Laois company IntegriLeads – which specialises in setting up crucial sales appointments for technology companies – are representing the county this week at the finals of the National Enterprise Awards.
Only set up in early 2019, they were honoured as the best start-up business in Laois at that year’s IBYE (Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneurs) and have successfully grown their client base since which is no mean feat considering that they were disrupted considerably by Covid just over a year after they opened their doors.
They have clients across Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.
This week they will be the Laois Local Enterprise Office representatives as they seek to advance to the next stage of the competition, one that gives considerable profile and status to its finalists.
Set up by Aisling Kirwan (sales director), Jayne Delaney (operations director) and Eimear O’Connor (delivery director), they were initially located out of Portlaoise but have been working remotely since March but have since moved their base to Bloom HQ in Mountrath.
“We are an appointments setting company for technology companies,” explained Jayne Delaney this week to LaoisToday.
“So what that means, a technology company will come to us. They will want to sell their technology, their solution or their service to specific people.
“They will give us that criteria – they might want to target a specific sector, say retail with a certain size in a certain geography.
“They want to get in front of the right person who is going to make a decision on a solution or service for that company.
“So it is our job to find out who that company is and position our client to get in front of them so the sales team of the technology company can go in there and sell what they have to offer.
“Three of us started the company. There is myself, Aisling Kirwan who is the sales director and Eimear O’Connor who is the delivery director. All three of us wear different hats in the company. All us have different roles and responsibilities in terms of delivering our services.”
IntegriLeads only get paid when they secure a meeting for one of their clients but as Jayne explained, their focus is on the quality of the appointments and not quantity.
“We get paid per appointment,” she said. “Everyone in our industry is different but there is no set up charges, no retainers and no exit fees. So it is pay per performance. Our clients will only pay for the appointments we have set.
“So from that point of view it is a risk free strategy for them. They’re not paying for anything until they get the meetings and those meetings have to meet the criteria that they have set out at the start.”
When the appointment is set, however, it is up to the company in question to take it from there.
“We are very clear – Aisling as sales director is very clear about that. We open the doors. We will definitely get you in front of the right people that have an interest and who probably have challenges in the space they are selling.
“But it is up to their sales team to get in there in sell. We don’t sell but we will get you in front of them.
“We are really focussed on quality and that is hugely important to us from the very beginning. Integri comes from integrity. We wanted to make sure that quality is the focus of what we do.
“We would prefer to get someone five to ten appointments per month that are high quality (and) potentially going to be deals rather than getting you 20 or 30 where you are just wasting your time and energy. We are very clear about that.”
Despite an initial shock to the system in March when Covid first hit, Integrileads has since managed to get back on track.
Jayne jokes that Covid certainly wasn’t in last year’s business plan but says they have adjusted accordingly and hope to grow further in 2021. They initially paused their recruitment in the spring but they still have taken on three new staff members year with plans to take on more in the coming months.
“March was a tough month and we definitely took a hit then but since then it has grown each month. A lot of technology companies would have budgets around events so they would run some big, big events. All of those events were stopped – could no longer do those face to face.
“So they had to channel that budget elsewhere to generate leads and appointments. So we are fortunate that we are a service provider that can provide alternatives. So that worked to our advantage.
“We had a couple of clients that paused initially just to see how things were going. But they realised that they can’t pause the sales pipeline – that needs to keep going.
“Taking two or three months out where there isn’t a constant flow of appointments coming in really slows them down on their end. We actually picked up a considerable amount of work in the last couple of months.”
“We want to stay doing what we’re doing,” she says as she looks ahead.
“We have three new staff this year which is great and we’re hiring again in December. So we’re hoping to continue that kind of vein. Hopefully next year we’ll have a couple more staff.
“We want to have a really good business that has one core foundation but we want to be expanding that.
“It’s a sort of industry that is constantly evolving. Technology is evolving (but) it’s an exciting industry to be in.”
You can watch the full interview with Jayne Delaney below.