Managing Your Agency's Sales Pipeline

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Another MAB FABulous session at MAB 14 
Managing an Agency Business meetup series.  

Come next time to meet founders of Boston's top design, dev and marketing agencies

This event featured a panel discussion on "Managing Your Agency's Sales Pipeline" 
with topics including how to better qualify leads, managing your daily sales responsibilities, 
improving your scoping process and increasing your close rate on new deals.

Here are notes from this session on your Sales Pipeline:

Give free advice to connectors in your target markets
Get permission from clients to do your own PR

Share challenges publicly (podcast/Post) as process to solve… be that network of solving

Know target personas
And their networks
Who is funded, hiring. Read Venture-Fizz

Outbound prospecting = big pipeline
Find, meet, qualify, pitch, close

Read Predictable Revenue – segmentation of roles. cold-callers, Account person,

Know Persona details – their issues, needs, size, fears, competitors, what tech are they using,
Segment qualifying

A/B split test everything
Quality – Tier 1 - Priorities
Quantity – Tier 2 – General category
Practice – Tier 3

Owler – target account news
Google Alerts

Have top 20 accounts listed and printed… share with potential partners/everyone

Load emails to systematically touch - Yesware, Sendbloom,

Ask prospects, “How is this digital project going to help your business?”

Pre-qualifying – Speed process by asking if they appreciate this:
“up-front contract” – setup in advance “I assume you will want to know how 
we work, prices, relevant case studies.”  I will need to ask budgets, timing, how
you make this decision”

Give/Get Balance = Respect
Be careful not to condition your client to keep asking for more, time, scope creep
BUT they need to be asking for more. Healthy

Do - Scorecard… Prioritize a list of Gives/Gets. Match numbers for each ranked item.
List “Gives” – info, proposals. trials, better terms, Sales Engineer time, consulting, 
 extension on trial, discounts
List “Gets” – decision process, timeline, meetings with seniors, budget, 
  referrals, testimonials

Sales is making connections and helping people out
Be as objective as possible. Not emotional. Practical

Best sales movies – Pursuit of Happiness. Tommy Boy.
           Stop pitching – conversations
           Helping – not commissions

 – we cannot do everything. We have great partners
           Help wherever you can
Follow GaryV – “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”
Read Blinkest (book summaries)

“I’m confused”… “you said this, but this happened.” Hold them accountable
Never say,  “just checking in”
Pick up the phone!

Set expectations

Do – Summary email. Let them know before you send it
           List key action items for both … (active listening) … ask for confirmation
           Hold accountable
           Decision date? Put 15 minutes on the calendar
           Missed? Resend
           Confirm “what is best way to communicate with you”
                          I will get back to you within 24 hours… what can I expect from you?
           ALWAYS start “The reason for my call is…”
Influence - Reciprocity. Give reason

Keep emotions out
Have a walk-away line… do not cross it!

Handoff from Sales to production/service… (at 40:00+)
           Kick-off deck

Use “Summary Email” to follow up call… and start next meeting for clarification
 Get paid for pilot
Have detailed success criteria

Sales Stacks:

Owler – target account news
Google Alerts
Hubspot to Zapier to service tools
https://app.contactually -CRM (like Zendesk)
?...Todapt – email  – profiling, emails
Panda Doc – contracts, sow, stripe for recurring billing
      Custom token/fields
Sendbloom – good for workflows
> Leadsboost – data
Uber conference
Hunter – email
> Banana Tag – cleaner
Drift > Zapier > Slack
> Crunchbase
CharlieApp – meeting prep data

Any suggestions? (Should there be a collaborative MAB community wiki?)

FYI, I have a list of tips on "Selling Out" at

David Cutler
Managing Director -
617-331-7852  -

About MAB
Managing an Agency Business (MAB) is a quarterly event series focused on 
bringing Boston-area agency founders/owners/managers together to discuss 
the 'business' of running an agency. Topics of conversation include business 
development, operational management, developing culture and anything other 
than the actual services you offer your clients. MAB is not another networking 
event for hand shaking and business card swapping but rather an intimate 
gathering of peers looking to share their trials/tribulations in building successful 
agency businesses.

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