How You Can Leverage Strategic Partners to Generate New Business for Your Agency

By Jason Swenk on December 9, 2014

In this session of The Smart Agency Master Class, I chat with Peter Caputa, VP of Sales for Hubspot, the king of inbound marketing. We chat about how you should stop relying solely on referrals, and how you can use strategic partners get your business to the next level.

Strategic partners are awesome.

You can get a lot out of having a strategic partner. Here are just a few benefits:

  • Steady stream of referrals
  • Marketing opportunities
  • They can help you grow from small agency to large agency
  • There will be many chances to learn from partners

How you can you become one of the top strategic partners for a company like Hubspot?

Unlike some, a strategic partnership with Hubspot cannot be bought. Peter says being a Hubspot strategic partner is earned, not purchased..

In order to become one of Hubspot’s top strategic partners, you need to:

  1. Have the ability to make your clients successful on Hubspot.
  2. Be able to sell and acquire new clients.
  3. Communicate your goals and successes with the strategic partner.
  4. Do something unique with the your new client using the strategic partner.

What your agency is probably doing wrong.

According to Peter, agencies are failing at creating the right relationship with their clients. Going in and selling tactics is the wrong approach. You need to be selling long-term value because you want a lasting relationship with the client that focuses on success.

It’s not just about what you’re doing. You need to be showing the value of it.

And remember – know your audience! A lot of agencies are afraid of committing to a niche for fear of losing out on an opportunity.

[clickToTweet tweet=”What you need to realize is that niches are the best way to grow & become more successful as an agency. ” quote=”What you need to realize is that niches are the best way to grow & become more successful as an agency. “]

It’s time to raise your prices.

Stop worrying about what other agencies are charging. You’re worth more! Take time to figure out how much value you’re providing the client. If you’re helping them earn a million dollars, then you should rethink your $4k per month retainer.

You need to find out the prospect’s goal, and explain to them the value that you can deliver. Their answers will help you determine what to charge.

Also, make sure you don’t lose the prospect in all the bells and whistles. Sure, you love the software, but the client just loves the outcomes. Keep the business conversation upfront, and explain the methodology in a way they can understand.

I asked Peter what the biggest retainer per month was for inbound marketing services…and it’s $25,000! Per month!

The art and science behind hiring salespeople.

The first sales hire is key. Peter is a fan of the Objective Management Group, which is an assessment tool that includes an assessment for salespeople. Peter also warns that you need to be ruthless in finding the right fit, not just hiring someone because you like them.

Once you’ve hired someone, don’t just tell them to “go sell.” That’s setting everyone up for failure. You need to be sure you’ve put objectives in place to hold the salesperson accountable (how much, by when, etc).

You also need to be sure you are motivating and empowering them. Salespeople need praise as much as they need to want to make money. Give them lots of incentives and high-fives.

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