In The Pipeline: How To Keep Your Client Pipeline Running Efficiently
The Well-Oiled Machine Behind The Curtain
The behind-the-scenes mechanics of any marketing agency consists of managing many different components. You’ve got upper management, the employees, the clients, and all processes they share. The more clients and contracts you gain, the more complicated this process can become. Yet, more business means more revenue.
The key to balancing your agency’s capacity for work with the actual flow of incoming projects is simple: maintain an efficient client pipeline. Despite its importance, around 44% of B2B executives say their organization is inefficient at managing their client pipeline.
Although applications do exist to make an agency’s workload more manageable, many of these tools require a hefty financial investment. Instead, here’s what you need to keep your eyes on if you want your pipeline operating like a well-oiled machine.
Keep Track Of Clients In The Pipeline
As an agency, you’re going to want your clients coming back for more. Every time. Clients get you work, so it goes without saying that keeping them happy is a prime concern at all times.
But not all clients are created equal. Each of their needs and work habits affects your pipeline one way or the other. For instance, is your client recurring or a one-off contract? What is the size of their project and how long does it usually take to complete? Are their requests consistent or irregular? Knowing what to expect from a client will help you schedule and process work faster in your pipeline.
Keep Track Of Deals In The Pipeline
It’s important to keep track of who your clients are if you want to anticipate project specifics. After all, these specifics will dictate the work distribution to your team. Once the deals are in your pipeline, it’s time to define them.
How many projects are currently being worked on? What is the size and timeline of the projects? What stage is the work currently in? Knowing these specifics will especially help you with recurring clients with consistent work. Scheduling gets a lot easier when you know exactly what you’ll be scheduling. But even the parameters of irregular projects are known before you start working on them.
Keep Track Of Your Team
When you know who (and what) is in your pipeline, you’ll know who to assign it to. Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses will increase workflow efficiency. You wouldn’t assign an SEO expert to a copywriting gig. Nor would you assign your short form copy expert to long form articles unless necessary. Mismanagement of your team is counterproductive and causes slowdowns in your pipeline. Assign and schedule with purpose, and you’ll see the results within your first few projects.
Keep Track Of Your Metrics
Measure and manage at all times. Knowing the specifics of your client and the work they supply is key. But now you need to collate that information into an easy to analyze package. Keeping track of your metrics will allow you to see the holes in your plan, smooth out the bumps in your pipeline, fill up the divots in your team’s schedule, and work through the individual stages of any project more efficiently.
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Knowing all this, there is one more thing to keep in mind: never forget you’re an agency, not an admin bureau. Don’t ever find yourself wasting hours inputting data you will not be using. Define the metrics you need to know to run your agency. For those on a budget, use an excel sheet with the appropriate formulas to get your numbers hassle-free every week/month.
To keep your business running smoothly, it’s important to stay on top of your client pipeline. It’s all in the management and organization of your clients, projects, and metrics. Once you’ve ironed those out, it’s smooth sailing. No more wasting time wondering who does what, when. With firm processes in place, clients will be singing your praises.