BL&T No. 135: Mapping New Business Targets

Agency Leadership

This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Borrowed, Learned, & Thought. BL&T is sent weekly on Mondays. In every edition, I share lessons learned in agency leadership, life, and e-commerce. This post does not include all the details shared in the newsletter sent via email. Subscribe here.


"The truth is that the opportunities you have to build your business begin or end with the number of leads you have."

From "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan, Dave Jenks [Book]


Last week, Barrel Co-Founder/CEO Peter and I were reviewing our new business targets for the year with Gerry, a CEO coach we’ve been working with. Over the last month or so, we've gotten specific about how we should be adding revenue throughout the year to hit our 2023 goals, mapping out deals by type (e.g. existing account growth, new accounts, change orders post-signing) and average contract size to set monthly/quarterly targets. I've enjoyed working with Peter to build this model; it's enlightening to look at our business and roadmap with this level of detail.

Last week, we started exploring the number of leads it takes to land new deals with new clients (new accounts). We worked backward from our new account wins target, using assumptions and past data as reference.

Here is how we broke it down:

  • Leads to calls: # of leads we need to get to hit our target # of calls
  • Calls to proposals: # of calls we need to take with qualified leads to send our target # of proposals
  • Proposals to SOW (win rate): # of proposals we need to send to hit our target for new account wins

We have more work to do in mapping out these numbers, but it's already helpful to see if we're on track for Q2 and better understand what levers we can pull. For instance:

  • Leads: We recently started working with an outbound firm to generate more leads.
  • Win Rate: We've continued experimenting with how we propose work. I elaborate on this below.
  • Calls: We're improving our protocol for inbound leads to ensure speedy communication.

Our next step is differentiating between inbound and outbound leads in our HubSpot dashboard. Inbound leads generally have a project and timeline in mind; outbound leads don't, inevitably impacting the sales cycle length and the rate by which a prospective client moves through the stages outlined above.

Read on for updates on our recent updates to proposals: Experimenting with Proposals

Thought Starter

Where am I expecting better results without making a change?


The E-Commerce Corner

Read here: Bridging Online and In-Store Experiences with E-commerce Fulfillment

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