I’m delighted to report that October was the best month for the sales team for several years, continuing an upward trend that began in June 2009. We measure monthly team success by looking at how many quality meetings were generated and attended for our clients – this is a reliable and early indicator of activity within marketing departments – and October was a record month. Ultimately we measure longer-term team success by the number and value of new business wins generated for our clients, which has surged in the 2nd half the year (14 wins for 11 of our clients in September and October alone).
This year really has proven to be a tale of two halves; the period to May was tough, as were the last few months of 2008 but things have definitely picked up since June. At the start of the year we were still finding Marketing Departments reluctant to bring new agencies in, for any number of reasons that can probably be grouped under the umbrella of “caution and indecision”. Of course, we still set quality meetings during this period and the outcomes were better than average; our clients won more business per meeting than usual. We think this was because Marketing Managers were only seeing people if they had a genuine and immediate need. Often they were looking for a leaner, better value alternative to their long-term incumbent and this benefited our mostly small to medium sized agencies. So our clients were happy even if we had to work our socks off to get them in the door in the first place.
Since June we have seen a steady rise in the number of decision makers wanting to meet new agencies. It seems the indecision has been cast off in favour of a determination to “make things happen”. For some companies this will be born from renewed confidence in their long-term prospects, for others it will be driven by expediency – but either way it has made for a more profitable hunting ground for our clients.
A full diary of prospects and recent wins in the bag obviously makes for happy clients but it also makes for happy sales people. The sales team at Alchemis have been buzzing since the summer because they are remunerated on the basis of client satisfaction. The chief beneficiary of this energy, dynamism and confidence – our clients.
As we enter November all our New Business Managers are relishing the challenge of beating October’s performance for meetings set in the month knowing that what we sow now our clients will reap in Q1 of 2010 in terms of new business won.