We featured 12 platforms/tools in our report that agencies use to further their new business efforts.
In my webinar, I discussed the 4 that agencies must use, keeping in mind time constraints, budget considerations and content generation capabilities.
Here they are and why I think they’re the most important, if you had to narrow down only those most crucial to a strong new business effort:
1) CRM Software:
There really is no way to have a vibrant, pipeline filling and effective inbound or outbound program without one. It’s easy when you start, but very quickly prospects will number in the 100’s and you can’t track, incorporate data and follow up with prospects without one. Tracking email campaigns, monitoring your overall sales pipeline and integrating customer data are just a few of the advantages. Too many agencies don’t have them or do, and let them collect dust. You’re paying for it-use it.
Excel is not a CRM by the way.
2) List Building Services:
The backbone of any program is a targeted, clean list. And the majority of agencies do not have time to do it. A good list service gives you research, and better quality and quantity of leads. I’ve heard the argument that you can rely on a really robust inbound program and eschew outbound lists. Not a good move. The ideal program blends both outbound and inbound, so you can target those ideal prospects directly.
3) Social Platforms:
Social’s not going anywhere-you don’t use it at your peril and marketers are getting younger. We had a prospect tell one of our new business directors recently, “I don’t do voicemail.”
Per Michael Gass,
Social media “teaches” agencies to promote themselves the way they should have been doing new business all along, to lead with benefits instead of agency capabilities and credentials.
Michael wants you to go big with an agency blog, content strategy and social as the delivery arm for it all. He’s absolutely right-but you have to be mentally ready to take it on. Your agency mantra should be “start small” with social. Start with LinkedIn and Twitter and spend 15 minutes a day, for example, focusing on it.
4) Email/Auto-Responder Services:
Why do you need it?
In short, time and reach. While many do it poorly, still an entirely viable channel, in concert with all the others.
The cost is low, you’re covered when it comes to the CAN-SPAM Act, and the list management and stats are invaluable.
But for this last one, you’re going to need content, the large elephant in the room.
(You need it because you’ve got to show your prospects the thinking behind your work and show, indirectly, how you can do it for them too. (And don’t forget the SEO considerations and advantages.)
I know, you don’t have the time. Or you don’t know what to write about.
The first one is true-but you really don’t have a choice. Remember, start small, one post a month-and make the time.
As to the second-you’re helping solve client challenges every day with great work, in specific verticals.
Write about it-don’t pound your agency chest, make it a subtle sell, but explain the process around it, or how you solved the challenge and how it directly relates to your prospect’s industry.
You can do it. Start this weekend.