What Is a Lead Generation Company?

Are you a small business with too much on its plate to generate quality leads? If so, you might want to consider hiring a lead generation company to help you. A nonexistent or ineffective lead gen strategy can have devastating effects on the success of your business. Hiring a lead generation agency might just be the best way to solve this problem. In this article, you will learn the meaning of lead generation, what a lead generation company is, and how they can help you.

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Lead Generation Meaning

A good lead generation meaning is as follows: the process of identifying and increasing a potential customer’s interest in your brand. Lead generation is the beginning of the sales funnel.

This lead generation meaning provides you with a simple definition, but the actual process is not so simple. Effective lead generation takes work. Leads come from customers who already have an interest in your brand. Finding these people and pushing them just enough to make a purchase but not so hard that they feel like you are forcing them to buy is a careful dance.

Contacting random people out of the blue is much less effective than contacting a customer who has already filled out a survey or followed a link to your website from social media. You need to stay in contact with your leads. Update your blog frequently, answer questions, and respond to concerns as fast as you can. Social media is also an effective place to find leads. You could also ask your current customers to refer their friends to your business.

An effective lead gen strategy can lead to improved return on investment (ROI), improved conversion rates, and higher customer satisfaction. As such, you must take the time to do it right. If you do not have enough time, outsourcing the responsibility to a lead generation company would be the smart choice to make.

Lead generation is undoubtedly a long and oftentimes difficult process. If you do not delegate your tasks, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed and all your work suffering. To ease your workload, you could consider outsourcing your lead generation work to a lead generation company. Any business that specializes in the process described above is considered a lead generation company. But with so many choices, you might be wondering how to choose the best one for your business. When choosing the company to work with, not just anyone will do. It is important to find the top lead generation companies or choose to work with a lead aggregator.

lead generation meaning

Types of Lead Generation Companies

You might be surprised to learn that there is more than one way to generate leads and as such, not all lead generation companies specialize in the same process. There are two major types of traditional lead generation companies, though you can find multiple companies that offer similar services.

Generic Lead Generators

As the name suggests, generic lead generators run generic lead-generating marketing campaigns for your business. For example, instead of offering an individualized solution to a customer in the form of your product or service, a generic lead generator will display your product or service with other businesses that offer similar products. The customer will then be exposed to multiple products and choose the one, possibly your, product that fits their needs best.

Proprietary Lead Generators

A proprietary lead generator will partner with your business to produce lead-generating marketing material just for your business. Partnering with a proprietary lead-generating company will allow you to reach leads in a more personalized way than generic lead generation companies can not offer you.

Advertising Agencies

Though not a traditional lead generation company, advertising agencies often offer lead generation services. You can go to many advertising agencies for proprietary lead generation services.

Lead Aggregators

A lead aggregator is technically not a lead generation company, but it can still be helpful during the lead generation process. Lead aggregator companies will buy leads from a lead generation company and then put the lead in contact with a business that can help them. While they will not necessarily find you leads, they could have someone in their database in need of a product or service like the ones you offer.

what is lead generation

What Should a Lead Generation Company Offer?

There is no one, surefire way to find quality leads, but a good lead generation company should have the tools and expertise to come close. A good lead generation company does more than just selling leads. Here are some things to look for when determining the best lead companies:

Great Communication

Not only should you and your lead generation company stay in constant contact, but you should also like how they communicate with you as well as leads. They should give you clear answers to questions and they should ask questions to be sure they are clear on what you want and what you need. You should have a similar vision regarding what your product means for your customers.

You need to also consider how you like to communicate. Do you need a face-to-face meeting or are email, phone, and video calls going to be enough? If you insist on in-person meetings, you should look into companies located near you. Great, effective communication is the basis for any great relationship. The relationship between your business and a lead generation company should be no different.

A Process You Like

You need to know how they are going to cover your product or service. What kind of process do they generally follow? Which parts of the marketing funnel will they cover for you? And, how and where do they find their leads? Their process should help you reach your goals. Ask as many questions as you need. An experienced lead generation company should be able to answer every question you have about their process and already have a strong outline of their general process to share with you. If they have all of this and you believe their process will be a good fit for your company, you can consider hiring them.


Unfortunately, money will always need to be a consideration. A lead generation company might check all your boxes, but if you can not afford them, it will not matter. You need to decide what is most important. Find a company that you can afford, but that also checks off the most important things you’re looking for.

Good Reviews

Sometimes the best way to understand how a lead generation company operates is by looking through their reviews. A third-party perspective will help you decide if the company is right for your business. If a business has many bad reviews, it is safe to say that you should look elsewhere.

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Many Testimonials

A good lead generation company will have many testimonials from satisfied customers. Similar to reviews, testimonials share how customers felt about the company. Unlike reviews, however, testimonials are always positive. Check the company’s website for testimonials. If they do not have any, you should probably be wary of hiring them. Testimonials are an easy way for companies to show off their satisfied customers. If there are none, it is a bit suspicious.

Common Services

Any lead generation company will have several services available to their customers. Below are some common services you can expect to be offered. This is by no means a comprehensive list.

Database Marketing

A good lead generation company will have a vast network of contacts available to you. They will customize the campaigns they run for their clients, so a large amount of information is a must if they want to create the most effective advertisements and find quality leads for your business.


Although this lead generation technique does not have the best reputation, in B2B, telemarketing is one of the best ways to generate leads. People are much more willing to participate in sales calls at work. A good lead generation company should be able to set up appointments to have conversations and create scripts to sell your products or services. You will need to take the time to work with the company to teach them about your product. A danger associated with outsourcing your lead generation is a disconnect over what your product or service truly is. Avoid this from the get-go by communicating with your lead generation company.

lead generation company

Content Development and Distribution

Many lead generation companies will help you with content development and distribution. Your lead generation company will create a strategy to get the content they create for you to your target audience.

Lead Qualification and Scoring

Lead qualification refers to the process of deciding whether a lead truly fits your company. Will they be a reliable customer and buy from your business? Lead scoring refers to gauging a lead’s interest in your brand. While qualification asks if a lead fits your business, scoring refers to how well a customer fits your business.

B2B Lead Generation

Some lead generation companies specialize in B2B lead generation and B2B appointment setting. B2B lead generation companies contact decision makers at other companies and focus on lead nurturing. It is more than just gathering contact information.

Account Based Marketing vs. Lead Generation

While lead generation is focused on finding a large group of qualified leads, account-based marketing is focused on finding the ideal customer profiles and converting those specific leads.

Lead Gen Is Important to Your Business

Lead gen is an important yet time-consuming task. There is no shame in getting outside help. Lead generation companies can help your business find the best leads. They will be equipped with tools and time that you may not be privy to as a small business owner. After all, lead generation is what they do best. Find a lead gen company that you can trust and let them do what they do best – collect leads – while you do what you do best. SEO Design Chicago has sales teams that specialize in lead gen. Contact us today!


  • What is lead generation?
  • Why do I need a lead generation strategy?
  • Why should I use a lead generation company?
  • What can a lead generation company do to help me?
  • How do I choose a lead generation company?

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