It’s not uncommon for small business agencies to manage accounts at ratios of well over 100/1. (That’s 100 accounts to 1 manager). In fact, at PPC Samurai we’ve seen agencies scale to ratios of over 300/1 while still doing a great job for the clients.
How? By putting in place robust processes that use well designed automation to consistently monitor accounts and surface issues that need attention, directly to account managers.
Strategically designed automation can be used to surface issues, while also ensuring the critical checks are covered; allowing the account manager to use their skills to drive improvements instead of just checking for account health.
Automation can also ensure that a base level of activity is completed each and every day, for each and every client; improving quality and consistency across the entire agency.
Agencies can use automation to check:
Automation can also surface for the AM:
In most long tail agencies, with the amount of time allocated to a client per month, managers would struggle to get close to managing these items, let alone getting to any strategic work. However, if automation can ensure these tasks are taken care of, not only do the clients get better outcomes, but the account manager now has more time to spend on more accounts (scale), but also to do more strategic work that serves the goals of the clients.
Better client outcomes equals more opportunity for up and cross sell within the agency, but also reduced churn and better prospects for new client acquisition.
This is all in addition to the increased client to manager ratios!
Automation is a difficult word, nuanced with people’s perception of the impact it will have on their personal value and ongoing employment prospects.
However, as long as the ratio isn’t the primary discussion point with the AM (frankly, no busy person wants to hear their client book is being doubled!) then there are so many positive benefits for the account manager when strategic automation is implemented in the agency.
Ultimately, everyone wants to feel good about the work they are doing and to feel proud of the outcomes they are driving for their clients.
Hiring good staff at the moment is like a knife-fight in an alley; brutal and fiercely competitive. That’s compounded by the fact that digital already has as a baseline a 17% labour mobility rate, one of the highest around. So if you can lower your staff turnover AND increase your productivity per staff member, it’s a winning (and highly profitable) combination.
Ensuring a base level of checks and actions are performed on every account means that you can rest easy knowing that your agency is doing a good job. That’s nice to know, but economically it also improves your upsell and cross sell opportunities immeasurably, given a retained client is worth 7x more to the business than a newly acquired one!
Automation that delivers outputs you’ve designed means that onboarding a new team member is faster and far more efficient than before, when you were leaving new team members to their own devices, or utilizing check lists. The quality control and oversight this process provides is invaluable.
And you can do all this, by really stopping to consider how you scale your long tail (high volume) agency accounts and by implementing quality automation platforms like PPC Samurai.