How important is business development to your agency? If you are a smart and strategic leader, your answer should be an emphatic “very important”. Yet a recent study reported that 35% of agencies struggle to find employees who are the right fit for the position. Business development is a long-term process. Results do not often happen overnight. Your struggle could also be the result of your team not fully understanding or having the time to build a complete business development strategy. Business development is more than making cold calls. It is a strategic process that involves understanding an agency’s customer, their pain points, and their needs. It’s doing the hard work to qualify the best prospects, educating them about your services, and building confidence until they convert. And the more your agency grows, the more complicated your business development strategy becomes. So ask yourself:
If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above questions, the best thing you could do for your business is to find someone to help you.
But who and how? Your first instinct may be to hire a salesperson and pay them on commission. But is that the best decision for your business? Maybe not. Maybe an outside sales team that specializes in strategic business development would be a better solution. But how will you know? It'll take both research and a few honest conversations with yourself and your team to make the decision. On the research front, we are here to help. Let's break down some of the benefits of hiring an outsourced business development team for your business.
First and foremost, money is probably at the top of your priority list. You may assume an outsourced sales team would be more expensive, but that is not always true. When you hire an in-house sales team, you are committing to paying not only their salary, but also commission, benefits, and more. You are locked into paying most of these expenses regardless of how the team performs or how long it takes to start making sales. Also, in-house business development positions are notoriously hard to fill and retain, which just raises your overall HR and recruiting expenses. By comparison, you will know what you are paying when you contract with an outsourced sales team. Instead of paying for six months of salary, benefits, and taxes before your first sale or having to retrain a new business development employee twice a year, you pay a set fee to a sales team committed to working with you for the length of your contract. There will be no surprises on the expense side of your ledger and you’ll know exactly what you are getting for your money.
Hand in hand with the expense argument, hiring an outsourced sales team can also save you time. If you hire a team that has the industry knowledge and insights to hit the ground running, you are most likely going to see traction faster than hiring a sales employee who will need time to gain that knowledge and make those connections. At BIGWAVE, 95% of our clients see a qualified meeting with a prospective client within the first month. That's because our team has deep knowledge and experience in many verticals. It's just a matter of learning your business and your culture for us to start connecting your agency to prospective clients.
As a CEO, your bandwidth to handle prospecting and business development is probably non-existent. As we’ve said, the best client conversions are developed from an ongoing process of communication and relationship building. Even if your agency does employ a business development professional, shepherding multiple leads through your sales funnel can be time-consuming and not very efficient. An outsourced sales team will take the outbound part of your sales funnel off your plate so you can go back to running your company and providing the products and services that drive your success. And then your business development employee can manage the inbound part of your sales funnel. BIGWAVE does this every day. We’ve got a tried and true business development approach that is highly customized to your business but still designed to save time. Bottom line, this approach will deliver only warm sales-ready leads to your company.
Entrusting your agency’s growth to an outsourced sales team is not without its caveats. It takes innate trust and a leap of faith to turn over the keys to your agency to someone who isn’t a full time employee ingrained in your team’s culture. Whatever the promises, the strategies or tactics that are being proposed, trust your gut when it comes who you’re partnering with.
In some cases, a sales team that’s doing it’s job really well can present another challenge: too many leads. It could be great messaging or market timing, but in some cases, a sales team can start off by bringing it more qualified leads and new work than you know what to do with. If you’re investing in a team dedicated to growing your business, be prepared to dedicate some of your time to fielding those opportunities.
Understanding your business is key to a successful sales team/client relationship. An exceptional outsourced sales team will deploy a discovery process to uncover new leads or lines of business for your agency to pursue. The BIGWAVE team will start with a deep dive into your culture, approach to sales, creative process, differentiators, and past work. Once there is a deep understanding of your business, the team will leverage their knowledge of your competitors, the industry you are in, and the trends that drive your business to build a customized arsenal of sales tools and a tailored list of prospects. While an employee could produce the same items, there is no guarantee they will have the resources, contacts, or expertise you would enjoy from an outsourced sales team, especially if your targets are well-known brands.
Even if you employ a business development manager, an outsourced sales team can walk alongside your sales team to guide them to the right connections and the best potential leads. Your agency has the opportunity to leverage their Rolodex. A good sales team will be transparent as to how much value they bring to your partnership. They are there to assist you in building your client base, not get in the way. It's a win-win situation.
An outsourced sales team like BIGWAVE can save you:
An outsourced sales team like BIGWAVE can provide you:
So, if you are constantly chasing new business but never actually making that sale or you just don't have the time to deal, a credible outsourced sales team is a strategic and smart option for you. Don't wait for the situation to become dire. Reach out and schedule a free consultation with our team of experts to find out how you can start generating high-quality leads today.