Every month, 550k marketers search for agencies online. 300k of them land on Sortlist. But what is their journey before creating a briefing ?

1. Everything starts with a Google research

Imagine, you own a Business. 

You need help with your Mobile App, but you're selling Local Food. 

How are you supposed to get advice ?

Or your boss just asked you to search for Design agencies. 

You are in charge of launching a tender, but you have no clue who is experienced in the Aviation industry?

What are you intuitively going to do; ask your friend ? Maybe. Ask Google ? Surely.

That is exactly why Sortlist dedicates a full time team to online positioning. They make sure we are there whenever someone needs help with finding an agency. 

This results in a clean traffic of 300k monthly visitors composed of people searching for agencies, and not educational content.

2. How does this turn into an opportunity ?

A visit can lead to Sortlist directories displaying relevant Agency Profiles.

From there and based on its needs, a company can publish a briefing or contact an agency directly from its website.

Direct contacts from the agency profile to the website

On one hand, advertisers with a confidential project or knowing exactly how to select an agency simply contact the most convincing agency profiles (showing work cases and reviews). 

This could be the case of our Aviation company.

Publication of a briefing on Sortlist

On the other hand, companies that need guidance in their choice or with very specific requirements or in a hurry will rather opt for posting a briefing. 

This could be the case of our Local Food company.

Therefore our job is to make sure the web design is efficient enough to convert traffic into direct contacts or briefings. As a consequence, the UX/Design team continuously improves it for better results.

What being in the right place at the right time represents

Sure, a briefing from Sortlist is valuable. But being visible online through Sortlist directories represents 98% of the opportunities.

To give an example, we've been told a Governmental Institution contacted a Video Studio after having consulted Sortlist directories.

A famous bank contacted a Design Agency after having consulted Sortlist directories.

And an international drink brand approached a PR agency after... You guessed it : having consulted Sortlist directories.

3. Opportunities are nice, qualified ones are better

But what does qualified mean ?

Let's zoom in on how Sortlist currently filters the briefings coming in.

Easily said, we use a "lead scoring" system. This defines the reliability of contact info, website, intention of the visitor and many other data.

Based on that, we directly stop internship or job seekers, salesmen willing to sell something instead of working with someone... All of this currently represents 70% of the briefings that agencies do not receive.

This is the first step of qualification : having someone searching for agencies to work with.

4. What if we push the qualification further ?

The second step of qualification is : having someone searching for agencies that match specific expertise.

If you are doing inhouse SEO, you know how frustrating it can be to invest in leads that are not searching for the services you provide.

That is why Sortlist has developed an algorithm and its goal is to match a briefing with the agencies profiles corresponding to the needs mentioned in it.

5. Magic doesn't happen like that

Reactivity is key

Yes, magic is hard online. Internet is easily distracting and by the time clients get a result, they can go back to what they were doing before and lose interest.

Or worse, they can land on the page of a competitor.

That is why reactivity is key. Interactions must happen fast. 

And interaction must be smart.

Adapt yourself to the client decision process

A lead is not equal to another one. How far is one in the decision process ? 

Are they expecting for guidance in what's best to do ? If so, are they reluctant to hard pushy sales ?

Or are they sure about what they need and want to move fast ?

What approach are you following for each case? What kind of questions and content do you ask and share?

It takes time, energy, research and testing before knowing what works best.

But please, remember to put yourself in the client's shoes. Always.

Remember to check up the client demo to live his experience (in a short way).

If you need extra tips, Neil Patel wrote an excellent article about Turning Online Leads into Sales.

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