Here you can find a useful selection of resources to help you make the best use of your sales leads, with a focus on the capex project sales intelligence which we provide at Protel Associates Ltd. If you feel you need help with anything covered here please get in touch.
What is a Sales Lead?
There are many names for a sales lead – a tip-off, a referral, a warm prospect, an enquiry – the list goes on and on.
What is universal is that it is a piece of information or a set of data that allows you to perform an action. It may be a personal name or the name of an organisation, ideally in the relevant sector or industry for your product or service.
In a commercial business context, this is usually the beginning of what is known as the sales process. The sales process is the means by which a company provides its product or service to a new client or customer. It forms a vital part of business success as it can provide fruitful, long-term mutually beneficial relationships to organisations that started with a single action. The action taken can be very diverse.
Sales Leads FAQ
The usual first step is one of qualification. Qualification involves assessing whether a sales lead is a good sales prospect for your company. Actions taken to do this might be a fact-finding call or email, or some web-based research to determine the company’s area of operation.
At Protel, we tend to refer to our sales leads as project bulletins – as they contain a rich amount of data that advises:
- Who to speak to
- When to speak to them
- What they will require
- When they will require it?
Considering the above, you can see how this additional detail makes the lead a much easier thing to qualify, and therefore aids you in deciding whether it is worth your time to target.
The wealth of information available to us all in the modern digital world can be overwhelming. If you are given the task to research potential customers or to grow your client base, it can feel difficult to know where to begin. Here are some ideas of potential sources of sales leads for you to start qualifying and eventually targeting, with a view to hopefully increasing your commercial success.
Sales Leads from Press Articles
By monitoring press articles, you can often find the name of companies in your industry that may be of interest to you. It may be news about investment or a piece of advertorial where a company writes in a publication about their products or services. These articles may sometimes contain the names of commercial members of staff who may be a good fit for you as a sales lead.
Sales Leads from Social Media
Social media provides a huge amount of information to help uncover sales leads. Depending on your industry or region, you should think about where relevant people spend their time online. This may be Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or any other social channels.
Once you’ve decided where best to use your time, create a profile on each selected channel and start to build your network there. Ensure that your presence adds value to the network of people you are trying to connect with. You can do this by providing comments of value, writing useful guides or sharing tips on how to solve problems that may resonate with your desired buyer.
Sales Leads from Referrals
Your existing business network is one of the best sources of new sales leads and prospects. If you have a good relationship with a longstanding client, you could ask them if they know of anyone who may be looking for help or advice in your area of expertise. This could then provide a ‘warm’ introduction to that person, which is often a very powerful way to start a sales dialogue. It’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes it is not appropriate to ask customers for referrals to others, as they may be their competition in some areas of business activity! As always, common sense must be used, and it all depends on the type of relationship you have with that client. What is appropriate for some may not be suitable for others – use your judgment.
The chances are that a polite question along with an offer to reciprocate may open many doors for you commercially and connect you with more sales leads.
Sales Leads from Direct Enquiries
The gold standard of sales leads would be a direct enquiry from an interested person. They may have seen your presence on social media or visited your website and then got in touch afterwards.
These leads are ‘warm’ and can be very appealing. However, time must be taken to qualify and grade these leads like any other, in order to ensure that you are not wasting your time or the time of your prospect – they must have a clear need and demand for your help.
Sales Leads from External Information Sources
There are some companies who specialise in providing commercially useful information to others. This can be a really good source of sales leads to turbocharge your commercial efforts. However, caution should be exercised to make sure that the data is pre-qualified and cleansed as much as possible. Many companies have purchased ‘database’-style lists of contacts only to find that many individuals or companies listed are no longer at the company or in business! The quality and accuracy of leads is more important than their quantity, so exercise due diligence in researching any company from which you are considering purchasing sales leads.
It is also vital to have a plan for following up on external information, as the quantities involved can easily be overwhelming for commercial staff, making it hard for them to know where to start.
At Protel, our sales leads take the form of meticulously researched and curated investment opportunities, tracking real capex plans of hundreds of companies in the main process manufacturing sectors. As such, much of the burden of qualification and cleansing is removed – our industry experts track the projects through their life cycle to ensure you know the right time to get involved, when the demand is highest, depending on your product or service. Further, we check the involvement of all parties in a project to make sure you know who to contact and their role in the project in question.
Remember, identifying a lead is only the start of the process. Leads must be qualified, graded and targeted to translate into new orders for your business. Not all sales leads are created equal, so make sure you have a diverse range of high-quality information coming into your sales pipeline and have a clear plan and strategy to target and convert that information into prospects and potentially new sales.
At Protel, we help our clients to develop a highly targeted and effective sales strategy to support their business goals. Get in touch to find out how our curated capex project sales leads can boost your sales pipeline and help you achieve your commercial targets.
Capex Project Sales Leads FAQ
Capex is short for capital expenditure. Capex is money that companies use to build, maintain or improve their fixed assets. Simply put, at Protel Projects this mostly takes the form of:
- new build manufacturing facilities
- extension projects to existing factory or manufacturing buildings
- fit outs of new equipment and machinery into an existing structure or building
To read about what is included in one of our capex industry project leads please head to the Project Leads page.
A project sales lead is a piece of information that a business development or sales person can use to target and try to win new business with an existing or a new contact. This could be as simple as a name and an email address, or in the case of Protel, a full project report including key decision makers and a detailed scope of supply.
This sales lead could be time based and may expire after a certain amount of time or may be more relationship based, where work is done to secure a long-term supplier relationship with a new or existing company.
MyProtel is our project search engine system where all of Protel Projects’ subscriber information is accessed. It has many functions to help busy process industry professionals target the best opportunities to win new business by accessing relevant project sales leads. You can read more information on the MyProtel page by clicking here.
At Protel Projects, we often start covering capex project schemes, such as new build manufacturing facilities, very early in their project life-cycle. This means it is important to track the changes in each project’s status, scope and personnel over the course of its concept, planning and implementation. The only way to time an initial approach correctly is to keep up with the latest updates on any capex project. A well-timed initial approach will mean a higher chance of success in securing new business.
Protel Projects reports on capex projects the main process manufacturing sectors. This includes:
- Pharmaceutical, Life Sciences, Biotech
For a full description of what is included in our coverage you can head to our sectors page.
Managing Capex Project Sales Leads
When you receive a supply of sales information, for example capex project sales leads or a referral to a contact on LinkedIn from a colleague, it is important to grade these sales leads so you know where to best focus your attention.
Project sales lead grading criteria
The first step is to define your criteria to ‘score’ against. Use questions that will help you to identify how much of a priority each sales lead will be. Some examples are:
- Are they a new company to us?
- Have we worked with this company/person before?
- Is there an immediate requirement for our product/service or is this longer-term?
- Do they have a clear need for our product/service?
- Can we add value to the company or person in question with our product/service?
You might want to use a simple spreadsheet with a yes/no category against such questions as the above, set up to calculate a score. The leads with the highest score should be prioritised as better commercial opportunities and immediately pursued by a member of your commercial team.
This is just a snippet of how to start the process of grading sales opportunities. For more support and training, you can talk to one of our Protel Projects account managers, who give full assistance and training to all of our subscribers.
At Protel Projects, we provide the details of many different types of project contacts who are relevant to a particular capex project. However, they may or may not be the best person for you to speak to, depending on your product or service and the timing of your approach.
Some things to consider are:
- Who do you usually have the best success in discussing your product and service with?
- Who is likely to be facing challenges or problems that your product/service can help with?
- Does an individual make purchasing decisions, or is this handled via a central procurement route?
This leads into the wider subject of buyer personas, which are an important consideration for commercial activities including sales and marketing. Creating a buyer persona essentially involves sitting down and writing out who your usual buyer is, and who is the perfect person for your commercial staff to be talking to. Consider:
- What is their job title?
- What is their job function?
- Where do they ‘spend time’ in a work context – is it online, at events or travelling?
- What are their challenges?
- What are their needs?
Some of this may seem overly complex, so it is important to tailor a persona just to the information that is actionable and relevant for you.
What Next for Sales Leads?
This page gives a brief overview into the terminology used, and the applications of project sales leads to your sales process. Subscribers to our MyProtel capex project search engine access nearly 2000 qualified, accurate and timely capex projects, with the full details needed to make contact at the right time.
We give full support and training via our team of account managers, ensuring you can apply the practical advise above to your commercial strategy.
If you’re looking to use project sales leads to kickstart your pipeline, you can try out our demo portal to get an idea of the type of information available.
If you are looking for more ‘zoomed-out’ statistical information, we also offer our free capex analytics tool for subscribers, which many of our clients use for reporting and analysis, planning and forecasting.