Agency advisors maintain new business accountability

Is the head of the agency the best person to keep the new business plan on track? Perhaps they are, but likely they are not. Regardless of annual revenue, size of staff, location or agency discipline all agencies should have that one go to person to advise them and guide them along a growth path.

The advisor’s role in new business is critical in a number of ways. First, objectivity in what’s reasonable and practical for the agency to scale over the course of a year. Second, if they understand your agency they will be able to coach and guide you on more than verticals you should be playing in or the agency’s allure.

An experienced trusted advisor will know the keys to creating disruption and generating consistent awareness with a desired decision maker set. The advisor should also understand whatever problems your prospects may be wrestling with. Their job is not only to guide you to your goal, they are also accountable for helping you understand and identify where you have a wedge to open a new business conversation.

In other areas of new business, the advisor can also help you steer clear of new business danger zones.  For example, encouraging you to, evaluate the impact of a tactical opportunity that may not put you on a path to achieve your larger scale goals.

An outside new business ally is often one of the best agency assets. Keeping a champion of your agency brand in your corner can help you truly develop and more importantly adapt your new business strategy to the needs of marketers you want to win as new clients. 

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The agency new business killer

Tri-athletes around the world train hard. As anyone who has aspired to become a tri-athlete knows the key is preparation. If you don’t dedicate the time to weight train, strength train, swim, run and cycle the triathlon event itself will just about kill you.

Not preparing for a year of agency new business development can cause a major disruption in the agency far longer than those 12 months. A lack of consistency is the single biggest killer of new business programs.

In January, the finish line of achieving a $2 million or $10 million new business goal may seem far off. You may fool yourself into thinking, “there’s plenty of time.” Even if you parcel off the overall goal into digestible portions, you still have to find a way to get there.

Collectively the account directors at Catapult New Business have more than 30 years of agency new business experience. If you polled each of them on the best training technique for new business they would each tell you new business is a triathlon, requiring discipline and consistency. They would also tell you without accountability, identifying, engaging and converting a prospect is next to impossible.

What happens then is that come December the probability of you and your agency reaching the new business finish line is next to none. As 2015 approaches, take time to prepare and seek out the best trainers to help you map out a plan to get you to your desired growth goal.

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Budget line: 20% growth in agency new business

It’s an age old problem similar to the chicken and the egg. Which comes first, new business prospecting or existing client work? A lot of agencies make the choice of existing client work and then a quarter or two into the year they realize they have no new business plan. Worse, they have the hard realization they don’t have a pipeline either. The fact remains, however, their budget calls for a 20% growth in agency new business.CNB 1

As experts in the agency space, the Catapult New Business team hears from agency decision-makers all the time about how they don’t have a new business plan. Many big, small and boutique agencies don’t even have an assigned new business person. New business is often shouldered by a very loosely structured committee or the execution lies in the hands of an already busy principal.

For the small slice of agencies that do have a plan, they know a proactive new business plan is key to scaling a 20% growth goal. However, the challenge that often arises in managing the elements that round out the program’s sectors include things like qualified data and relevant case studies. Sure, agencies leverage case studies in pitches, but few think of them as something to leverage to start a conversation. This is where having a new business consultant can really pay off. Agency consultant’s tap into their experience, agency and vertical brand knowledge and networked resources to craft a strategy specific to the agency itself.

As budgeting and planning begin for 2015, agency decision-makers who take the time to evaluate their existing plan with their team will have a far higher likelihood of defining the right opportunity, presenting a proposal and winning a new client.

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“Catapult came to the rescue and saved me from what otherwise would have been a long and stressful situation. To have been provided with a business development professional with that level of experience and understanding of my business, well, I just couldn’t have received that anywhere else.”

Co-founder, Full Service Marketing Agency

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