Digital marketing agencies, like any other business, need to follow processes in order to progress more effectively. These processes are the backbone of every successful sales campaign. Let’s dig deeper into what an agency sales cycle is and why you should have it.
What is an Agency Sales Cycle?
An agency sales cycle describes all the steps that a sales team needs to follow, right from prospecting until delivery. This is the journey of every potential client right from the moment the client knows about the product until he buys it.
Every agency needs to know and follow an agency sales cycle as it serves as the guide on ensuring the efficiency of a sales process. This cycle gives an agency insight into how effective their processes are by tracing, examining, and even comparing the length of their cycle compared to their competitors. So if you have your own agency and you do not have a sales cycle, now is the time to have it!
Lastly, by analyzing your sales cycle, you will know what processes are working and what needs to be improved.
The Stages of an Agency Sales Cycle
Here, I will tackle every stage of the agency sales cycle and give you tips on how you can do them more effectively.
The first stage of the cycle begins when your team begins prospecting leads. will be sales prospecting. Here, you must define your target clients and define the strategies on how you position your product or services in front of them. In this stage, you need to research and create a list of your potential leads so when you decide to start your campaign, it will be easier for you to contact them.
In your list, you can include the lead’s company, designation and you can sort them out based on the industry they are in or based on demographics.
2. Making a Contact
Next will be to contact your potential leads. You can have tons of ways to do this–via email, phone, or face-to-face meetings. These methods are useful but you have to make sure that within the first contact, your potential leads will know your value. This doesn’t mean that you will give them a full view of your products or services. Here, you can start by establishing contact, making them see the value that you provide, then ask to have a formal meeting with them.
3. Qualifying Leads
Not everyone you put on the leads will be qualified leads. Therefore, in an agency sales cycle, you must have a great strategy on how you will qualify your leads. This stage usually starts after you meet with your potential leads. Knowing how to qualify your leads will save you time and resources as you know that the people you will contact are already interested in purchasing your product or service.
During the first contact or even the first meeting, you can ask them questions in order for you to have an insight into their needs and how you can help them. Some of the pieces of information you need to consider are their budget and their timeline. This is for you to know if working with them will work both ways. This is because they will not be your only clients and their budget must fit their needs too.
4. Lead Nurturing
Say you were able to qualify your leads, you can now start to nurture them. The process will not stop when you already have your leads and you’ve had the first contact with them. This is actually just the beginning!
When you already know who among your leads are more likely to buy, it’s time to feed them with useful information on how you can help them and what your products can do. This can be possible via email or through your social media channels as most of your leads will be active in them.
However, you must understand that lead nurturing is not just about giving your potential leads information about your brand. It also includes an awareness stage wherein you can give them general information that will lead them into a realization that they need something like what you offer.
5. Making an Offer
This stage of an agency sales cycle is crucial as you will now be presenting your products to your potential leads. It means that in this stage, you need to make sure that the customers are convinced that your product or service is the best.
Let’s recap: you’ve identified a potential new customer, initiated contact, and qualified the lead. Now it’s time to present what you have to offer. This requires the most preparation as this also gives you more possibility of conversion.
6. Handling Objections
The majority of your potential customers will object or if not, will ask tons of questions when you present them an offer. Therefore, you and your team must always be ready to answer their queries and satisfies their needs.
Some of the questions they might have are, why is the price too high, or how do you differ or what is your USP? You need to listen to their queries patiently and do not be afraid to answer them.
7. Closing a Sale
When you’ve followed all the processes accordingly, this stage will be easier for you and your team. This is your moment of truth, and it all depends on how you have handled the previous stages.
The approach you need to use here also depends on how your customers established a connection with you from the previous stages. If you think you were able to solve answer all their concerns and they eagerly listened to what you offer, you can use a direct approach. However, if you think they are not fully nurtured, you will need a softer approach.
Do you know what would be your next step? Do you need to know that after closing a sale, you still need to continuously win your customer? For others, they think that closing a sale is the last step, but it’s not!
When you ensure a good delivery of your product or service, you have the possibility to get referrals and even upsell to your clients. This is your time to really show off and fulfill whatever it is you have promised them from the previous stages.
How to Improve Your Agency Sales Cycle?
Improving your sales cycle is easier said than done. You have to make sure that you are fully aware of what’s happening at every stage of the cycle so you know what’s working and what needs improvement.
You may start by improving the quality of your leads and identifying who’s more interested to be your loyal customers. This will save you more time and effort in nurturing unqualified leads.
You should also leverage your sales team, by providing them reliable and advanced training. This will give you confidence that they will be able to perform accordingly at every stage, even without you guiding them.
The Best Tools To Power Up Your Agency Sales Cycle
Lastly, you can use powerful software tools in order to make every process easier. For your sales process. Here are my recommended tools:
Snov.io helps your outreach, your lead qualification, and even your lead nurturing processes easily. It offers efficient contact management and helps you find convertible leads, verifies contacts, tracks your lead's progress. It can help you save your sales team's time and improve your revenue with personalized automated outreach.
When it comes to creating proposals, Better Proposals can be your best option. This powerful proposal software provides templates and you can save your own proposal templates to reuse them.
The UI/UX of the proposals makes it a pleasant experience for your prospects. Moreover, Better Proposals helps you create your proposals faster, makes them look more professional. It also gives you the ability to know when your proposals are opened, forwarded and even downloaded.
Stick to Your Processes!
As mentioned, this agency sales cycle can be your guide to give you more probability of winning your customers. Thus, you need to stick to your processes. You can still make an adjustment as it is one of the reasons why you have processes–to know what's not. However, my point is, as long as your processes are working, you have to keep them.
Tell me about your own sales approach in the comment section below! I would love to check what’s working for you!