Agencies Biggest New Business Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Every month at Tanba, we host a New Business Surgery with our members and some of our expert board members to openly discuss the challenges agencies are facing in both attracting and converting new business opportunities. In our latest session Ben Potter, Famed New Business Consultant, and our Co-Founder Richard McHardy, who also works with agencies and their leaders to define and lead new business strategies, ran the session for us.
Here is a summary of the challenges we explored and how you can overcome them to help you attract and win more new clients this year.
What can we do to find and attract the best new business talent within our agencies?
Attracting great new business talent can be tough, making sure you attract the right type of people for your company is important for your team’s efficiency. There are a few vital steps you can take to help ensure that you attract the best talent possible:
Promote your culture through your marketing content.
- If you develop helpful content that highlights your people and their opinions, the right type of people will naturally gravitate towards you because they enjoy and find the type of content you create useful.
Showcase your creativity.
- You can also attract talent by showcasing the diversity and creativity of your companies’ work and the role you are promoting. Most people are looking for a job role where they have more creative freedom and want to work for companies that are creating great work. So, show the brands and the work you are most proud of on your website and through other marketing channels, as this always helps attract talent as well as clients.
Be clear about what you stand for.
- If you have a strong value proposition or a cultural initiative that your agency stands behind, be clear about this on your website and in other comms you push out to the world. Now more than ever, our potential employees want to feel they are going to be part of something that is going to make a difference, so work out what that is for your agency and be proud of it.
There is a lot you can do to make people want to work with you or for you, but the main thing is to show something and to keep showing up!
How can we start to navigate away from competitive pitching?
Many agencies are getting fed up with the standard RFP and pitch process. Moving away from competitive pitching and moving towards building chemistry-based relationships with clients can be vital to your growth and there are many ways you can start doing this.
Don’t be scared to break the process.
- If you are responding to a brief and you think there is a better way for you to showcase your agency and see how you can help them, don’t be afraid to ask if you can respond differently. In fact, by doing this you can actually increase your chances of winning by up to 4 times!
Create your own new business process.
- Lead the charge with your prospects by offering some value on the way. A free discovery phase or workshop that will get you deeper knowledge into their business and potential challenges is a great way to get ahead of the competition, as well as giving you insight others may not have. Taking this approach also enables you to start working together early to show how you work as a team and of course, enables you to put together a proposal that is more likely to be delivered against.
Create gateway products.
- By having some clear packaged ways to buy smaller services or products that give people a way to start working with you listed on your website or in your creds and marketing material, can help get to those bigger projects and avoid having to go through lengthy pitch processes. Getting a foot in the door with clients like this is a way many progressive agencies are working today!
How can we set and stick to a sales and marketing strategy?
Agencies are often very busy looking after their clients and therefore find it hard to make time for their own activities. Setting a strategy that talks directly to the need of your audience is essential for sales success within any agency, but it’s not always easy to do or stick to. We work in one of the most fast-paced industries there is, with technological advances changing the face of marketing all the time. So, what can we do to keep up and give our agencies the love they serve to get them the attention they deserve?
Set a strategy that talks to the needs of your audience.
- Clients, just like us, have a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to advances in marketing and enabling their businesses to get the right tactics in place. From Metaverse, AI, Social algorithms and even just creating good design material – there is a lot for us to keep up with right? The landscape changes incredibly quickly, so understanding the key challenges you can help your clients solve, and the help that they need at any given point is essential to you creating a plan that is going to get you engaged prospects. Your marketing content should be framed around these client problems and trends and give them the answers to all the questions that keep them up at night.
Set a plan that is realistic.
- Trying to set and stick to a plan can be difficult but is vital for the growth and consistency of your agency. By setting a 90-day plan rather than a yearlong strategy, you are giving yourself the confidence to stick to it and keep it realistic and manageable. It also means that you can review it after a 90-day period and highlight what is working well and what is not, so you can improve it over time and focus on the tactics that work hardest for you.
Develop content that is easy for you to recreate.
- Building a plan around content that is going to be easy for you to create is also a great start – work out what will be easiest for you. Talking on a podcast, writing blog posts, hosting events, or even creating reports? There are many ways to share your expertise and provide helpful content, pick one that you know you and your agency will find easy to deliver and keep it regular. Consistency (like with most things in life) will be the key to your success, so pick content streams and tactics that will be as easy for you to keep on creating as possible.
What should agencies be doing now to get the most from live and virtual events to generate new business?
There have been lots of webinars and virtual events amidst the pandemic. Events can often help get leads and opportunities more quickly than other tactics as they will in some way get you seen, and often, face to face with your prospects in a virtual or physical space. It’s not for every agency as there are some important ingredients needed to do this right, but if you have someone who is a subject matter expert and confident speaker, they are well worth exploring.
Webinars are still proving to be one of the most popular tactics in the agency worlds’ marketing arsenal, however, real-world events are coming back into play as the UK starts to ease restrictions again. The key to getting this right is really by testing it out, once you have your content strategy in place, we suggest trying both and seeing how they fair. Try and be collaborative and mix events up by having different formats that will help push prospects along your sales funnel.
For instance, attract leads with a large-scale webinar panel, then when they are engaged, invite them to an in-person roundtable or group workshop to get more engagement, knowledge of their individual needs, and repeat this regularly.
This can then quickly lead to new business as building relationships in this way enables you to understand more about your prospects’ problems, and you are able to have conversations that uncover a lot more, enabling the path to make a sale a lot easier.
If you made it this far, we hope you have enjoyed reading the recap of our latest surgery and have some new ideas you can implement in your agency to help you attract and win more new clients.
This was a member-only event for Tanba, but don’t worry you can still get involved next month by joining us as a member yourself! If you like the sound of what you have learned here today, go check out our membership options here or get in touch with us directly so we can give you a demo of the platform by emailing the lovely Niki firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you at one of our events very soon.