The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

Inbound Marketing Agencies Need Systems, Processes, and Methodology

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 19, 2019 7:49:00 AM

You’re not running an ad agency. When you get a new client, you can’t pull your creative team into the conference room and start banging out ideas for print ads or a billboard campaign. You can’t treat every new client like they’re your first and only client.

Perhaps even more challenging, if you want to scale and grow, you can’t be the bottleneck, you can’t be in every meeting for every client and you can’t control every process.

When it comes to growth, the agency owner is almost always why the agency isn’t growing.  

The answer to this is systems, processes and a defined, differentiated methodology. Think McDonald's. Not the fast part, but the scalable, repeatable and trainable part. Want to know how to make French fries at McDonald's? There is a manual for that. Want to know how to wash the window? There is a manual for that. Want to know how to greet the customers? You guessed it—a manual. Today it’s probably a video tutorial, but you get the idea.

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Topics: agency operations, team member training

Inbound Marketing Agency Owners Want To Know - Do I Need A Sales Person?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 12, 2019 7:22:00 AM

I talk to a lot of agency owners who are handling both sales and client services for their agencies. They might have a couple of marketing consultants who are also working with clients but when it comes to the client engagement, the owners are still very much involved.

The question they ask me is, “Do I need a salesperson?” Or sometimes, “When should I hire a salesperson?”

It’s a good question for growing agencies. But my answer is almost always the same. I ask them, “Do you like sales or taking care of the clients?” This answer usually requires some soul searching. What I mean is, that you can’t do both.  You have to pick either selling your services to new clients or taking care of current clients.”

The answer is important if you're planning on hiring a salesperson.

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Topics: Sales Process, inbound Agency Sales Process

The Agile Marketing Agency: The Saga Continues

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 6, 2019 9:23:00 AM

We started transforming Square 2 into an agile agency back in September of 2014. As one of the first agencies to adopt the Agile Methodology (back then there were only two other shops that I was aware of who ran agile), today we have buckets and buckets of experience making agile work.

Last week at HubSpot’s Partner Day in Boston, being agile was again noted by a few of the presenting agencies as one of their “secrets” to success.

But the agile we practice is not even close to the agile we rolled out in September of 2014. Almost five years later, the way we use agile to service our clients has changed dramatically.

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Topics: agile marketing, agency operations

How Agile Marketing Transformed Our Sales Enablement Services Into An Agile Sales Engagement

Posted by Mike Lieberman on May 22, 2019 8:15:00 AM

As agency owners, continuously learning what’s going on in our industry, what’s working, what’s not and what the innovative thinkers are planning keeps me and my agency on the cutting edge of marketing, sales and revenue execution.

None of us can get to every conference, but when I have the pleasure of attending one of the year’s best conferences, I like to share those experiences with all of you.

I recently returned from one of the best conferences, Sirius Decision’s Annual Summit in Austin Texas. This is my second time attending and our agency’s third. This is the first time we exhibited. What I love about this conference is the high level of attendee (CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of both marketing and sales) and a heavy focus on technology solutions.

What I also love about this conference is the level of thought leadership shared by the Sirius Decisions team.  If you don’t know this company, I like to refer to them as the Gartner of sales and marketing.

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Topics: sales enablement

Who Are The Next HubSpots And What You Should Be Doing About Using Those Tools Now

Posted by Mike Lieberman on May 15, 2019 7:15:00 AM

We first met HubSpot back in 2009. At the time, I pledged to Pete Caputa, that Square 2 would be HubSpot’s best partner. Almost 10 years later, we get a lucrative commission check every quarter from HubSpot and every quarter I look back 10 years and kick myself for not pursuing similar deals with other technology partners.

While I can’t go back in time and do it differently, I can try to look forward today at who might be the new HubSpot over the next ten years and make sure we have partnership agreements and an operational model that helps these new companies the same way we helped HubSpot over the past 10 years.

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Topics: HubSpot, marketing technology, sales technology, Technology Practice

NEWS FLASH: Inbound Marketing Agency Client Changes Program Direction In Week 5

Posted by Mike Lieberman on May 8, 2019 7:10:00 AM

It’s Not Uncommon To Have To Adjust Your Plan Quickly, Make Sure Your Agency Is Capable

If you read the blog regularly then you know I like to blog about ways to get better results from your marketing and sales execution. I also like to share my experiences working with CEOs of growing companies, especially when those observations become trends.

One of our newer clients kicked off their engagement in March, early March to be exact. During the sales process, we create our new client’s initial 90-day plan and this client was no different. Clients sign off on that initial 90-day plan and then we reinforce that agreed to 90-day plan during the kick-off.

All of this went down without a hitch until during the fifth week of the engagement I got an email from the client who was concerned about our progress.

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Topics: inbound marketing engagements, agile marketing

Why I LOVE Working With Agency Owners:  An Inbound Agency Growth Story

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 24, 2019 7:21:00 AM

For those of you who know me (really know me), you also know that I’ll talk to any agency owner at any time and anything I can do to help them with their challenges, I’m happy to do so.

Agencies 2 Inbound recently celebrated its four year anniversary. I started working with other agencies in March of 2015. Over the past four years, I’ve worked with over 120 agency owners. That is a much bigger number than I ever expected, and I am honored to have worked with and helped that many people.

One of the reasons I love Agencies 2 Inbound so much is the responses I get from other agency owners and the impact I’ve had on their companies and their lives.

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Topics: Planning for Growth

It's Official: Digital Marketing Agency Services Are A Commodity! Now What?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 17, 2019 8:10:00 AM

I hate to say it, but I believe it’s true. Most of the services now provided by digital agencies are commodities.

Don’t get me wrong, there are strong digital experience and digital transformation agencies working with Fortune 1000 companies who have effectively positioned their companies to drive significant value for high dollars, but most agencies are not in that space.

Almost every agency (at least at the top of the HubSpot partner network) have decided to low ball their retainers to win business, come in with small projects or start with training and that has caused everyone to be viewed as having similar services. In those circumstances history has shown we’re now selling a commodity where lowest price generally wins the business.

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Topics: inbound agency strategy, inbound agency planning, inbound agency team structure

The 6 Secret Questions You Have To Ask Prospects During Your Sales Process To Close More New Clients Faster

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 10, 2019 7:46:00 AM

We got three new clients at Square 2 to help kick start April on the new business side. But it’s not always so easy and over the past six months we’ve been working hard to make our sales process remarkable and an experience for our prospects.

One part of that process is the questions we ask our prospects during out Guided Sales Process. Some of those questions are not so easy to ask but we’ve found that they help us qualify, uncover key issues buried in our prospects’ business and help us have more strategic conversations with our prospects.

Here are the six secret questions that add big value to our sales process and they’ll help you add the same value to your sales process.

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Topics: Sales Process, inbound Agency Sales Process

Why Writing A Book Might Be The Smartest Thing You Could Do To Help Your Inbound Marketing Agency Grow

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 27, 2019 7:14:00 AM

Having run an agency for over 16 years, it’s clear that today the agency business is harder than ever. One of the biggest challenges is differentiating your agency from other agencies.

One of the other challenges, especially for smaller agencies, is creating enough content and enough thought leading content to get your prospect’s attention, drive search engine optimization and conversion on your website.

Writing a book might be one way to both differentiate and create content at the same time.

Here are some of the concepts you should consider if you’re looking to elevate your agency, thinking about writing a book or if you’re in the process of writing a book.

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Topics: Business Development, inbound marketing agency differentiation, content creation, Leadership

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