Nikki Gatenby is an agency specialist non-exec director and cognitive behavioural coach – with a laser focus on helping founders to build their agencies into highly valuable assets, by creating both agency and client value over time.

Having led, owned, managed and grown pioneering agencies in London, Paris and Brighton, Nikki understands what it takes to create business success.

Her last agency went from Brighton to global, from marketing services to two SaaS technology products (answerthepublic and coveragebook), both now independently bigger than the agency itself.

This was hand in hand with being named one of the Best Places to Work in the UK for 8 years running – whilst trebling margin, generating 4 times more revenue and 10x more profit.

Having captured the insights in two best sellers – ‘Superenegaged’ – focusing on high engagement at work and ‘Better Business on Purpose’ – centered around positive impact, Nikki took her exit in 2019 and is now focused on making other good agencies, great.

Nikki is with us today to talk all about sales qualification along with exploring strategic approaches to maximize agency growth. We’re discussing how embracing a “less is more” mantra is not just wise, but crucial for thriving in a competitive market. We hear about examining feedback loops, the importance of recognizing a deal’s alignment with an agency’s strengths, and the power of defining the ideal customer. Nikki even shares strategies for gracefully declining RFPs and reinforcing the significance of articulating unique agency value in high-stakes negotiations and QBRs.

Topics covered during this episode include:

  • How to increase pitch success rates by qualifying sales opportunities for agencies.
  • Why turning down pitches is essential for agency growth and avoiding wasted resources.
  • The necessity of feedback loops to identify early warning signs in potential deals.
  • Defining an ideal customer profile to deliver value and elevate agency-client relationships.
  • Understanding procurement language and the Kraljic matrix to enhance negotiation skills.
  • Nikki’s insights on gracefully declining RFPs while maintaining future collaboration prospects.
  • The pivotal role of conveying unique agency value during contract renegotiations and QBRs.
  • The transition from agency growth to SaaS products in Nikki’s career.
  • Why agencies should avoid the race to the bottom with pricing to maintain a quality team.
  • Emphasizing the mantra “volume is vanity, conversion is sanity” for agency leaders.
  • Recognizing the best opportunities to pitch by aligning with the agency’s strengths.
  • Why focusing efforts on the most promising pitches improves win rates and average order values.

Nikki Gatenby on LinkedIn: