Increase Your Agency Profitability by Having the Right Internal Processes

By Jason Swenk on October 12, 2016

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to fix the #1 problem every agency experiences.
  • 3 ways to standardize your internal processes and increase profits.
  • 2 strategies to upsell to existing clients.

This week’s guest is the expert on creating systems and processes. (Which means I’m a big fan because you already know how I feel about systems and processes.) Anthony Chatfield has an extensive background in the agency space and is the founder of Lead Connect, an agency specializing in inbound marketing. He also consults with agencies that are great with lead generation and closing deals, but struggle with delivery. Anthony shares strategies for making your agency operate more efficiently with some key process documentation.

[clickToTweet tweet=”More proof that systems outperform talent every time. #DigitalAgency” quote=”More proof that systems outperform talent every time.”]

The Gap In Agency Internal Processes

The biggest problem Anthony sees in agencies is the breakdown in communication between sales and fulfillment. So many times a salesperson promises the moon and stars, but the account team delivers something far less. This leads to frustration on the client’s part and resentment internally.

There’s a three-part fix to this problem that Anthony says in crucial in for every agency:

1. Formalize a checklist for your core services.

Operations standard are a must. Creating a document that you can share with the client about what is (and what is not) covered in a project fee manages expectations and minimizes or eliminates profit leaks.

2. Develop a master document for the engagement.

Include everything from target demographics to KPI’s. Understand the client’s definition of success and spell out how the client will measure the success of your agency’s work. This should be in place by the end of the first meeting. It’s good to have a template or standard document that can be customized on a project/client basis. If you want access to the exact agency documents we used, click here.

3. Get everyone on the same page from day #1.

Get sign-offs from everyone involved – external and internal. This is another important way to manage expectations and maintain accountability. Have the client sign everything from the checklist, to the brief, to the proposal, to zero dollar change orders.

When you have a standard process in place the client learns off the bat how you operate. You manage them and the project instead of allowing them to manage you.

2 Strategies to Upsell Your Agency Clients

1. Meet more. 

No one wants to add more meetings to their calendar but when those meetings are revenue generating you better believe they’re worth it! Anthony says a lot of agencies aren’t talking to their clients frequent enough. When you increase communications there are natural opportunities for upsells. He says account teams should be holding weekly status calls with clients. This keeps everyone accountable – especially the client who might be holding up a project. When you’re ahead of schedule and the client is seeing results, they’ll start asking you what else they can pay for to get more results.

2. Tell a story. 

When you deliver results, don’t just email them a spreadsheet or report. Analyze the results and give it to them in story format. Present what happened, what was learned and what else you can do with the data to drive more or better results. When you frame it this way you are opening up dialogue for next steps, more projects, etc. And whenever possible present these results face-to-face. Hiding behind email does not allow for discussion – personal meetings are going to open up more opportunities.

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