Should Technical Founders Outsource Lead Generation?

I was recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak at the Baltic Sandbox Incubator (Via Zoom, as  we’re in the middle of the Corona virus lockdown, at the time of writing).

I was asked by one of the founders “Can I outsource my lead generation?” – A question I have received multiple times, recently.

With so many people asking the question, I decided to write down my answer.

 

First Some Context

I think it’s important to firstly provide some context to the question. I work with a lot of technical founders, who are most comfortable building or coding their product.

Marketing, sales and operations are often secondary and are areas where they have little experience.

 

Being Uncomfortable 

First I think we all need to accept that where possible, we will move towards where we are comfortable and in the process avoid the things that make us uncomfortable.

Whilst there is a level of going into the unknow with any business. This phenomenon still exists within entrepreneurs and it is amplified when there is money involved – Especially when there is money to be lost!

There is nothing wrong with this behavior on its own, its part of our built in survival mechanism. We just need to be aware of it and aware of when we are acting in this way.

 

Be Dangerous

It is also important that I share a concept with you that I speak about regularly, which is being dangerous.

If you are a founder or senior person at a startup… you have to “Be Dangrous.”

When I say this, I mean you have to know enough about every aspect of the business, in order to make you dangerous:

  • You do not have to be the person making the sales call, but you have to know the scripts.
  • You do not have to be the person managing the CRM, but you have to know how it works.
  • You do not have to be the person managing the Facebook Ads, but you have to know the strategy.

I think this is perhaps one of the most important lessons to learn. Because, if you are not dangerous you leave yourself open to being taken advantage of, or making bad decisions through ignorance.

Two things you do not want to happen….

 

So Should I Outsource?

To answer the question, we need to take into account everything we have discussed previously.

Outsourcing your lead generation can be an excellent way to deliver results and take some pressure off of you so long as:

  • You know exactly what the scope of work is and why its being done
  • You have visibility into exactly what they are doing
  • They are a reputable company with testimonials you can validate
  • They have experience and have been successful with companies, in the same position you are in
  • You know enough about the work to “be dangerous”
  • Your initial contract is no longer than 3-6 months in duration
  • You have a long term plan to bring the work in house
  • You know exactly what you are getting, to avoid hidden costs
  • You can commit to paying them for at least 12 months, should they deliver results

You should not be outsourcing lead generation if:

  • You are using it as a way to avoid learning and becoming dangerous
  • It is an uncomfortable area of the business for you, so you avoid it
  • You will be reliant on the contractor, for an indefinite period of time
  • They do not have experience working with companies in your position
  • You are unclear on the exact work they are doing and how this is working for your business

Takeaways

The answer to the question… as you can see is, that it really depends on you, what stage your company is at and why you are looking to outsource the work.

It’s true that becoming dangerous can mean progress is slower right now, but it pays dividends in the future.

 

By Dan Wheatley, Co-Founder

CEO/Co-Founder of Straight Talk Consulting, a business consultancy that gets our hands dirty. We work with organisations to achieve product market fit before transitioning into scalable and repeatable growth