Client Success through Business Development
This week on the blog, we are showcasing one of our client success stories and sharing with you how we worked with them to fine-tune their new business process, implement a CRM, and improve their proposals to help gain more business.
Here at Inked and Organized, we’re pretty passionate about all of our service offerings (that’s why we offer them after all!). But, truth be told, we absolutely LOVE working with clients on their business development needs.
What is Business Development?
Business Development is essentially ideas, initiatives, and activities that work to make a business better. This is a wide umbrella term that captures numerous business touchpoints, but ultimately it is anything that can be done to improve your business.
When we start working with a new business development client, we always start with a conversation. By understanding more about the business and its current state of affairs, we can start to pinpoint opportunities for improvement and growth.
That’s exactly what happened when we sat down to chat with YEG Digital.
YEG Digital is an Edmonton-based Web Design and SEO agency that builds kick-ass websites that are built to grow businesses (no surprise why we love working with them as our business values are very much in line). We’ve built a close working relationship with this fellow YEG agency and share a lot of insights and learnings within the industry. And though YEG Digital is a top-tier web development company, they knew they needed some improvement when it came to their internal business processes. That’s where Inked and Organized stepped in.
After learning about their current operations, we saw immediate areas where we could help build out and improve some business processes to help streamline tasks, save time, and secure more new clients.
How we helped YEG Digital Improve Their Process Through Business Development
Where they started.
To give you an idea of where YEG Digital was when we first met with them here’s how they were operating:
New Leads: In terms of new lead capture, YEG Digital’s leads came in from their website (a WordPress website) through a Gravity Form and went into a general email inbox. No further information was captured as YEG Digital didn’t have a CRM in place.
Lead Follow Up: Someone from the YEG Digital team would email each lead requesting a time to set up a Discovery Call Meeting.
Proposals: Proposals were done up manually each time using Google Docs. They would create a new proposal each time one needed to be sent out. This also meant that clients needed to print off the document, sign it, and scan and return it to YEG Digital.
Follow-Up: With no automation established, all follow up with clients were done manually through email.
New Client Success Rate: With this “process” in place, YEG Digital was able to secure about 60% of new business. Not a bad success ratio, but the process was time-consuming, required lots of manual touchpoints, and there were lots of opportunities to “miss something” and potential contracts being left on the table.
What We Implemented
After working with YEG Digital, we built a process to replace what they were doing. Here's what we did:
Implement a CRM
Choosing and implementing a CRM system was our first priority. Previously YEG Digital was using an incomplete excel doc to “manage clients”. Not only was this difficult to use as it wasn’t up to date, but there was also no way to capture all of the potential customer data that was being presented.
We’ve talked about how important a CRM is to a small business, but we also recognize that each business has unique needs when it comes to a CRM. For YEG Digital, they didn’t need a robust CRM with lots of lead tracking capabilities. What they needed was an easy-to-use platform that would capture customer data, track deals, and allow them to tag and organize clients based on specific services.
To solve this problem, we chose HubSpot CRM. Their free CRM platform covered all of our bases and allowed us to integrate their website lead capture form right into Hubspot. Hubspot integrates seamlessly with Gravity forms so whenever a lead is submitted on the site, it goes straight into their CRM, no extra steps needed!
Now, with HubSpot, YEG Digital can not only keep track of all of their current and previous clients, but they can also keep track of where the customer is at within their initial “customer journey”. From “New Lead” status through “Discovery Call Booked” and “Proposal Sent” to “Closed Won” and “Closed Lost”, they can see everything in one easy to navigate dashboard. Plus, HubSpot’s reporting capabilities make generating all kinds of reports easy and painless.
Set Up An Appointment Booking Calendar
To save one step in the communication process, we helped YEG Digital implement Calendly for booking new client calls. Part of the conversation also included choosing recurring time slots that would only be focused on new business calls (in this case, Tuesdays and Thursdays) and saving the other days in the week for current clients and general administrative work.
By removing the manual task of booking calls with clients and encouraging them to book through Calendly, this helps save the YEG Digital team time and effort in coordinating calendars and allows them to know when to expect to handle “new client” work throughout the week.
Chose A Proposal Software To Help Automate the Process
The final piece of the puzzle we tackled for this project was implementing Proposal Management Software. YEG Digital’s proposal process was super tedious and incredibly time-consuming, not only for them but also for their prospective clients. We chose to use PandaDoc.
This system allowed YEG Digital to build proposal templates (professional-looking ones!) that they could edit and reuse for clients based on what services they were looking for. Not only that, but PandaDoc also has digital signature functionality, automated follow-up processes, and live updates (YEG Digital gets notified when a client is reading the proposal, asks questions, or accepts the proposal).
We took a process that was entirely manual for their business and streamlined it into a much more automated and hassle-free solution.
New Client Success Rate
We wrapped up this new implementation in August 2020, so YEG Digital had a full business quarter to see what the ROI of our automation would be. After only 4 months, YEG Digital closed 10 out of the 12 proposals they sent out (an 83% close rate). That’s a notable increase from their previous close rates and generated over $100K in new business. Not too shabby!
Hopefully, you can start to see why investing in business development is so valuable. Whether it’s implementing automation, building out new processes, or finding systems to make your life easier, business development can dramatically change how you operate your business.
Interested in how our business development services can help your business? Get in touch today and book a discovery call to learn more about our services!