How to manage new business with Synergist

 |  In: Product | Agency management

In the high-stakes game of agency management, the path is strewn with hurdles. Top of the list? New business. The agency Benchpress survey revealed winning new business as the top challenge for agencies in 2023.

At Synergist, we understand that our agency software should make your job easier. With tools to keep track of your new business pipeline, move opportunities forward and forecast your capacity requirements - all integrated with your project and resource management tools – Synergist enables you to manage your new and existing business seamlessly.

No more spreadsheets and forecasting meetings. Think of Synergist as your trusty compass, steering you towards effective agency management.

Let’s dive into how to transform your agency’s approach to new business with the Synergist platform, complete with top tips on using our features like a pro.

Keep track of all your new business and existing client opportunities

No more spreadsheets or quotes lost in email. Synergist keeps track of all the opportunities in your pipeline. Every crucial step is logged, tagged, and never lost to the digital wilderness.

The opportunity management tools allow you to create new opportunities for both prospects and existing clients, giving you full visibility of your agency’s pipeline.

In Synergist, you can define the stages of your sales funnel and ratings (e.g. Cold, Warm, Hot) to help you track progress down the funnel and improve forecasting.

You can also add a % weighting to each opportunity. Weighing denotes the % likelihood (aka probability) that an opportunity will go ahead. Synergist will then calculate the 'Weighted value' of the opportunity. For example, if the value of your job is £4,000, and you add a 75% weighting, your pipeline will forecast £3,000. You can also view the % weighting as a coloured bar on your opportunity list to quickly assess the strength of your live opportunities.

When an opportunity becomes more defined, you can estimate the time and costs, add project timings, which inform your capacity forecast, and turn it into a client quote, which informs your pipeline forecasts. The quote can be different to your estimate. For example, you may increase the quote to reflect the value-add you provide. Synergist also lets you add billing plans, which inform your billing/revenue forecasts.

Setting up activities and follow-ups against an opportunity helps keep them on track, so you never let another chance slip through those busy fingers.

You decide the info you want to collect, including emails, attachments and any custom or mandatory fields. When an opportunity goes ahead, you can promote it to a live job, which transfers all the info to the live job. If the opportunity doesn't go ahead, you can give pre-set reasons for reporting why work is being lost.

Top tips:

  • Track pitch costs: You can set up a phase/s within an opportunity to track any time and costs spent on new business or pitching. This will also enable you to report these costs at a business level.
  • Choose what you see: Select the columns you want to see in your contact list to give you a quicker snapshot—for example, expected close date, pipeline position, and quote fields.
  • Track sales activities: Want to report on sales effectiveness? You can create activity types such as emails, calls, meetings and other engagements. This allows you to track how many interactions are needed to close a sale, how much time is required or how many new business activities each person has done each month, for example.

Forecast with confidence

Tired of feeling like forecasting is a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey? Live dashboards and opportunity tracking can strip away the blindfold, letting you forecast with confidence and clarity.

The result? You spend less time playing detective with your data and more time doing what you do best – wowing your clients.

Agency pipeline forecasting

Synergist's Sales dashboard offers you a comprehensive view of your agency's new business pipeline. It details the number of opportunities you have or the value (quoted, gross or net) by a number of different views, including:

  • By weighted or unweighted
  • By clients, prospects or both
  • By pipeline/funnel stage
  • By rating
  • By new business or existing business
  • By sector

You can view the data by company, team or individual user.

You can use the Data Viewer tool in Synergist to create more detailed pipeline reports or lost opportunities reports to see what's going on in more detail.

Agency billing forecasting

The interactive Sales dashboard gives you an instant view of your planned vs actual revenue or gross profit by month, and see how this compares to your monthly target.

You can see your billing forecast with just live jobs or include opportunities and see weighted or non-weighted values.

The Sales dashboard also provides sales performance vs targets, hours sold vs available, and average spend by sector.

Agency capacity forecasting

Synergist's capacity reporting capabilities are transformative for agencies. It means you can see how winning opportunities would impact your capacity so you can plan proactively. It shows how many hours are estimated, sold, booked and still available over the coming days, weeks and months.

View by team, skill set or individual so you know where you have hours to sell, where you might need to hire freelancers, or where an ongoing trend makes a need to recruit.

The Scheduling dashboard delivers real-time data, enlightening your teams on what they need to sell and giving you data to make informed resourcing decisions. The dashboard is a strategic tool for you to not only track your current standing, but also forecast and plan for future agency growth.

Top tips:

  • Track new business: Want to track how much new business you've generated this year? Synergist has a nifty feature that allows you to classify opportunities as 'New business' or 'Repeat business' and define what classifies as new. For example, any opportunities within the first year would be reported as 'New business'. Great for tracking new business for the year vs target.
  • Customise reports: Adapt reports to reflect your agency's strategic metrics. Set up custom pipeline stages, ratings and custom fields to tailor your dashboard views and reports.
  • Create bespoke dashboards: Build high-level dashboards for your leadership team or set up specific dashboards for team members to track important metrics using the Data Viewer tool.

Capture lead, prospect and client info

Clients are the lifeblood of your agency. For great relationship management, you'll need an all-encompassing view of activities. But keeping track of all their information, interactions, and opportunities can be challenging.

With Synergist's agency CRM tools, you can store all the contact info you want, track every activity and manage opportunities into live jobs.

Store all your lead, prospect and client data

You can create unlimited contacts and company records, and store unlimited data, including firmographics, ratings, and custom fields to refine your segmentation and reporting.

Synergist also integrates seamlessly with HubSpot and Salesforce. So, if you're using HubSpot to capture marketing leads, you can automatically transfer them into Synergist for estimating, quoting, and forecasting when they ripen into opportunities.

Search and filter contacts

You can create lists based on specific properties, choose what data you see using the column picker tool, and export contacts to a CSV file for mailing.

The Data Viewer tool in Synergist allows you to create even more sophisticated lists of contacts or companies based on any data type, including custom fields and activities. So, say you want to create a list of engaged leads from the last three months - Synergist can help you do that.

Set activities and reminders

You can record interactions, create tasks, assign actions, schedule reminders and follow-ups on a contact, company or opportunity record. It's your one-stop shop for weaving stronger client relationships and giving your new business development a leg up.

Store any past activities, emails, notes, and documents to keep track of conversations and give your teams the background they need.

You can also create pre-formatted documents such as scoping docs, contracts, NDAs or brief templates that your teams can populate in Synergist, save and share with the client.

Top tips: 

  • Customise your contact details: you can edit the drop-down lists on a contact or company record to be relevant to your agency, and you can add an unlimited number of custom fields
  • Leverage the Kanban views: you can set up Kanban board templates to manage different workflows. For example, Lead nurturing, Opportunity management, or Onboarding. Each team member can see a list of their open activities, making it easy for them to see what needs to be done.

To sum up...

Synergist offers a power-packed yet incredibly user-friendly platform for managing your agency new business CRM and pipeline. Helping you keep track of new business, move opportunities forward and accurately forecast your pipeline and capacity requirements to deliver the work you win.

To see firsthand how Synergist can transform your agency's approach to managing new business CRM and pipeline, book a demo today!