I have to say that from the hundreds of startups I have work with in one or other way, I have never seen someone "hire" a lead generation solution.
Most of the work on the early days is done "manually" or "by hand" and the grow is all worth to mouth (or some inventive growth hacking technique with some network effect).
Not sure what you are trying to do, but the number #1 focus of a founder/CEO in the early days is to be the lead generator for his/her business. "Focus on business" = generating the lead and closing the customers.
Yes I say with my personal experience that every startup needs lead generation.
Even though lead generation is necessary in today’s sales process, startups are the type of businesses that seem to need lead generation more than any other business out there. Because this method will provide you with exact name, job description and contact information about the people that are the most likely to buy your product or service.
These are the main 10 reasons why a startup should start generating leads:
1. You Want To Focus On Your Core Business
Startups have scarce resources to maintain and improve their businesses as it is, and most of the people involved usually have other things to do that don’t involve selling. They may need to develop their services and products and if those are not satisfactory there’ll be nothing to sell. Even after the product or service is developed, it always needs to change and become even better.
2. You Don’t Have A Sales Team Or Have Very Busy One
Most startups can’t afford to have a sales person or an entire sales team. Meaning they have no idea how consuming a sales job can be. Sorting contacts, updating CRM, evaluating their purchase intent, writing email threads, scheduling meetings, etc. And those who do have a sales department are usually so busy trying to find a buyer and managing their accounts that the lead generation is the last thing on their mind.
3. You Are Not Sure Who To Target
Some CEOs and sales reps just don’t know who their target accounts and potential buyers are. They have a vague idea, sometimes even a wrong guess that their buyers might be some companies they envisioned as clients or worse all the companies they can think of.
4. You Are Not Good At Writing Emails And Selling
Some people are just not born for compelling writing or convincing conversation that sales requires. Full stop. They may be shy or just have no wish to be good in that kind of thing.
A CEO should not feel obligated to compose a perfect sales email, but only to provide enough information for its sales to know the ins and outs of a business.
5. You Want To Rise Above Your Competition
Struggling with dozens of similar companies that have the same product or service as you do is a daily trouble of every startup. You all work hard and you all target the exact same customers more or less successfully.
But the ones doing lead generation will always be step ahead of their competition. They know precisely who the decision makers are and they know exactly how to approach them in order to sell.
So if you want to know about some tricks of lead generation by which you can gain popularity you can consult me.
I completely agree with JD's sentiment re: focusing on the business = finding leads.
From my experience setting hundreds (if not thousands) of meetings without existing brand awareness, it's crucial to identify your ICP (ideal customer persona). I'd recommend focusing on this process, testing messaging, and generating your leads yourself.
As a result, you'd be able to save money, better understand the pain points of your customer and ultimately make a sound investment in a lead generation service/hire.
Do you have an understanding of your ICP? What are the most effective channels you've pursued?
Happy to chat more...