We all know the score. Trying to win new work is tough. Sourcing prospects, tailoring your marketing, arranging meetings and keeping potential clients happy whilst they are courted by numerous competitors all takes a lot of effort. And, in the current climate, it’s harder than ever.
In light of this, we thought it would be useful to share some insights around what we’ve found works when it comes to selling ourselves to prospective clients, and the vital steps we take in the sales cycle journey. We’ll showcase our current approach to finding leads, outlining our sales processes and how our teams contribute – and how you can do the same.
We may be biased, but we like to think we’re quite good at what we do – so we’ve collated our key findings here. We hope that, by following this structure, you’ll be well equipped to perform a full health check on your business and uncover new ways for gaining leads and driving sales.
How do you currently win new work?
To kick things off, we suggest taking a high-level view of the ways your business currently wins new work. This provides a super helpful insight into areas where you do well, and where there is room for improvement.
It helps to organise this exercise into the following categories:
> Main channels for new work
The likelihood is that there are already multiple facets to your business that have the potential to bring in new work. This may include:
- Existing clients. For many businesses, a high proportion of their revenue will come from work with current clients.
- Referrals. Former clients and current employees can be brilliant sources of new work. Never underestimate the power of a recommendation!
- Your website. Take a look at your website visits, content downloads and website leads – how do these elements contribute to your overall revenue?
- Social media. The potential for social media to bring in new leads is huge. Are your channels bringing in new work? If not, it may be time for a strategy overhaul.
> Website leads
Your website should be set up with targeted keywords that address the services you provide. Keeping these keywords up to date and optimised is an ongoing process – and one that’s very important in bringing in leads. To assess how well your website is performing in converting leads, it’s worth looking at:
- The content you produce that surfaces on Google. For us, this is largely blog content – so we understand the necessity of putting out regular posts on topics our audience will find valuable. But whatever kind of marketing content you produce, now’s the time that it needs to shine.
- Traffic from social media. How many visits to your website come from your social channels? If certain channels already perform well, it could be time to put more effort into social media marketing there in order to fast–track new opportunities.
- Email content. Do you send out regular updates to your mailing list? If not, maybe it’s time to step up your email marketing. Keeping in touch with current contacts is a great means of keeping your brand at the forefront of their mind – should they realise they need your services.
How your team can help win new work
Aside from the pointers listed above, it’s worth remembering another valuable resource at your disposal: your people! Your team is comprised of individuals who could all prove to be great assets for business growth. This can take on many forms:
- Referrals. Everyone’s on LinkedIn these days, which means we all have large networks comprised of individuals and businesses who may benefit from your offerings. Tapping into this resource is never a waste of time.
- Employee advocacy. This simply refers to the promotion of a business by its workforce. This could involve getting your employees to share company information on their social media channels to boost engagement and brand awareness.
- Upselling on existing projects. The employees working on specific projects will be well placed to identify scope for more work. Encourage your team to strike up conversations with clients about new ideas for work, and to keep thinking about more ways to address their needs.
It would be a mistake to overlook your employees’ potential for bringing in new work. Start conversations and get the ball rolling – once you’re all on the same page, you may be pleasantly surprised by the leads that could follow.
What does your sales process look like?
Of course, when new leads come in, it’s important that your whole organisation is ready to deal with them efficiently. For guidance, our process looks a little something like this:
- New work appears as a case or an opportunity
- For opportunities, we begin to plan appropriate resourcing to ensure we have the means to handle the workload
- The pipeline and future opportunities are then managed by relevant account directors
- Work orders are issued to clients and the entire process is signed off
- Work commences and the whole team pitches in where necessary
Finetuning your sales process will not only provide a better, more streamlined experience for new prospects (and keep them coming back for more!), but it will also put you in good stead for handling multiple opportunities as and when they arise.
Spoiler: the best sales pitch is simply doing a good job
We truly believe that being good at what you do, exceeding expectations, and consistently delivering good work is the best sales tactic out there. Every single piece of content you produce, whether it’s billable client work or internal marketing, needs to add value and showcase the very best of your expertise.
At Fifty Five and Five, we’re always asking ourselves (and each other!) if we are offering value and producing work that will make clients want to work with us again. This is how we build relationships that have lasted as long as we’ve been around.
If you need help getting your marketing on track so that you’re better placed to win new work, we’d love to talk through your options. Get in touch with a member of our team today to learn more about how we can work together to realise your full business potential.