Last year’s HubSpot Partner Report on Agency Pricing and Financials revealed some startling statistics. With the average agency/brand relationship hovering around the 3-year mark, you might think agencies would spend more time trying to grow the size of each account. You’d be wrong. After all, the more enmeshed your client is, the more difficult it is for them to leave. But what HubSpot found was that agencies without a plan in place to grow client accounts were a little easier to find than agencies with a plan.
You might suppose, then, that if it’s a coin flip whether an agency has a client growth plan in place, they must have a dedicated new business person in bringing in new accounts. But agencies without a full-time sales person outnumber those that have one by a ratio of 2 to 1 .
Increasing sales and getting new accounts is important—especially when it comes to replacing clients on your roster—but you’re missing out on an untapped market if you’re not growing the accounts you already have. Here are five ways you can get started on that today.
Choose the Right Accounts, Because They Aren’t All Equal
Not all of the accounts you already have will be ripe for growth. They aren’t created equally, and you would be wasting resources if you didn’t determine which accounts you want to focus on before getting started. Knowing your customers and understanding new business growth can help you pick the right accounts to grow and develop. If you have a client that’s pitching for new business consistently, there’s a good chance they’ll land some and may have a need to increase the number of licenses they need. Maybe you have a client that’s changing its slate of services and will need an additional product you can provide. Your account may even include brands or media budgets you’re not aware of (though since you’re here you should check out how Winmo can help you with that).
What it all comes down to is that you need to…
Understand Your Customer’s Strategic Agenda
Even if all of your customers work in the same industry and focus on the same niche market, their strategic agendas will be different from one another. Trying to take the strategy you use for one customer and apply it to other customers can quickly backfire. Instead, focus on building a strong level of trust with the accounts you already have, and learn about each one individually so you can offer them products and solutions that fit their agenda and their business goals.
Invest Your Time and Resources
From adding extra seats for software licenses or cross-selling new products, growing accounts takes time and effort. Sitting back and waiting for your current accounts to come to you, asking what else they should buy, is a recipe for disaster. Instead, be proactive. Find out what else your accounts could use and why they need it. Spend time actually helping your accounts with their needs and they’ll be more likely to buy from you. Expand your understanding of their pain-points beyond the ones you can help them solve immediately. From a product development perspective, anecdotal data on problems you could solve in the future is valuable—and vital to remaining competitive as the customer’s needs evolve. If your organization isn’t planning to develop new solutions, you can still be a resource and recommend vendors that can solve your customer’s problem. As counterintuitive as it seems, providing a solution that brings value to the customer even if it doesn’t directly benefit your organization is vital to building trust. And if it doesn’t hurt your company, why wouldn’t you?
Know Everything You Offer and What It Can Do for Your Customers
When it comes to selling, it’s not possible to just know everything right away. Instead, you need to make the effort to really learn about what you’re selling, what kinds of add-on products and services are available and what problems your products solve. Not only should you know what’s available, but learning the specifics and why these products are offered are both very important, too. You can’t grow accounts if you don’t know what problems your products can solve for your customers, or what to say when customers ask what products you have that can help them.
Implement a Process for Systematically Growing Accounts
If you want to see sales productivity, you have to use the right sales tools and resources. Those include options that will help you grow accounts in a more organic way. By creating a system that works for you—and works for your customers—you can check in with your accounts in a time frame that keeps them growing without making them feel pressured into unneeded products or services. Not only will regular check-ins keep you top-of-mind, but it increases the likelihood that you’ll be calling them in the moment they understand they have a need.
As you work with and perfect these skills, your accounts will continue to grow, and so will the number of accounts in your portfolio.