I've been starting to work more in new biz at my agency and the president said in a meeting this afternoon that he wants to increase our close rate to "at least 50%" once we're at the pitch stage.

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I think it depends on several things - how hard is your president vetting the opportunities before you get to the pitch stage? If you’re truly pitching things you’re extremely qualified for, your chances can be higher. Is your agency also willing to be hyper competitive on price? And finally if you’re on a roll, you’ve got a solid pitch team that has been consistently winning that momentum tends to drive more wins. With these three things 50%+ is fair. In the absence of those I’d say closer to 25%

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30% means you are holding your own against your competition. under 20% for 6 months or more means you need to rethink your approach. 50% means you are cooking with gas and it's time to aim for bigger clients

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That seems ridiculously high, right? If we're one of four or so agencies to get to that stage? What's a more realistic benchmark?

Our win rate was 40% last year, 30% this year - but we pitched fewer and larger accounts vs. a lot of smaller easy to close projects, so I expected that.

Definitely doable, but it all comes back to how you are qualifying those prospects in the first place. No reason not to be at 50% if it's highly qualified prospects.

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