I talked about my recent inclusion in the latest HubSpot agency survey report and the risk of relying on referrals in this post.

There’s some good information on pricing, rates and hiring in the report, and also an interesting section on new business.

And if the key stats from that section (below) represented a new business report card, we’re looking at some barely passing grades.

Your Agency New Business Report Card-You’re Going To Summer School

A few of those stats and some thoughts:

-54% of agencies are “very dissatisfied to neutral” in regards to their positioning.

Not a big shock here and in some ways is healthy.  Agencies should question their positioning on an ongoing basis.

Of course, you don’t want to “fix what ain’t broke,” but those agencies who undergo that new business self-analysis will be ahead of the curve.

But then there are those agencies in the 54% above who are dissatisfied for other, more troubling reasons, for example: too many people involved in the process (so nothing is getting done), unwillingness to seek help when there are internal stalemates or simply not taking the time to do it (see further down for more on this).

-72% of agencies say they’re “very dissatisfied to neutral” in regards to their sales process.

Given how often we’re talking to and helping agencies, also not surprising, but it is a high percentage.

Obviously there are all kinds of reasons why, but the remaining stats I lay out below actually tell the story.

-43% haven’t developed a strong positioning

That’s a good reason to be dissatisfied, but there’s really no excuse.

If almost half of all agencies surveyed simply haven’t developed a strong positioning, they need to look in the mirror and get their collective butts moving.

-44% don’t use a CRM to manage leads

Oh my.  Again, almost half of agencies not utilizing a key piece of the new business process.

Something that is entirely in their hands.

Of course, there can be substantive reasons for this percentage, to be fair, cost and ease of use are potential roadblocks, but for an effective, ongoing new business effort, a CRM has to be one of your tools.

-66% indicated that they do not employ a full-time new business person

And one more nail in the old coffin.

And one more thing, as an agency, you can control.

(I realize this stat is a bit misleading-agencies in the 66% may have a principal or principals handling new business.)

But, my point stands: if you don’t use a CRM, don’t have effective positioning and don’t have a full-time new business person, you will be quite dissatisfied in your sales process-I guarantee it.

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Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
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.