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How to grow your staffing agency without wasting a dime on marketing
Lucas HamonNov 8, 2018 6:57:00 AM7 min read

How to Grow Your Recruitment Firm without Wasting a DIME on Marketing

It's not often that you'll hear the leader of a marketing agency tell you that you can grow your business without wasting money on marketing, but I'm here to say it, and I'll say it again... from business owner to business owner...


Why MORE money in marketing is a bad idea

You want to grow your staffing agency. You've hired salespeople, sales leaders, and started putting money toward marketing. But the latter never seems to generate ROI, does it?

That's because you have no way to objectively connect the dots between what a good investment is, or the sales that said investments contribute to.

Moreover, it's because sales is very likely NOT deriving any value out of your marketing efforts. According to the Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics:

  • Only 7% of salespeople out there think marketing is sending them leads of "very high" quality

  • Only 28% of salespeople think that marketing is their best source of leads

  • 52% of marketers say they provide salespeople with their best quality leads, whereas salespeople rank marketing-sourced leads dead last

Yeah, no wonder there's so much scapegoating and confusion when it comes to pinpointing where the challenges lie with your growth goals.

If your SALESpeople, the ones making it rain, think marketing is a waste of money, so will you.

Yet, there's a part of you that doesn't want to believe them... that thinks they are just deflecting... excusing missed quotas, and passing the buck to your marketing team.

You're here, aren't you?

The problem... the most glaring issue here is something you're probably not even considering to be a top 10 issue... It may not even BE on your radar at this point.

Call it lack of education. Call it naivety... call it whatever you will, but marketing isn't the likely issue. 

The REAL problems are that there is no way to hold anybody accountable... not sales... not marketing... nobody, and your sales formula hasn't changed in 10 years. Because of these two glaring issues, you're missing out on MAJOR opportunities for influencing the sale from your position in upper management.


How do you hold people accountable to their milestones and goals if you can't objectively measure outcomes? How do you replicate successes from one salesperson to the other? And how do you trim the fat without cutting too deep?

Does your sales funnel look something like this?

Broken Sales Funnel

I already know the answer. Of course it does! You wouldn't be reading blog posts about business growth if you had that middle part figured out.

And because you have that big question mark, you can't reasonably expect your next marketing investment to improve outcomes

It's EASY for marketers today to show you their version of "success," because they have analytics tools embedded in their delivery tools that show you everything from impressions to leads generated, which can be objectively attributed to specific efforts.

But do impressions automatically equate to sales? Do leads automatically equate to sales?

Obviously, no.

But if you can clarify EVERY step, when opportunities enter your sales funnel to the point of success or failure, you can piece together the whys behind everything. And if you can understand they WHY, you can replicate successes, smooth out valleys, and trim the fat with precision.

You may also find existing viable opportunities slipping through the cracks.

Scratch that, you will.

Broken Sales Funnel (2)

So, before you waste any more $$$ on marketing, try fixing your sales infrastructure first.

Your Formula

How are inbound leads being treated vs outbound leads? Are your sales people able to make contact within 5 minutes of prospect engagement? Meaning, if somebody downloads a bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) content offer from your website, or visits your pricing page, or does anything that you consider to be a BOFU activity, does that activity get distributed automatically, allowing your salesperson to call them within that window?

DO they call within that window?

Most salespeople are programmed to hunt for their food, which is a great characteristic for that role. However, it's a single-track mindset, and highly damaging to leads generated through marketing.

Cold leads don't know when you bought the list... they don't care whether you got your hands on their information today or three months ago. It makes no difference when your sales people call them.

But timing is everything, right? Sales still needs to call them in that exact moment that they are open to hearing from your company. The problem is that sales can never really know when that moment is, so they're tasked with blasting calls at a high enough volume until they get lucky.

With inbound leads, we know exactly when that moment is.... because we have all the intel in the world. Unfortunately, it doesn't always make its way to sales in a timely manner, particularly if your infrastructure isn't what it should be.

If your infrastructure is handled, and sales is getting live lead notifications, they can reach out on their prospect's terms... 

And it's not just inbound leads. It's any lead engaging with your materials.

If sales sends a proposal, for example, do they have live notifications telling them every time the email is opened or proposal clicked? Can they see which slides or pages prospects linger on? (more on this subject)


I fondly remember a staffing client of ours a couple of years ago that was struggling to derive value out of inbound leads generated (or ANYTHING for that matter). Every week we'd meet and discuss the opportunities coming in, and we would show every step we took and every impression, click, like, share, and lead generated. 

But sales couldn't close... and they couldn't see the value of anything.

One day, a job order came in, and I was determined to make sure they saw it, so I forwarded it to the salesperson in charge (even though she received it automatically) with a note stating, "Call now!"

She said that she saw it and that she'd get to it after she finished her sales presentation for a prospect she had a meeting with the next day.

What the WHAT?

In HER mind, it was a hot lead, yes, but what difference does an hour or two make?

How about...

  • You're 400% more likely to make viable contact in 5 minutes vs 10
  • You're 2,000% more likely to make viable contact in 5 minutes vs 90
  • More than HALF of all deals go to the FIRST responder

Your Influence

How do you influence sales outcomes from the top of the foodchain? How can you expect marketing to play a role in your growth objectives if they aren't informed by data, and are operating in a knee-jerk reactionary fashion?

Your formula... the things that make your company unique, can be replicated as you scale. If you have the proper sales infrastructure and a library of templates in place, you should be able to growth hack sales outcomes... so long as you have a way to measure results.

For example, we have Hubspot Sales Pro as our CRM, so we have the ability to create email templates used by sales (NOT marketing emails) that can be measured based on actual outcomes. Marketing can see:

  • Open rates
  • Click rates
  • Reply rates

Here's a snapshot of the kind of intelligence YOU could be providing your marketers as they try to improve sales outcomes:

email templates

But it's not just emails! With this system, you can measure outcomes for just about ANYTHING you can put in digital form.

  • Sales presentations
  • Slide decks
  • Flyers
  • Proposals (yep, even proposals!)

Imagine being able to see when people view your collateral, for how long, and where their eyes are when they decide to or NOT to react the way you want.


Marketing isn't a terrible investment when you are able to measure outcomes beyond the simple metric of sales. What about everything that leads up to the sale? Isn't that just as or more important to figuring out how replicate successes and kick bad habits to the curb?

Where do your challenges lie? Check out this free DIY sales and marketing plan builder to see what needs improvement, and how, exactly, to do it:

Build your own growth plan with this free tool


Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.