Making connections with the right people is the key to being successful at new business.
But there's only so much you can do with your go-getter attitude and innate charm. You need momentum, focus, and a strategy for creating a new business pipeline that consistently delivers qualified leads and new clients. This isn't easy. But there are steps you can take to make it manageable and even successful.
Build a New Business Funnel
First, you should determine how many leads you need to fill your pipeline to win the amount of new business to meet your goals.
Relationships, networks, and referrals are the way you've always generated new business. This doesn't have to change.
But if you want to attract new types of clients, larger accounts, more clients, or more profitable work, you need to adjust your approach.
This starts with building a sales funnel and determining key metrics. There are a few things to consider when outlining your process:
- Size of your funnel: How many new clients do you want to bring on in the next 12 months? How much new revenue from new accounts do you want to add?
- Average sales cycle: How many months does the sales process take?
- Close rate: What percentage of deals do you close?
- Targets: Who is your agency's ideal client? How much does the company invest in marketing? Does it have an internal marketing department? What is its business model? Who is the influencer in the company you need to be in contact with?
Once you identify how many clients or how much revenue you need to generate in new business, you can back you way up to the top of your funnel and determine how many prospects you need to contact in the next year.
10 Ad Agency New Business Tools
To find these prospects, gather intel, and make your job a bit less hectic, we've put together a list of helpful new business tools. These resources include software, education resources, training, and list-building services.
Relationship Science is a relationship mapping tool that shows how a company, place, or list is connected to another entity -- with the end goal of seeing who can provide you with an introduction. Users can create lists and see if their contacts are connected with people they want to get in touch with.
The List helps new business professionals find the right decision-maker at a brand and discover key information about the company’s media spend and agency relationship history. Contacts are verified every 120 days, and the information can be integrated with your CRM. The company also publishes Daily Vista, a new business publication that tracks changes in spending, staff, and technology at brands so reps can identify upcoming opportunities.
Mirren provides resources and education for new business professionals to help them pitch, prospect, and grow their agency. Gain access to on-demand training, discussions, and prospecting opportunities through its online membership or connect with the company for in-person training sessions and workshops. It also hosts a yearly conference on new business.
RSW/US is an outsourced business development company. Its team helps agencies build target lists and implement sales processes. They secure meetings with potential clients and consult on agency positioning, proposal materials, and presentations.
GageIn’s tool allows you to build company lists -- either manually or by importing file -- and provides users with social, news, and competitive information on those companies. This tool is especially valuable for staying on top of industry-specific news, tracking news on mid-market companies, and identifying valuable prospects.
This site provides access to RFPs. Those that have a closing date more than one week away are for premium members. The site’s newsroom serves as a resource of curated content on tech and new business.
Created by AAR Partners agency search consultancy, Access Confidential provides executive profiles, key company information, and a sampling of creative work from the brand. It also has a service line, so reps can call with questions or to confirm changes such as the hiring of a new CMO.
AdDataExpress is a list building tool for finding key contact information at brands. You can target by the industry, vertical, and by if the brand is doing their work in-house.
Created by HubSpot, Sidekick is an email tool for new business professionals that let you see who has opened your emails, schedule messages, and view information such as professional history, social profiles, and mutual contacts from your email client.
Mintel is a leading source for market intelligence and consumer data. The company provides competitive analysis, product development and innovation research, industry-specific reports, and much more.