5 lead gen companies to scale your small-business sales

Yuriy Boyko
Author
Yuriy Boyko
Published:2024-02-28
Reading time:13 m
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Finding the perfect lead generation agency to grow your company’s sales is hard, especially if you’re a small business. Do any of these situations sound familiar?

  • You’re on a budget and want to work with a lead gen company that will pay for itself.
  • You’re tired of trial and error and need experts with proven success in your industry.
  • You’re aware of Google and Yahoo’s new SPAM policy and want a vendor well versed in deliverability.
  • You don’t want to wait months for leads to start coming in.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of lead generation companies specifically designed for small entities: Most are neither budget-friendly nor results-oriented.

So we scoured the internet to find the best lead generation companies for small businesses. We analyzed them based on Clutch customer reviews, subject-matter expertise, and small-business client percentage according to their websites.

Belkins: Best lead generation company for small-business growth

  • Rating: 4.9 stars out of 197 reviews
  • SMB clients: Café Zupas, Smartrek, Talkatoo, GDL Building Maintenance
  • Milestones: 
    • 1,000+ loyal customers with a 95% retention rate πŸš€
    • 300,000+ appointments scheduled 🀝
    • $10 return for every $1 invested πŸ“ˆ

As one of the world’s top 10 professional service agencies according to Clutch, it’s no surprise most people think of Belkins as a lead generation agency for enterprises.

But, in fact, we’ve served over 1,000 SMBs for an average of 1 year each, and they continue to make up a considerable portion of our client base. Having grown a small business ourselves, we know how difficult it is to hire the right people, hone your marketing, and develop a go-to-market strategy all while working within a limited budget.

That’s why we built our agency to cater well to small businesses and scale-ups.

Belkins Client Focus

 

Regardless of your industry or vertical, we can design a customized lead gen solution for you.

Industries Belkins Serves

“By providing an ROI-focused lead generation solution and dedicating an entire experienced SDR team to each of our clients, we make sure our small-business clients are hitting their sales goals, all while growing with us.”

Michael Maximoff, Co-founder and managing partner at Belkins

More specifically, here’s how we cater to our small-business clients.

Dedicated SDR team who leverages their experience to build outbound based on best practices and industry standards

Most small-business owners we talk to complain about their previous lead generation partners’ lack of expertise. They also know hiring an amateur will only waste money and time in the long run, not to mention risk tarnishing their business reputation.

That’s why at Belkins, we’ve built the best outsourced sales team to serve our clients. Instead of assigning you a single account manager, we put together a team of SDRs, sales template copywriters, deliverability specialists, and lead researchers.

Our team’s goal? Listen to your pain points, understand your targets, and collaborate to create a lead gen strategy and action plan. This includes filling the top of your funnel with qualified leads and sending them right to your sales team.

Here’s Michael Maximoff on how we make that happen:

“We provide all the tools needed to launch and get results. Our SDR team covers the entire cycle from top to bottom, so you don’t need to have anything built in prior to our campaign.”

Transparent view of your sales ops at all times

If you’ve ever worked with a lead generation company, you’ve probably experienced the inconvenience of unexpected costs.

Why? Most agencies only work on the top of your funnel and leave the nurturing, appointment-setting, and no-show management up to you.

For most small businesses, this means having to spend more time on pre-sales, hiring, training, and other necessities, adding a laundry list of unforeseen expenses to your already limited budget.

Working with Belkins means you don’t have to worry about any of that. Not only do you receive clear stats on your leads, engagement rates, responses, and qualified meetings generated, but our experienced outsourced SDR team expands with you as your sales needs grow.

Take our client in the B2B music streaming industry, for example. When they came to us, they wanted just a handful of leads. They struggled with defining their ICPs and narrowing their targeting.

We started by dedicating 2–5 sales experts to their team. Right off the bat, they studied the client’s industry and identified the low-hanging fruits.

“The Belkins team took on our challenges head-on, focusing on just three specific industries we wanted to target: convenience stores, residential home buildings, and healthcare. Not the easiest sectors to pitch to, but we are very satisfied with the results,”

recalls their senior director of demand generation.

In 3 months, our team got the client 9 appointments with big companies that have from 35 to 250 locations all over the U.S.

“In just three months, we had nine calls with large companies, surpassing our original target. Of the seven calls that have happened so far, at least two have advanced through our sales cycle. This has been a strong indicator of progress and success for us,”

the client notes in their Clutch review.

Best of all? They were able to offload not only their entire sales process but their ops as well.

“Belkins was great at keeping things organized. They had a clear plan and stuck to the timeline. If we had questions or needed something, they were quick to respond. Everything was done on time, making it easy for us to focus on our work,” they added.

Future-proof lead generation strategy and campaigns

With email providers tightening spam policies in 2024, many small businesses’ lead gen efforts will falter if agencies lack proper outbound etiquette and infrastructure.

Here is what we mean.

You can no longer bend policies or negotiate practices around sending unsolicited commercial emails to potential customers or leads. Google, Yahoo, and other major email providers are cracking down on spam. So you need to make sure your lead gen partner is: 

  • Following all anti-spam guidelines
  • Delivering useful, nonintrusive content to recipients
  • Using emailing tools designed for mass outreach

That’s one. Next comes the email infrastructure necessary for effective cold campaigns and long-term success.

This boils down to the technology and systems needed to send emails at scale. Your partner should be:

  • Using email outreach platforms designed for cold emailing
  • Using reliable servers and IP addresses that aren’t flagged for spam
  • Implementing best practices for sender authentication (SPF, DKIM, DMARC, etc.)
  • Implementing deliverability monitoring systems
  • Using services to improve email deliverability 

The main concern for your business here is that many small agencies lack robust infrastructure. They often use consumer-grade tools that are not designed for serious outbound campaigns across thousands of prospects.

That’s where Belkins differs.

First, we are very strict about remaining compliant and in alignment with the best lead gen and outbound practices.

We hire and consistently train our experts for that. Also, instead of relying on third-party tools and subjecting our clients’ campaigns to protocols we couldn’t control, we built proprietary software.

Folderly, our email deliverability tool, allows us to solidify and grow your domain reputation steadily so that emails land directly in your recipient’s inbox.

Folderly Features and Value
Here’s our Email Deliverability Team Lead Oleksandr Hrabovskyi:

“Our commitment to ensuring the optimal delivery of emails is reflected in our implementation of these industry-standard protocols […] By incorporating SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), we enhance the authenticity and security of our email communications.”

Not only does this prevent email providers from labeling your messages as spam, but it also establishes a reliable framework for opt-out processes. This is just one example of our dedication to delivering precise and effective email marketing solutions. It also helps us exceed typical benchmarks.

“Belkins booked 85 appointments for us. We were also surprised by the high open rate (72%) and reply rate (up to 9%) of emails.”

Alina Hura, marketing manager for one of our fintech clients.

Case studies that speak for themselves

Our website hosts some of the most impressive lead generation case studies in the market. Here are just 2 examples:

  • Born & Bred, a rapidly growing brand agency, collaborated with Belkins to increase their client base. As a result, they achieved remarkable growth: 20 deals won in 2 years with an average deal size of $75,000, reflecting a 297% year-over-year growth.
  • Unifocus asked for help pursuing new clients in the U.S., Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Within 8 months, Belkins booked 50+ calls and became the third-most successful lead acquisition channel for the company.

Cost-effective deliverables and services for small and medium-size businesses

Our pricing is transparent and straightforward. We have 3 plans, each for a different budget and sales-team capacity.

If you’re in a unique situation, our team can design a custom package for you.

πŸ“Œ Note: Interested to hear how we can help your business increase its sales and boost its revenue with our unique solutions? with one of our consultants now.

5 other small-business lead generation agencies worth considering

Of course, Belkins is only one of many lead generation agencies for small businesses. We used Clutch to determine other top agencies based on their ratings, industries served, and case studies. Here are 6 worth noting.

Virtual Sales Limited: Best choice for businesses that want to hire a virtual sales assistant

  • Ratings: 4.8 stars out of 8 reviews
  • Clients: Microsoft, Media Services, AVG, Truth in IT
  • Milestones: 
    • Guaranteed 30% increase in leads 
    • 50 years of combined experience
    • 500 clients across the globe

VSL has been in the game for over a decade, and their main focus is sales assistants. Each of them specializes in at least one of these skills: copywriting, closing, prospecting, data scraping, etc.

Even with companies like Microsoft among its clients, VSL puts 65% of its focus on small businesses. So if you’re on a budget and want to hire a vetted sales assistant, they’re definitely worth consideration.

Vsl Client Profile

Most VSL reviews on Clutch indicate that they’re flexible when it comes to adapting to their clients’ needs. Arguably, that stems from the fact they match every client with an assistant who works for them, almost as if they were a full-time employee (FTE).

While having an assistant who works like an FTE has its benefits, it is also worth mentioning that VSL’s model differs totally from sales outsourcing. For instance, if you’re in a situation where your assistant isn’t as skilled as you need, it becomes a sales time bomb rather than a great investment.

Speaking of investment, VSL has 3 pricing plans, with the lowest starting at £1,995 ($2,514) and the highest one at £5,495 ($6,924).

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Given that you’re working with assistants, VSL charges per hour and amount of jobs to be done. This model works best from a productivity standpoint but may not be ideal for many small businesses.

Some of their most impressive results include:

  • Helping Genesis generate an average of 2 appointments per day by managing their prospecting and nurturing leads through Salesforce
  • Supporting EMH Technology Limited for 3 years with sales assistants who handled cold emailing, cold calling, and closing 

Abstrakt Marketing Group: Best for small businesses looking for call center services

  • Rating: 4.7 stars out of 20 reviews
  • Clients: (un)Common Logic, NRA CPA
  • Milestones: 
    • 120,000+ new sales meetings 
    • Serves all 50 U.S. states

Abstrakt is a group of digital marketing agencies servicing clients with a variety of digital marketing tasks. One of their biggest services is cold calling provided via their subsidiary, Sapper Consulting.

Sapper Consulting’s value prop is simple: Take cold calling off your plate while you focus on closing leads they generate for your small business.

Abstrakt focuses mostly on small and mid-size businesses.

Abstrakt Marketing Group Client Profile 

Sapper Consulting uses a “scientific” approach to cold calling. They start by learning about your product/service, then plan your campaign with content, scripts, and workflows. Then they test their hypothesis, iterate, and finally scale the campaign.

Sapper Workflow on Cold Calling Lead Generation

Sapper charges a minimum of $300 per meeting they book for you. Sometimes, the cost per appointment can go up to $600.

Here are some of their impressive results:

  • Helped (un)Common Logic generate $16,000 in revenue and book 91 meetings
  • Generated $21,000 in revenue for Thames Management Resources
  • Helped NRA CPA sell $60,000 worth of work in 6 months and average a 400% return on investment

BDR.ai: Best for small businesses looking for an automation tool to fuel their sales efforts 

  • Ratings: 5.0 stars out of 6 reviews
  • Clients: XenonLab, Ameriwest USA, OnDemand Pipeline
  • Milestones: 
    • Guaranteed 75% automation of your sales activities 
    • 10x your connections and replies from outbound efforts

BDR.ai is primarily an outbound automation tool for sales-led companies. But they also offer done-for-you services as a complement to their software.

If you’re looking to support your current internal outbound efforts with an automation tool, their AI-powered software is for you. But if your team needs dedicated outsourced sales partners, pay attention to their prospecting services.

Bdr.ai Client Profile

Here’s a sneak peek into what BDR.ai can help your small business achieve:

  • Prospecting
    • Facebook prospecting
    • LinkedIn prospecting
  • Cold calling (AI-dialer)
  • SDR.ai inbound as a service
  • Data mining and scraping
  • BDR.ai ProInfluencer
  • BDR.ai warm introductions

The company’s pricing is pretty affordable and small-business friendly. It starts at $250 and tops out at $5,500.

BDR.ai Pricing

Customer reviews on Clutch also confirm that BDR.ai’s pricing is suited to their budget.

Their results include:

  • Scheduling 1–2 meetings per day by targeting event attendees for a technology company
  • Delivering 30,000 sales activities per quarter, or 120,000 per year, for an Arizona-based company

Wing Assistant: Best for small businesses looking for part-time or full-time sales assistants

  • Rating: 4.8 stars out of 18 reviews
  • Clients: Harvard University, DoorDash, Vivvi
  • Stated value: 85% cheaper and quicker than hiring in-house

Wing Assistant Client Profile

Wing Assistant covers small businesses in a dozen industries, mainly e-commerce, real estate, construction, and IT.

Although the assistants they source are more generalist than specialist, the company can help you handle back-end sales tasks that don’t require years of sales experience.

The assistants can help with cold calling, prospecting, LinkedIn automation, data mining, etc. But these specialties come as adds-on on top of the part-time and full-time plans.

As for pricing, you can choose between a monthly payment of $1,099 for part-time assistants and $1,799 for full-time assistants.

Wing Assistant Pricing

Their case studies include:

  • Helping LiveWebMedia book more meetings and gain more clients
  • Saving Oceans several hours per week by increasing their efficiency in reviewing deal pipelines

Operatix: Best for software companies looking for outsourced SDRs

  • Ratings: 4.7 stars out of 23 reviews
  • Clients: IBM, Riverbed, Checkmarx, Trend Micro
  • Milestones: 
    • 300+ SDRs based across our locations in the U.K., U.S., and Singapore
    • Over 800 B2B tech vendors (clients) across the globe

The company’s profile states that they enhance pipeline velocity and help clients expand into new markets across North America, EMEA, or APAC. Their programs offer top-performing sales development teams’ expertise to eliminate hiring and recruiting challenges.

Operatix Client Profile

Operatix works with your sales department or founding team to define key target accounts. Then they use a multichannel approach to start conversations. 

Their team starts by understanding your value proposition. Then they identify and engage your top-priority accounts to get you in front of decision-makers.

Operatix doesn’t clearly state its pricing, but their Clutch reviews hint that the average project runs around $10,000.

Some of their top results include:

  • Generating $5 million MRR in the pipeline in 6 months for Eseye
  • Exceeding Fidelis’ set target in 16 months out of 18
  • Developing a pipeline of a dozen U.K. and Ireland distributors and 50 U.K. and Ireland reseller prospects operating in verticals relevant to Brainloop’s technology

Which agency is the most equipped to design the best lead generation solution for you?

Each of the lead generation companies and sales enablement agencies on this list is a great option. At the end of the day, your business needs and aspirations will determine which company is the most suited to help you get the best results.

But if you want your lead generation partner to meet the following criteria, then Belkins fits the bill:

  • Trustworthy market leader in the lead generation industry
  • Fully transparent regarding strategy development and campaign data
  • Customized approach based on deep understanding of your needs and goals
  • Proven strategies and frameworks 
  • Dedicated team of experts and proprietary tools
  • Thorough and thoughtful sales journey and vetting process (ICP evaluation)
  • No long-term commitments for new clients and enables you to test their model
  • Flexible contract terms and payment options
  • Service discussions based on the ROI they will bring, experts working for you, or the activities they perform for you

Our team of experts can help your business with anything from B2B appointment setting to lead generation and outbound sales development. 

We combine human expertise with proprietary technology to help you identify and connect with your best customers no matter where they are. Contact us today to discuss your needs and receive a custom solution.

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Yuriy Boyko
Author
Yuriy Boyko
Head of Account Management at Belkins
Yuriy has been working in the B2B sales sector for more than a decade. His approach is the integration of scientific methods combined with thinking out of the box, allowing to achieve the highest results in any industry.