Maximize Your Marketing Agency: 7 Things You Should Know

Posted by LinkedSelling in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights, LinkedIn Marketing Insights

OK - We all know it’s a pretty hefty task when finding a marketing agency to work with.  Not only because you want to maximize your budget as much as possible, but you also want to position your business to increase revenue and grow. It can be risky because there’s no guarantee it’ll be a success. That’s why you need to do your homework before choosing an agency to work with.

If you’re currently looking to work with a marketing agency to get leads and appointments, or if you’ve worked with marketing agencies in the past with disappointing results, this post is for you. Let’s cover a few factors every business should know before outsourcing their lead generation...

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1. Know That An Agency Won't Save You

This might come as a shocker, especially coming from a marketing agency, but it’s critical you understand that no marketing agency can save your business. It’s not magic and there are things you need to have in place in order to get the most bang for your buck with a marketing agency (we’ll cover those in a second). 

For now, just know that before you outsource your lead generation to anyone, you need a solid sales process in place in order to handle incoming leads, you need to be able to deliver, and you need to understand the “journey” your prospects have taken to get to you. 

Which leads us to the next factor...

2. Know That Agencies Amplify Good Business But Won't Make A Bad Business Good

This is critical because no matter how good the marketing is, if the product or service is less than your prospect expects, you won’t last long. A big part of business is growing a loyal clientele who’s willing to refer you to their friends and associates, another is maximizing the lifetime value of each client. 

Both are important aspects that happen post-marketing based on the delivery of the product or service and the interaction your clients have with your business. If they’re left disappointed, it’s likely they won’t return and certainly won’t refer you. 

Unfortunately, a marketing agency can’t always help overcome this problem, no matter how much marketing you do, or how successful the marketing campaigns are.

3. Have A Stated Problem You Solve (And The Ability To Actually Fulfill It)

Here, we refer to a common pattern we’ve noticed, especially among newer businesses still trying to hone in on their main service. This can be difficult to do because most businesses can potentially offer a plethora of products and services to clients, becoming the “One-Stop-Shop” in their industry. Unless you’re a corporate giant, this often doesn’t work very well because of two reasons:

  1. The marketing agency you work with needs to target a specific audience with a specific problem, and 
  2. Your prospects need to understand what you can do for them. If they can’t get a clear picture about what you do, it’ll be difficult to get prospects in your pipeline, let alone sell them your services.

And then, of course, if you offer too many things, especially at first, you risk spreading yourself too thin and becoming unable to deliver what you promised.

Interested in learning more?

Schedule a time to talk with our Director of Client Strategy to get more qualified
sales appointments on your teams calendar!

4. Have A Proven Product/Market Fit

Here we refer to the backbone of business: you’ve already proven that people want what you do or sell. 

This seems self-explanatory, but too many people start a business with an idea and start selling only to find out that the market really doesn’t want it. There are times of course when this has worked… no one realized they need an iPhone, a microwave, or even a Ford motor vehicle until it was invented. A key to remember is this:

Sell what they want… provide what they need.

How does knowing this help you get the most out of working with a marketing agency? If you have a good market fit, your budget will go farther. If you don’t, then you’ll spend a lot of your ad spend budget in testing and trying to “force” your product on the market.

5. Know Who You Want To Target

If you already know who you want to target, you’re miles ahead. This will give your marketing agency the fuel to scale faster and deliver better results. It means that you know who actually wants your services and who will actually buy them. 

Of course, every business can test out new markets as they expand but if you’ve already got at least one target market that you know responds well to your messaging, you’ll go a lot farther with a marketing agency.

You’d be surprised how often we ask a new client who their ideal client is and they respond with, “you tell me…” While we will certainly provide feedback and help where we can there, your business should have a decent idea of who you want to work with before you make a financial investment into an agency.

6. Communicate Your Sales Cycle And KPIs

In order to set realistic expectations with your marketing agency, it’s imperative that you discuss the typical length and process of your sales cycle, along with your major KPI’s with your marketing agency. To explain what I mean, here’s an example of what can happen if you don’t do this…

Let’s say you sell IT consulting services to large corporations. You typically have a sales cycle of about 6 months from first touchpoint to signed contract. If you neglect to share this information with your marketing agency, you will likely be disappointed in the results and feel that your money wasn’t well spent. 

To put it another way, if you say your typical sales cycle is 6 months but expect clients in month 2 then you have unreasonable expectations. That’s not to say that you won’t get a client in month 2. That certainly can (and oftentimes will) happen but it simply cannot be considered the benchmark for success. 

A good marketing agency may shorten your sales cycle but if you think they’ll be able to cut it by 60-80% then, again, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed.

Same goes for your KPI’s (your Key Performance Indicators). You need to communicate what you’re looking for and discuss with your marketing agency whether or not the expectations you have - and the way you measure them - are realistic within the scope of the campaign. 

They should be able to tell you whether or not that’s realistic and help set some realistic expectations so that you know what kind of results to expect.

7. The Ability To Sell Your Product/Service (Or Adapt To Different Methods)

Of course, this may go without saying, but it’s worth taking a look at because for many businesses, it’s a difficult (and costly) realization when a marketing agency delivers quality leads but you just don’t know how to close them. 

Again, it may be an issue of setting expectations… discuss upfront whether or not you’re the one closing the leads and whether or not your marketing agency offers that as part of their service. It’s also worth discussing ways to make the transition easier and better for your sales team once your prospects move from the marketing into your sales process. 

Realize that marketing agencies in most cases only deliver the leads, which means you need to have a system in place to make the most of them BEFORE outsourcing your lead generation to an agency. Otherwise, all the time and money spent working with them will go down the drain when you aren’t able to close and achieve an ROI on attaining those leads.

Interested in learning more?

Schedule a time to talk with our Director of Client Strategy to get more qualified
sales appointments on your teams calendar!

8. Hire For The Job… Not For An Agency to Run Your Business For You

Some businesses also fall into this trap… they hire a marketing agency and just sit back and expect things to run on their own… and they ask for more and more services. What’s really happening here is that if you need an agency for more than the scope of work they offered you, you are setting yourself up for failure. 

For example, if you hired our agency to get you sales appointments then but you have no idea what to charge for your services… then you are not ready to hire an agency. The scope needs to be very clear, and you will need to have price, sales cycles, ability to close, market fit and more already figured out if you want the most bang for your buck. 

Marketing agencies are there to help you market your services. In some cases, they offer consulting for pricing, market fit, etc., so you need to be very clear on what processes to expect and on what the scope of the campaigns are. 

The key here is to keep in front and center what your prospect needs to become a client. Determine how much of that is within the scope of the marketing agency, and make sure you have the rest filled in to get the best results from any marketing agency you work with.

Recap

There are a lot of marketing agencies out there, each with a different approach, different price points, and different services. After working with hundreds of businesses around the world, in more than 19 different industries, I can confidently say that in order to get the most out of any marketing agency - and to help you choose, look for a marketing agency that’s willing to discuss all the points above. 

The most important key here is to keep expectations realistic and communication open. Marketing agencies who are unable to discuss expectations, potential ROI and even what you’ll need outside the scope of their services will be difficult to work with and will likely bring disappointing results.

Want to talk about it?

If you’re currently researching different lead generation options for your business, and are considering outsourcing to a marketing agency, my experienced team is grounded in tried and tested methods, and is able to speak with you about our approach, how they’ll work for your business, and the kinds of results you can expect. 

If you’re considering outsourcing your lead generation, it’s worth it to learn about your options.

If you’re ready to learn more, schedule a time to speak with my Director of Client Strategy here.

Ready to take control of your lead generation?

Let's talk about getting you on the phone with better prospects.

If you're interested in learning more about how we can solve your lead generation problems, book a 1-on-1 planning session with our Director of Client Strategy to discuss your business, your sales process, and whether or not our LinkedIn Marketing Campaign Management Services would be a good fit for your needs.


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