After the agency win; How to unleash your agencies full potential (Part 2)
By Allen Singer, Principal, Optimal State Operations
As a continuation to the first article and list, below are the remaining tips to making new business account launches easier and more meaningful:
8. Create a super user group. There are a lot of platforms that enable an agency to work more collaboratively, resource plan and track work more effectively. Identify staff that have actually worked with these types of tools and create a super user group. These people can help the agency quickly get up and running.
9. Create a quick win. Discuss with the team internally on something that is measurable and will stand out to your client that will give a great first impression within the first 30 days.
10. Create a talent database. As a leader of many teams, I made sure I spent a lot of time getting to know my staff’s experience and most importantly their strengths. There is no substitute for one on one conversations, adding a database across large agency networks can help quickly identify staff that may have worked with the new client. Knowing who has worked with a specific client can provide the agency with valuable knowledge about client operating guidelines which can help others on the team. If you don’t have a database a simple spreadsheet can be created and maintained by the agency.
11. Synch your talent database to your forecasting tool. Knowing what talent is in-house, who needs to be hired and when to use a freelancer to appropriately complete the work is essential to operating at your peak. If you have a dedicated team of 20 full time people servicing a new client, that is 64,000 quarter hour billing increments that must be forecasted, tracked and managed. There are very good Project Management platforms available that can enable agencies to do this effectively throughout the production lifecycle. If your agency doesn’t have a Project Management platform it does require significant research and planning which needs to be covered in greater depth in another post.
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12. Recognize and reward talent. Almost every person working on new business still has his or her regular job to do, so carving out time on a regular basis and maintaining that effort over weeks and months can be a huge challenge. Leaders must recognize and reward that extra effort.
13. Communication. If you have created a new cross functional agency, prioritize proper training for the staff working on the business. Training must be made available quickly so the team can be productive. With such short timeframes, consider putting materials onto a learning management platform to accelerate the onboarding. An LMS is another platform that does require research and planning. The link is an article on some of the top LMS platforms: https://elearningindustry.com/the-20-best-learning-management-systems
14. Roles and Responsibilities. When new ways of working are introduced the roles and responsibilities of the teams change. Everyone on the team must understand how it changes their ways of working and who they are accountable to.
15. Measurement. How are you measuring success? Determine what metrics the team will use to measure performance.
The tips above hopefully will make your life an agencies life a little easier when launching a new account.
About the Author
Allen Singer, a former operations leader successfully working for world class agencies like VMLY&R for 24 years, partners with external and in-house agencies, media publishers and technology partners to improve their operational efficiency.