How Inbound Marketing Agencies Benefit from Partnering with Outbound Agencies
A lot of people find it hard to grasp what we at BizzBee actually do. It’s weird, but some people reached out to me assuming that we can develop their websites for them. Most people, though, think that we are a plain and simple marketing agency. Probably because they are all too familiar with the regular marketing agency services. Especially when you throw in some words like lead generation, one of our favourites. As a marketer myself, I’m well aware of what lead gen means to the majority of marketers. And they mean inbound lead gen. And that the main reason why the best partners for digital marketing agency are outbound agencies. Do read further for all the reasons why.
Just so that we’re on the same page, here is how the usual inbound lead gen process works. As a prerequisite, your business should have a strong marketing strategy. At the bare minimum, that means a great website, SEO friendly blog articles and well-run social media pages. The thing with inbound lead gen is people need to find you somewhere. So that they can click on some type of call to action (CTA), that can direct them to a landing page. Here your visitors will fill out a form, and give you their contact info, and you’ll give them some free value in return. Once the form is filled, congrats, you have a new lead.
How BizzBee does lead gen?
Long, long, time ago, we figured out that not all companies have well-established marketing strategies. Some of them don’t have the budget either for the content or the inevitable paid ads. On the other hand, some have the budgets for every marketing strategy they can think of. But don’t have the time to wait for the bell to start ringing. And this is where BizzBee’s lead gen comes in.
Our bees prefer to proactively look for leads, so we practice outbound lead gen. Or as we like to call it, to make things less confusing – outreach. So how do we generate leads? We look for the relevant ones and reach out to them on their preferred channels. But let me take you on a quick tour.
The first step, as with any marketing strategy, is identifying who we are going to target. Since we are doing B2B, we need to at least decide on the industry, the geographical region and the company size of the companies that we’ll target. But also we need to know the position of the people within those companies. Will we be targeting general decision-makers? Like CEOs, Owners, Founders and the like. Or maybe we’ll be aiming for decision-makers within a concrete department? For example, marketing decision-makers, like VP Marketing, Head of Marketing, Marketing Director, etc.
The next step is building a database of all these prospects. Usually, we reach out to ~1500 prospects a month. I won’t bother you with all the details on how we do this, but you can read all about it in this extensive blog post if you’re interested.
In the meantime, we’re crafting the messages and doing the LinkedIn profile optimisation. But we do all these with a twist. We don’t do sales pitching in the messages. Instead, we try to initiate conversation. We aim for building a meaningful relationship with the leads.
Once the planning phase is done, we continue with the execution. We reach out to the prospects on the 2 best B2B channels – LinkedIn and email.
If all this sound already familiar, we get it, BizzBee is not the only outbound agency out there. But there is something that makes us unique. The nurture process. A dedicate bee will take all the time and empathy they can master to make the prospect feel heard and understood. Building that quality relationship companies crave. And only when the time is right, they will bring up scheduling the meeting, which at this point comes as a no brainer to the prospect.
Once the lead agrees to the meeting, our bees’ job is successfully done.
The benefits of partnering
Having determined that we are not the usual marketing agency, that doesn’t mean that we can’t contribute to the usual marketing package. Inbound and outbound lead generation go hand in hand as bacon and eggs, or peanut butter and jelly, if that’s what you prefer. And the benefits are twofold. If you partner with an outbound agency, there will be direct benefits to your agency. But there also will be benefits for your clients. That’s what we’d call a win-win!
Primary benefits – Agency benefits
We all want satisfied clients and happy employees. But even though we sometimes don’t want to admit it, it all comes down to revenues at the end of the day. But that’s the beauty of partnering. You increase your revenues with zero additional effort. How is that? Well, you do an upsell to your client, let’s say you incorporate our LinkedIn outreach (white-labelled, especially for you) to your services. You charge for our service but also some additional margin. Those are some revenue that you have no extra effort about. If only everything would work like that. 🌠
More comprehensive marketing service
No one can deny that inbound and outbound go hand in hand. Which would make your marketing service more robust and comprehensive. Why is this important? It boosts your credibility and expertise, of course. And your clients get to choose from a wider range of services. Having that particular service on the offer might be the tipping point in them deciding if they want to work with you or your competitors.
Achieve better results for your clients
We are all too familiar with the regular monthly meetings when we showcase the campaign’s KPIs to our clients. And when it comes to inbound, it usually takes time. Especially if your clients are B2B high ticket service providers. And some clients get that. But some are more than eager to see results. After all, they trusted you with a huge chunk of their budget. Instead of waiting and hoping that the inbound mechanisms would start to produce warm leads, we can start to reach out. Adding another channel to your marketing strategy can only better the results for your clients. And happy clients are loyal clients.
Win the competition battle
We all want to be better than our competitors. That’s not a secret. But sometimes we tend to employ the wrong strategies. And you’ve probably noticed that battling on pricing is never the key. There is always someone that can offer a lower price. That’s why you should beat the competition with your offering. And the results that you’re going to achieve for your clients, of course. Partnering with an outbound agency covers these two segments perfectly. Taking you one step ahead of the competition.
Access to broader talent pool
We all have our skills and talents. And they are all reinforced and moulded by our work experience. That’s one of the reasons that we boast about our experience so much, but also why people value it. The assumption is simple, the more experience in a particular area you have, the better and faster you’ll get the job done. And it’s great to have people in-house with various skills and expertise. But, it’s rarely profitable. Because there would be a bunch of people with nothing to do most of the time. So the logical choice is partnering with a company that offers complementary services. That way, you can have access to the talent you’re missing.
Don’t have to have an in-house BDR team
Business development representative (BDR) teams are essential. They are the ones that do the prospecting and reach out to the outbound leads. They can be the difference in whether you have good or a bad month. Lot of people are familiar with that. And while we’re sure that you have your SDRs (sales development representatives) on board, ready to tackle your generated inbound leads, you don’t have to make an additional investment. Not all your clients would prefer to incorporate the outbound approach, some might not feel comfortable. So it makes little sense for you to have a team of BDRs ready when the right client comes knocking. But it makes all the sense in the world to have one ready nearby, let’s say with a partner, ready to roll up their sleeves when the opportunity comes knocking.
Focus on your core business function
Losing focus is easy, especially nowadays. We, marketers, are in particular danger of experiencing the shiny object syndrome. The tendency to chase something new, be it a new idea, trend, or goal. Let’s try this new tool, maybe this new SEO hack will work. We’ve all been there. And it’s hard to resist. But if you’re always chasing new ideas and you are easily distracted by the latest strategy, you’ll find yourself going around from one method to another and never really focusing on your core marketing strategy. The goal is for us to excel in the things we’re good at. The things we’re known for. Not to learn every marketing strategy out there.
Leave the job in hands of professionals
Even if a client asks for some outbound stuff, you can always outsource it to some agency, or even freelancer. But that might have severe repercussions for your reputation. And in marketing reputation matters. That’s why it’s always better to approach these types of situations strategically. If you partner up with an agency that you can believe in, and put your trust in, you know that your client won’t even notice. They will be satisfied with a professionally done job. And so will you.
Secondary benefits – Client benefits
Additional marketing channels in the campaign
Every marketer knows that the more channels you add to the campaign, the more leads you’re going to get. Multi-channel in B2B makes perfect sense, and here are some of the reasons why. It increases brand awareness – the more some brand is “out there”, the more likely people are to find it, and remember it when they see it again. A multi-channel approach puts the prospect first. This means that you always get the chance to catch the prospect at the best moment in their preferred way. Multi-channel approaches allow you to broaden the reach, so you can be certain that you reach more people.
Get better results
Customer experience is crucial. Your clients should feel happy, valued, and a bit pampered. But what influences their decision if they will continue the contract with your agency? The results they’re going to get, of course. And we can’t deny that a client is more probable to continue their contract when his results are doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled.
Get faster results
And what’s almost as important as getting better results? Starting to see results faster, of course. Even one scheduled meeting in the first month can make all the difference to your client. We are ecstatic that even more people (not only marketers) grasp the tremendous importance of inbound and content marketing. But the thing is, successful inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And outbound marketing, especially well-done outreach, can help you reach the finish line faster. Incorporating outreach in your inbound strategy means that your clients will see faster results while you work your content magic in the background.
First-hand customer feedback
There is rarely anything that can give us as profound insights as feedback. Similarly, direct customer feedback can give us some of the deepest, mind-blowing insights. After all, that is the real chance for your client to hear their ideal customers’ thoughts on their solution. Do they have the particular problem that your client is trying to solve? Do they actively look for a solution for that particular problem? Maybe they are already using some of the competitors. There is so much to learn. And our type of outreach is the perfect channel for getting this type of feedback. We are putting “understanding the audience” on a whole different level.
No additional budget for paid ads
Paid ads and paid traffic are expensive. Often they represent the largest chunk of your clients’ budget. It’s one thing when you say to them that they need to spend a couple of thousands of dollars on your services. But then you have to tell them that they need to spend a couple more on top of that just for paid traffic 😶. We can feel the cold sweat running down your face. But with outreach, you don’t have to worry about any additional spent. It’s all straightforward and direct.
Building relationships with ideal clients
It’s hard to deny that people’s behaviour has changed significantly during these unprecedented times. That’s one of the reasons why building relationships with your potential clients is more critical than ever. But building strong relationships with your audience takes time and effort. And building quality relationships with marketing is tiresome. It’s so much easier to nail the relationship when there is one to one communication. And doing outreach allows just that. Having meaningful conversations, staying connected with ideal clients and easily adapting to new scenarios.
Create an audience you can nurture
We all need to nurture our clients consistently by providing them with relevant content and solutions and engaging with them. On the one hand, we need engaging content. But on the other, we need a good audience. And one of the best ways to ensure a great audience, especially if you are B2B, is to start doing LinkedIn outreach. That way you’re connecting with a bunch of highly-targeted prospects each month. And the ones that connect with you will stay in your network for ages. What’s left is to start producing that excellent content so they can be properly nurtured.
Actively reach out
Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone. It feels uncomfortable, but that’s how growth feels. A bit awkward, but also very exciting. Getting out there, is hard at first. It takes some getting used to. But it’s always rewarding. Once we get over ourselves, and what some people might think, we realise that we’re on the way of progress. We are actively reaching out to people. Offering a solution to their problems. Staying put, and waiting for some marketing strategy to work wonders is easy. Reaching out is fruitful.
Are there negative sides of partnering?
Rarely anything is all rainbows and butterflies, right? Unfortunately, there are downsides to almost everything. And this is true for partnership as well. No matter the type of relationship, there is always hard work. And let’s not forget maybe the most important part – finding the right partner. Since if you’re confident that you’ve found the one, then everything seems a breeze. And there is often a happy ending.
But what if you end up with the wrong one? I always like to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. So no matter what happens, I have at least a bit of a plan. That why, I thought you’ve appreciated if we focus a bit on the negative sides of partnering as well. And here we go.
You can’t trust everyone
Just like with any relationship really 😊. Finding the right partner in an ocean of self-proclaimed gurus is kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. Well, maybe not the same, but it is pretty hard. Especially when it comes to LinkedIn outreach. LinkedIn is gaining more and more traction, especially in the B2B world, and LinkedIn gurus are starting to pop out like mushrooms. So how to differentiate between the real experts and the ones that are experts only on paper? First thing you can do is check their credibility. Their educational background, their experience and their company web page can tell you a lot. Also, you can always look for some social proof, like testimonials and case studies. Just make sure that they are not fake. 😉
Hard to find a long-term and stable partner to entrust your clients’ success
Finding someone you can trust is hard. What’s harder is finding someone who you can entrust your clients’ success. This means that you should find someone so good that your client won’t even notice. After all, your client should feel like they are working exclusively with you. Even if you find someone that is as professional as you are, you have to make sure of something else. That you can count on them in the long run. You need a partner that means business, who is stable, and ready to commit. Someone you can rely on. You can’t have someone that will be there for two months and then disappear because they have met some more attractive prospect on the horizon.
Quality vs quantity
There are a lot of companies that are producing fast, superficial work. They are throwing around numbers and quotas and boast about reaching them. But there is a difference between quality and quantity. It not always about the number of invitations you send. Or the numbers of prospects you reach out to. There is so much about the quality of the prospects. The quality of the messages. The quality of the conversations. Simply put, any serious outreach agency should be interested in making a solid basis for relationship building, and not providing a quick fix.
Strategic business mindset
Having the right mindset is often the biggest obstacle to growth. I don’t have to tell you that approaching your business with strategic thinking will help to define your business decisions and redefine you from the rest. But if you have a strategic mindset, it’s crucial to find a partner that fosters one as well. But finding a partner with the right strategic business mindset is rarely a walk in the park. So what to look for? Look for partners that are looking forward, that always have a bigger plan in mind, and never lose sight of their goals.
Collaborator vs executor
We’ve all worked with different types of people. But most of the times, it often comes down to two types: the collaborators and the executors. Finding an executor is relatively easy. They get things done, know the process, know how to execute every step, and to their best to create an end result. Finding a collaborator, on the other hand, is more challenging.
Because finding a collaborator means finding someone who is a problem solver, forecaster, and planner. Someone that is a master communicator, brings people together, tackles challenges, comes up with solutions, and inspires people. Always aim for a collaborator, who is excellent at execution.
You could do it yourself
If you’ve decided that you need to implement outreach to your marketing offer and think that finding a partner is tiresome, you are left with the option of learning to do it yourself. You can always trust yourself, right? And be confident that you will deliver quality. But learning takes time. So much time. The learning curve is steep, especially if you haven’t done outreach before. Not to mention all the people that you’ll need to recruit or train. After all, you need a different type of skill set for each step of the outreach process, so you’ll need at least a team of 5 people. And even if you do all of that, it’ll still take some time. Unfortunately, the experience cannot be gained overnight.
Tackle the challenges
With all the benefits of incorporating outreach into your inbound mix, I believe it is a no-brainer. Denying that outreach would help your inbound efforts, is like denying that content marketing would help the outreach process. But I also can’t say that partnering with any outbound agency will solve all your problems and the revenues will start flowing. Just like in life, you have to be careful who you partner with.
If you excuse my bias, I’d say that you will gain so much by partnering with a company like BizzBee. A company that has extensive experience and worked with a variety of worldwide clients. This is a company that already has successfully partnered with many marketing agencies. A company that is well established and reputable.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful, but the chances are you’re still unsure about whether you should take the next step and partner. So what I’d do, is talk things a bit further with someone who can help and has already done this. And our bees are always eager to chat. Maybe you should schedule a meeting right now? No time like the present, eh?
Vera is a psychologist, marketing manager and copywriter at BizzBee Solutions, chocoholic, and animal lover. She is fascinated by stories and storytelling, and can’t wait to hear or tell the next one. Allons-y!