11 Lead Generation Companies Worth Checking Out In 2022

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vector graphic showing elements of lead generation companies

The goal of business is to generate revenue and that is done by generating customers.

Everyone knows that, but what is less known is how to use lead generation tools to attract and convert prospects into paying customers.

That is where lead generation services in the form of lead generation software, and database management come in.

The right lead generation service can take a bold lead and be the difference between stagnation and company growth.

Whether you are a seasoned marketer or working in an entry-level digital marketing job, the following list of the best lead generation companies is something you should check out.

CIENCE
Our Pick
CIENCE
  • High level of lead-generation capabilities, including email, phone, social, chat & ads
  • Trusted by over 2,000 organizations, including Microsoft, Uber, and Yamaha
callbox
Runner Up
callbox
  • callbox collaborates with customers to use their lead generation tools most effectively
  • Flexible pricing structures that include team approach, multiple methods of lead generation, and back-of-house support
upcall
Also Great
upcall
  • Combines proprietary software with top 3% of sales professionals to generate more leads
  • Utilizes a conversation-driving marketing and sales platform that uses real people to gather insights

Lead Generation Companies: A Primer

Before we dive too far into the list, let’s first cover a few of the basics.

What is Lead Generation?

In the simplest of terms, lead generation is the process of figuring out what makes a quality lead for a business by identifying its core customer profile.

Additionally, it is using B2B lead generation data on prospective customers via traditional contact methods such as cold calling, online lead generation and email marketing to create strategic sales products and services that prompt prospects to convert to customers.

Creating a customer profile entails a lead generation or marketing agency collecting data on an individual or company that aids in determining the type of product(s,) price range and terms a new lead might be interested in procuring.

The data that is collected includes, but is not limited to:

With individuals:

  • Contact information
  • Purchasing preferences
  • Expenditure data
  • Shopping preferences (the stores and websites a customer prefers)
  • Types of Purchases
  • Financial information

With Corporations:

  • Company and organizational info
  • Type of industry
  • Type of work
  • Financial information
  • Personnel information
  • Purchase habits

The goal with either is to allow a business to create a profile of their customer to compare to available datasets and find other customers that have similar characteristics.

Depending on how many similarities there are, the potential for a sale exists.

With individuals or businesses where there are several similarities, the chances are high.

What Do Lead Generation Companies Do?

Lead generation companies actively build sales lead lists consisting of data that matches specific criteria and use a demand generation marketing framework.

They get that data from several sources that meet lead qualification criteria and put them into various subsets of data.

The lead gen company offers those subsets to companies with customers that match that profile.

The goal is to sell those matches to companies that a data record matches.

Depending on the type of small business trying to get inbound leads, the interaction might simply be to buy the contacts in list form.

Another option is to let the B2B lead generation company handle contacting the prospects and tracking what prospects responded favorably via a lead generation tool.

The third type of list company provides broader traditional and digital marketing advice and sets up an entire prospect management program.

How Do Companies Generate Leads?

There are multiple ways a company can generate a B2B lead.

The most common way to achieve inbound lead generation is to get a potential lead from the following:

  • Internal Commercial customer lists
  • Organizational lists (Chambers of Commerce membership lists, etc.)
  • Tailored surveys
  • Retail organization’s customer lists
  • Commercial list companies
  • Prospect requests for information

A lead generation service will take that data and formulate subsets of data that are associated with specific organizations, industries, or purchase habits.

A contact that meets multiple criteria is considered a qualified lead.

Depending on the company purchasing leads, a master list can be broken down by just about every type of collected data.

Often, lists will be split based on specific criteria and a small sample will be “tested,” both as a list and against each other list.

Companies will then compare how each list compares and do expanded testing of the better-performing list.

After several tests, a client may decide to “rollout” the list and use all available data that matches the criteria that work.

The customers that respond are bundled into a master list that is then sold as leads for that specific criteria.

The Best Lead Generation Companies For 2022

vector graphic showing elements of lead generation companies

The following are some of the top lead generation companies in the industry.

1. CIENCE

CIENCE uses a multi-tiered approach to lead generation.

screenshot of the science homepage

How it Works

Their approach merges human experts in content curation and lead generation, AI, machine learning, and software to give customers a tailored, precision-focused approach.

Each of these works to create a product that hits every source of social media and other communications techniques.

What Sets CIENCE Apart

The biggest advantage a customer gains by working with CIENCE is their employees.

Not only are they each trained in data curation, but they are also experienced in working with lead generation, marketing, sales, or all three.

You get a team when you sign on that is highly skilled and experienced.

How Much Does CIENCE Cost?

Pricing for CIENCE products is based on an assessment and recommendation provided by the company or submitted by the potential client.

It is subscription-based or potential customers can be billed monthly (with a 3-month minimum.)

Pricing includes an entire team committed to giving the customer the best lead generation data and methods possible.

2. Callbox

Callbox has been in business since 2004, so it has a long history of lead generation.

It uses a pre-formulated database system that lets companies target businesses based on type.

screenshot of the callbox homepage

How it Works

Callbox uses an “account-based marketing approach” to generate leads from over thirty-five million businesses.

It uses voice, email, social, chat, website, and online seminar traffic generation strategies.

What Sets Callbox Apart

The company provides customers with a slate of tools for sales and marketing and collaborates with customers to use those tools in the best manner possible.

How Much Does Callbox Cost?

Callbox has flexible pricing structures that include a team approach, multiple methods of lead generation, and back-of-the-house support, including training, lead qualification, customized reports, and appointment setting and confirmation.

3. Upcall

This company is the first collaborative call outsourcing platform that let non-profits, businesses and individuals create and implement lead generation call campaigns.

screenshot of the upcall homepage

How it Works

Callbox contacts real people and gathers information from them.

They do this via multiple tested strategies, such as using written templates and surveys.

The business also employs a highly scheduled call strategy that increases the chances of getting a positive response.

What Sets Upcall Apart

The Upcall system uses local phone IDs, personalizes each customer’s scripts, and targets calling times to maximize potential results.

How Much Does Upcall Cost?

Enterprise uses three tiers of pricing, based on customer needs (Standard, Reseller, and Enterprise.)

Each tier has duplicate and unique features that increase the applicability of a tier to a customer’s lead generation needs.

4. Salespanel

Salespanel offers B2B lead generation via identifying website visitors and capturing and aggregating leads from multiple marketing channels.

screenshot of the salespanel homepage

How it Works

The concept behind Salespanel’s product provides businesses with a centralized management point that lets employees administrate marketing programs from conception through fruition.

Businesses can identify customer profiles and tailor campaigns to match what those customers want to see.

What Sets Salespanel Apart

Apart from the software, which is unique, Salespanel focuses heavily on the reporting end of lead generation to allow tracking of leads and outreach efforts as well as quantifying results.

This allows business leaders to make tactical decisions regarding who to focus on and what to present.

How Much Does Salespanel Cost?

Salespanel has three distinct levels for pricing: Basic ($49/mo,) Growth ($249/mo,) and Scale ($499/mo.)

Each tier offers additional features and functions from the one below it.

5. LeadGeneration

A WebiMax company, LeadGeneration provides a phased approach for identifying, contacting, and converting customers.

screenshot of the webimax lead generation landing page

How it Works

A LeadGeneration team uses multiple channels of marketing (social, traditional, website development, print, electronic, etc.) to open new doors to generate leads.

It then utilizes proprietary software to track leads and convert them to customers.

What Sets LeadGeneration Apart

LeadGeneration’s approach to identifying and converting customers is comprehensive.

Each component works to further the overall marketing goals of the company.

Additionally, the principals are highly experienced and very successful at lead generation, business management, sales conversion, etc.

How Much Does LeadGeneration Cost?

Pricing is quoted as part of a free consultation of a potential customer’s marketing needs and existing program structure.

6. DiscoverOrg

DiscoverOrg helps businesses identify and convert leads, manage contacts and maximize outreach strategies based on real-time results.

screenshot of the discoverorg homepage

How it Works

From a highly accurate list of businesses, a customer collects and appends data that helps sell products and services.

DiscoverOrg’s software analyzes leads and general business data to create a customized lead generation and contact management engine.

What Sets DiscoverOrg Apart

The product is highly compatible with existing lead generation, marketing, contact management, and sales platforms.

It can be integrated with other marketing and sales management platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Bullhorn, Eloqua, and many more.

How Much Does DiscoverOrg Cost?

DiscoverOrg has multiple plans that are customized to individual needs based on an assessment by the business of a company’s core vision, focus, and optimal customer base.

7. CandorWorks

This B2B technology business provides international lead generation and management for media agencies, publishers, and B2B clients using technology and seasoned professionals.

screenshot of the candorworks homepage

How it Works

Candorworks relies on over two hundred marketing professionals to create hybrid and customized solutions to contact and manage 24.6 million B2B contacts.

What Sets CandorWorks Apart

The organization is highly professional and is GDPR, CAN-SPAM, CASL, and CCPA compliant with 10+ CRM and Marketing automation software systems.

How Much Does CandorWorks Cost?

Pricing is determined upon consultation with company representatives and is based on customer needs as well as the scope of those needs.

8. Overdrive Interactive

Overdrive Interactive creates digital advertising programs and marketing solutions for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and large businesses.

screenshot of the overdrive interactive homepage

How it Works

  • The core services Overdrive Interactive provides are:
  • Account-Based Marketing
  • Lead Generation
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Media Planning and Management
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Creative Services
  • Web Development
  • Content Creation and Marketing

All those services equal a company that develops a comprehensive marketing solution for any sized organization.

What Sets Them Apart

Overdrive Interactive provides a comprehensive approach to B2B sales, communications, and market positioning.

You get more than just a lead generation platform and instead get an entire suite of services and business tools that position you for success.

How Much Does Overdrive Interactive Cost?

Contact the company for a consultation and quote based on the services your company needs.

9. SalesRoads

SalesRoads merges lead generation with appointment setting to provide customers with a proven core of prospective clients.

screenshot of the salesroads homepage

How it Works

The company contacts leads and collects information on them so that when their customers contact those leads they are fully prepared to make a positive connection.

What Sets SalesRoads Apart

Salesroads is very customer contact intensive and they create a very detailed description of each potential customer.

How Much Does SalesRoads Cost?

Contact SalesRoads for a consultation, needs assessment, and quote for services.

10. Belkins

Belkins provides full-scope lead generation and contact services.

screenshot of the belkins homepage

How it Works

Belkins staff assess a client’s needs, develop sales leads, and sets up B2B appointments to ensure their customers are fully prepared to meet with any prospect.

What Sets Belkins Apart

The scope of their coverage is second to none in terms of using B2B sales development representatives, marketing experts, and copywriters to create fully customized enterprise solutions.

How Much Does Belkins Cost?

Belkins has three levels of pricing, ranging from newbie to using lead generation tools to fully tailored programs.

11. Martal

Martal is a full-service company that offers B2B contact and lead generation, appointment setting, marketing, and sales strategy, and sales outsourcing services.

screenshot of the martal homepage

How it Works

Martal representatives meet with customers and define their needs.

They then create a comprehensive marketing and lead generation strategy that covers everything from traditional appointment setting to social media management.

What Sets Martal Apart

Martal is very data-driven and can offer details analysis of what works, what does not, and what might with some modification.

How Much Does Martal Cost?

There are four tiers of pricing, ranging from outbound lead generation only to comprehensive lead generation and management services.

Who Should Pay for a Lead Generation Company?

There are no specific criteria for who should pay for lead generation.

A better question might be whether paying for lead generation makes sense for a company?

If, however, a B2B company or organization has the money to pay for contact generation and lead capture, that company’s marketing personnel should think about at least running a few tests.

Or maybe you’re in the affiliate marketing space and looking to increase sales to a course, product, or brand.

Whether hiring a lead generation company makes sense, is a separate debate.

A business considering B2B marketing may want to think twice before hiring a lead generation company if:

  • It does not normally prospect for customers and has no plans on doing so
  • Its products or services have limited appeal
  • The client company relies almost entirely on referrals
  • It is unable to handle an increase in its customer base
  • It does not have a clear profile of its core customers
  • It has the internal capacity to generate leads without any external help

Is it Worth it to Pay a Lead Generation Company?

Whether it is worth paying for a lead generation company comes down to several variables.

The most important is whether the company in question can take on an influx of new customers.

If they do, then the question of worth comes down to the pros and cons of going with professionals to generate leads.

Pros of Hiring Lead Generation Companies

The following are the pros associated with hiring a lead generation company.

1. Access to Lead Generation Experts

Your sales team might be the best in the business at convincing an interested party to purchase your goods or services, but are they good at generating leads from scratch?

Chances are, you have a few who enjoy cold calling, but most people, even salespeople, like to go in with a little bit of an edge.

Lead generation services give those folks contacts that have expressed an interest in at least hearing from your sales team.

Plus, lead generation pros have generated excitement for your product, service, or company.

2. Speed Up the Slow Periods

Few businesses are constantly busy, and most have “seasons” when business is slower than normal.

A lead generation service can serve as a “gap filler” for those periods by giving your sales team contacts that have expressed interest in your products.

If done properly, a robust lead generation process for slow periods can even help businesses avoid seasonal layoffs.

3. No More Cold Calling

Just about everyone would choose to sell to an interested contact versus cold calling.

Most people hate cold calling.

Lead generation companies put interested parties at your fingertips and you or your staff do not have to do any cold calling.

For many companies, that reality, in and of itself, is a good enough reason to contract with a lead generation company.

4. Greater Visibility

Any contact with potential customers you would not usually have is more publicity for your company than you currently enjoy.

It is indirect, free advertising.

5. Quicker Close Times

Interested parties convert to customers quickly and easily because they already know about you.

A lead generation team does the legwork in informing potential customers and referring them to your sales team.

At that point, your sales personnel can focus on selling to these contacts what they need versus describing your company.

6. Quality Contacts Versus Hit or Miss Contacts

The contacts from a lead generation company want to buy from you because the lead generation team promoted your company and its products or services.

That means your sales team will spend less time on dead leads or building interest and more time selling your products to those that have expressed a desire to work with you.

Cons of Hiring Lead Generation Companies

While many positive aspects of lead generation companies or campaigns exist, there are a few downsides.

1. ROI Can Be Difficult To Recoup

Using a third-party lead generation company to promote your business may not work.

Even if it works, it might be years before you see enough businesses from a lead to warrant the expenditure.

In some cases, the best outcome is just higher rates of publicity.

An ROI that is hard to quantify or achieve is why you do a lot of analysis into what will work to generate new customers for your company.

If the strategies used by lead generation companies will not work, you could spend a lot of money on an insignificant return.


Related: How to run a break-even analysis


2. Leads Demand Attention

To get the most out of any lead generation activities, you must act quickly to migrate an interested lead into a paying customer.

If you do not act quickly the potential customer may lose interest or walk away, and be much harder to convert in the future.

You must make sure your sales team can handle the influx of appointments or leads to follow up on.

Additionally, you must be able to deliver on what you promise.

If your supply chain is put in jeopardy because of a large influx of customers, it might not be worth the potential clients.

Failing to provide an expected product to a generated lead will mean converting them in the future is much more difficult, if not impossible.

3. Lead Generation Is Not A Guarantee for More Work

Some lead generation efforts must be too broad to have a chance of yielding results.

When that happens, contacts you think can be converted, may not want or need exactly what you offer.

For example, if you have a flooring company that installs hardwood floors, your contacts may have expressed an interest in carpeting, but you get them because they technically have a flooring need.

That could lead to you paying for contacts that you never really have a chance to convert.

The client company avoids this pitfall by coordinating extensively with the lead generation team to define the ideal customer profile.

Understanding that can help you avoid wasting resources by contacting people that are not interested in your services.

4. Generated Leads are Not Exclusive

Lead generation companies own the records they contact.

If you convert a lead into a client or if they do on your behalf, the lead generation businesses get that contact information to market to their customers.

You “own” the record to contact in the future and try and get them to buy more.

The records contacted on your behalf are not yours exclusively and are available for other parties to purchase.

You do not “own” a record until the contacted prospect purchases from you unless you already own part of the list contacted or stipulate exclusive access to those records in your contract.

Some lead generation companies will not grant you exclusivity.

Final Thoughts

Lead generation companies play a significant role in helping businesses expand by identifying prospective contacts that have expressed an interest in specific products or services and thus, can convert easier.

For lead generation strategies to work, however, a plan is needed.

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