Trying to hire a lead generation agency to fill the pipeline for your sales team but don’t know where to start and have a lot of questions?

You might probably be wondering:

  • How to select the best lead generation agencies?

  • What to consider when comparing agencies?

  • What’s the cost of a lead gen company?

If that’s the case, we got you covered. In this article, we’re covering how to vet agencies, the best lead gen companies, and more.

Note: Struggling to fill your calendar with sales-qualified meetings? For $799/month, we'll book 5 meetings with sales-ready prospects for you every month. Book a consultation call now.

What Does A B2B Lead Generation Company Do?

There are two types of B2B lead generation companies:

  • B2B lead generation agencies who help companies generate leads and book sales-qualified meetings.

  • B2B lead generation software companies who provide agencies and in-house sales teams with the tools and data they need to run successful lead gen campaigns. 

Most B2B lead generation companies of the first category offer the following services:

  • Appointment setting

  • Building the contact lists

  • Personalized marketing campaigns

  • Database management

  • CRM integration

  • Account management

  • Lead nurturing

  • Dedicated management team

If either of the above is something you need help with, here are the top 11 of the best lead generation companies and agencies you might be interested in.

11 Best B2B Lead Generation Agencies

There are tons of other lead generation companies out there, but our list only includes the ones we see and hear pop up in most conversations. 

  1. Nerdy Joe

  2. Single Grain

  3. CIENCE

  4. Belkins

  5. Martal Group

  6. Pearl Lemon Leads

  7. WebFX

  8. Callbox

  9. Lead Cookie

  10. Apollo

  11. Upgrow

Let’s detail and discuss what you need to know about each of these agencies and companies.

Lead gen agency 1: Nerdy Joe

generate and convert leads with nerdy joe

Nerdy Joe is a B2B digital marketing agency that only offers email marketing and outbound lead generation services (i.e., cold emailing).

We keep our lead generation service offerings narrow because we like to keep only a few tricks in our box and perform them excellently. 

Working with us is pretty straightforward as we don’t require you to commit to a certain number of months, and you know exactly what you get when you choose to work with us.

Why’s Nerdy Joe the Best B2B Lead Generation Agency

Here are some reasons why Nerdy Joe is one of the best lead generation companies in the US.

We offer results — not the number of emails we send

If you’ve done business with one or two B2B lead generation companies, you know there are four types of lead generation agencies:

  • Lead gen agencies that charge their clients based on the number of emails they send or the number of contacts they put in your list.

  • Lead generation agencies that charge you a monthly fee and promise you’ll get the best leads ever but never deliver on their promise.

  • Lead generation agencies that call everyone who’s downloaded an ebook or PDF  a LEAD and charge you for that.

  • Lead generation agencies that charge based on the number of QUALIFIED leads they generate for your sales team.

To be fair, the best lead generation companies are those who charge based on results. And at Nerdy Joe, we live and breathe client ROI (return on investment).

When we start working with clients, we always make it clear that the prospect list we build and the number of emails we send are not their business. 

That’s basically because we believe that the number #1 pain point of a company that needs help with lead generation is that they’re simply not growing at the rate they want and need LEADS. 

As simple as that.

So, our lead generation experts and appointment-setting specialists take pride in providing value and leading with metrics that matter — not vanity metrics like open rate, bounce rate, clickthrough rate, etc.

Metrics we lead with include: 

  • Number of positive replies

  • Number of meetings booked

  • Lead to close rate.

For instance, if you want to work with us to increase the number of guest posts your team writes per month, we’ll report:

  • The number of YES we get from editors. 

  • The number of positive replies we get.

  • And the number of high domain authority websites you get mentions from on a monthly basis.

If you’re a B2B company selling to accountants, we’ll only charge you for the number of appointments we set for your sales teams. 

Our offering varies depending on your company’s overall goal and what outcome matters the most to you.

We personalize every single email — we don’t believe in the numbers game

The lead generation/appointment setting industry has changed dramatically over the past few years.

Simply go on Twitter and check what type of advice or strategies most self-proclaimed lead generation experts are chanting.

how to generate leads

Most people believe that you need to send 1000 emails daily to get the results you want (i.e., success is a matter of volume). 

Well, this tactic probably works for some companies, but it certainly guarantees the following:

  • Both ESPs and ISPs will flag your email and IP addresses as spammers.  

  • You’ll kill your company’s reputation and get a bad rap on social media. 

  • The quality of the leads you get will be subpar. 

  • Your domain will face severe deliverability issues.

At Nerdy Joe, we spend time learning about your ideal customer profile (ICP) in and out before we send a single email.

This is because we want each recipient to feel like you know them and wonder why you didn’t cross their paths months ago.

We also do that because we don’t want to send 1000 emails to get 4 meetings booked. Our ideal scenario is that we send 20 emails, we get 15 replies, 10 positives, and get you 4 sales-qualified meetings.

Now, don’t get this wrong. By personalization, we mean we make each email relatable and timely. We don’t just add [[First name]] and other variables to the email subject lines. 

Just for some context on how this works for us, here’s an example of a reply I received as I reached out to a Global VP of Marketing, but the timing wasn’t great. Still, she took the time to reply and communicate an appropriate time when it makes sense to touch base.

targeted sales email results

Personalization is what makes people who are averse to cold outreach reply to your cold email.

Here’s an example where we reached out to a VP of Marketing who has historically blocked or reported SPAM to anyone who’s sent him a cold email.

scoring leads with strong personalization

Here’s another example where we pitched a Head of Marketing, and here’s the response. 

targeted sales email success example

Contrary to what these gurus suggest, most of our outbound lead generation campaigns are run towards 10 or 15 people, not 1000.

That’s because we simply believe that the best sales strategy is to build trust and relationships. That’s why most of the responses we get are:

  • “Wow, such a nice email, Ernest.”

  • “Thank you for the nice words and compliment, Ernest.”

  • “Let’s catch up next Thursday.”

  • “Ernest, love your email. Can you follow up on the 25th?” 

Where do we get information about each prospect or member of your target audience we use for personalization?

Glad you asked.

  • We listen to podcasts your potential customers have been on.

  • We read blog posts they wrote. 

  • We read their LinkedIn, Twitter, and Mastodon posts.

  • We read discussions on forums they’re in.

  • We call their mom. 😂

Using this aggregated data, we find unique angles that we use to craft personalized first lines or icebreakers.

Here’s what it looks like in real life. I pitched CoSchedule’s Head of Content Ben Sailer and asked him if I could write for them.

Cold email personalization done right by nerdy joe

Here’s what he replied 1 hour later.

cold email personalization done right by nerdy joe

Here is another successful example from a similar strategy.

Cold outreach personalization success example from nerdy joe

As you can see from both screenshots, the cold emails sent to the prospects were so compelling that they couldn’t help but acknowledge it before offering to hire us.

We use quality, manually built data — and thus only book sales-qualified leads.

One of our core policies is that we don’t use client data when running lead generation campaigns. And unlike most lead generation companies, we don’t use data fetched from data intelligence tools such as ZoomInfo or Lusha.

We don’t trust these data sources because they only aggregate technographic and demographic data.

For example, using these tools, it’s easy to find data regarding companies that: 

  • Are in the accounting software industry, 

  • Have 30 to 65 employees,

  • Are series B-funded companies,

  • Are in Europe,

  • Use Slack or Digital Ocean as part of their tech stack.

  • Have a ping pong table at the office. 

The problem with this data is that it can only serve to craft obvious personalized first lines like:

So, if you want to go further down with personalization, you have to make use of psychographic data and other types of data.

How do we do that?

One of the first things we like to do when we sign a new client is to ask our clients questions about their ICP.

We ask questions like:

  • Which type of clients have the highest lifetime value?

  • Which type of clients is easiest to close?

  • Which type of clients churns the fastest?

  • What are the top 3 objections you hear from prospective clients during sales calls?

  • Why did you start your company? 

  • What pain points were you trying to solve?

  • Etc.

The answers to these questions help us know precisely who to target and why. And this type of information makes the difference between: 

We’re targeting series A tech companies,” 

And 

Our ICP is a VP of Sales at a b2b software company selling to HR professionals, and his main pain points are lack of organization, time management, and team collaboration. He often refers to XYZ podcasts to get insights as to how to manage his team efficiently.” 

Once we have a clear understanding of who the ICP is, we proceed to manually build our list, and that’s what we use to run our lead generation campaigns.

We require no contract — you’re free to renew or stop your subscription based on satisfaction.

Unlike most lead generation companies that require you to sign a 3 to 6-month contract, Nerdy Joe is a subscription-based business. 

Working with us means you get results starting from Month 1, and you pay and renew your subscription depending on how satisfied you are with our service and your budget.

Also, because you know exactly what you are paying for, we don’t send you proposals based on surface-level information we have about your company. We also don’t waste your time with useless meetings. 

You get what you pay for — depending on your chosen plan, you know exactly what you get. 

Nerdy Joe’s offerings and pricing are clear — and this is probably why we’re one of the best lead generation agencies. You choose a plan based on your budget and needs, and you know exactly what you get at the end of the month.

  • No, “it depends on a lot of factors.”

  • No, “Your account manager swallowed the key to his office and couldn’t work.”

If you have product-market fit and are solving a problem that most people have, it is almost everything we need to get you results.

But if you’re still figuring out who your solution is best for, then we’re probably not going to be of help.

Pricing

Our lead generation service’s pricing is crystal clear. We’re three plans:

nerdy joe cold email pricing
  • Starter: It costs $499/month and only gives you one warm LEAD.

  • Boss Mode: This is the plan we recommend, as it gives you the biggest bang for your buck. It costs $799/month and gives you 5 hot and sales-qualified appointments or LEADS.

  • Outbound Machine: This plan is for mid-level to enterprise companies willing to fuel their sales team with up to 15 sales-ready leads on a monthly basis.

Our email marketing pricing includes the following:

  • The tech stack we use to build your prospect list and send and monitor your campaign.

  • A complete list of prospects that fit your buyer persona and ICP.

  • The campaign setup fees.

Note: Struggling to fill your calendar with sales-qualified meetings? For $799/month, we'll book 5 meetings with sales-ready prospects for you every month. Book a consultation call now.

Lead gen agency 2: Single Grain

single grain homepage

According to their website, Single Grain runs innovative growth campaigns for remarkable companies. Note that Single Grain is mainly known for being a CRO, Paid Ads, and SEO agency.

They offer full-service lead generation to their clients — assigning a dedicated campaign manager to each one of their clients.

Although its website does not provide much information about its lead generation strategies and service, Single Grain has made a name for itself, working with companies such as Salesforce, Uber, and Amazon.

Single Grain’s offering is not self-serve, meaning you have to download one of their gated content, then a sales rep will reach out to you and probably send you a proposal if you’re both fits.

That also means the agency has custom pricing and requires clients to sign a certain duration contract (probably 3 to 6 months). 

Lead gen agency 3: CIENCE

cience homepage

CIENCE is primarily a B2B lead generation company offering outbound lead generation technologies like ZoomInfo and Lusha. They help you grow your business using a variety of outbound lead generation strategies.

The company offers a set of outbound lead generation tools, including:

  • Sales intelligence software,

  • Intent data software,

  • Conversational sales platform,

  • Appointment setting tool,

  • Data enrichment tool,

  • And more.

cience lead gen tools

On top of these tools, CIENCE also offers lead generation services to tech companies. CIENCE mainly offers SDR-as-a-service solutions to brands that need to level up their sales game. 

On its website, CIENCE claims it makes use of social media marketing, email marketing, phone calls, and many other lead generation techniques to get results.

Contrary to Nerdy Joe, CIENCE requires a minimum contract of 3 months, and you should go through a long sales funnel before the agency starts generating leads.

cience pricing type

Also, their pricing is not available on the website, so you have to fill out a form and talk to an SDR and receive a proposal later. 

Lead gen agency 4: Belkins

score the best leads with belkins

Belkins describes itself as a B2B appointment-setting service for companies across more than 190+ industries. And they claim to have worked with the likes of Berkeley University, Born & Bred, Cemtrex, and more. 

According to information on their website, they have a 4 pronged approach to B2B lead generation:

  •  As soon as they sign you up, you get to meet some of their specialists to talk about your company, its goals, and your lead generation strategy.

  • After that, their data mining experts then go on and build your prospects list. 

  • They then assign you an SDR who runs the lead generation campaign on your behalf.

  • The final step is where they book sales meetings in your calendar. 

Although Belkins’ pricing hasn’t been mentioned anywhere on their website, they seem to work with clients on a contract basis. 

belkins services

They require a minimum of a 6-month contract, and one campaign can last up to 12 months for the Startup and Growth Plan. 

For the Enterprise Plan, they require a minimum of a 12-month contract. 

Looking at their ROI calculator, it seems like for a list of 850 prospects and 64 appointments booked across the year (5 - 8 meetings per month), they charge $51,000 or $4250 per month. 

belkins pricing

Lead gen agency 5: Martal

martal group service home page

Martal Group is a B2B appointment-setting agency similar to Belkins. The Martal team uses many B2B lead generation strategies to book client meetings. They combine their knowledge of account-based marketing with inbound marketing and sales funnels.

martal group service engagement type

Just like most B2B agencies, they require a minimum 3-month contract, and their pricing is only available upon request. 

The Martial Group has three pricing tiers, and each of them gives you:

  • A fractional sales executive

  • A fractional research manager

  • A sales operation manager

martal group lead gen pricing

All of these three specialists cost about $11,500 per month if you’re to work with the Martal Group. That’s roughly $140,000 a year. 

Lead gen agency 6: Pearl Lemon Leads

pearl lemon leads homepage

Pearl Lemon is a UK-based lead generation company that serves clients across America, Australia, and Europe. 

The company offers a variety of outbound and inbound lead generation services, including cold calling, call center outsourcing, outsourced sales team, appointment setting, demand generation, account-based marketing, and many more.

pearl lemon services and pricing

They work on a contract basis, and for their fully managed lead generation services, they charge about £3000. They also charge the same price for their LinkedIn lead generation services.

Lead gen agency 7: Callbox

callbox homepage

Callbox is a multichannel marketing company. They’re similar to CIENCE and combine email, SEO (search engine optimization), and chatbots to increase your lead conversion rate. 

callbox marketing services

Working with Callbox means you get:

  • Client Success Manager

  • Production Manager

  • Sales Development Rep

  • Email and Social Marketing Specialist

  • Research and Data Analyst

  • Quality Analyst

This lead generation firm works with Pipeline and HubSpot to automate your campaigns and fill your sales pipeline.

There’s no information available on Callbox’s pricing on its website, but if you want to work with the agency, you can request a quote. 

Lead gen agency 8: Lead Cookie

Lead cookie qualified lead

Lead Cookie describes itself as a full-service outbound marketing agency. They claim to have booked meetings with big tech companies like Google, Cisco, AT&T, and Microsoft.

Lead Cookie’s experts combine their knowledge of LinkedIn lead generation, cold email, and cold calls to fuel their client’s lead generation machine.

Their process is as follows:

  • You book a sales call with a sales representative.

  • You go through your company’s needs, and they get back to you with a proposal.

  • You sign a contract, etc.

Lead gen agency 9: Apollo

Apollo lead gen services

Apollo is a lead generation SaaS that provides firms and cold email agencies with contacts and data enrichment solutions. 

Similar to ZoomInfo, Lusha, and Seamless AI, Apollo is not a B2B lead gen service provider per se, but it equips you with the tools and necessary training to launch and run successful lead generation campaigns.

So, if you want to run your email campaigns by your in-house sales team instead of outsourced lead generation, Apollo is the right tool for you.

apollo creative services pricing

The tool costs $39 for the basic plan and $79 for the professional plan. It also integrates with most tools, such as Zapier and Hubspot, and supports CRM integrations.

Lead gen agency 10: Upgrow

upgrow sales consulting

Upgrow is primarily a digital marketing agency before being a B2B lead generation service provider.

The company has worked with the likes of Lyft, TalkDesk, and Single Store, and their lead generation process is multi-channel. 

get salespro leads with upgrow

They require a 6-month contract for every client engagement, and their lead generation agency charges at least $2,500 depending on your needs. 

Lead gen agency 11: WebFX

WebFX marketing strategies

Although they claim to be a lead generation company, WebFX mainly offers content marketing, SEO, paid ads, and email marketing services. 

They also claim to have 1.6 million hours of expertise and more than 500 marketing experts. WebFX has worked with the likes of Auntie Anne’s, Fujifilm, and Hilton.

If you want to work with WebFX, you have to request a quote for one of their services, and they’ll take it from there.

3 Things to Consider When Hiring a Lead Generation Firm

Hiring lead generation companies is not always black or white. It implies tons of things and can make or break your company’s success.

Here are five things to consider when hiring a lead generation company that guarantees you’ll get qualified leads. 

1 - What’s the lead generation company’s definition of a lead?

Every company and marketer has their own definition of what a lead means. 

For instance, a lead for a software company can be when someone signs up for a free trial. Or maybe when someone purchases a software license for the next two years.

For a marketing agency, high-quality leads mean someone requested a quote and agreed to hop on a call or that someone agreed on a sales call to discuss how the marketing agency can help them.

There are tons of B2B lead generation companies, and each of them can have different definitions of what a lead means. 

For instance, for the lead generation company you’re talking to, any person that downloads an ebook or a whitepaper is considered a lead.  

So, ensure to clear that from the get-go before agreeing on any sort of engagement. Failure to do that will lead to having  

2 - Does your B2B lead generation company specialize in your niche?

This principle applies to every type of digital marketing campaign.

If you’re a B2B SaaS company, working with a D2C lead generation company is not going to get you more leads, you’ll only get crickets.

It’s easier to generate qualified leads in a specific niche market when you already know how the industry works, how to find leads in that industry, how to set up the right sales funnel, etc.

And this is where niche expertise comes in.

If you’re a B2B company, work with B2B lead generation companies. This can make the difference between generating qualified leads and only generating low-quality leads. 

And that brings us to the next thing to consider when vetting B2B lead generation companies.

3 - How does the B2B lead generation agency ensure you get high-quality B2B leads?

Top lead generation companies have a clear lead generation process they use to build their prospect list.

Scraping the web and adding thousands of email addresses of people who don’t know you is only going to make your email deliverability worse. Not more.

On the other hand, working with the right lead generation agency can be crucial to your business growth as they’ll make sure your lead generation efforts bring in new leads that are qualified and fit your ICP. 

Which Lead Generation Agency Is Best For Your Company? 

As you've seen, many so-called lead generation companies offer services and marketing strategy that have very little to do with lead generation and the results you actually want.

If you’re just looking for an agency that’ll use paid ads or content marketing to promote your product, Single Grain and WebFX are the lead generation agencies for you.

But if what you’re looking for is:

  • An agency that runs custom lead generation campaigns.

  • An agency that charges you for results, not tasks.

  • An agency that doesn’t require you to commit to a contract.

  • An agency that does not waste your time and that’s affordable.

  • A group of experts that care about your company's reputation and relationship with prospects.

Nerdy Joe is the lead generation agency you’re looking for. We do the market research, identify leads, do the lead research, lead management, and bring you qualified leads, we are part of your team.

For $799/month, we'll book 5 meetings with sales-ready prospects for you every month. Book a consultation call now.