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LookFar Labs26 February 2024

Signal-Based Selling FTW with Creative Service Agencies

We’re living in a time where we have more information than we know what to do with, but the key is knowing which information to pay attention to and how to capture it in the most efficient ways possible.

As a software services agency, we often partner with digital marketing or advertising agencies to serve as their tech partner for any needs that exceed their internal capabilities. Our value-driven, service-based models are the same, so it makes for a good partnership.

In these competitive AF times for creative service agencies, signal-based sales is a necessary approach. 

What is Signal-Based Sales?

Signal-based sales is the practice of leveraging signals or indicators to guide and optimize the sales process.

These signals can come from various sources such as customer behavior, market trends, data analytics, or even interpersonal communication.

The goal is to identify patterns, trends, or cues that can help sales teams make informed decisions and tailor their approach to increase the likelihood of closing deals.

Applying JFK’s famous quote, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” let’s work together to win more deals! We’ve identified some of our top signals, many of which apply to creative service agencies too. 

7 Signals for Creative Service Agencies to Track

Here are 7 signals a creative services agency might consider tracking if it doesn’t already.

1. Expiration Dates

For existing, project-based clients, somewhere around 4-6 weeks from the anticipated wrap date, there should be outreach around a maintenance/support contract.

Every product we build involves 3rd party integrations, so we pay close attention to version upgrade deadlines as well. 

2. Falling Behind Competitors

We work closely with our clients and act as a true partner to them. We pay attention to their industry’s trends, and we stay on top of their competitors.

Further, if a client’s customer base is providing feedback mentioning functionalities or services their competitors provide which they don’t, our PMs analyze this data and consider ways to meet or exceed their competitors’ abilities. 

3. Legislative/ Policy Changes 

This goes back to monitoring news updates. We follow news around certain industries to stay abreast of any regulatory changes that might impact our current or prospective clients and result in software development needs. This signal is strongest on the local level, as we’re most informed about legislation changes where we live and work. 

CA Senate at the wildfire hearing.

4. Employment Activity  

When a company announces they’re expanding their team, especially when creating a new division or product, this is generally a good sign that they might need marketing and/or software services.

The same applies to the inverse, when a company announces a reduction in headcount, especially if the layoffs relate to software engineers or UX/UI designers. Also, companies that have lingering job posts for product-related roles can sometimes be open to outsourcing.

5. C-Suite Complaints  

In-person networking is still valuable, as it can lead to organic conversations around frustrations or pain points. C-level executives tend to share this information in more casual and intimate settings as opposed to announcing to the world on social media that they’re frustrated with their current vendor’s costs and/or output. 

6. Company Milestones   

Announcements about mergers, acquisitions, or funding milestones are typically signs of growth. While capital is often flush in these circumstances, so are demanding revenue goals. Whether those goals require special skills, additional resources, or a rapid execution timeline, there can be an opportunity for a 3rd party vendor to provide support. Entering a new market is another cue that one of the above requirements might exist. 

7. Digital Engagements 

The main channels that we monitor engagements through are our website, our LinkedIn page, and our email communication.

While the length of time spent or the frequency of a visitor is important, we pay more attention to the quality of the engagement. This means we go beyond the basic tracking numbers and dig into things like how responsive the lead is or what content they’re viewing. 

Tools to Support Signal-Based Sales

Having a good sales and marketing stack with buyer signal data is beneficial for this sales approach. Luckily, there’s a plethora of tools to choose from these days, and thanks to Zapier, you can create integrations between your tools when they don’t exist out-of-the-box.

Here are some of the tools we’re using:

This new data-rich world we’re all operating in makes it clear that decision-makers are utilizing more tools and evaluating more options than ever before. This means that appearing often and via various channels is necessary and building trust is paramount.

What you do with the signal data is just as important, if not more important. Nobody likes feeling watched, and nobody likes feeling like they’re an easy mark. 

We’re always looking for more strategic partners in the creative service agency realm, so if signal-based sales is how you source leads, we’d love to talk about ways to work together.

Written by

Lindsay Fox

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