Why is the New Business Environment Tougher?

Why is it harder to obtain new business?

In our latest report, we asked agencies if it was harder to obtain new business in 2016-43% said it’s harder or a lot harder in 2016 versus 2015.

Next we asked why, and the predominant answer by far (63%) was it’s harder to break through.

That’s undoubtedly true, but I’ve talked to enough agencies to know that while it is true, agencies are often part of the problem.

The New Business Chromosome-Do You Have It?

I’ve mentioned it before, but agencies and often the new business people they hire, unfortunately, don’t have that new business chromosome, and speaking from a purely tactical standpoint, expectations have to be set.

A few stats for you:

63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. [Source: Marketing Donut]

As an agency, you have no choice but to have patience when it comes to new business.  Now, you should have a blend of referrals, outbound and inbound activity to cover your bases, but the stats are there-new business is a process.

Here’s another:

50% of the generated leads are qualified, but not ready to buy right now.

Agencies tend to disregard this stat more often than not, saying “there’s no opportunity.”

Well, there may not be an opportunity now, but your short-sightedness will cost you an opportunity later when a competitor hits them up a few months from now and you didn’t stick with that prospect.

New Business

Gatekeepers Everywhere

And it is harder to break through, in the sense that you used to only deal with one gatekeeper at a company, and now technology and workload have created even more-the clutter or junk folder for your emails, the sheer volume of information that comes across the transom via social channels and increasing cell phone usage at companies, to name a few.

It’s why agencies have to find ways to stand out and stay with prospects-through their knowledge, thought leadership, strong client work and yes, persistence. One more stat along those lines:

Eighty percent of sales require five follow-up calls after the first client meeting. [Source: Marketing Donut]

Yep, it’s harder to break through today, but that can’t be your excuse.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.