Agency Sales

The main challenges in agency sales: how to solve them?

Since the beginning of this year, our sales team at Nova Islamabad and Blue World City have been releasing tips based on best practices for your sales process.

It is normal for there to be doubts, but the sooner you seek to resolve them, the more chances you will have to achieve great results.

With this in mind, I talk every day with partner agencies and I see common challenges that many of them face.

My goal here is to make your agency stop running into these difficulties and get to take off!

Challenge #1: Generate Qualified Leads

fill the top of the funnel with enough qualified leads is a recurring demand from agencies or any other company that needs to sell.

Here it is important to understand what is your ideal customer profile (ICP) and how you will bring new contacts: active and/or passive prospecting.

Top Issues When Generating Qualified Leads

  • Low volume of leads;
  • Fickle amount of contacts generated each month;
  • Leads misaligned with ICP.

How to optimize?

The first step to increase the number of leads generated each month is the definition of strategies for raising these contacts.

If your agency is currently looking for new leads through inbound, but the volume generated is not meeting the demand of sellers, you can complement it with outbound, or active prospecting.

With the Y funnel you will leverage two channels to grow your business, so why not adopt?

But it’s that old story: no use having a good volume of leads if they won’t see value in your solution.

It is important that the inbound lead is aligned with your agency’s buyer personas and, if so, nurture it with the right information so that it understands that it has a pain that your solution solves.

From then on, he can raise his hand or his seller can fish on the base.

As for the outbound lead, the IC team must ensure that the information collected is in accordance with the ICP, that is, if the solution you offer really solves the pain of these potential customers.

Finally, build your deal flow based on market benchmarks so that you have an idea of ​​how many leads should be collected each month.

Keep in mind the conversion rates from smart lead to MQL, SQL and then to the customer. If the volume of leads supports the volume of customers predicted in your goals, you’re on the right track.

That way, it will be easier to organize and ensure that your salespeople do what they like and need the most: sell!

Challenge #2: Close more sales

Enough qualified leads have arrived, they’ve walked your entire sales funnel, and now all you have to do is close! What might be preventing your lead from adopting your solution?

Top issues when closing more sales

  • The agency does not have a dedicated sales team (one of the partners makes the sale, for example);
  • Failures in speech and qualification of leads;
  • The lead no longer responds to your follow-ups.

How to optimize?

Most agencies have a lean team and, consequently, do not have a well-defined sales team.

Partners end up participating in some stages, without a clear definition of the functions they perform.

You may have heard that when we do a little bit of everything, we tend to perform worse than if we focus our actions.

Ideally, you, the partner, are dedicated to strategic actions for your company:

  • Definition of the business model;
  • Strategies to increase the average ticket;
  • Branding and authority in the segment in which it operates.

The specialization of the team’s activities makes salespeople able to dedicate themselves more to their specific stage in the sale.

This way they can ensure that the leads have the profile and maturity to acquire the services that the agency offers.

Without enough budget to segment the process, the partner will probably still have to perform different tasks, but it is important, at least, to separate different times for each action.

This way, you can focus on the operational and the strategic, letting your brain focus on each activity 😀

Also, if the lead is so advanced in the purchase process, they should have seen the value of your solution for their scenario.

Therefore, it is essential that your agency’s commercial proposals are well customized according to the raised pains and specific solutions.

When sending the proposal, don’t think that everything is already won and that your lead will close. Make the necessary follow-ups for you to get a return.

Challenge #3: Increase the average ticket

According to a survey conducted in 2019 by Rock Content and Digital Results:

  • More than half of the agencies interviewed are not specialized in a specific niche;
  • The biggest source of customer acquisition is by referral.

This means that the agency has, in general, a low average ticket, both for not segmenting the services offered, and for not having monthly revenue predictability.

Top Issues when Increasing Average Ticket

  • Difficulty in directing communication in content for the customer’s journey, for not having a specific audience;
  • By not specializing, they end up not being able to deliver more robust projects with larger contracts;
  • There is no recurring revenue generation ;
  • Because they depend on indications, it is more difficult to scale the results.

How to optimize?

As much as the services your agency offers may serve a large number of segments, specializing in a few will make you a reference in what you do.

The first step is to define your ICP.

We have a tool that will help you in this mission of defining your ideal customer profile. At the end, you receive a file with the description of your ICP.

Thus, you become an expert in the specific area and your customers see more value in what is delivered.

The more satisfied your customer is with the results, the more likely they are to want to purchase new solutions.

Also, don’t just rely on referrals! Define a strategy for attracting new customers, whether by inbound, outbound or both.

Here you must take into account that starting an inbound strategy for your agency, with such a competitive market today, will not bring considerable results at first.

There have been other agencies for a few years doing this passive prospecting and, therefore, this market can be a big red sea.

Keep in mind that it will take longer to gain prominence on Google and social networks in general.

You can opt for outbound to ensure more recurrence.

With your ICP in hand, you can start gathering lists of leads for your prospecting process.

To make it easier, you can enter these leads into an outbound tool in order to try to connect more efficiently with these potential customers.

If you will be doing both inbound and outbound to complement the number of leads in your funnel, an outbound tool combined with a marketing automation tool is ideal for your operation.

Let’s talk a little more about this below 😉

Challenge #4: Define internal processes

For better performance this year, your agency must have well-structured internal processes.

Most of the time, there is no blueprint for the steps the prospect has to go through until closing.

  • How will the services be delivered?
  • What metrics should be observed?

You will only know how your agency is performing and how to act to improve when you have the process fully mapped out.

Main problems when defining internal processes

  • Misalignment between marketing and sales;
  • Absence of a sales culture, causing many leads with purchase potential to be lost;
  • Lack of clear goals for sellers;
  • Difficulty in decision making, since data is unreliable or even unmeasured;
  • Lack of alignment between the client and the agency regarding the services to be delivered.

How to optimize?

Considering these most common challenges, the first step to overcoming them is to focus on organizing your process.

Build an alignment between marketing and sales through an effective SLA so that both have clear objectives and goals.

Also, get to know your sales funnel well, that is, what steps your lead will go through to purchase.

That way, your salespeople will know what to do with leads to understand if they have a buying profile and maturity. If so, they will know what the closing step should be like (submission of the proposal, follow-ups).

Keep in mind what are the essential indicators for evaluating the entire process, both KPIs and OPIs.

Finally, make an alignment of expectations between you and your customer from the beginning of the sale to the post with the customer success team, so that they know what will be delivered, how, and when.

By doing this, you will be able to generate more value for it 🙂

Challenge #5: No tools

When used in the best possible way, the tools are great allies in the operationalization of the process.

They can help your team organize tasks, automate what is necessary, facilitate customization of what is important and be much more efficient, both in execution and management.

According to Rock Content’s research with Digital Results that I mentioned above:

  • A considerable number of agencies still do not use a CRM, for example;
  • Many find it a challenge to find tools that meet their demands.

Main problems in missing tools

  • Difficulty in organizing processes;
  • Unmotivated marketing and sales team, as they spend a lot of time on operational tasks;
  • Obstacles when measuring results;
  • Difficulty in delivering services to the customer.

How to optimize?

First, you need to understand your process well. Then you need to identify your gaps, your needs and what kinds of tools will really help you.

After that, you should research the tools available on the market and what features they have.

By validating some internal processes, some difficulties, and operational problems, you can identify which tools are the best for your moment.

If you believe that outbound software would solve your problems, we made content that can help you know if it’s really the right time to choose the ideal tool.

In addition, many have a partner channel that allows you to have this solution not only for your agency but also to deliver it to your clients 🙂

The important thing is that this chosen tool brings operational gain and visibility into your process that is worthwhile and pays off your investment.

Conclusion

So, have you identified where your agency can improve and what are your biggest sales challenges?

If you have any questions, feel free to call me, huh? Whether on LinkedIn, here for the comments or on my email aline@reev.co.