jfdi: Only the Paranoid Survive

Published: Monday 14th January 2013

New Business can be divided into three areas: A Qualified Pipeline, Pitching to Win, Organic Growth.

For a qualified pipeline, a number of things need to be in place first. The Business Strategy and Positioning of the agency needs to be agreed by management. Marketing materials must then clearly articulate this. In addition, this must be clearly communicated to all internally, from the top down. Lastly, there needs to be a New Business & Marketing Strategy that is written down, well implemented and committed to at all levels

Even with these in place, an agency should never rest on its laurels when it comes to its pipeline – it always needs work. We can always qualify harder, and scrutinise the value and quality of each opportunity.

With your qualified pipeline in place, you now have to turn the opportunities into wins. The industry average conversion rate is 35%. However, jfdi® has seen that those agencies with a higher conversion rate are the more paranoid ones, and those with a lower than average conversion rate seem to think “it is just life” and often blame it on factors out of their control.  The best want to keep getting better, are restless, constantly on the move to improve. And why wouldn’t you keep improving until your conversion rate hits 80-90%? Life would be so much easier, and so much more enjoyable. And success breeds success. People then want to work on pitches, have more confidence, which in turns leads to more wins.

Lastly, and just as important, is an agency’s strategy towards organic growth. In New Business, you need to devote just as much time and resource to winning business from existing clients as new ones. In fact, as you are 5x more likely to win a piece of business from an existing client, we could argue that perhaps you should spend more time and resource on your organic growth as “new-new”. Just being “under-the-wire” puts you at a huge advantage to the competition. So, we should work hard at our client relationships. Always do more – the better the relationship, the more likely you are to be able to grow it. It is your job to make sure a New Business Culture is cultivated in your agency and that everyone is thinking about where and how to grow the business.

In this market, we need to keep changing, evolving, and creating to stay one step ahead and keep being paranoid as “only the paranoid survive!”