Agency Growth: How Sales & Marketing Work Together in Scaling a Marketing Agency


Agencies, friends, and partners ask about scaling. Sales and marketing can work together for any agency — SEO, paid search, PR, and more — to assist with growing the whole.

The process is straightforward. The team puts a high volume of content out there while also doing a paid advertising campaign on Facebook, Google, or YouTube. Marketers also engage in retargeting on AdRoll. When a high volume of leads arrive, the team has multiple meetings along with salespeople and the sales manager.

Everyone wants to know how to manage these leads and put them through a process to actually close those leads. More importantly, the departments know how to qualify them before the sales team closes them.

Streamlining the Relationship Between Marketing Campaigns and Sales Processes

Leads are nice but worthless unless you close. You need a system in place to handle them adequately.

What are the top three tips or elements that streamline this process?

Maintain communication between your marketing and sales team. Any gap will cause potential prospects to drop out. This can be either miscommunication, on whether that was a qualified lead or not, what that lead was for, what campaign brought in that lead, or if there’s no communication between your marketing and sales team. In any of these cases, disconnects will ensue. That leads to a drop in potential conversions.

Have a process in place. When that lead comes in, who’s responsible for outreaching first? Who’s responsible for the first, second, or third touchpoint? Without a process, many leads fall through the funnel.

Utilize your marketing team within the sales process. Your salesmen can know the sales playbook from back to front. However, they are not an expert in what you’re trying to sell. If you incorporate that expertise into your sales pitch, you’re going to see a much higher close rate.

The Agency Sales Cycle

Inbound leads that arrive through different channels. You must integrate with Zapier or other tools into your CRM. Salesforce or Hubspot can help.

SDRs will nurture these calls and qualify these people. Call these leads in the first 30 minutes, not a second beyond that. Once the SDRs qualify these, they push them over to BDRs, the closers. The closers will get a sales engineer, marketer, developer, or programmer to move that through the sales cycle and close the sale.

Suppose if the leads are not inbound. You want their attention.

Why?

These are the ideal customers. Your prospect will reach out, creating engagement and visibility for your brand. They grow your agency. If you don’t have this structure, you’re going to need a marketing-to-sales-to-close funnel. This helps you close the sales with your agency.

How about pre-qualifying leads?

Optimum7 receives three to four hundred leads on a monthly basis. Not all of those leads are great, and not all of that business is ready to convert.

Pain Points For Potential Customers

How do marketers qualify that they have the pain-budget decision?

They have a pain point and want to solve a problem. They have the budget, they’re not too small, they’re not a startup. Then you talk to the decision-maker.

When it comes to the qualification do they have a pain point? Do they have a budget? Are you speaking to the decision-maker?

You can accomplish this throughout your actual targeting and campaigns. The pain is your angle.

The ad that you’re running addresses a specific pain point. If a prospect shows interest and is converting while submitting an inquiry, you know they have that pain.

What about the budget?

You might not want to qualify a lead just on your campaign level. The SDR reaches out and has to ask specific questions: what is their budget? Are they currently working with an agency? Have they ever worked with an agency? How long have they been in business?

These questions help you assess the following: “Does the prospect have the budget to invest into a digital marketing strategy or custom functionality?” Otherwise, you’ll waste time and resources nurturing a lead that will experience sticker shock the moment that you present them with a proposal.

You can do this qualification with either one or processes. See if you actually want to get on a phone call with them. Once you’re on the phone, you can qualify the service they desire or the kind of customer they are. Do they want marketing, eCommerce, or migration?

Agencies And Their Marketing Efforts

Usually, agencies earn less than $5 million annually because they lack sales playbooks and teams. The owner is managing sales without established guidelines. They don’t have the scripts or the method of taking a qualified prospect and turning them into a lead.

What do you say to people who are running agencies without a sales team or playbook? Would that change if they have a sales team but no playbook?

You’re setting yourself up for failure while not creating a scalable agency. One person cannot handle enough sales calls and conduct the process alone. It’s not a matter of how, but who is answering the phones and talking to customers.

Build your processes so that other people can do that for you. Delegate when you can and hire specialists within budget. If you’re not creating a sales playbook and training SDRs or prospectors, then you create an unbreakable ceiling.

Suppose you trust no one less. Then you’re capped in terms of productivity. Even the most enthusiastic entrepreneur has limits.

Your marketing and sales team needs to work together with marketing and lead generation systems. Know if the leads are coming from Facebook, Google, Bing, or internal organic traffic. Or you might be doing retargeting and outreach with cold email.

How is that translating to your sales team? Does your sales team actually know what’s going on in your lead generation? Will they communicate? You want system efficiency.

Optimum7 went through this process over the past few years. The marketers now have checklists: one for a sales playbook, and another for agency growth. If you need this checklist, reach out and the team is happy to send it to you or schedule a phone call.