When the timescales from initial conversations with a potential client to having the PO in the bag can be lengthy, measuring something other than confirmed revenue becomes a necessity for predicting the end-of-year success of your agency.

Rather than counting chickens before they’ve hatched, the key is to focus your new business KPIs and monthly business development board meetings on leading indicators.

Leading indicators measure the activities necessary to achieve your goals. They’re the positive actions, that when increased, will (in time) lead to an increase in the end result you’re striving to achieve (new clients and increased revenue).

They are the opposite to lagging indicators which measure the outcome of all your efforts. If all your attention is on how many pitches are taking place each quarter, you won’t have an understanding of the activity that is generating those pitches. And if your agency experiences a slow-down, knowing the immediate actions you can take, and how long they take to have an impact is vital for business planning.

When setting your business development strategy, you first need to establish your end of year goals and targets (the number and/or value of new client wins the agency needs or wants) and from there, identify and set your leading indicator KPIs (i.e. the actions that will get you there).

When it comes to securing brand new clients or increasing revenue, typical pro-active, leading actions you might focus on increasing include:

  • Proposals you send out
  • Networking events you attend each month
  • New business meetings you attend each month
  • PR pieces you aim to go live per month
  • Past contacts you get back in touch with
  • Prospective clients you invite to your events
  • Referrals you request from your best clients
  • Potential new clients you identify and reach out to with a highly targeted message
  • Conversations you and your teams have with clients about expanding your current remit

A tiny amount of time spent establishing and regularly tracking your KPIs will leave you more certain about your reaching your agency’s goals and the health of your new business pipeline in the months to follow.

What is more, tracking these actions over time will help you to identify patterns, lead times and your most valuable investments in new business.

If of interest, there are a number of ways The Future Factory can help you increase the predictability of your new business pipeline:

  • If you’d like guidance on setting a business development strategy, from realistic, manageable and making best use of your team and existing assets, to blow-them-out-of-the-water and get us acquired – we’ve delivered on both! Contact Dan, dan.sudron@thefuturefactory.co.uk
  • If you’ve got a plan and now need to get it working hard, one of our team can work from your studio on a weekly basis, identifying, researching, building relationships and arranging meetings with your dream new business prospects. They’ll work under cover as part of your team. For more info or case studies please contact Sam, sam.wheatman@thefuturefactory.co.uk
  • If you’ve got the people within your team (or you!) who could be doing some fresh outreach to brands about new business opportunities but could do with some 101 guidance or in-depth advice from the very best, our training team can ensure every hour you dedicate to cold new business delivers results. Speak to Kimi, kimi.gilbert@thefuturefactory.co.uk.
  • For details of our workshop which can guide all of your team on growing existing clients and asking for referrals, check out details of our Organic & Pro-Active Growth Workshop here