Long-Term Locke is a campaign-based client that has strong profit potential, tends to be highly stable and predictable, has needs in line with the agency’s expertise, maintains realistic expectations, greatly values the agency’s services, and is interested in an ongoing relationship. Long-Term Locke tends to sign 12-month service contracts for fully integrated campaigns; however, most Locke accounts have high-growth potential beyond the approved annual budget.
There are strong possibilities for add-on services in the areas of content marketing, brand marketing, sales support, and strategic planning. A solid portfolio of Locke accounts enables the agency to more accurately predict revenue and staffing needs. In addition, entry-level professionals can usually complete 30 percent or more of the workload, which is key to agency development and profitability. The target portfolio allocation is 60–75 percent Locke accounts. Retention is essential. Locke accounts have the following attributes.
Lead Management Lead management is made possible by the sales tools you have put in place and by defining systems and standards for moving leads efficiently through the funnel. Consider the following when defining your lead-management process
Discovery Agencies have a variety of ways to gather information about leads. In addition to Internet research, savvy firms utilize technology such as online surveys and website contact forms to develop a deep understanding of their leads’ needs and goals before they even conduct the first meeting. A strategic discovery process can differentiate agencies early on if companies are assessing multiple providers. The agency that comes to the table more prepared and confident, and demonstrates a greater understanding of the lead’s business, has an immediate advantage over the competition.
If your agency has access to lead-intelligence analytics, the discovery process begins as soon as a website contact form is submitted. You can immediately assess the lead’s level of interest in your agency based on their online behavior, and depending on the custom fields in your lead forms, you may already know answers to key questions such as budgets, title, timeline, needs, and goals.
Proposal We will cover the proposal more in-depth later in this chapter, but strong proposals are essential to increasing conversion rates. It is best to have a standard template, which is then customized to each company’s needs and goals. Every proposal should feel completely personalized to the prospect, but each should be completed as efficiently as possible by your team. The key is to give just enough details to convince them you are the right firm, without providing a wealth of free consultation they can turn around and give to another agency to implement. It is a tricky balance.
If you have gotten this far in the process, go into the meeting with the intent to close. If you did not want the business, you should not have invested the time it took to get this far. Have the mindset that you are going to leave with an agreement. Consider the following questions, and come prepared.