Many of the business programs in agencies are managed with an Excel spreadsheet.
Worse yet, many agencies rely on the one person with an impressive file of contact cards (sometimes it’s the founder or CEO).
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This is a disorganized and unsustainable way to foster agency growth. For this reason, a survey conducted by RSW/US found that in 80% of agencies, the tenure of a new business manager is less than 2 years . Compare that to the average tenure of a chief marketing officer (CMO), which is currently almost 4 years .
Every time a new business manager leaves or is fired, the agency must start from scratch, with no idea what stage of the sales process the prospects were at.
“The most important asset of an agency is the knowledge it acquires through new business activities, so it is really important to make sure that this task is not carried out by a single person,” says David Brown, executive vice president of the agency. customer engagement agency Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) . “All agencies imitate each other, so in the end we only have a 1% difference, but if we could apply that knowledge more quickly, then we would have the opportunity to grow faster than our competitors.”
This endless cycle of new business leaders having to start from scratch damages both staff and an agency’s reputation.
And it can be avoided with one tool: a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
With a CRM tool, agencies can create a unified sales process and collect data that will produce clear, actionable information to improve sales processes, predict events more accurately, and understand the customers that provide them with the most benefits.
“In the last two or three years, the nature of new business has changed because customers are experimenting a lot more these days,” Brown said. “They don’t really engage with the agencies, so right now, there’s a ton more development work. I think the role of new businesses is becoming more and more important.”
This rise in importance means it’s time for your agency to refresh its sales and lead capture program. And here we give you 5 reasons to do it:
1. Identify the right prospects
Maybe you blog, create offers (ebooks, templates, etc.), or even use paid advertising to drive traffic and convert visitors into leads.
But how do you know which potential customers are the right prospects so you can better target the reach of your marketing strategy? You’ve been to enough meetings and presentation events to know that there are some clients who simply don’t understand the true cost or time required to design and develop a website or create a public relations strategy.
By creating forms on your website and linking them with an intuitive CRM system that displays historical data, you can classify leads based on qualifiers that help you understand who the prospects are most likely to buy. Your team can start a conversation or proposal process knowing that the prospect is the right one.
Brown’s team scores leads based on 10 questions. If a client answers 7 of the 10 questions in line with the agency’s standards, MXM identifies them as a “right to win” account. This is the type of account that the agency can confidently direct its efforts toward.
2. Recognize your best clients
With a CRM system, you can see the entire timeline of a prospect’s journey until they become a customer: from the initial phone call or visit to your website, to when the customer is convinced to get a new service or the client recommends you.
Collecting and analyzing this data is essential to understanding the types of clients with whom you will build lasting relationships and the group of clients who will leave after a single project. The first group includes the clients you will need to invest more time with to ensure that they are satisfied with the work and have seen results from your business relationship. The second group is the one you will need to monitor to understand if the acquisition and production costs are worth the effort. Remember: you can fire a client.
3. Understand the buyer’s journey
Do you know the stages of your agency’s sales process? Can you predict the number of sales that will be made next quarter or even next month?
With a CRM system, you can define the different stages of your customer’s purchasing process, which will help your team understand which prospects are most likely to make a purchase, who has a low chance of becoming customers, and the reasons why. a brand chose you or another agency. You can also anticipate when answering the concerns and doubts of your potential clients.
You probably already gathered this information. Now you just have to organize it and use it to implement it in your future process of new business activities. And it’s worth it for any sales professional in charge of new business activities to do this. The RSW/US survey also found that 66% of agencies felt their new business professional failed due to their lack of methodology.
Brown mentioned the story of Shelly Lazarus, former CEO of Ogilvy. She said Ogilvy did new business at night and served customers during the day.
“That’s wrong,” Brown explained. “It should be common knowledge information. The new business leaders who succeed are those who combine salesmanship with strategic sensitivity. That is a very difficult profile to find.”
4. Increase sales productivity
How much time does your new business team spend uploading email correspondence, recording conversation data, attaching files, or updating contact information?
This type of manual data entry is a waste of time and resources for your team.
With a CRM system that records emails and phone conversations, provides information about the company or person you’re working with, and connects the dots between online and offline interactions, your sales team will be able to do the activities you need it to do. you hired: attract new and profitable clients.
5. Automate customer nurturing campaigns
The CRM system can also be used to provide information on lead nurturing and content marketing campaigns to current and former customers and prospects.
Imagine if your new business professionals could create a campaign that sends a series of emails to prospects who showed interest in revisiting their marketing plan in two months. The same idea could be applied to the CMO of brands whose revenues took a dive in their previous earnings report. You can educate and engage these potential customers to determine their interest based on criteria such as open and click rates.
Our purchasing behaviors have changed. While referrals and networking can produce new clients, it’s not something you can depend on. It is inefficient and produces an unstable flow of new business activity for your agency, a problem you can solve by investing in your agency’s data collection and analyzing this information.