Ask any agency owner or business development professional and they will say that new business is a tough challenge. Calls, meetings, follow up calls, emails, more follow up calls etc. Time is scarce, resource is stretched low and keeping the pipeline full of fresh opportunities as well as nurturing current prospects is frankly, bloody hard work. This is old news.
However, all of this MUST be done and one of the real benefits of working with a new business agency such as Alchemis has been highlighted starkly over the past few days. As an agency, Alchemis lose very few New Business Managers (NBMs). We, along with our clients provide a stimulating and enjoyable place to work (or we think we do!), but we are just about to lose our first sales team member for over 13 months. Anyone involved in a sales organisation will tell you that this is a very low turnover.
The benefit of using Alchemis and having a stable New Business Manager is the continuity it provides. That New Business Manager knows exactly what is going on, who they should be calling and when.
However, we do lose NBMs from time to time, and we have the systems and processes in place to ensure that there’s no break in momentum and that all important continuity.
As a company owner, you want to feel that the service you provide is as good as it can be, and most importantly in our industry, your people are the best in the market. I can honestly say that this has hit home over the past two weeks. We are very sad to see this particular New Business Manage leave. He has been a great team member and achieved some fantastic results for his clients. However, he is leaving and we have robust processes in place to ensure that accounts are handed over to new callers seamlessly, but these processes are nothing without the input of the outgoing NBM.
The key is an effective, well run internal briefing for each client. I have sat in a few of these briefings over the past week or so and it has become apparent that the outgoing NBM has a real passion for their clients and genuinely cares about the new caller taking on the mantle effectively, not missing any current leads and continuing to do a good job. This infectious enthusiasm for their clients clearly rubs off on the new Account Manager. I can genuinely say that seeing this first hand has instilled pride in myself at the company I co-own, the quality of the people we have employed and the commitment that they have to their clients’ businesses.
From a client perspective, there is no break in momentum. Versus an internal resource, there is no reluctant notice period, no break in activity whilst a replacement is found (we know from experience that quality sales people who work well with agency propositions are few and far between), no recruitment fee, no training or build up whilst the new person gets to know the systems and tries to decipher someone else’s notes and leads. At the end of the day, we don’t miss any opportunities on behalf of our clients if someone leaves.
I can understand if you think this sounds a little self congratulatory, but there are times when things happen within your business when you should take a step back and be proud in your achievements. Working with the other owners of Achemis in selecting and developing our current team is one of those times.