Over the last 7 years I’ve been directly involved with teaching digital agencies how to market, service and ramp up services with a SEO product. As I partner with these digital agencies, I’ve noticed that there’s a stop gap between the sales staff and an active, healthy SEO client lifecycle. In many cases, this is based on a lack of education in the nuances of dealing with and servicing a typical SEO product.
I’ll be focusing on this difficulty for agencies in my session on May 13th, as part of Digital All Stars, a virtual one-day event hosted by OMI.
We’re aiming to help train and teach the basics of dealing with these unique challenges that agency sales reps and account managers face when offering SEO, and how best to market these services. What we’ll cover will be a crash course in how to ramp up sales with SEO. If you’re an agency that wants to add a new service line, or needs some training to perform better, don’t miss my session on May 13th.
Where Reps Fail with SEO: Common Pitfalls
In all of the agencies I’ve trained in offering and closing SEO projects, there seems to be a common trend: the lack of confidence and knowledge surrounding what SEO means specifically for the client website in question. What we’re teaching here are principles to live by, for your whole team from technical to sales.
If the sales reps can get these ingrained into their communication strategy, then your agency’s closing ratio will go up. Here’s are the top priorities for your team to learn for continued success:
How to qualify the site as a SEO candidate
How to position a large SEO value
How to introduce SEO to existing clients
How to close the contract for 6-12 months
How to share the knowledge (tools the clients can use)
The session outline covers these using the best strategy I’ve seen work for top agencies over the years, and can essentially help agencies growth hack the SEO intake process. Personally I think that doing this 4-5 times in a row, even if the lead doesn’t close in the end, will equip your reps with the confidence and level-set knowledge to hit and exceed their targets.
The Big Secret To Closing A Client on SEO
SEO is an educational sale to clients, and it’s arguably quite an easy one. The idea is to position yourself as a SME for SEO and let the client see the value himself, essentially closing the deal. In many cases, I’ve seen clients call back after days or weeks of looking at a technical report, and ask more questions.
At that point, they’re probably in. They’ve started to understand the value of SEO, and how it affects their bottom line. I’ve found that sharing your expert knowledge always works well because it’s intricate and complex, and those leads probably won’t want to do it themselves in the end.
Expanding the knowledge base at your agency is just smart business; it’s a great feeling for sales reps to fundamentally understand what needs to be done, and how technical fixes can make quick ranking changes for clients. This understanding builds a bond between the client and agency that can last for years.
5 Best SEO Tools For Sales (That You Probably Don’t Know About)
I’m a big believer in giving away those practical tools that I’ve found useful when working to intake a client, so I’ve added this section to my session in the virtual summit. There are many cases when your sales rep might end up sitting at a desk in the client's office, showing them things and explaining strategy. Showing off these tools can give some awesome insight about the SEO situation, and really create a wow factor for clients.
I always recommend using some of these tools live in a presentation with a client, because it shows just how much improvement needs to be done on the client’s site. Just be careful not to paint yourself into a corner here, if you’re the agency that has handled the client’s web marketing in the past.
I’ve done this session in a few different countries, and it’s developed to be mainly geared towards sales. We’ll be doing more courses and drilling down into more specifics in the SEO sales funnel with OMI in the future. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and getting war stories from the summit participants! Find out more about the virtual summit here.