Here’s Jan, one of Prospect Research’s

Here’s Jan, one of Prospect Research’s Business Development Director’s informing you about Employer Engagement in the Education sector and how at Prospect Research we can help you with this! If you feel like this is something you are curious about and want to learn more get in contact with Jan directly on 01223 278953 or email Alternatively visit our website at! We look forward to hearing from you soon!

A big welcome to Alec as an Account Mana

A big welcome to Alec as an Account Manager AND a big congratulations to Lauren and Connor for their promotions!

Our new WordPress site – for blogs, news and views on the world of telemarketing and lead generation

You can now read blogs, news and views on the world of business development, telemarketing, lead generation and market research direct from our new WordPress website, as well as finding out about our experience and how we can help your business in this areas.

Click here to visit the site

Click here to read our latest blogs

How UKTI has supported Prospect Research develop their international business

Looking forward to exploring more international business:  Chris Walthew, Managing Director of Prospect Research

Looking forward to exploring more international business: Chris Walthew, Managing Director of Prospect Research

I am the Founder and Managing Director of Prospect Research, a business development consultancy, based in Cambridge. We work with companies who want to increase their sales by using an outsourced lead generation resource. Prospect Research manages targeted telemarketing, appointment setting, lead generation, employer engagement and market research campaigns.

We have been working with the government organisation, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for over two years. Our role is to contact companies to discuss overseas trade and export. We arrange appointments for trade advisors to visit companies to discuss UKTI’s services.

Being able to effectively promote a client requires you to believe in the benefits of what they do. I’d always been impressed by the support UKTI offer but it took over a year for the penny to drop and for me to realise that Prospect Research could take advantage of UKTI’s services for my own business.

Over the years, we have worked with a number of international companies who are looking to develop their business in the UK and need to use a UK based lead generation company. Our role has been to arrange appointments for their sales team, whether they are based in a small UK sales office, or travelling to the UK specifically for the sales meetings.

Most of these clients have found us on the web so we have been completely reactive, rather than developing a proactive marketing strategy.

My first experience of UKTI was going on an Export Insight visit to Brussels. 20 business people including myself were taken to Brussels, to find out about business opportunities in ‘Benelux’ (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). This included a day at the British embassy in Brussels, hearing from UKTI staff from each of those countries, as well as other speakers (including from the European Commission). The Belgium-British Chamber of Commerce hosted a drinks and networking reception for us, where we had chance to meet Belgium companies interested in working with UK companies. The other attendees on the trip were excellent company and I made some valuable business contacts there too. The £99 fee I paid covered Eurostar travel, accommodation in a very nice hotel and all our food, so fantastic value for what we received.

In October, I started the Passport to Export programme to kick start a new strategic marketing plan to support our international work.

This started with linking up with our International Trade Advisor, David Moir. David has many years of international experience and I immediately felt comfortable that he was a credible and knowledgeable person to advise and guide us in our international endeavours.

We have had three meetings so far. The first meeting was for David to find out about Prospect Research and to give us an initial assessment on the viability of us exporting our services and an overview of how UKTI can help. The second meeting was to conduct a more formal export review about the international business we currently did, how our business operated and initial thoughts on where our export efforts would be focused on. The third meeting, which is where we have got to at the time of writing, was to complete an Action Plan, outlining the key tasks Prospect Research needs to undertake over the next year, and the related support that UKTI can provide.

In November, I attended the Explore Export event in Newmarket along with about 500 other people. There were a selection of talks on different aspects of exporting plus the chance to meet with embassy staff from over 50 countries, who could give you a quick appraisal of how your business could export to their market.

In December, I attended a two day ‘Introduction to Exporting’ workshop, alongside 12 other businesses also on the Passport to Export programme. This covered the fundamentals of exporting from determining the export markets to ensuring payments for your work are received. The main benefit was a set of tools that broke everything down into methodical steps, rather than seeing exporting as one huge jumbled up cloud of things to do.

I now have a structured action plan of the tasks I need to complete in 2014 with the accompanying support from available from UKTI. I have also agreed a regular series with meetings with David to review my progress.

Reflecting on the UVAC conference

Written by Beth Walthew, Market Research Director at Prospect Research

The UVAC conference, held on 26th November in York, was brimming full of best practice, new ideas and great conversations.  This is the second year that Prospect Research has attended the conference.  It’s a great way to keep up to date with the key issues in the education sector, which represents around 50% of our lead generation and market research clients now.

The theme of the conference was ‘Accrediting Professional Competence and Higher Apprenticeships at Degree Level’.  The Higher Apprenticeships were of particular interest to us, as so many of our university clients are promoting new frameworks to employers as part of their engagement activity.

As Higher Apprenticeships are so new to employers, our work still has a double objective: to promote the concept and awareness of Higher Apprenticeships and their place within the sphere of work-based learning and degrees, and to find opportunities with employers interested in developing their workforce through Higher Apprenticeships.  Awareness still seems to be largely lacking amongst employers, so it’s hear about so many universities being proactive in engaging with employers about these programmes.

Jan Woodruff and I presented a workshop entitled ‘Employer Engagement:  Building Effective Business Relationships’.  We covered the key areas to cover when constructing a market research project to better understand possible business relationships, and then how lead generation can be used to build these relationships.  Slides from our workshop are here –

So a great time had by all.  Looking forward to continuing the many conversations Jan and I had about proactive lead generation campaigns.

Top company night out playing Real Tennis

Top company night out playing the fantastic game of real tennis. Thanks to Scott at the Cambridge Uni Real Tennis club for the lesson

4 ways to win more business from construction project alerts

Are you looking for more leads from your construction project alerts? Subscribing to a project alert service from a specialist provider such as Barbour ABI is an excellent way to do this.

The amount of new business that you can win from alerts is dependent on how you use and follow up on the data.  Here are 4 ways you can win more business from project alerts:

1. Track time dependent events

You’ve made the decision to subscribe to a construction project alert service, and you’ve explored the alerts that will be of most use to you.  To make the most of your alerts, you need a robust way of following up each opportunity, and making sure that you can track deadlines for EOIs and tenders.

Top tip – Put an alarm a week before each Expression of Interest needs to be submitted so you don’t lost track of submission dates.

2. Build your pipeline

To make the most from your construction project alerts across the whole year, you need to build an ever-growing pipeline, and constantly monitor this to unearth the best opportunities.  By labelling each alert, you will be able to gain a snap-shot of your pipeline of alerts, and assess where your best business prospects are.

Top tip – Put aside dedicated time every week to manage your alerts.  This consistent approach will mean that you don’t miss opportunities.

3. Keeping petrol fumes and costs down

If you have your eye on cutting down on your travel for new business, make sure that you arrange site visits and meetings with prospects in an efficient way.  By fitting in two or three meetings in the same area in the same day, you can cut down on costs and the time you spend out of the office.

Top tip – Filter the hottest prospects by postcode to find those in a similar area.  Using an online route planner can help you plan your trip in the most efficient way.

4. Confirm, confirm, confirm

Avoid arriving at a site visit or meeting, only to find that your prospect has forgotten about the appointment that you arranged.  It’s frustrating for both parties, especially you after putting in all of the effort to uncover the opportunity to talk to a potential customer.

Top tip – After arranging to meet with someone, send them an email with your contact details, and speak to them the day before the meeting to confirm your appointment.

Lead generation from construction project alerts

Do you subscribe to an alert service that lets you know about the latest construction projects going out to tender?  Are you missing out on business because your sales team lack the time to follow up these alerts?

Prospect Research provides a lead generation service for the construction sector, where we work through your project alerts, contact the contractors and find the best construction leads for your sales team.

Click here to find out how we help companies in the Construction and Facilities Management sectors win more business from their construction project alerts.

Contact Luke Rigby, our Senior Account Manager for Facilities and Construction, on 01223 278 963 to find out more.

Heard a fantastic talk today from the so

Heard a fantastic talk today from the social media guru IanMcKendrick at Very Early Lunch Club Cambridge.

What makes a great telemarketing lead?

Weeks of planning, hours on the phone, finally your telemarketing team have a list of telemarketing leads for you. On the face of it, you see a long, promising list of leads, but what do you really have?

Let’s pretend that your 10 telemarketing leads are actually 10 bananas…..stay with us on this one!

The bananas look lovely, yellow and ripe. Brilliant! But wait, what’s this? What you thought was one of the bananas is just the banana skin. It seems this potential client was interested to meet with you, but they do not fit your criteria for a great sales opportunity. Your bowl of sales leads is now down to 9.

Rooting around, you find, a bit hidden, one brown, spotty over-ripe banana. This client would love to try your product, but signed up for a contract with another supplier only last month. It’ll be lovely to check back in a year, but it’s not really helpful right now.  8 bananas.

Digging on, we find another off-colour banana, hard and green. There is a very specific market that you’re selling to, however this one falls short of the requirements. Maybe your primary product is only relevant to companies with 50+ employees, and this green one only has 20. Again, it’ll be good to stay in touch, but it’s not a great telemarketing lead now.  7 bananas.

Finally, at the bottom of the bowl is an apple. It’s nothing like what you were looking for! Maybe the prospect is more interested in you, and wants to try and work on a bespoke project. That’s a fantastic opportunity, and definitely something you would want to talk about, but really, it’s still not the banana you need your sales team working on right this moment.

This leaves you with 6 ripe, ready bananas, and a reduction in your ROI.

Whether using an outsourced telemarketing company, or managing your lead generation campaigns in-house, make sure that you clarify your criteria for a great sales lead.  Then all you will get are nice, yellow, ripe bananas.


Tips on how to plan your telemarketing campaign

First is something which sounds obvious but is often not given the due consideration it deserves – define your objectives for each call!

If you don’t do this how can you guage if you’ve been successful or not?

Some potential telemarketing objectives you may be looking for:

  • Get to speak to a ‘decision maker’
  • Get an appointment for you or one of your sales team
  • Promote interest in your product
  • Get a name to send your information to
  • Arrange an appointment
  • Arrange a demonstration

It’s always worthwhile setting objectives for positive and negative calls, for example if a company you call is genuinely not interested in your product for a good reason, then you need to know why. Maybe they are already using one of your competitors’ products or services, in which case you will want to explore whether they may be willing to change rather than politely end the call.

Recording this information will help you influence your other marketing strategies and learn more about the market.

Some potential negative responses you may get:

  • They already use your competitor
  • They have no use for your product or service
  • They perceive your product or service too expensive
  • The person you need to speak to is not available

Remember, try to gain something from each call – even if it’s simply market information rather than a sales lead or appointment.

This information can be recorded by your telemarketing company in their call notes and increase the overall value of your telemarketing campaign.