New Business Director

Job Description

The New Business Director is responsible for creating the new business strategy to develop a robust new business pipeline. They promote and represent the agency and are often the first point of contact for a potential client.

New Business Director

Also known as...

Head of New Business, Marketing and New Business Director

The role in brief... 

The New Business Director is responsible for creating the new business strategy to develop a robust new business pipeline. They may manage a mix of in- bound and out bound marketing, working with CRM systems and analytics to target potential clients. They may lead the agency’s new business pitch process to secure new clients. They manage C-suite relationships, are externally connected, and understand the advertising landscape. They are well versed in the agency’s products, services and case studies to match both client and agency business objectives. They promote and represent the agency and are often the first point of contact for a potential client.

Working with...

  • Internal: Across the agency; Agency senior leadership/management team; Agency account teams, including planners/strategists; Creative teams and directors; Creative services and production staff; New business team; Human Resources/Talent Team; Finance Team; Marketing and Communications team; Global marketing/new business team as required; connecting with the agency network as required.
  • External: Prospective Clients at CEO, Founder and senior leadership level, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Digital Office; Procurement. Third party intermediaries such as Oyster Catchers etc. PR Agency, Event Companies, Print and Design companies, Event Organisers.
  • The New Business Director may report to the senior management team of the agency, the Managing Director, the Client Services Director, Head of Marketing. They may also report to the global Chief Growth/New Business.
  • They will manage and motivate staff within their team, being accountable for their performance and providing them with professional development opportunities.
  • They may have line management responsibility for New Business Assistant/Executive; Intern, being accountable for their performance and providing them with professional development opportunities.

Responsible for...

  • Co- creating the agency’s new business strategy for the fiscal year and presenting this to the senior leadership team for approval.
  • Translating agency objectives and targets into annual plans with the agency department leads; identifying particular sectors, type of work and a plan for targeting this desired client list.
  • Representing the agency as the first point of contact for prospective clients; understanding their needs and objectives and presenting this to the leadership team.
  • Managing and completing detailed prospective Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Procurement (RFP).
  • Supporting the refinement and roll-out of the agency new business development process. Managing the new lead capture process qualifying and prioritising opportunities.
  • Tracking the agency wins and losses and review performance; conversion rate and costs.
  • Using an innovative approach to data analytics, to target (possibly existing) new clients with highly personalised solutions and messages, improving response and conversion rates substantially and dramatically improving ROI.
  • Analysing and managing the new business budgets and financial information to make informed commercial decisions.
  • Engaging the agency with the annual plan to ensure their commitment and supporting teams as pitches arrive throughout the year.
  • Leading and owning the business development plan and agreed levels of income generation.
  • Developing and maintaining current knowledge of the advertising landscape and competitive activity.
  • Presenting the agency’s USP and positioning the agency to maximum effect. them.
  • Influencing prospective client engagement.
  • May be required to shape, manage and train in the new business process as the agency enters into a pitch situation.
  • Establishing the fee for a pitch with the Finance Head possibly in partnership with the commercial production team and the senior leadership team.
  • Identifying event opportunities to target prospective clients, possibly in conjunction with the agency marketing team.
  • Ensuring that there is no conflict of interest in working with a potential client.
  • Possibly partnering with the marketing team to create, develop and manage client events.
  • Involved in recruitment and selection decisions.
  • Focused on the personal and professional development of their team.

Those who succeed are...

  • Significantly experienced in business development and income generation management. They understand the agency’s financial model and can make appropriate commercial decisions such as whether to accept a client’s terms.
  • Are well versed in the agency’s products and services and can present these to prospective clients.
  • Confident in assessing a client brief to determine a match between the client objectives and the agency’s capability to deliver on the brief.
  • Confident in knowing when to make an informed decision to say no to a client brief.
  • Knowledgeable about the agency’s competitors and their market position.
  • Skilled at relationship management; identifying prospects, responding to prospects and supporting the team to convert prospects into clients.
  • Good strategic thinkers, with the ability to undertake strategic planning.
  • Strong influencing ability and gravitas for internal and external engagement. Skilled at establishing and building an empathetic and commercial relationship.
  • Highly collaborative as they are required to work across the agency.

Where they come from, and where they go…

Many entrants into New Business may have a degree. The following subjects may be helpful:

  • Business Management
  • Marketing

They may be a highly experienced commercial manager with a track record of successful relationship management with a particular sector. A background in consultancy may also be a benefit with experience of developing successful strategies to secure growth.

They may have started out with a career in sales, or maybe in Account Management or Marketing and have developed to the level of Director. They may move into Chief Growth Officer, Global New Business Director

What is New Business?

There are a variety of ways of addressing new business and these will be different in each agency.

Who does the new business? It could be argued that it is everyone’s role to contribute to the new business activity and to externally represent the agency at all times.

The marketing function

This may be part of the Head of Marketing, Marketing Director, CMO brief as they create the marketing materials and PR plans to position the agency and to target prospective clients. Their marketing strategy will focus on the new business pipeline and target particular sectors.

The Agency Senior Leadership

In some agencies this is the remit of the CEO, Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director as they cultivate internal group and external networks and contacts. They facilitate conversations to further understand the clients’ business challenges and to match these needs with the agency’s products and services.

The New Business Director

Many agencies appoint a New Business Director who is responsible for identifying the target client list and the new business pipeline. What may vary by role is whether this role is focussed solely on new, new business or is combined with responsibility for generating the organic growth of existing clients.  Things to consider are:-

  • Their role in identifying the initial lead – did this come in via someone else in the agency? If the lead is from another member of the team who is remunerated for this lead as and when it converts? 
  • Are they managing an outbound client campaign or are they only managing in bound requests from prospective clients?
  • Are they bringing their contact book with them?
  • How might they generate organic growth – could this also be the role of Account Management and Client Services? Are you clear on the different roles and their responsibility in new business?
  • How does this role intersect with a Growth Director role?

Growth Director

This role may a role in its own right, it may be a global role. Some of the responsibilities may also be part of Client Services Director’s remit.

Growth may come from net new business in new sectors, organic growth, business or talent acquisition. They identify opportunities for potential growth:

  • in new categories
  • from current clients (including cross-selling)
  • via innovation (product, services, offering)

They increase external awareness of the agency brand internally and externally through partners, press, media, client community, intermediaries. They may be the strategic advisor for the pitch process.

New Business Process Role

This role manages all of the administration and the-end-to- end new business process. They manage the following:

  • The RFP, and RFI process
  • Organisation and marshalling and motivation of the pitch team
  • Coordination of all of the pitch materials and collaborate with third party suppliers to deliver a winning pitch
  • Coordinating talent from other offices
Last updated 21 January 2022