Where we are now
Since 2004, we have worked with hundreds of clients from all sectors and sizes, including corporates, SMEs, the public sector and companies based abroad. Most importantly, millions of pounds worth of sales have been generated as a result of our lead generation and telemarketing campaigns. This is the story of we’ve got to where we are now.
The world before Prospect Research
Prospect Research was started by their MD, Chris Walthew.
Prior to Prospect Research, Chris was sales manager at an IT company called Web Expenses. Most of his sales had come from telemarketing calls he had made himself so he was a firm believer in how effective lead generation could be. A key part of his success was that the telemarketing was targeted so decision makers saw the relevance of his calls. This has formed the basis of our methodology
The idea for Prospect Research came when he realised that instead of his sales team spending their time telemarketing, an outsourced lead generation company could do this work and allow them to spend their time more profitably by following up more leads and attending more appointments.
Several months of planning ensued and in October 2003, Chris took the plunge by going through his plans with the Web Expenses directors, and offering them the chance to be his first client – thankfully they said yes.
Year 1 – 2004
After a three month notice period with Web Expenses, Chris’ first day of trading was on the 4th February 2004.
When it was just Chris doing the calling, what clients particularly liked was that he was an experienced salesperson so firstly came across credibly on the phone and could engage decision makers in conversation, and secondly, that because he was experienced at attending sales appointments he knew the importance of these being properly qualified leads.
Our client base grew, and Chris looked to take on his first team members.
Early Years in Cambridge: 2005-2006
Before taking on any employees there was a golden opportunity to relocate. Cambridge also ticked the right boxes in that it has a thriving business community, plus London and many other business hubs are within easy reach.
Our first offices were in the centre of Cambridge on Bridge Street. Prospect Research expanded the team to four to support our growing customer base, particularly focussed on providing lead generation for IT companies. Towards the end of 2006, an increase in business meant that we were starting to outgrow these offices, so the hunt was on for a mid-sized office.
The Gwydir Street Years: 2007-2012
In December 2006, we moved to an 800 sq ft office in the Gwydir Street Enterprise Centre. This is home to a typically eclectic range of Cambridge businesses, with our neighbours being a bookbinders and a theatre costume company.
Gywdir Street is one of our favourite places in Cambridge, Mill Road, which is said to contain the largest number of independent shops, cafes and restaurants in the country.
As well as the IT sector, we gained a great deal of experience managing lead generation and business development campaigns for clients in the Building Services and Facilities Management sector, larger corporates such as Speedy Services and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Staff unanimously voted EACH as our chosen company charity who we have supported ever since. EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices) is a local charity that supports children with life-threatening conditions. So far, we have raised £10,000 for the charity, through a variety of events, charity quizzes and sporting events.
Our first company award was achieved when James Mitchell is named Employee of the Year by Recognition Express.
Prospect Research joined the Cambridge business scene, joining Cambridge Network and Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, Chris joined the Institute of Directors committee in Cambridgeshire which he served on for 5 years.
This time paved the way for our niches in the Education and Government sector. We reach a century of clients by starting to work with Anglia Ruskin University. Later in 2009, we also conducted our first major market research project for Anglia Ruskin University, which has now led to us setting up a dedicated Market Research wing, led by Beth Walthew. We also worked on our first Government project, promoting the Backing Young Britain work experience programme on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions.
One of the key attributes successful telemarketers and market researchers is to have is a sense of curiosity. To promote this in our team, we launch our Curiosity Fund. Staff can apply for a grant of up to £250 to learn a new skill and qualification which can be in any area as long as they can show a passion for learning it and can give a demonstration of what they’ve learnt at one of our company meetings. Jan Woodruff becomes the first alumni member of this, achieving her City & Guilds award in Gardening.
Beth Walthew, one of our Directors, branches out from her life at Prospect Research by launching her debut album Lovers & Liars.
Prospect Research continued to expand their Public Sector client base, including the government organisation, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Chris won the 2011 IOD Young Director of the Year Award for the East of England region.
Our Gwydir Street offices became decidedly snug as we now had 15 in our team, so in December 2012 we move to new offices in Cambridge.
2013: Our current home on Ditton Walk, Cambridge
We are now based in a 30+ person office, with the technology of a modern call centre but still with the personal feel that Prospect Research stands for.
2013 saw the team increase in size, as did the scope of campaigns we managed such as nationwide telemarketing campaigns for UKTI and UK Export Finance. We continue to concentrate on our niche markets of the education, public sector and private sector clients, as well as developing international work.
At the start of 2014, we celebrated 10 years of trading. Being in business for 10 years is an achievement in itself, but being involved in a company that has grown from one person to a company with over 20 staff, and a client base that covers the full spectrum of the private and public sector, is something that we are very proud of. We have also been accredited this year with the Investors in People Award.
2015: The Present
We had many comings and one going at the beginning of 2015. Victoria left us to go on maternity leave (she’s back in October!) and Sally replaced her as Office Manager until October. Natalie joined us a Marketing Executive on an Internship from Anglia Ruskin University and we had some promotions for Lauren and Connor to Account Managers.
We held a company meeting in May at Milton Country Park and braced ourselves against the weather for a team photo!
And that takes us to the present day! We have ambitious plans to continue growing by helping our clients grow by providing lead generation and market research that helps them develop their business.
Contact us to be part of the future story.