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How Resilient Agencies Get Out of a Sales Slump

May 25, 2020 in Guides

When it comes to project management for agencies, the dreaded sales slump is something most managers – and their team – have to contend with. Whether it’s a seasonal problem, a global pendemic, or something more organizational, it’s as hard on your team’s morale as it is on your profits.

It can be difficult to predict when a sales slump might occur. It doesn’t, however, have to harm your agency in the long run. Resilient agencies know how to identify the cause of slow sales and how to turn it around. Here’s what to consider:

Examine the cause

Before you jump in, assess just what is at the root of your recent slump. If you’ve worked in digital project management for a while now, you know that agencies can see downturns for myriad reasons, from the mundane to the complex. For example, a sales slump might be seasonal, or related to a specific timeframe, like the end of the fiscal year when company’s budgets are tapped out.

That being said, it might be more internal in nature. An ongoing sales slump can be caused by a team with poor training or product knowledge, a lack of organizational communication, an inconsistent marketing strategy and much, much more.

If you can identify exactly where in your sales process most leads are lost, you can move towards identifying the cause of your sales slump and formulating a solution.

Make the solution a team effort

A sales slump impacts everyone at your agency, so doesn’t it make sense that everyone should be part of the solution? Leaving your sales or outreach team members on their own to find and capture leads only creates silos across your organization.

This can be a great time to have your marketers re-think their strategies or your IT team analyze some data. Almost everyone in your agency can play a role in overthrowing a sales slump, but this will only happen if you draw their attention to it.

Consider holding a team brainstorm session where everyone contributes their own ideas for boosting sales. Not only does this create camaraderie, but it’s a great way to introduce different perspectives, which can be key to rethinking strategies.

Keep your standards consistent

When business volume isn’t where you want it to be, it can be tempting to bring on any interested clients, even those who aren’t ideal. But when it comes to project management for agencies, rushing to fill the gap with a client who wouldn’t normally qualify for your services isn’t the best long-term strategy.

It could mean struggling to deal with the consequences of a poor fit just as your sales are on the upswing. In the meantime, it might mean a poor use of your resources, which are then tapped out, should a quality lead actually come to your attention. Additionally, a client that is a poor fit to begin with is more likely to result in client churn* meaning you’re likely to benefit from long-term business with them anyway.

And, let’s not forget, difficult clients are a drain on your resources as well as your team’s morale, which is exactly what an agency doesn’t need when you’re facing a sales slump.

Leverage your existing clients

Sometimes it pays to go back to your best customers, but not necessarily to approach them for new business. Asking them for referrals or permission to use them as a case study can be a great way to reconnect while broadening your potential client base.

You should also take this time to reach out to past clients who may have a new pain point or who could benefit from a supplementary product or service.
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