News & Views

How agency sales need to change to support growth post-Covid

by Steven Mallon
24th November 2020
How agency sales need to change to support growth post-Covid, post image

The months since March have forced leaders to reflect on the agency they’ve built, and where it’s heading.

The sales landscape has changed a lot in 2020. It’s now, more than ever, a buyers’ market, with more competition and price pressure, and even more of a focus on getting value and a strong return on the money they are investing in their marketing.

Add to this unreliable inbound lead volume with lower values and the difficulty in truly differentiating from competitors, the new business outlook can appear challenging.

But for every threat, there is an opportunity. Many brands are seeking to backfill losses from the Covid period and focussing on strong recovery. And so many are themselves pivoting and looking at new ways to fuel growth and profitability as well as, potentially, new agency relationships to achieve those goals.

There is an opportunity for those that can differentiate by adjusting to the new strategic agenda. This means refocusing on positioning, proposition and value creation in order to differentiate and drive successful growth.

This is not always a comfortable shift given that most agencies market themselves on competence and capability but for those that do, the rewards can be substantial. Those that can focus on a value and outcome-based proposition can move up the value chain from a ‘do for me’ commodity provider to a ‘think for me’ strategic partner. The latter generally means long term and higher value contracts to those who can position and sell in that way.

But moving towards ‘selling value’ isn’t an easy shift for many agency owners, who may not have worked in this way before.

But by beginning to think about the key elements of value sales, agency owners and leaders can start to assess their capabilities and plan for how to transform sales in their agency.

Identify: Identify and understand a prospects’ corporate objectives, strategic goals and business pains and structure the agency proposition and messaging around these.

Demonstrate: Actively demonstrate the impact that the agency and its’ services and solutions can have on these to positively impact a prospect business.

Influence: Ensure that key stakeholder in the client organisation understand and trust the value that the agency can bring in terms of business value and solving major business problems. These people can be your internal champions.

Evidence: Provide suitable solutions that fully address the objectives, initiatives and business pains and that payback (in £’s) many times over versus the cost of the solution

Thus, the way of working can be a big change, but for those that make the switch, the rewards can be significant.

  • Longer-term and higher value contracts resulting in greater top and bottom-line growth
  • Movement up the value chain to consult with clients as a strategic partner with greater access to additional opportunities and value over time
  • Minimising bid-costs
  • Efficiency gains from focussed targeting and rigorous qualification of opportunities

Those agencies who successfully adopt value-based selling will be more able to adapt to the challenges of a Post-Covid landscape and grow more sustainably and confidently.

ABLE is Waypoint Partners’ value-based sales programme, which can transform agency sales and client services capability. ABLE is a 6-9-month programme that comprehensively covers the entire end-to-end sales structure, process, tools, skills and leadership required to drive incremental larger opportunities with both new clients and within your existing customer base.

ABLE assesses current process and practice, optimises for larger higher value sales, builds and delivers tailored learning and process change and supports the sellers, client services teams and management as they embed their learning and the required changes to their way of selling.

If this sounds like something that your agency would benefit from to improve your financial outlook then contact us at to discuss further.

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