Build Ad Agency New Business with a New Business Funnel

Prospecting is a numbers game and knowing your numbers is the key to success
by Todd Knutson

Start at the bottom to end at the top.

When speaking at the 2006-2008 Mirren New Business Conferences, we talked about how agencies should build their new business “funnel” from the bottom up. A new business funnel fills an agency’s pipeline with prospective client leads.

It’s quite easy if you know your numbers. If you don’t, I strongly suggest that you start tracking every part of your agency's sales process.

(This approach assumes you're going after new business proactively, not using search consultants or expecting prospective clients will call you directly.)

Keeping it really simple, here are three numbers you need to build your funnel:

  1. How many clients do you need to win in the next 24 months?
  2. What percent of your initial client meetings from proactive outreach result in a win?
  3. What percent of the prospects you target meet with you?

Let’s assume the following:

  • 6 new clients needed;
  • 10% of initial meetings result in a win;
  • 10% of the prospects we call agree to meet us.

Now, let’s build your funnel:

  • 6 new clients / 10% = 60 initial meetings needed
  • 60 initial meetings / 10% = 600 prospects needed

diagram

Assuming you have a good new business (sales) person on staff, a compelling reason for prospects to consider you, and good creative, you now need to identify 600 prospective clients to reach out to. How to go through that process is the subject of another post.

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