, WebiMax offers impressive advertising strategies to help clients maximize conversions.
KlientBoost is a large, full-service marketing agency with a specialty in PPC marketing and management services. Other services the company offers include email marketing, link building, and search engine marketing (SEM).
Like KlientBoost, HawkSEM is a PPC-focused agency offering paid search, SEO, and content marketing services. However, HawkSEM specializes in the ecommerce industry.
SEO Lead Generation Companies
Ranking on the first page for high-traffic keywords is the surest way to gain high-quality leads consistently, but it’s not easy to get there. SEO works with content marketing to drive engagement with potential leads and nurture them down the sales funnel until they can make a purchase.
As you probably have already found out, SEO companies are a dime a dozen. Finding one that delivers true content gold is rare, especially when working in a crowded industry. Some of the SEO agencies that have built a positive reputation in the industry are Upgrow and Hook Agency.
Upgrow is a digital marketing agency based in Maryland that specializes in SEO for the finance, healthcare, legal, and non-profit industries. It’s a vibrant agency that uses a data-backed strategy to drive results and help with link-building, SEO audits, web analytics, social media, and more.
The Hook Agency is a niche SEO and marketing agency working with contractors in the construction industry, especially high-ticket services like SEO strategy. This highly specialized approach has helped the agency develop incredible mastery of the industry for clients in that space.
Inbound Lead Generation Companies
Inbound lead generation works by getting prospects to react to a piece of content that you create. For example, creating valuable gated content like ebooks and whitepapers can get you invaluable contact information from B2B leaders who need the information you have.
Inbound lead generation is complex, but there are a few brands that have hacked the secrets to its success.
Founded by the same person as WebiMax, Leadgeneration.com is one of the leading inbound lead generation agencies. The company offers customized lead development strategies with a dedicated management team. It offers services like content marketing, SEO, social media, paid search, and many more.
Most sales experts know DiscoverOrg as a tool to acquire business intelligence. However, the business contact database offered by the company can be used for direct email marketing and other inbound strategies.
CandorWorks is an integrated demand generation company with a focus on accurate prospect identification and performance marketing. It is one of the leading names in marketing and focuses its inbound strategies on lead nurturing, such as email marketing.
Based in Boston, Overdrive Interactive is a full-service agency that offers multi-channel lead and demand generation services for enterprise-level organizations. The company is one of the best in account-based marketing (ABM), lead generation, SEO, content creation, and many other creative services.
Johnson Jones Group
The Johnson Jones Group offers general marketing services, including web design, SEO, sales, and advertising. In particular, the company offers tailored lead generation for B2C in the professional services sector.
Although Social Bloom is a leading marketing company, it’s perfect as a lead generation company for small businesses because it tailors services to you. It relies on an inbound approach using data for highly targeted content and communications for B2B lead generation.
Self-Service Lead Generation Companies
Lead generation companies also vary by the amount of control they give clients. Some allow you full control over your campaigns, while others prefer some level of creative independence to get the best results. If you’re looking for an agency that offers you the talent and resources while giving you full control, self-service lead generation companies may be what you need.
These companies typically provide lead generation technology rather than full-service packages. One such company is Desonto.
Desonto provides a self-service B2B lead generation platform, enabling businesses to efficiently manage and automate their lead generation campaigns with a user-friendly, pay-per-lead model. It’s a great option for businesses that are just starting the lead generation journey or those that already have an active sales team and are looking to scale.
Choosing the Right Lead Generation Agency for Your Small Business
Lead generation for small businesses is typically more challenging because you’re working on a much smaller budget and strict timelines. However, working with the right company that has experience in your industry gives you a leg up as you seek to grow your business.
Having worked with numerous clients in more than 10 years of operation, we have a few suggestions to help business owners and managers find the best lead generation agency.
Understand your business needs: You operate in a unique market with a special target audience and product. The company’s culture, mission, and technology should complement your own.
Match services to goals: Agencies offer all kinds of services. Discuss which services you need and how you can align them with your business goals.
Evaluate agency expertise: Investigate what services make up the agency’s strong points by checking out their portfolio, track record, case studies, or client testimonials.
Consider technological use: Emerging technologies like AI, automation, and personalization are shaping lead generation strategies, but companies that rely too much on these may offer poor services as a result.
Consider adaptability and scalability: Choose an agency that can adapt and scale its strategies as your business grows, especially if you have a tailored package.
Think about budgets: It’s important to balance lead generation costs and ROI so you can budget effectively. Discuss this with the agency to figure out mutually beneficial terms.
You can tell if you’ve chosen the right lead generation agency within the first few weeks. The dedication that the team shows to learn your product, brand values, and culture says a lot about their attitude and commitment.
Does Your Small Business Need Lead Generation Services?
Your business can only grow if there’s a steady inflow of high-quality leads that convert into paying customers. There’s no shortcut to a successful lead generation process.
However, this growth hinges on the lead generation company you choose. A wrong choice could end up being costly with no results to show for it.
Lead generation is all about trust. That’s the only way you can ensure long-term growth as a small business. Let Martal Group help you generate new sales-qualified leads and unlock your growth today.
FAQs: Lead generation companies for small businesses
How much should you pay for lead generation?
Lead generation costs vary widely by industry and by the strategies used. It depends on the value of the leads and usually amounts to 25–30 percent of the total lifetime value of the customer. However, if we generalize, the average cost per lead is about $100 per lead in the tech industry, with a lead time of 4–5 months. This translates to $2,500 to $12,000 per month, depending on the agency.
Why do most lead generation campaigns fail?
Most lead-generation campaigns fail due to poor planning. Every lead generation strategy should be backed by a content generation plan to help with lead nurturing. Landing pages, blog posts, social media, and email marketing all need to be top-notch.
Poor lead nurturing can also result from issues such as bad CRM management, and failure to follow up with prospects, among other reasons.
Should I outsource lead generation?
Small businesses stand to gain the most from outsourcing lead generation. However, this requires careful consideration to ensure they work with the right lead generation company. Outsourcing this vital business process is an affordable, highly effective way to grow without having to higher and manage the sales teams yourself.