A guide to converting prospects

The importance of lead generation

Lead generation and new business is time consuming and can sometimes take your sales team away from converting prospects. Research Runner tailors its service to you with a dedicated team of experts, working on your behalf, searching high and low for prospects that fit your business. Delivering thousands of prospects to our clients every year.

Our approach to lead generation is target-based and our services are bespoke to individual requirements. Therefore, prospects we send your way should be right up your street.

However, we know from the feedback we get from clients, that sometimes, the amount of leads we send through can be overwhelming and can force clients to put on hold or stop their lead generation efforts. You are not the only one, in fact it is something we hear time and time again.

Research Runner always over delivers and there is a reason for this. Keeping your pipelines full means that you will always have prospects waiting to turn into paying customers. All you need to do is convert these prospects. Easier said than done I hear you say!

What’s stopping you?

Business owners are often the ones chasing the leads as well as running the day to day business. Due to smaller budgets they do not always have a sales team focusing on converting the prospects we pass on.

Business owners and Directors are not always experienced in selling or confident in approaching prospects. Not all business owners are sales experts.

Ultimately this may mean that they are not connecting with prospects, missing out on vital business opportunities.

Struggling to keep up / feeling overwhelmed

As a result of an initial briefing with you, a realistic amount of leads will be delivered each month. We say realistic, because we know that some, not all these prospects will convert, so there needs to be an overflow.

Research Runner always over delivers, ensuring you get maximum ROI. We don’t want to provide you with a service without delivering you what you are paying for, so like to keep the pipelines full, not forgetting how fantastic our team are at finding leads.

This is great news. However, clients can feel a little bombarded. We want to take the pressure away, not add to it, so here are a few tips on how to manage your sales pipelines and how Research Runner can help you.

Coping with the quantity of leads

1 – Communicate with Research Runner

Communication is one of our biggest selling points. We rely on it in order to understand who you are and to ensure our service is seamless.

Without communication it makes it harder for us to understand what your needs and priorities are.

At the start of our contracts together, we would have had several discussions about what your expectations are.

We understand that sometimes it is difficult to prioritise or make time to chase prospects. This means they pile up, creating a backlog.

Your package is bespoke to you and we will discuss your capabilities from the start and rely on open communication between both parties throughout your time with us.

Sales pipelines

You may, or may not, have heard of the term ‘sales pipeline’.

Imagine…….The sales pipeline can be compared to that of a water pipe. When the water (leads) is flowing through the pipes, the tank at the end fills up with no problem. However, if the pipeline becomes blocked, the water (leads) gets stuck and builds up. The tank then runs dry (no new clients). It is important for your pipeline to have a constant flow.

For this to happen prospects need to be converted when they are fresh/hot, in turn, avoiding a block in the pipeline.

If this happens it is important to let us know and we can find a way of ensuring your pipeline is flowing. The more we discuss at the beginning the more we can get right further down the line. We want to know if you are struggling or feeling over-whelmed.

2 – Prioritise your workload, being organised

Research Runner understands the pressures of running a business and the time restraints business owners have.

Our sales team are always encouraged to prioritise and prepare for the day ahead.

Take five minutes to research your prospect, what they do and what your offering can do for them. Make sure you have all the correct details and make time for the call.

Set a clear goal for the day and avoid wasting time. Try to allocate a couple of hours, or a day in which you use to convert prospects. If there is a day you know is quieter than normal, use this time to focus on chasing leads. For instance, if Tuesday afternoon is your day for chasing leads, it is important that you know who you are chasing the day/evening before.

In order to prevent leads building up, it is important to act on them within a certain time frame. When leads are passed over to you, they are hot, so need to be acted on quickly. The longer you let them sit there, the colder they get.

As Research Runner books appointments for you, let us know what the best time is for us to set appointments and we can ensure we only set them for these specific days/times.

If you are finding it difficult or struggling to find the time, upon request we can follow up on prospects we have passed onto you. Enabling you some time, keeping the prospect warm.

3 – Building confidence

No one knows your offering better than you.

Sales professional or not. As a business owner, no one knows your offering/product better than you. Neither is anyone else more passionate about it than you. You are the creator and brains behind the business, no one can sell it better than you.

It is not about being pushy or using sales jargon. Just be you!

Sales techniques are changing. The industry has become far more client focused with a priority on building relationships between customers rather than just targets.

The prospects we send through to you have accepted the appointment because it is something that they need/want. Research Runner has done the ground work for you, all you have to do is extend on what we have already told them and get them to sign on the dotted line.

4 – Get a date in the diary

Do not be afraid to ask. Customers want to feel needed.

The fact that Research Runner has sent through a lead means the customer has shown an interest. Therefor you are already halfway there.

One reason for not converting may be because you have left the conversation without arranging a follow-up call. Get a date in the diary, don’t let leads get cold, act when they are hot.

5 – Record keeping

Find a system whereby you can keep a record of calls, how it went and what the outcomes were, when they were called etc.

Keeping records can help with highlighting issues, avoiding duplications and embarrassing complications. Record keeping should be part of your everyday protocol.

It may also be of some benefit to send these records to Research Runner, so that we can see what works for you. In turn, improving the prospects we sent to you, constantly tightening up the loose ends.

6 – Expectations

By no means are we implying that your expectations of Research Runner should be lowered, absolutely not! However, what we are finding from feedback, is that clients often feel pressured into converting every prospect we send through.

Dont! – Be realistic, situations can change, budgets get reduced and prospects have time to think, research and compare. Converting prospects before they have the chance to do these things is why we encourage you to act sooner rather than later.

Manage your expectations – if you know you have to convert a certain amount each week/month, then aim for that, anything extra is a bonus. Do not feel you have to convert every prospect, as long as you have done your best.

Research Runner are here for all our clients, our sales consultancy service is here to guide you through.