With the release of our 2014 Agency-Marketer New Business Report, one of the more pronounced takeaways is the decreased tenure of the agency new business director (less than 2 years on average.)
What’s behind it?
In 2012, 53% of agencies in our survey said their new business director (NBD) was somewhat/very successful.
In our current survey, that number is now 26%!
As we note in our survey,
“In past surveys, the stated reason for poor performance was driven heavily by a “lack of understanding of our agency,” with only 43% stating that their new business director didn’t have a solid methodology. Today, those numbers are nearly reversed.”
Before we completely point the finger at the average agency new business director for this lack of methodology, the blame can’t fall wholly on he/she in many cases.
We absolutely see situations where agencies ended up making a bad hire, specifically so because the NBD didn’t have a consistent methodology.
In those instances, we’ve seen various versions of this happening: an initially strong, but well-used rolodex as the only methodology, no organization of leads or follow-up procedure or a lack of skill in unearthing and speaking to prospect challenges.
But on just as many occasions, what an agency principal sees as no methodology, is actually a lack of support for the NBD.
Even worse is the agency principal that’s seemingly blind to all but the lack of opportunities.
That lack is a big problem, but are you as a principal making sure your new business director has the tools they need: a solid CRM, help in the list building department, initial help in the creation of materials (cases studies, a prospect-ready site) and ongoing help in thought leadership content-creation.
And beyond that, do they have the support of agency leadership?
Are they kept in the loop and recognized throughout the agency as bringing value to the firm?
I wrote a post (Your New Business Director Is Not The Agency Savior-4 Pitfalls To Avoid) that speaks directly to this.
Without a doubt, there are real reasons for concern with the seeming lack of methodology many agency principals are seeing, just be alert to where that blame should really fall.