How to Keep Your Creative Agency Sales Process Producing
Read time: 9 minutes
In every agency, the number one goal is to make money or a profit, which is easier said than done. Every creative agency relies heavily on sales to expand while developing a loyal consumer base. Understanding the selling process can improve your ability to attract potential customers or buyers, boost overall revenues, and foster customer relationships.
So, how do you ensure that your agency is profitable? This is where your sales process plays a major role. A sales process needs to constantly be responsive to internal team members’ ongoing comments and shifting priorities. Though there isn’t a single sales process that works for all agencies, sales managers may use the information below as a template and guide to create a workable sales process that will increase sales and income for their organization.
What is a sales process?
First, let’s define what is a sales process: an approach to selling a product or service.
It covers the interaction between your agency and a potential customer. In most cases, it’s a technique that creative firms can duplicate to ensure that salespeople consistently deliver. To complete transactions and guarantee ongoing earnings, creative agencies follow the standard 5 steps of the selling process, which we’ll cover in this article.
A sales process can be compared to a road map that directs your sales staff as they nurture and convert leads into paying customers. The lead generation activities of your marketing team would quickly become ineffective without the map.
Having a sales process in place enables you to monitor and improve the performance of your team at each stage of the sales cycle. It facilitates stronger relationships with clients, shortens the sales cycle, and increases profit margins.
For less experienced representatives, having a standardized sales methodology helps them quickly learn the best practices at each phase of the sales process.
Every industry has a different approach to its sales process. In the creative industry there are a few steps and tools your agency can use to ensure your sales process is working to make you profitable. Here are a few simple steps and tools you can take to ensure you are getting the best sales results.
2 Tools to Keep Your Creative Agency Sales Process Producing
Inbound vs. Outbound
When potential clients contact your creative agencies and start the relationship, it initiates inbound sales. Inbound sales methods, therefore, concentrate on luring potential clients to your company through compelling content that caters to their needs and interests. After that, developing personalized sales messaging becomes the biggest challenge for salespeople. The most effective examples of inbound sales include website optimization, social media, SEO, and content marketing.
When compared to inbound sales, outbound sales are very different. It exemplifies a push method in which the salesperson strikes up a conversation with potential customers to market your offerings. This tactic continues to be used by many creative agencies.
Inbound prospects arrive with a clear idea of their needs and want. They frequently convert better because they have succinct concepts. On the other hand, less knowledgeable outbound leads have a lower chance of converting. In some cases, they don’t even have a need for your creative services.
How to Implement Inbound and Outbound Techniques
The sales process for attracting new business is pretty simple. You start off with finding prospects. It can be via inbound leads that are obtained through your website or partner websites. People can request for more information and ask to have someone from your agency reach out to them. This is always a good way to attract new business.
You can also seek out new prospects via cold calling. Try finding potential new prospects via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter searches. It’s free and you can make some very good connections. Once you have made a connection, you need to have an exceptional pitch. Ensure your pitch is polished, short and clearly articulates the opportunity for your prospect to do business with you. From there the next stage is to clearly outlay the benefits your company, over come any objections and close the sale. The final stage is executing the business on time and on budget to solidify the relationship for future business.
Now let’s go into detail about the 5 steps of a sales process.
Sales Process Steps
Selling without a sales procedure is like getting lost in the wilderness. What to do next is a complete mystery to you. You cannot monitor metrics or forecast closure. If you’re experiencing negative sales outcomes, it could indicate that your sales strategy needs improvement.
A straightforward, linear method of selling is the five-step sales process. Though different salespeople and services may call for a more elaborate or specially adapted procedure, the five-step sales process offers a solid framework to build your own process. Adapting your sales strategy will be considerably simpler once you’ve comprehended these sales steps.
Enhance Your Creative Agency Sales Process With Project Management Software
Streamline your agency’s workflows and keep track of projects and profitability
Introduce yourself as a creative agency and state your purpose for approaching them in the beginning. You might recollect their expressed interest in you during a conference or mention that another person recommended them to you.
Make a strong first impression using your own creative artwork. Seek out chances to engage with the client, such as identifying a shared interest in creation. When you strike up a conversation, be positive and sincere. As you move on to the second phase, you want the client to feel at ease speaking with you.
2. Qualify leads
The second phase in this process is to qualify new leads, which involves determining if they are a suitable fit for your creative agency and likely to continue their client’s journey.
Because pitching requires significant time investment, qualifying leads is a crucial stage. Don’t waste your time pitching to prospects who are not likely to become customers. The outbound sales team contacts prospects on the list by phone or email to access if they are a good fit for your creative service. If so, they proceed to the next stage; if not, they are crossed off the list.
The inbound teams assist the leads in identifying their needs and determining if you can help them. Ask the customer questions and encourage them to discuss the issue more so that your creative solution can help them. Get them to discuss why they want to solve the issue, any other solutions they may have tried, or any worries they have about possible creative solutions.
You can give the prospect a formal demo of the creative offerings after they know what they want. Each creative presentation or pitch needs to be customized to the specific use case of the prospect. Tell the client your perception of their needs and request confirmation. Move on to the next step if you are in agreement. Otherwise, keep asking questions until you fully comprehend.
3. Offer a creative solution
Now that you are aware of the clients’ needs, you can present a remedy to their problem. As you introduce your creative service, keep in mind the specific needs they’ve indicated. For instance, if they require an immediate solution, emphasize your ability to provide it. Describe how your service meets their wants and addresses their issues.
In this step, you should show how valuable your creative offering is, but try not to oversell it. Talk about how well it satisfies their requirements while being fair and honest. Avoid making promises you can’t fulfill because your specificity should demonstrate that your solution is the ideal fit for their situation.
4. Make the sale
This is the phrase where orders are made. Every salesperson strives to close a business deal. It should lead to a mutually beneficial binding contract between the client and the agency. If the creative project goes as planned, they’ll agree, and you’ll both feel good about the interaction.
At this stage, clients may raise objections, especially regarding pricing. In order to address their concerns, recall the details they gave you in step two. Knowing what people value and consider significant will help you overcome their opposition.
5. Follow up
One of the most crucial parts of the selling process for your creative agency is the follow-up that happens after the sale. Customer happiness, customer loyalty, and new customer acquisition are all supported by maintaining a strong seller-buyer connection.
At this point, the goal is to nurture the current relationship rather than continue selling. Even though the initial sale could already be closed, this last step creates the possibility of additional sales. A happy customer is more likely to make a second purchase.
Having the Right Tools
To manage your sales process and leads use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. This will help you manage your leads as they move through the sales process and your clients once you are doing business with them. It will also help you manage all your interactions in one convenient spot and note trends with clients and prospects.
Once you have secured the sale you need to manage the delivery of the project. To do, utilizing a project management system is one of the best ways to keep track of projects and profitability. There are many project management software solutions out there, however finding one that gives you the ability to track time against jobs, build estimates, create schedules and invoices and manage your CRM is a great way to manage projects. This all encompassing software will help you ensure that each project you are working on stays within the budget and you will be able to track how far along you are in the process, than you will be able to have an accurate idea of how much that project is costing and how much can be expected in revenue. A web-based solution is always a good idea. For example, Function Point gives you the opportunity to check out what’s going on in the sales process from any computer, as long as you have an internet connection. This helps keep everyone in the loop and keeps the sales process moving.
So when thinking about your sales process, ensure that you have the right tools in place to keep your sales process running smoothly because a good sales process is sure to bring in the money!
This article was written by former Function Point employee, Eric Ivker