#1 Experience and proof ROI
Arguably the most important sign is experience and proof of ROI. Instead of contemplating if a lead generation partner can match your experience in a certain sector or niche, you should be looking at their experience in their own niche and how it can be applied to your own challenges. Whether data strategy, inbound communications, or outbound lead generation, if your potential partner has been driving results in their space for an extensive period of time, chances are they’ve made the mistakes, learnt the lessons and are more equipped to tackle your specific challenges to deliver sales growth.
The best way to benchmark results is through client references, case studies, and the kind of clients they work with. If they’ve partnered with blue-chips and premium brands just like your own, chances are they’re a good fit.
#2 An open-door policy and the feeling they’re part of your business.
Lead generation partners will provide you with transparent results from day 1 through an intuitive reporting and analytics platform, this will allow you to aggregate the data to your heart's content and see the ROI developing over time. But truly exceptional partners take it a step further with dedicated account management that will translate that data into actionable intelligence, alongside dedicated sales executives that integrate seamlessly with your existing sales team.
Working with a partner with an open-door policy gives you the confidence that they are managing your business as if it was their own.
#3 A B2B buyer-focused mentality
Average B2B lead generation providers only think of the top of the funnel, expert lead generation partners will consider the full B2B buyers’ journey, that means conversion and beyond.
Expert B2B lead generation partners track your prospects journey from awareness to decision and understand the key touchpoints that drove them to that decision. If it’s a won opportunity, they will understand which touchpoints resonated, and enhance them for greater success. If a lost opportunity, they will leverage the relationship created between the sales executives and your prospects to obtain that crucial information; is it a timing issue? Need more information? Capturing this information opens the potential to win them over at a later stage, and it helps to improve your prospective buyers’ journey, internal sales and marketing operations.
#4 A perfect blend of data, strategy, and creative
The secret sauce to any sales activities in 2021 is competitive B2B data, and this rings especially true for a targeted and strategic lead generation program. High-performance data will allow the program to reduce the time spent on the wrong prospects, and more time with the prospects more likely to buy.
However, competitive data alone doesn’t win prospects, it lays the foundation for future success by capturing the right information to inform strategic and creative campaigns to cut through the noise and place your brand in front of your prospect. Expert partners realise that data + strategy + creative = sales growth. And quite frankly, few partners have the capability, experience and understanding to enact all three to great success.
#5 A mentality to make you the best or ‘die in a ditch’ trying
A B2B sales growth partners’ sole goal is to make their clients heroes, or ‘die in the ditch’ trying. They will demonstrate an understanding of your challenges, your motivations, and what makes you win… and then they’ll take that onto the next stage.
The last thought to consider is this; in a world where collective information is shared now much more easily, and where the B2B market is finite, it’s their reputation on the line as much as yours.