New business is not just about knocking on doors or dialing for dollars. Its not just about a great website or impressive credentials presentation. It’s about building a machine that once up and running will consistently fill your pipeline with great prospects that consistently convert to clients at the highest rate possible. Without it your destiny will be reliant on good luck and prove to be inconsistent.
Here are 10 Key components to build your agency’s new business pipeline:
- Budget up front for new business strain: Right at the planning and forecasting stage make sure that you not only budget realistically for new business revenue but for new business expenses too.
- Spend the time up front identifying your best prospects: Invest in the necessary prospecting tools. Take the time to identify as accurately as possible the categories and clients that your agency is best suited to supporting.
- Build the prospect database and sales tracking software: Build your database and make sure that you choose the sales automation software and tools for sales tracking that best suits your needs and budget.
- Internal staff referral and incentive program: Reach out to your staff and ask them who they know out their on the client side. How do they know them? How well? Are they in contact etc? Give them a decent incentive to help facilitate a referral and publicly reward them for doing so.
- Do your homework and clearly identify your value proposition: Ask not what the client can do for you but rather what can you do for the client. Focus, differentiate and be clear and concise.
- Properly resource your new business department/initiative: Define in advance the process you will use to handle a new lead. What procedures are required and who is responsible to carry them out. Credentials presentations prep, case study archive, digital asset library etc
- Relevant and compelling marketing materials: Everything from outbound send packages, optimized and updated website, company blog, social media strategy, SEO/M strategy, search consultant strategy, Pr, speaking engagements etc.
- Outbound sales and lead follow up resources: You would be amazed at just how few agencies actually follow up. Many send out new business solicitations but so many do not have the time or take the time to follow up. Make sure your agency does have the resources and does make the effort. It will pay out!
- Constantly track progress and results: This should be done every two weeks at minimum.
- Adjust and optimize as you go: Based on what’s working and what’s not adjust and prioritize based on feedback and results.