It's amazing the amount of people we speak to, that when we tell them we offer no-nonsense business growth, they instantly assume we’re talking about lead generation or cold calling.
It tells us there’s still a reasonable amount of education to be done in the agency world as, at times, the approach to B2B sales and marketing is quite archaic compared to other industries. The reality is, there’s often too much emphasis put onto lead generation/cold calling/prospecting, when it should only be a part of your new business strategy. It’s worth pointing out now, that when we use the term ‘new business’ we’re also referring to marketing, PR, pitching, prospecting etc. (anything that contributes to you driving additional income).
We often see new business efforts fall down because agencies don’t see the wider picture or they’re not prepared to put in the hard graft in the right areas. New business is much more than appointing a lead generation agency. It’s about developing a unique proposition and a strategy around a full B2B ecosystem, which can consist of 10 channels or more (both internal and external comms). It’s about looking at the long game, not giving up and making sure you support the person doing the outbound sales with case studies, thought leadership and reasons to get back in touch. Often the failure of lead generation is down to the agency itself, not always the lead generator.
On the other hand, its frustrating to hear stories of new business agencies charging phenomenal amounts to book meetings and not hitting their targets because they failed to take into consideration all of the other aspects involved in a new business programme. It's even more amazing that if you look at the background of a lot of the people who are selling agency owners the ‘dream’ or the account managers making the calls, most have never actually worked in-house for an agency. Add to that the very high turnovers of staff and clients often seen at new business agencies - you start to understand some of the reasons people can be so sceptical of new business. We get it!
The good news is there are some great people and agencies out there that you can trust and do lead generation very well. We’ve worked for and appointed these people in the past, so we know what we’re looking for. However, the problem is, our audience of agency owners don't always know what we know.
When agency new business is done right, then a solid proposition, well-crafted strategy and some good old fashioned tools and processes can go a long way. Depending on your circumstances you might not even need a lead generation agency, which could potentially save you a lot of money! Get the new business basics right first and then start looking at outbound sales, which, when given the right support and strategic direction, should work to maximise your new business efforts. The theory being, the two should complement each other i.e. 1+1=3.
If you're unsure about what your next step should be in your new business efforts or you think you're wasting a tonne of money, then please get in touch as we can help. Of course we want to run a successful business, but more importantly we want to see new business practised in the right way, bringing more integrity to the discipline and more success for our clients.