Does your new business plan read just like every other ad agencies’’? Is it agency versus client focused? Lacking any glimmer of business development innovation? Void of any differentiation and full of the same old service offerings and descriptions?
If all or any of the above sounds familiar, your agency is probably in desperate need of a more effective new business plan!
One of the most common failures of a typical new business plan is the assumption that all new business is the same – no matter where it comes from, or how it comes into the agency.
Ideally your plan should break new business down into at least three different categories or sources. The reason being, that each source has different dynamics, objectives and success rates. Each source also requires a fundamentally different approach and in most instances, different resources to adequately support them.
Here is a brief outline of the three fundamental sources:
Organic Growth. This source is all about educating your client service teams to be problem solvers. They should be constantly looking for every opportunity to help their client solve their business and marketing challenges. Teams focused on organic growth also need tools to help them succeed. Tools that help them engage the client and find actionable insights at the same time.
New Business Prospecting. This source is all about generating leads and filling a pipeline full of them. It requires keen targeting and segmentation skills. Custom research against each of the key target categories, which will help identify compelling insights to lead with when approaching the prospect. The skills to set up and deliver compelling initial client meetings, and the tenacity to stay the distance, and ability to ultimately convert the lead.
Competitive Pitching & Formal Reviews. For this source, relationships with the pitch consultants are of paramount importance. While they do not get all of the pitches by any means, the consultants still play a meaningful role. Pitching is all about understanding the process and the psychology related to each step. It’s about listening, discovery, storytelling and well executed theater. If that’s not enough to deal with, it’s also about the team and their performance on the day in that particular situation. Pitching is a real crap shoot no matter which way you look at it.
All three of these sources require different resources and staffing, and have vastly different budget implications. They also materially impact your new business and agency growth plan, depending on the mix across all three of the sources.
Does your current plan take all of these variables into account?