Attracting and keeping mid-to-enterprise sized B2B clients for your agency requires enterprise-level solutions. Before trusting your agency with their business, large clients need to rest assured that their web project is in safe hands, following a solid process that can be launched and maintained seamlessly.
The key to landing and keeping these clients is a solid track record of launching and maintaining sites for other businesses of similar size and scale (a successful portfolio of happy and satisfied clients is the best form of advertising and business development for any agency). To get started, your team will need a solid plan for development for every project, and the right tools to execute it and deliver results that exceed your clients’ expectations.
At 3 Media Web, we’ve designed a process that has allowed us to create a series of award-winning websites for a diverse group of clients across a range of industries, from manufacturing and healthcare, to gaming and software, to name a few.
What B2B Clients Typically Look for in an Agency Partner
Here are a few of the common criteria that a company might look for when considering an agency partner.
Their Position in the Hierarchy of Your Agency’s Existing Client Roster
Will their account receive the attention and priority they need? Do their budget and deliverable needs put them at the top, middle, or bottom of your client roster?
Experience in Their Sector
(pro tip: case studies are a great way to highlight your agency’s projects to prospective clients. They allow you to delve deeper into the details of your process, and how your team approaches and designs solutions to specific problems).
What else can you do?
In most cases, building or redesigning an existing website is just the beginning. Can your agency provide content marketing, social media management, advertising and pr, and branding services? Will they be on their own once the project ends? (Pro tip: if your agency specializes in a specific area like web development, consider partnerships and collaborations that will allow you to offer clients a full suite of services under a single banner.)
Measurement and Metrics
A portfolio full of beautiful websites is an important hook, but it’s just a starting point. B2B clients of all levels need to know that the final project will deliver results. This is where the hard data on your agency’s past performance on similar projects comes in.
Location, Location, Location
Smaller to mid-sized agencies don’t have to forfeit larger or enterprise level clients for lack of a global presence or extensive manpower. The local angle is a great selling point for clients looking for greater access to their agency contacts, a more personalized approach, or to be the “big fish in a smaller pond.” The trick is to be able to prove that your agency can deliver enterprise level solutions along with the accessibility and attention to detail of a boutique agency.
And that’s where the framework comes in.
Design a Process that Works, Rinse and Repeat
Every business is unique, but you don’t need (or want) to reinvent the wheel every single time with every client. In fact, the key to delivering greater results and ROI is to design and implement a reliable framework that can be used for every project. At 3 Media Web our secret sauce for ongoing success boils down to five main ingredients:
1. Discovery and Design
Every project starts with a collaboration and meeting of the minds between our team and the client to determine the creative vision and strategic direction of the project, including:
Perform competitor and industry analysis
Create a timeline according to the scope and budget for the project
Map out site features and basic functionality
Once the creative brief has been designed and approved by the client, the “heavy lifting” begins:
Write custom code
Set up backend management system
Optimize site for SEO, desktop, and mobile
We create an intuitive experience that is straightforward and easy to navigate.
3. Quality Assurance and User Testing (QA)
Designing a killer website is one thing; but does it actually work? Our QA process is designed to test site functionality, make sure that the project deliverables have been met, and that the site succeeds in delivering the desired experience and meets important criteria like speed (even a beautiful website will be abandoned if it doesn’t load fast enough), design, and the desired user experience. This is where we identify any and all bugs and potential design flaws and course correct before launch.
4. Launch and Training
Designing and launching a website is just the beginning. Once it goes live, the client’s ability to manage the site on their own servers will make or break the project. We’ve created a seamless transition process that allows us to transfer the site from the development phase, along with comprehensive training on the content management system.
5. Support and Growth
We look at every project as an ongoing partnership and relationship with our clients. Our web services include hosting and support, so our clients are never on their own after a project “ends.”
Back Up Your Work with Enterprise Level Tools that Deliver
An agency’s creative talent and vision is one of its most important attributes, but in order to attract and keep mid to enterprise level B2B clients, you’ll need the firepower to back up what you build and ensure smooth functionality and ongoing maintenance long after you deliver the keys to the client, so to speak. At 3 Media Web we use Pantheon’s technology to help us design and maintain top shelf web design and solutions for our clients.
Some Pantheon features and functionality include:
Migrate an old website or start from scratch (Pantheon makes it simple to migrate an existing site with detailed guides and support.)
Choose from several environment options as you build (Git, Command line, Composer)
Launch tools (step by step guide and support for going live)
Scalable platform architecture
Third party application integration
Cloud-based project management tools for multiple users
User friendly development guides for Pantheon tools and service
Once you’ve built a bullet-proof framework and structure that you can apply to every project, delivering high performing websites to each and every client will become the standard operating procedure at your agency.
Add to that your team’s creativity and the client’s unique voice and perspective, and there you have it, a successful recipe for winning, launching, and maintaining your enterprise client’s business.
Pantheon Partner Program Guide