As 2014 comes to a close, a number of agencies are telling the Catapult New Business team they are experiencing a disruption in their day-to-day business operations because they lack a new business development plan. Some started out 2014 charging a small internal team with the task of lead nurturing. For some, they left it to agency leadership or someone dedicated to new business. Others simply didn’t make any effort to secure new clients, or most importantly, build a legitimate pipeline.
Taking your eyes off the ball for a minute, a day or even a week can lead to major agency disruption. It’s likely that type of disruption will impact the agency for 12 months or more. Worse yet, it has potential for immediate impact in the form of staff layoffs and operational reductions because there isn’t enough client work to support expenses.
For many agency leaders the year coming to a close sounds the “disruption” alarm igniting their own realization of not hitting their growth goal in 2014. Many agency leaders will panic. Some agencies will heed the alarm and diligently formulate a plan for 2015. Others will not and they will find themselves in the exact same spot at this time next year.
Not preparing for a year of agency new business development can be a major disruption in the agency far longer than those 12 months. A lack of consistency is the single biggest killer of failed new business programs and it’s a universal problem faced by global agencies and independent agencies.
The best agency new business development advice comes down to a few key sentences: Seek advice from a trusted new business expert. Map out a detailed and accountable strategy that will engage prospects into opportunity defining conversations. Then, put your best agency face forward and close them! You will appreciate not having the “disruption” throughout 2015.