The most effective new business processes turn prospects into leads by educating those prospects about how your products and services can solve their specific problems.
But when creating a proactive new business program, many teams struggle to know where to begin. We always point to these three areas to start your plan of attack: Audience, Content and Execution.
The first and most important step you should take when deciding how to begin your proactive outreach to prospects is to determine who your audience is. You need to know who your target audience is so you ask the right questions – who, why and what – to help narrow who you are marketing to. You must clearly define who your “right to win” clients are. If your team is perfectly positioned to provide the best service possible to a prospect in your niche, that’s a right to win client, and they should be working with you.
After you create your right to win list, you can begin including additional targets you see as great fits, which are a slight reach from your perfect right to win group. Agencies will often limit themselves by “fishing in too small of a pond,” or creating lists of prospects that exclude too many winnable clients. Create a realistic and appropriately sized group of contacts to attack with your approach. A great way to start thinking about Audience is to ask the following questions:
- In what areas is the agency most profitable?
- Who are you talking to now?
- What kind of business do you walk away from?
- What brands should be clients?
- What areas are most interesting to the team? What is the team passionate about?
By asking these questions, you’ll be able to determine who your audience is in a very specific, lead-driven way.
Content drives just about every aspect of what we do in our lives—professionally and personally. In new business, you need to provide content that your new, specifically targeted audience wants to consume and share online. When getting started with your content strategy, start slow and don’t overextend yourself.
We’ve found that when teams commit to too much, too soon, one of two things happens: a) they burn out quickly on the process and it becomes a chore creating unique, branded content or; b) they begin building too much around a single whitepaper/eBook. Long-form content can be beneficial to your content strategy, but be careful not to let it consume hours of labor or hinder your ability to pivot across multiple audience groups.
When deciding what content should live on your editorial calendar, ask yourself questions like:
- Why does your agency exist? (less about what and how)
- What’s the one thing you do better than anyone else?
- What are the benefits of working with your agency?
- What type of work is outside of your scope? (this will help you drive more qualified conversations)
- What business problems do you solve for the identified prospect categories?
Content plays a key role in advancing your new business strategy, and increasing your prospects both within your targeted audience and outside of it.
We all dream big about winning new business, but you can’t approach that dream in an ad hoc manner. You need to have a plan set in place that is consistently repeatable, with very defined goals, measurements and activities. Your plan should involve everyone in the new business process—from Sales and Marketing to Management. At Agency Squared, our goal is to always set a process in place that can be seamlessly transferred when changes to the team take place. During the execution phase, these are important questions you should ask:
- Who from the in-house team will be fulfilling each role in the sales/marketing process?
- What technologies do we currently have in place?
- How do we want to approach new prospects?
- How have we approached prospects in the past? What has worked best?
- Who has typically been the most receptive to our messaging?
A critical part of execution is how you leverage the content you’ve created, and the process your sales and marketing team uses that content to drive 1-1 sales conversations. By using your content to engage more often with prospects, you’ll see more opportunities to win clients.
Need help identifying a strategic plan of attack for winning new business? Contact us to learn more about how A2 implements successful new business processes for agencies across North America.