Are you struggling to generate leads and close deals for your agency? If yes, then you’re not alone. Many agencies face challenges in acquiring new clients and increasing their close rates. However, the good news is that there are some simple yet effective ways to streamline your sales process and boost your chances of success.
We spoke to Mark Colgan, Founder of Agency Sales Design. Mark has helped many agencies to improve their sales processes, generate more leads, and increase their close rates, as well as being a legend in sales and new biz himself!
Simplifying Your Sales Process
Something which can be an absolute game-changer when it comes to closing more deals is simplifying your sales process. Simplify your sales process, and you’ll simplify your life. A sales process essentially has three stages: lead generation, lead qualification, and deal closing. Under each of these stages, you need to have a clear process and playbook to help you progress prospects through the stages of this process.
Mark recommends having a leaner call booking process to make it easier for prospects to schedule a call with you. This can be achieved by using a simple form or a chatbot that allows prospects to book a call with you in just a few clicks. The simpler and more streamlined your call booking process is, the more likely prospects are to book a call with you.
Positioning Your Clients as the Heroes
Once you’ve sorted out your booking process, you need to position your client, not yourself, as the hero. This means that you need to focus on their problems and challenges, rather than your own achievements and capabilities. When you can show your clients that you understand their problems and be specific in explaining how your service or product is tailored solve them, they’ll be more likely to choose you.
To achieve this, you need to start by having conversations with your clients and prospects to understand their needs and pain points. This can be done through qualification questions and discovery calls. Once you have a clear understanding of their problems, you can then present your solutions in a way that positions them as the heroes in their own journey. Never be afraid of asking for clarification – you can never have too much information.
Dealing with Rejection and Competition
Mark says there is something that we all need to learn pretty quickly to be effective in sales: get comfortable with rejection. The reality is that not every prospect will be a good fit for your agency, and you need to be okay with that. It’s better to focus your efforts on the prospects who are the best fit for you, rather than trying to sell to everyone.
Mark also highlights the fact that your biggest competition is, in fact, the status quo. Many prospects may be hesitant to change their current situation, even if it’s not working for them. To overcome this, you need to focus on the pain points that your prospects are trying to avoid and position your solutions as the best way to overcome those challenges.
Increasing Your Close Rates
It might sound counterintuitive, but rather than generating a new pipeline, Mark says it’s more effective to focus on the existing ones. Have you done everything you can to close those deals? Follow up with prospects who didn’t move forward with your agency to find out why they chose a different agency (and whether that actually worked out!) This can help you to identify areas where you can improve your sales process and increase your close rates.
Also, your biggest source of new business can in fact be your existing clients. Are there other services you offer that were not relevant to them when your relationship began, but that may be now? You can check in to see how your clients are doing and if there are any other problems you can solve whilst you are still working together. They already know and trust you, so there is much less of a risk than if this was a brand new partnership. And if *they* don’t need anything further, do they know anyone that does? Referrals are a wonderful source of lead gen, and they come with the added benefit of being recommended by a trusted source too.
Lots of agency leaders are too scared to ask, but if they are pleased with your services, even if they don’t know anyone right now when someone does need the service you offer, you’ll be front of mind.
Closing more deals does not mean bucketloads of lead gen all the time. It’s making sure that we are easy to book a call with, that we ask the right questions and really take note of what the prospects want or need to ensure that we’re speaking to the right type of client, that we tailor everything we offer to that specific prospect to answer their specific pain points, understanding that a rejection isn’t personal and it’s also not “no” forever – in fact we can actually glean really vital information that could help us to close the next deal. And remember, new business doesn’t have to come from new clients!
Stop trying to please everyone and get to know who your ideal client is, because you’re going to be someone’s ideal agency.
Mark has personally closed over $1,000,000 in revenue in the last 2.5 years, generated millions of dollars in net new ARR for B2B SaaS companies over the past 5 years.
He teaches the Outbound Prospecting course and Cold Email Writing Bootcamp at Sales Impact Academy and has coached 1000’s of SDRs.