B2B Lead Generation Agency: Everything You Should Know Before Hiring

15 mins

According to Globe News Wire, the lead generation solution market is projected to reach $9.5 billion by 2028. Besides, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% is expected during the 2023 to 2028 forecast period. Lead generation is in demand, and businesses look for good B2B lead generation agencies to hire.

Generating qualified leads is a crucial aspect of B2B business growth, but it can be a time-consuming and challenging process. To streamline the process and focus on other core business activities, many B2B companies turn to lead generation agencies that have proven success in generating sales-qualified leads. In this context, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of B2B lead generation, what lead generation agencies can offer, and how to choose the best agency for your business needs. 

By exploring these topics in greater detail, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the lead generation process and be equipped to make informed decisions about your B2B lead generation strategy.

What is B2B lead generation?

what is b2b lead generation

To understand the importance of lead generation, we can look at the findings of the Stage of the Marketing report, which states that almost 50% of marketers prioritize it in their campaigns. B2B lead generation is a strategy that involves identifying and targeting potential customers who sell goods and services to other businesses. 

This approach not only helps companies explore new growth opportunities but also expands their client base. Essentially, B2B lead generation is a crucial aspect of a B2B company’s sales and marketing campaigns. 

To generate qualified leads, a sales team typically engages with clients through various channels such as email marketing, social media posts, events, and content marketing.

Why B2B lead generation is different from B2C lead generation?

To better understand the key differences between B2B and B2C lead generation, it’s important to consider a few critical factors. One of the main distinctions is the target audience: B2B lead generation strategies focus on attracting and engaging other businesses, while B2C strategies are designed to appeal to individual consumers. 

b2b lead generation vs b2c lead generation

Additionally, the sales cycle for B2B lead generation is typically much longer and more complex, with a focus on establishing long-term relationships between buyers and sellers. In contrast, B2C lead generation tends to emphasize quick, mass marketing efforts aimed at reaching as many potential customers as possible. By understanding these fundamental differences, businesses can tailor their lead generation strategies to effectively engage with their target audience and achieve their desired outcomes.

Key strategies for B2B lead generation

Naturally, B2B lead generation agencies use particular strategies to ensure lead generation specialists can access qualified leads. 

There are two core approaches:

1. Inbound Lead Generation:

Inbound lead generation involves creating valuable content that attracts potential customers to your website. Here are some steps to implement inbound lead generation:

  • Define your target audience: Create buyer personas that define the ideal customer for your business. These personas should include information such as age, gender, occupation, interests, and pain points.
  • Create valuable content: Develop content that provides value to your target audience, such as blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars. Use keywords and phrases your audience will likely search for to optimize your content for search engines.
  • Optimize your website: Make sure your website is optimized for search engines and is easy to navigate. Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs) to encourage visitors to engage with your content.
  • Promote your content: Share your content on social media, email newsletters, and other channels to increase visibility and drive traffic to your website.
  • Capture leads: Use lead magnets such as free trials, demos, and consultations to capture contact information from visitors to your website.

2. Outbound Lead Generation:

Outbound lead generation involves actively reaching out to potential customers through various channels. Here are some steps to implement outbound lead generation:

  • Define your target audience: Identify the industries, companies, and decision-makers most likely to benefit from your product or service.
  • Build a prospect list: Create a list of potential customers and their contact information. Use tools such as LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, and Hunter to find relevant contacts.
  • Reach out: Use cold calling, email outreach, direct mail, and social media to reach potential customers. Make sure your messaging is personalized and relevant to their needs.
  • Follow up: Follow up with leads who have shown interest in your product or service. Use a CRM to track your interactions and stay organized.
  • Measure your success: Track your success metrics such as response rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated to evaluate the effectiveness of your outbound lead generation efforts. Adjust your strategy as needed.

The key B2B lead generation strategies mentioned above might work differently depending on your needs and resources. Besides, the rule of thumb dictates that you must experiment with different approaches to find your best strategy.

What types of b2b leads are there?

Based on the strategy you use — inbound or outbound, there can be the following types of leads:

Inbound Leads:

  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): A lead who has interacted with your brand through marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, or content marketing.
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs): A lead who has shown a desire for your products or services through actions such as requesting a demo, pricing information, or contacting sales directly.
  • Product Qualified Leads (PQLs): A lead who has started your free trial, tested your product, or used a product feature that indicates a high level of interest in becoming a customer.
  • Service Qualified Leads (SQLs): A lead who has expressed interest in your services, such as requesting a consultation or asking for a proposal.

Outbound Leads:

  • Targeted leads: Leads that fit your ideal customer profile and have been identified through research and prospecting.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQLs): A potential customer in the early stage of contact with your sales team or has expressed interest in your services or products.
  • Sales Accepted Opportunity (SAOs): A well-qualified lead with an increased likelihood of closing successfully. A new business lead a member of the sales team has accepted into the sales pipeline.

Based on the business needs at the moment, you might want to consider particular B2B lead generation agency services.

What does a B2B lead generation agency do?

Hiring a B2B lead generation agency is a great way to get lead generation service tailored to your particular needs. Yet, to know how these agencies engage in lead acquisition, nurturing and qualification, it is crucial to explore more about B2B lead generation agency functionality.

Roles and responsibilities of a B2B lead generation agency

Depending on the approach an agency uses, there can be various tasks to handle.

Inbound Lead Generation Agency:

  • Content creation: Developing and optimizing valuable content that attracts and engages potential customers.
  • SEO and website optimization: Ensuring your website is optimized for search engines and easy to navigate.
  • Social media marketing: Promoting your content and engaging with potential customers on social media platforms.
  • Email marketing: Creating and implementing email campaigns that nurture leads and encourage engagement.
  • Landing page optimization: Designing and optimizing landing pages to capture leads and encourage conversions.
  • Lead magnet creation: Developing lead magnets such as free trials, demos, and consultations to capture contact information from website visitors.

Outbound Lead Generation Agency:

  • Prospect research and targeting: Identifying potential customers and building prospect lists.
  • Outreach strategy development: Developing a strategy for reaching out to potential customers, including messaging, timing, and frequency of outreach.
  • Direct mail campaigns: Developing and executing direct mail campaigns to reach potential customers.
  • Cold calling and email outreach: Reaching out to potential customers through personalized email and phone campaigns.
  • Social media outreach: Reaching out to potential customers through social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.
  • Sales funnel optimization: Helping to optimize your sales funnel and lead nurturing processes to improve conversion rates.

A reputable agency should be responsible for carrying out the key lead generation activities mentioned earlier in a professional manner. These activities have the potential to bring significant benefits, including increased sales revenue and a wider customer base. 

However, it’s worth noting that the specific lead generation strategies and tactics implemented by an agency may vary based on their approach and expertise. Therefore, it’s essential to do thorough research and choose an agency that aligns with your business needs and objectives.

Types of B2B lead generation agencies

Types of b2b lead generation agencies

When it comes to different types of B2B lead generation agencies, there are four particular kinds:

  • Full-service agencies offer a full range of lead-generation services in multiple industries while granting access to content creators, designers, and marketing strategists.
  • Specialized agencies emphasize specific markets, industries, and tactics with lead generation services tailored to certain clients and their niches.
  • Outsourced sales development agencies focus on sales development aspects within a lead generation, which includes identifying leads, setting appointments, and nurturing leads.
  • Analytics agencies specialize in offering data-driven lead generation insights showing how the lead generation strategy performs and how it can be improved.

With the insights above, you can choose a different type of B2B lead generation agency based on the range of services you need and services you can afford. In any case, if a B2B lead generation agency knows its job, you can expect benefits to be delivered

Pros of hiring a B2B lead generation agency

There are particular advantages to having a top-notch B2B lead generation agency on board. More specifically, you can expect these pros:

  • Brand awareness
  • Quick solution
  • Access to talent
  • No cold calls

Brand awareness

First and foremost, hiring a B2B lead generation agency means you can generate new leads fast. This is particularly important if your business is new and you don’t have good brand awareness. In such a case, agencies can bring new leads to your sales funnel even with little or no brand awareness.

Quick solution

Buying leads and getting lead lists via B2B lead generation agencies is a quick solution for an influx of customers for your sales team. You don’t need to find leads, engage, and nurture them. A lead generation agency will gladly do that for you.

Access to talent

Depending on a particular B2B lead generation agency type, you can tap into different specialists. These can be different lead generation agencies helping you with the entire cycle of lead generation strategy and marketing campaign.

No cold calls

With B2B lead generation agencies, you often get leads that have already been warmed. This means no more cold calls and no more approaching new leads with almost no information. All of these increase the chance of qualified leads being generated and delivered.

Respectively, knowing the responsibilities, types, and advantages of B2B lead generation agencies, it is time to find out how you can choose the one meeting your particular needs. There is no point in considering a lead gen agency if it cannot deliver on its promises.

Cons of hiring a B2B lead generation agency

But there are also some disadvantages to consider when making a decision.Mainly those are:

  • Cost
  • Lack of control
  • Limited industry expertise
  • Quality of leads
  • Reputation management


Hiring a B2B lead generation agency can be expensive, particularly if you need a comprehensive approach that includes multiple services.

Lack of control

When you hire an agency, you are entrusting them with a key aspect of your business – generating leads. This means that you may have less control over the process than if you were handling lead generation in-house.

Limited industry expertise 

Some B2B lead generation agencies may specialize in particular industries or types of businesses. If you don’t choose an agency with expertise in your particular industry, you may not see the results you want.

Quality of leads

Although B2B lead generation agencies promise to deliver high-quality leads, there is no guarantee that all leads will be a good fit for your business. It’s possible to receive leads that are low-quality or not interested in your product or service.

Reputation management

When you outsource lead generation to an agency, you are also entrusting them with your brand reputation. If the agency uses shady tactics or makes mistakes in their outreach, it could damage your brand reputation.

It’s important to weigh the potential disadvantages of hiring a B2B lead generation agency against the potential benefits to determine whether it’s the right choice for your business.

How to Choose the Right B2B Lead Generation Agency

Selecting the ideal B2B lead generation agency can be a challenging task, given the abundance of options available. It can be tough to differentiate between the reliable and the less reliable agencies, causing confusion for many business owners. However, understanding the critical factors to consider, the relevant questions to ask, and avoiding common mistakes is crucial when choosing the right agency. With this knowledge, you can confidently select an agency that suits your business needs and brings in sales-qualified leads.

Seven factors to consider when choosing a B2B lead generation agency

To make sure you have the right B2B lead generation vendor on your side, consider these factors:

  1. Industry-specific expertise. The starting point in choosing a B2B lead generation agency is to select one operating in your industry. This increases the chance the lead gen agency has an understanding of your target audience and market-based challenges.
  2. Scope of services offered. The next factor is the array of lead gen services the prospective candidate provides. Ensure the services align with your marketing needs, and include at least aspects like content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising. 
  3. Case studies and track record. Nothing speaks better about expertise than a portfolio of success stories and case studies. Look for agencies with a proven track record displaying real-life cases of lead generation.
  4. Communication tools and reporting instruments. It is best to choose a B2B lead generation agency that has a system of transparent and regular communication in place. These can be regular stand-ups, feedback loop meetings, and others. Besides, the agency should have a system for providing continuous data-driven updates on the campaign’s performance. 
  5. Customization. Select agencies offering tailored-to-your-needs services. These know how to consider your unique business goals and project requirements. Avoid one-size-fits-all approaches lacking customizability. 
  6. Pricing. The cost of services is always a major factor in choosing B2B lead generation agencies. When selecting one, look at the agency’s pricing structure and plans to ensure these align with your budget. 
  7. Contract terms. Finally, always review the contract terms to get in-depth insights into the scope of work, deliverables, and potential hidden fees. A well-written and transparent contract ensures you won’t face hiccups when the lead generation process starts.

The factors above are essential in choosing a good B2B lead generation company. It is always better to spend some time selecting prospective candidates. This ensures you end up with an agency meeting your particular needs for a reasonable price. 

Questions to ask a potential B2B lead generation agency

When you land a list of potential candidates, it is time to ask some questions. The following questions are designed to help you narrow down the pool of B2B lead generation agencies and find the one you were looking for:

  • What is your experience in [your industry]?
  • Can you offer examples of successful lead-generation campaigns you executed for clients with similar project requirements?
  • What particular services do you offer? How do these align with our marketing objectives?
  • What methods do you use to measure lead generation campaign success? What KPIs do you work with?
  • How often will you offer reports and updates on campaign performance? What data do those reports often contain? 
  • Can you provide any references from previous clients?

These questions are a good starting point. They will show how experienced the agency is. Besides, the questions offer insights into service provision, reporting, and communication. Finally, they show the agency’s expertise.

Common mistakes to avoid when choosing a B2B lead generation agency

mistakes to avoid when choosing a B2B lead generation agency

When choosing and interviewing prospective candidates, you still need to be on the lookout for common mistakes businesses face. Avoid these mistakes at any point in the B2B lead generation agency selection process:

  1. Never choose an agency solely based on price. While budget is important, selecting low-cost options often means you get low-quality services. Often, premium pricing comes with distinct sales prospecting tools
  2. Don’t underestimate the importance of thorough research. Take your time in looking at potential candidates, carefully reviewing their case studies, and reaching out to previous clients. 
  3. Never ignore the long-term potential. Choose agencies that can adapt to your business scaling. Besides, good agencies evolve with marketing trends and keep up with all the relevant new technologies. 
  4. Always have clear project requirements and expectations. Many businesses fail to communicate their project requirements to B2B lead generation agencies, which results in end services not matching marketing objectives. 

The common mistakes above are not only common, but they also play a vital role in choosing a good B2B lead generation agency. Committing those mistakes might mean spending your budget on low-quality lead-generation services or ones that don’t meet your marketing needs. 

Expandi – the best alternative to a B2B outbound lead generation agency

Expandi is a leading LinkedIn automation tool that takes the outreach game to the next level. Its smart and automated sequencing processes offer businesses access to the full potential of LinkedIn lead generation. With 12,500 brands worldwide already using Expandi, it has proven to be a trusted and reliable alternative to traditional B2B lead generation agencies. Its impressive track record of success and customer satisfaction make it the top choice for businesses looking to enhance their lead generation efforts.

Expandi - best tool for b2b lead generation

Benefits of automated LinkedIn outreach

LinkedIn B2B lead generation is a powerful tool that offers distinct advantages. Expandi can help you harness these benefits in several ways:

  • The automation tools provided by Expandi save you time by managing multiple tasks, including sending connection requests and follow-up messages. The platform offers both LinkedIn and email outreach, making it easier for you to reach your target audience.
  • Consistent and personalized messaging is essential to generate engagement and response. Expandi makes it easy to customize your messages to specific prospects and maintain consistency across your outreach efforts.
  • Advanced targeting features allow you to connect with the right prospects based on industry, location, job title, and other relevant factors. This helps you focus your efforts on the most promising leads.
  • With Expandi, you can reach a large number of prospects without increasing your workload or the need to hire additional staff. This scalability is critical to growing your business and generating new leads.
  • The data-driven insights provided by Expandi’s analytics and tracking tools help you measure the performance of your campaigns, make informed decisions, and optimize your outreach efforts for better results.

The benefits of LinkedIn outreach for lead generation are undeniable. However, managing an outreach campaign on LinkedIn can be time-consuming and requires a certain level of expertise. That’s where tools like Expandi come in handy. 

As a LinkedIn automation tool, Expandi can help you streamline your outreach efforts and make the most of LinkedIn’s benefits. With Expandi, you don’t need to do the heavy lifting yourself, and you can focus on other aspects of your business. Try it today!

Best practices for using automated LinkedIn outreach

To get the most out of automated LinkedIn outreach, it’s important to follow best practices that will help you connect with prospects and generate leads effectively. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Personalize your messages to include relevant details about your prospects, such as their name, company, and personal interests. With Expandi, you can even add personalized images and GIFs to boost engagement.
    personalize LinkedIn messages

  2. Keep your messages brief and to the point. Prospects are unlikely to read lengthy messages, so make sure to communicate your value proposition concisely.
  3. Test and optimize your messages based on data and insights from reports. Expandi’s smart sequencing feature can help you tailor your outreach campaigns based on the behavior of your leads.
  4. Follow LinkedIn guidelines and avoid spammy tactics. When in doubt, consult with Expandi’s support team to ensure you stay within LinkedIn’s terms of service.

By following these best practices, you can improve the effectiveness of your LinkedIn outreach campaigns and connect with leads on their terms. Remember that the key to successful B2B lead generation is personalization and engagement, not aggressive sales tactics.

Examples of successful automated LinkedIn outreach campaigns

Finally, to give you a taste of what a successful LinkedIn outreach campaign might look like.

  1. A B2B software company might want to target HR managers. It can use Expandi’s smart sequencing tool to send personalized connection requests to HR managers across different channels. By offering highly-targeted content, there is a higher chance HR professionals in question will book product demos and turn them into qualified leads. 
  2. A marketing company might want to target small businesses. The business can hire Expandi and use its automated LinkedIn outreach campaign to connect with business owners. The approach includes sharing success stories and testimonials to showcase expertise and secure a new client. 
  3. A recruitment firm might want to target IT professionals. In that case, Expandi can employ its LinkedIn and email outreach aided with GIF personalization or sales influencers to connect with many IT experts. This method entails sharing relevant job opportunities while using GIFs to make the process more engaging. 

These are a few examples of how Expandi can deliver a successful automated LinkedIn outreach campaign. The list goes on, and each case is approached uniquely. 


In conclusion, finding the right B2B lead generation agency can be challenging, but the benefits of working with one can be significant. A good agency can help you target the right prospects, improve your messaging, and save you time and resources. 

However, if you’re looking for a cost-effective and efficient way to generate leads, you should consider Expandi, the best alternative B2B lead generation agency. With Expandi, you can automate your LinkedIn outreach and get access to data-driven insights that will help you optimize your campaigns. 

Sign up for a free trial today and start generating quality leads for your business.


What is a B2B lead generation agency?

A B2B lead generation agency is a company focusing on assisting businesses to identify, approach, and convert potential clients into leads or sales opportunities. Lead generation agencies often employ various marketing tools and strategies to deliver high-quality leads. This allows businesses to emphasize customer acquisition and closing deals. In most cases, the key role of a B2B lead generation company is to develop a top-notch lead generation strategy, create a marketing campaign, nurture qualified leads, and measure results.

How much do B2B lead generation companies charge?

The cost of lead generation strategies offered by agencies can vary drastically.

In most cases, the average cost per lead is about $200. The average cost per appointment can range between $150 and $250. However, the cost of B2B lead generation services can vary widely. It mostly depends on these cost factors:

  • Agency’s expertise
  • The scope of services
  • Target market
  • Clients’ needs

How do I start a B2B lead generation agency?

To start a B2B lead generation agency, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Identify the niche and target market
  2. Build up the service offerings
  3. Create a business plan
  4. Build a team
  5. Develop brand
  6. Establish a firm legal business structure
  7. Market your brand and services
  8. Focus on continuous improvement and growth


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