10 Steps To Accelerate Time to Revenue for Your Agency

10 Ways To Get a Faster Time To Revenue for Your Agency blog hero image


Time to Revenue (TTR) quantifies the duration from initial client contact to earning the first revenue, an important indicator of marketing campaign success and financial health for marketing agencies. This metric helps agencies optimize their sales cycles, enhancing profitability and client trust. This guide outlines ten steps to minimize TTR and boost agency performance.

It’s no secret that any agency's goal is to land clients quickly and start generating revenue—for itself and for customers—as soon as possible. 

Consider Time to Revenue (TTR) as the time it takes a race car to go from the starting line to the finish line. Every step in the sales and delivery process is a lap in the race. The goal is to complete each lap as efficiently as possible, minimizing pit stops (delays) and optimizing your speed (process efficiency) without crashing out (losing the client). 

As the Managing Director of Floww Digital, Andrew Logan understands this concept inside and out. TTR is an important measure of success for the UK-based, HubSpot Certified inbound marketing agency.

Time to Revenue is a critical metric, as the faster we can demonstrate success to our clients the faster they trust that we are on the right path. 

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

Andrew Logan, Managing Director at Floww Digital

Andrew Logan knows it's time boost your TTR. (Credit: Floww Digital)

In this article, Logan helps us explain how to streamline each step (or lap, if you will), from lead acquisition to project delivery and invoicing, so your agency crosses the finish line faster and claims its prize money sooner.

Let’s step on the gas.

What Is Time to Revenue?

Time to Revenue (TTR) is a critical metric that measures the time elapsed from the initial contact with a potential client to the moment revenue is first generated from that client. 

In the context of marketing agencies, this metric tracks how long it takes for marketing efforts—a PPC ad, an email, a social media post, a pitch presentation, etc.—to translate into paying clients. Understanding TTR is crucial for agencies that want to streamline their sales cycle and boost profitability.

Why Should Your Agency Care About Time to Revenue?

Picture this: You've just landed a big client with a killer pitch for their next marketing campaign. The faster you get from handshake to cash in the bank, the better it is for everyone. It means you’re doing things right, from snagging clients to delivering the goods. Plus, quick cash flow lets you pump money back into the tank to nab more clients and make adjustments. 

Benefits of Shorter TTR

Reducing Time to Revenue will significantly enhance your agency's financial health and client satisfaction. 

The quick boost to cash flow enables your agency to reinvest in growth initiatives, pay expenses, and manage resources. It means that processes are efficient and that client relationships are strong, which will lead to higher client retention rates and give the agency a competitive advantage.

Impact of TTR on Agency Growth Trajectory

The speed at which agencies convert leads into revenue directly impacts their growth trajectory. Agencies with shorter TTR tend to scale faster due to more predictable revenue streams and the ability to take on more clients without sacrificing quality. 

On the flip side, a longer TTR may signal an inefficient sales or delivery process, which will potentially stunt growth and allow competitors to gain market share.

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How To Shorten Agency Time to Revenue in 10 Steps

Cutting down TTR isn’t about cutting corners. That’s just a recipe that’ll land you off the track. Instead, it’s about smoothing out the edges of your process. So, how do you speed things up without sacrificing quality? It's all about being smart and strategic with your approach, from first contact to final invoice. 

Let’s break down the steps to make your agency’s workflow slicker, quicker, and more profitable. 

1. Marketing & Outreach

Successful marketing and outreach are about attracting the right eyes. High-quality leads are those with a genuine interest and need for your services. 

By crafting compelling emails, social posts, ads, and pitch presentations that speak directly to your ideal customers and using data to guide your marketing strategies, you engage more deeply and improve lead quality. Attracting leads that are quicker to convert will effectively shorten TTR.

2. Define the Stages of the Agency Client Sales Pipeline

Understanding your sales pipeline inside and out helps pinpoint where leads often stall. By defining each stage—from initial contact to closing—you’ll see clearer paths to nudge leads forward. 

  • Are they getting stuck at the top of the sales funnel and losing interest early? 

  • Are they tuning out after a demo or pitch?

  • Are they failing to sign on the dotted line and enter the race?

This lets your sales team act decisively, applying the right strategies at the right time to keep the momentum up and move leads toward becoming paying customers.

We take a holistic approach with all of our clients, and one of the first steps is to map out the customer journey internally and externally to understand where efforts can be streamlined. By removing two stages in the sales funnel and rationalizing content strategy, we were able to reduce TTR by 27%.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

3. Focus on High-Potential Leads

Not all leads are created equal. Some have the potential to turn into valuable, long-term clients, while others may not be a good fit. 

Setting strong lead qualification criteria helps your sales team focus on high-potential leads, reducing wasted effort and speeding up the sales cycle. Tools like Typeform, SurveyMonkey, and Drift will assist you in automating this process to make it more efficient and effective.

4. Nurture Those Leads

A lead nurturing program is your pathway to keeping potential clients interested and engaged. Through a mix of personalized content, regular touchpoints, and valuable insights, you’ll guide leads through the buying process faster. Effective nurturing shortens TTR and builds a stronger foundation for customer success.

Let’s say your agency specializes in the healthcare sector and needs a strategic lead nurturing program to shorten TTR. You’ll want to start by segmenting leads based on criteria like industry and buying stage. Then, you'll craft targeted content for each group, such as whitepapers for decision-makers and service breakdowns for influencers. Multi-channel engagement through emails, social media, and webinars will ensure consistent communication, while personalized follow-ups based on interactions will help move leads closer to a purchasing decision.

5. Build Effective Sales Decks and Pitch Presentations

An effective pitch deck will make a world of difference. It’s about showing potential clients what you do and how it solves their problems and meets their needs. Tailoring pitch presentations to the specific concerns and challenges of your prospects makes the decision to go forward with your agency much easier.

A complex or undefined sales process can be a challenge in reducing Time to Revenue. Marketing and sales must work together to streamline the process as much as possible to find out quickly what works and what doesn't.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

6. Mind the Gaps (and Fill Them)

Regular audits of your sales and delivery processes will potentially uncover inefficiencies or gaps that may be slowing you down. Whether through training, adopting new technologies, or refining processes, addressing these gaps will lead to smoother operations and faster TTR.

It's perhaps cliche to mention AI as a marketing innovation but it really has changed the landscape for all marketers. One example where AI has helped our clients reduce TTR is by implementing predictive forecasting based on previous data. 

This allows us to travel to the future for experimentation without wasting the client's time. By changing components of our marketing strategy in an AI model, we can predict outcomes before they happen, removing the time component from testing.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

7. Streamline the Onboarding Process

First impressions matter. A seamless onboarding process sets a positive tone for the client relationship and significantly reduces the time it takes to start delivering value. Automating routine tasks and providing clients with clear, step-by-step guidance through the onboarding phase will eliminate delays and get projects off to a running start.

Our onboarding process has evolved somewhat since our launch in 2016. Getting off to a good start can make all the difference in reducing TTR. Being clear on everything from basic components like access to timescales for strategy implementation has a huge impact on results.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

8. Execute Deliverables and Project Delivery

Efficient project management is crucial for keeping projects on track and meeting deadlines. By setting realistic timelines, allocating resources wisely, and maintaining open lines of communication with clients, you ensure a timely delivery of services.

We understand the need to build trust with our clients quickly, so our efforts are heavily weighted towards quick wins in the first three months. Only once we've proven our skills can we afford the time to work on medium—to long-term activities.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

9. Timely Reporting Is Key

Clear, timely reporting on progress and results builds trust and reinforces the value of your services. It keeps clients informed and engaged, making them more likely to continue investing in your services. Effective reporting also highlights successes and areas for improvement, contributing to ongoing customer success.

The first step towards tracking any metric is clearly defining that metric and obtaining buy-in from the client. We then use HubSpot alongside our channels of choice to collect the data which comes to life in an AgencyAnalytics visualization.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

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10. Make the Invoicing Process Smooth and Easy

Finally, ensuring a smooth invoicing process helps in quickly turning completed projects into revenue. Automating invoicing where possible, setting clear payment terms, and making the payment process as easy as possible for clients will reduce payment delays and improve cash flow.

Common Time to Revenue Roadblocks for Agencies

For marketing agencies focused on speeding up their journey to revenue growth, several roadblocks will slow down the process of turning leads into paying customers. These roadblocks stretch out the sales process, which eats into your business valuation and annual revenue. 

Here’s a quick look at common issues and how they mess with your agency’s money-making engine:

Slow Lead Sorting

Finding the right leads—those likely to become paying customers—should be a top priority. But if your sales team spends too much time on leads that don’t pan out, you're spending more than you should on customer acquisition cost (CAC) without seeing a return. Streamlining the way your agency sorts leads means your team can focus on real opportunities to grow your company’s total revenue.

Waiting Game in Projects

After winning a client, any delay in getting rolling or getting the work done will slow down revenue. Whether it’s waiting on the client to provide what you need or your own team juggling too many tasks, these hiccups affect customer success and customer lifetime value. Plus, slow starts or progress will make even existing customers rethink their commitment to your agency.

Long Contract Talks

Negotiating contract terms should quickly result in a win-win. But when contract talks drag on, with multiple stakeholders going back and forth, that time isn’t spent on making money. Long negotiations will test patience and, worse, push annual revenue and growth rates down if clients decide to walk away or delay becoming paying customers.

The approval process can hamper getting started. Communication is key in setting an SLA (Service-Level Agreement) around the approval process and acceptable timescales from both parties.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

Wrong Resources on the Job

The right people need to be on the right projects. Mismatched skills or overloading your team will delay projects, which affects your sales cycle and sales processes. Efficiently matching team members to tasks is crucial for customer success and quick revenue growth.

Old or Clunky Tech

In an age where data is king, using outdated tools will only slow you down. Modern tech helps you understand customer data, speed up the buying process, and deliver projects faster. It’s an investment that reduces customer acquisition costs and boosts the company’s total revenue.

To overcome these roadblocks, start by reviewing your current sales processes and customer success team strategies. Streamlining lead qualification, simplifying contract negotiations, and ensuring you have the right resources will dramatically shorten your sales cycle. 

Investing in tech that speeds up work and improves customer data analysis, like AgencyAnalytics, will also lead to more existing customers staying and new ones signing up. Plus, it's a solid strategy to enhance your agency’s customer lifetime value and annual revenue.

As we’ve pointed out in our latest Agency Benchmarks Survey, agencies that use AgencyAnalytics’ reporting solution typically need fewer than 30 minutes to create a client report. Talk about setting a record pace around the track! 

Average Time Spent Client Reporting Using AgencyAnalytics

Want to go even faster? Use AgencyAnalytics' new Smart Reports feature to produce a comprehensive client report in just 11 seconds. Try it for free today!

Speed Matters for Agency Growth

The impact of speeding up your Time to Revenue cannot be overstated. It's the difference between leading the pack and playing catch-up. As Andrew Logan points out, there's no magic bullet for reducing TTR. The key lies in nailing down the fundamentals—ensuring your agency’s core processes are as efficient as possible, from lead generation to project delivery and invoicing.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to reducing TTR. My advice would be to ensure the foundations are in place and the basics are done well before looking at more complex components of sales and marketing.

Andrew Logan, Managing Director, Floww Digital

Remember that the race to shorten TTR is not just about accelerating revenue; it's about enhancing overall agency performance and client satisfaction. By focusing on the essentials and gradually improving each phase of your client's journey, you’ll create a more agile, responsive agency that grows faster and delivers exceptional value.

Headshot for Francois Marchand

Written by

Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, journalism, and content production. His goal is to equip agency leaders with innovative strategies and actionable advice to succeed in digital marketing, SaaS, and ecommerce.

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