Launching a new inbound retainer feels a lot like launching a rocket into space. From the moment they sign the contract, the countdown starts. It is up to you and the team at the agency to make sure the launch runs smoothly.
So much weighs on this process. The health of the entire relationship can be won or lost in the first few weeks of the relationship. Gray and I know the hard way how important it is to launch strong. A weak launch pushes back your entire timeline. This delays results, upsets expectations, and erodes trust.
Eric Pratt from Revenue River also recognize how important this period is in the health of a client retainer. On this week’s episode of Inbound Agency, Eric talks through the on-boarding process they use to get clients up and running with inbound fast!
Shifting Roles of Inbound Agencies
Too many times those clients don’t have a proper system in place to handle an influx of leads. Oftentimes this is a combination of volume and behavior. Inbound leads are very different from outbound.
If a client is running a sales team that is only used to following up with outbound leads, they may come across as too forceful for inbound leads. These inbound leads are very educated and as a result, they need to be nurtured and educated through the process.
Eric and the team at Revenue River come from a sales consulting background. This positions them well to help their clients close the loop. Instead of positioning themselves as merely an inbound marketing agency, they’re now positioned as a business development agency.
This distinction places them into their own category when it comes to the competition. They’re now coming to the table with a proven system and framework to help the client bring a lead from first touch point to close. Not too many marketing and web design agencies can compete with that offering.
Setting Smart Goals
For Eric, setting smart goals is key to success and stable expectations for everyone evolved. One thought that he shared that really stuck out to me was the importance of holding marketers responsible for goals.
A client will have a high level goal. Something link “We want to grow revenue by 10% this year.” Beyond that most marketers get caught up measuring the wrong things.
This idea of standardizing the goals you’re both shooting for and holding the client accountable to those goals is a great idea. It reminds me of the point John McTigue made back in Episode 9. John shared how important it is that we as agencies train our clients. We do the client no good in the long term if we constantly cave to their requests.
Eric’s point about goal setting takes John’s point one step further. In all aspects of the client relationship, act as a consultant with subject matter expertise. You know inbound and what to measure. Set goals that matter and over time you’ll show the client how setting the right sub-goals helps deliver on the overall company goal.