Generating leads and prospecting only make sense if they are being converted into clients. If your study abroad agency has ineffective conversion strategy resulting in potential clients falling through the cracks, then it is time to rethink your prospecting strategies.
Prospecting is costly and time-consuming. When potential clients come so close to taking up your agency’s services but eventually opt out, the impact can be devastating on the business. In fact, you may not need additional prospects, but clear prospecting strategies to convert the ones you have into clients.
At the same time, it is important for your study agency to define what conversion means. Instead of only considering conversions to happen when prospects buy your products, it can be divided into steps related to your study abroad agency touchpoints. Here are some prospecting strategies you should use:
Map the sales process
There is nothing that is more helpful than a map when you need to get from point A to B. Mapping out a sales process isn’t something that can be done overnight, but an undertaking that requires the collaboration of your team members in all departments. Take these steps to map your sales process:
Make sure everyone is on board
A study abroad agency prospecting strategy is not a standalone process or just the responsibility of the sales and marketing department. Rather, it requires excellent teamwork from all facets of your business. You need to convince everyone about its benefits before designing an effective strategy. Otherwise, it’s pointless to proceed to the next step.
Keep it client-centric
Without clients, there will be no sales. Mapping out a sales process without understanding what your potential clients want is never a good idea. Create and circulate surveys, which can give you clear insights into the client’s decision-making journey.
Align strategy steps with client journey
Your findings of the client’s decision-making journey will be crucial to identify the steps needed for the sales mapping process. Align these steps properly from beginning to end. Showcase the strategy with an infographic, to give your team a clear understanding of how the steps and processes are going to work.
Measure prospect conversion
Once your sales mapping is complete, the next step is to find a way to measure the client conversion rate. A crucial step not to be ignored, it is much more than just numbers and percentages. Without a measurement system, guessing about your sales conversion rate is a sign of imminent failure. Consider these steps:
Define and divide ‘conversion’ as a process
The purpose of defining conversion is to track events and thresholds that set benchmarks for your agency’s performance. It also helps divide the entire client on-boarding process into steps, rather than only considering conversion when a prospect buys your product.
Benchmarking is to compare your business processes and performance metrics with best practices in the industry and other companies. Metrics like quality, time, and cost are usually measured. For instance, what quality standards will you set for your products, how much time will applications take to process, and what is the price?
List type of conversion activities
On your study abroad agency website, successful conversions could be membership registration, newsletter subscription, and other activities. Similarly, mark your client touch-points and allocate a conversion benchmark for each one of them. This should be part of your education consultancy CRM.
Become a trusted adviser
The most crucial thing to understand in the new age of sales and marketing is that you are not just selling your product! Rather, the salesperson must play the role of a trusted adviser; assisting clients to navigate through the buying process. Here is how you can do it as part of prospecting strategies:
Train your sales team to advise prospects
Due to the internet, finding information about your agency and products is easy. If your sales team is repeating the same information to clients, it is clearly a waste of time. Instead of pushing sales, train your team on giving meaningful advice to prospects, thus gaining their trust. It will put you in a much better position to get them onboard.
Help prospects achieve their objectives
You should never make prospective clients feel that they need help from your agency to achieve their objectives. Instead, give them advice on how they can work towards their objectives. For instance, be open to the fact that prospects may want to apply directly to education and migration.
Be transparent about the agency’s purpose
By informing prospects about why your study abroad agency exists and what it does, you will empower them to make informed decisions. Many international students and migrants don’t understand why they need agencies like yours. It’s important to give them good and practical reasons for it.
Share your experiences with prospecting leads
Rather than hearing a sales pitch, prospects these days are more interested to know about your experiences and those of other clients. Blogging is one of the best ways of inbound prospecting strategies. It helps build your agency’s credibility and adds a personal touch to your sales strategy. Follow these steps to get started:
Select a theme
While the blog should publish articles on various topics related to your industry, having a theme helps set the direction. If you are new to the education and migration industry, you can start by talking about client experiences or life at work. If you are an industry veteran, your agency should share its expertise and successful case studies.
Once you start a blog, keep publishing consistently. If you plan to blog occasionally, it’s probably better not to begin at all. Publishing articles randomly will not help inbound prospecting, as the readers expect regularity along with relevance. If you can’t do it on a weekly basis, make a post at least once a month.
Prospects and clients will have more appreciation for your blog if it’s honest. Don’t say things which are not part of your agency’s values or something that you don’t actually believe in.
Present yourself professionally
While it is essential to walk the talk and do the work, presentations can also play a major role in winning prospects. It shows that you have made an effort to highlight your agency and its work in the best possible way. Many businesses rush to make the sales pitch before brushing up the basics. You must consider these aspects of your business to boost your prospecting strategies:
Whether you have a website or social media page, make sure it is neatly displayed and has all the information needed. It does not necessarily need high-end design and graphics, but must be easy to navigate and understand.
The office space and other physical infrastructure of the business must reflect the brand of your study abroad agency. Choose the right colors and decorate these spaces passionately. It must make prospects and clients feel comfortable and at home.
Keep your agency’s logo, visiting cards, and other visual elements neat and well-designed. Good design is not always expensive. It can be very basic, but as long as it is clear and represents your study abroad agency brand perfectly, it will get the job done.
The truth is that you need clients more than they need you! However, merely focusing on selling your products with traditional sales pitches are not so convincing anymore. Prospects want to know and see what your study abroad agency is all about. This is why strong prospecting strategies are important. Don’t just give them information, but a real feel of experiencing your services and why they should choose you over everyone else.