When the right creative, design or digital firm meets the right buyer, beautiful things happen. Projects flourish. Budgets are adhered to. Praise flows from the top down. But getting there? Too often, it’s a drawn-out, stressful process—one that costs both sides time, money, and human resources. I know it can be improved. And once it’s improved, the ROP (return on proposal) that both sides see will be so much better. There are challenges and bad habits on both sides. And as an intermediary between the sides, even I am to blame for sometimes giving in to the behaviors that stall and devalue the proposal process.

For brands, finding the perfect agency for a new project is often as challenging as executing the project itself. Thankfully, advertising agency directories have popped up to make the agency search process easier. These directories boast useful features like advanced filtering based on geography and skillset, contact information, reviews and even sample creative work. Without further ado, we share the seven best advertising agency directories worth getting listed on to help generate new business.

Once upon a time, salespeople were hired based on the size of their Rolodex. How many contacts could they bring to the table? The age of the Rolodex is firmly over. Sales, a role that depends on “soft” skills like pitching and interpersonal skills, has been disrupted by digital as much as product or marketing. Services like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, LeadIQ and Email Hunter segment leads and collect contact data. Platforms like Winmo and DiscoverOrg provide predictive sales intelligence on where to go after new business. Ambition rallies sales teams with scoreboard-like features to keep the team focused and productive. The modern day salesperson needs to lean on data, technology and insights as much as anyone else. The glue holding this all together is a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software. Among all the shiny new digital sales tools, the CRM is the central nervous system. It’s the glue that allows both the sales technology stack and the sales team itself to have seamless and transparent communication with each other. In this guide, we’ll explain how using a CRM allows agency owners and business development teams to keep customer data organized, increase sales productivity and track the ROI of different marketing channels.

In the age of digital disruption, few jobs have been transformed as much as sales. Whereas sales pros were once hired based on the size of their Rolodex, today there are tons of ways to build a database of contacts without actually networking. Interpersonal and problem-solving skills are important as ever, but the democratization of data has made it much easier for new industry entrants to be effective without spending years building up a cache of contacts. So, what's replaced the Rolodex? The landscape of sales intelligence tools in 2017 is extremely rich. Here, we'll provide a snapshot of 13 tools that agency owners and their sales teams can use to build prospect lists and collect contact data.

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