Client Onboarding for Agencies

Build an Onboarding Machine. Bring More on Faster. Increase Revenue.

Ahh, the sweet, sweet smell of victory. You just closed that big-name client — time for a nice haircut and a vacation. 

*Record scratch*

Hold up. Victory isn’t yours just yet. And you’ve still got some work to do. 

Have you actually onboarded that client? And have you onboarded them effectively?

If you don’t have an airtight onboarding process, your client will be:

  • Confused
  • Confusing
  • Annoyed
  • And annoying

You need a buttoned-up client onboarding process. Let’s S.C.A.L.E. this beyotch. 

What’s S.C.A.L.E.? 

Our proprietary S.C.A.L.E. framework is a systematic, proven process for helping agencies scale and agency owners delegate confidently. 

The result? 

A business that runs like a smooth and kick as$ 21st century machine. And you get more harmony in your work-life integration. 

That’s the balance thing life coaches and gurus are always talking about. S.C.A.L.E. can do that for you. Here’s how it works for client onboarding. 

S: See what’s happening

Client onboarding for agencies is a frequently overlooked but vital part of project management strategy. You need the right information to be successful. 

An effective, customized client onboarding process from us will:

  • Help you retain good clients you actually want to work with
  • Set proper expectations on both ends of the deal
  • Define success for your projects and deliverables
  • Make new clients feel welcome and happy with their decision to work with you

This step in the process is like seeing your mise en place of client onboarding. 

What ingredients do you have? Which ones do you need to make a gourmet client onboarding process that’s scalable and repeatable? 

Next up, we take the ingredients you have and establish the baseline. 

C. Create a Baseline

This is the temp check. How’s it all going for you? Probably not good if you’re checking out this page. 

Agency owners and project managers, do you keep running up against:

  • You close clients, but you can’t seem to retain them
  • Your project’s keep getting out of scope and out of control
  • Your clients don’t seem to know what it is you’re doing
  • You’re not entirely sure what the client wants
  • Expectations aren’t met, clients are mad, and workers confused

During the C stage of the S.C.A.L.E process, it’s all about that base ‘bout that baseline. 

We pinpoint the process issues, benchmark where you are currently, and set a baseline. From here, we don’t have anywhere to go but up. Next, we take the good things you’re doing, optimize, and amplify. 

A. Amplify how you do it 

You’ve seen commercial buildings continue to operate while undergoing renovations, right? We’ll do the same thing for your digital store. 

It’s hop aboard the moving train here. We get it. Your business can’t just stop and it’s not going to. 

We’ll take the best of what you’re doing right, add what you should be doing, and get you where you want to be while continuing operations and keeping that money tap open. 

And once it’s open? It’s time for you to lead and delegate. 

L. Lead and delegate 

Once you’ve got your client onboarding process benchmarked and amplified with the good stuff, it’s time to delegate and get your team on track. 

Your employees will be so much more relaxed, happy, and productive. They’ll know what needs to be delivered and where they’re succeeding with your clients. 

Okay, now that you’ve got aces in their places, what’s left? Chillaxing and fully enjoying the fruits of your labor. 

E. Exit Stage Right

Time to get the hell out of the way. 

This is what you’ve always wanted as a business owner. A company that scales on autopilot without you needing to constantly roll up your sleeves and play the part of reluctant firefighter. 

Finally, you can enjoy your business’s growth and fully live your life outside of hand holding clients. 

Take Control of Client Onboarding

With S.C.A.L.E. for client onboarding, we’ll help you:

  • Setup client meeting kickoffs to align sales promises with deliverables
  • Define your goals and metrics for success
  • Create, download, and optimize your client onboarding process

Smoother, more efficient processes and an agency that scales are waiting for you. 

With an excellent, professional client onboarding process, you’ll retain more customers, banish the scope creep, and reach your business goals faster.

Get started today. Download our kick a$ client onboarding toolkit. 

Client Onboarding Resources

Treat your clients like kings and queens, and they’ll keep coming back. Once you close the deal, you have to welcome and educate them with client onboarding. 

You can’t scale chaos. If you’re in the weeds with your client onboarding, we’ll get you outta there with the tools, training, and collaboration you need. 

Fix My Client Onboarding Process, ScaleTime!

Hiring and Onboarding for Agencies

A Predictable, Repeatable Process for Hiring and Retaining A Players

You wouldn’t spend your Monday burning dolla bills, so don’t waste your money on a bad hire. A bad hire can cost your business $15k +

Productivity suffers, and that just plain hurts. Plus, hiring the wrong employee makes your brand look bad.

How about let’s fix all that ASAP?

Good employees in the right positions empower the engine that is your brand. S.C.A.L.E. your agency through an airtight, replicable hiring process, and streamlined onboarding. 

Ready to give us the reins? Here’s how we’ll right and steer that ship. 

S.C.A.L.E.

We use a proprietary framework, called S.C.A.L.E, to help agency owners take control of their internal and external processes with proven optimization strategies. The result is a business that scales with far less effort so you can find more harmony in your work-life balance. 

Sound good? Let’s break down the S.C.A.L.E. framework for hiring and onboarding. 

S. See What’s Happening 

Your agency is as unique as you and your team members. The S.C.A.L.E. framework is customized to your particular needs and business operations. During the first step, we’ll figure out exactly what you need to streamline your agency hiring processes. 

We’ll show you how to attract, find, and retain the right people for your organization so you don’t keep running into all this not-so-fun stuff: 

  • You’ve hired the wrong people too many times to count. But you don’t know how you manage to keep churning.
  • You’ve hired a great person for your job, with no idea how to replicate the process for future hires. 
  • Great candidates fill out your application, but many of them don’t finish the hiring and onboarding process. 
  • You’re struggling to retain great employees.
  • You keep underestimating the costs of hiring new people. 
  • You have a great team but are growing too quickly and not sure how new hires will jell.

Together, we’ll pinpoint what’s not working in your agency and engineer a strategy designed to tweak and fix the specific issues plaguing your productivity. 

The second step in the S.C.A.L.E. framework will look at your current hiring processes and see how they’re operating. This is where we establish a baseline so we can optimize your processes for greater growth and success. 

C. Create a Baseline

Issue numero uno we see agencies make with hiring and onboarding is they significantly underestimate the associated costs. 

When you don’t know what you’re up against, you can’t fix it. During this stage of the S.C.A.L.E. framework, we’ll take a fine toothed comb over your:

  • Established budgets for hiring and onboarding
  • Your timelines for hiring and onboarding
  • Any gaps in talent, capabilities, and roles that need filled

Once we’ve established a baseline, we’ll fill in the cracks and gaps in your hiring and onboarding, and amplify the good stuff you’re doing. 

A. Amplify how you do it 

Here, we take what you’re doing well currently and bump it up a notch (or ten). So, how do we work our optimization magic? We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves: 

  • Our Hiring Calculator gives us an accurate picture of your hiring and onboarding costs. Voila! Now we’ve got a budget to work with. 
  • We identify and quantify meaningful data related to your hiring and onboarding processes, so we have the insight needed for optimization. 
  • We use measurable, accurate, attainable KPIs for uncovering things like time to hire and time to productivity. 
  • We’ll systemize the recruiting and onboarding process so you can build a powerhouse team with high morale and explosive productivity. 
  • You’ll get guidance for training your team so you can cultivate that go-getter culture you want and stop repeating yourself eighty bazillion times a day. 

You might be thinking we’ll have to stop your business operations to get under the hood of your hiring and onboarding vehicle. But nope, you’d be wrong (no offense).

We get it. Your business can’t just stop. We’ve gotta climb aboard a moving train that we’ll be fixing on the fly. Once we get your hiring and onboarding processes buttoned up, it’s time to lead and delegate. 

L. Lead & Delegate 

You can’t sit back and relax while your business hums along in the background if you don’t delegate. During the L step, we’ll show you how to lead with implementation. 

Learn how to delegate appropriately. Track progress, and get your business scaling on autopilot and hiring the right people every time you’ve got a need to fill. 

Next, it’s time to get out of the way and watch your business grow without you needing to manage it hands-on.  

E. Exit and oversee 

This part wraps everything up so you can make a graceful exit from managing the day-to-day. Instead, you’ll be overseeing from afar because you’ll be watching your metrics create the a-players your business needs to grow and scale. 

Look forward to going from, “OMG I have to run everything and why is nothing working the way I want?!” 

to 

“Oh, this is nice — hanging out in my PJs at home watching Netflix while my business makes money.” #covidJokes

So let’s get you there! 

Level Up Your Agency Hiring and Onboarding Process with S.C.A.L.E.

Start now. Use our handy dandy Hiring Calculator and download our free Hiring Hacks guide. 

You’re only as good as your weakest link. Let’s make sure that your weakest link is as strong as steel. 

Tighten up your hiring process and save weeks looking for your huckleberry. Optimize your onboarding, and you’ll retain employees, increase morale, and scale your agency fast. 

Request your free session today. 

Help Me Out ScaleTime

Streamlined Sales Process for Agencies

All That Money on the Table? Get it Every Time with a Predictable, Scalable, and Delegated Sales and Follow Up Process

Give me all the sales! Any client with a pulse is the client for me! That’s how we’ll GROW GROW GROW!

Please just stop right there.

Not every client is a good client — quality matters.

Let’s repeat it for the people in the back:

Quality 👏 matters 👏 in 👏 sales.

Poor-quality sales and stressing out about keeping the lights on will kill your business growth. Chaos will ensue, and chaos isn’t scalable.

So how do you get quality sales in the first place?

With a strategic, streamlined sales process, my friends. Having a laser-focused and airtight sales process in place means you can optimize every single lead for maximum sales, growth, and ROI.

Let’s do this with S.C.A.L.E.

What’s S.C.A.L.E.?

S.C.A.L.E. is a proven process we’ve created to help agency owners tame the wild beast that is external and internal processes.

Why should you care? Because S.C.A.L.E. is what’s going to fireproof your agency against behemoth, cumbersome, lumbering sales processes that cost you time, money, and productivity.

How ‘bout we stop all that like, yesterday? Here’s how S.C.A.L.E. works to optimize the sales process for yuuuge growth and revenue, effortlessly.

S. See what’s happening

Agency owners, do these struggles sound all too familiar?

  • Double bookings got you double stressed
  • Proposals keep disappearing into the Bermuda Triangle of Disorganization Desperation
  • Call? What call? Oh sh$t!
  • Sales lead follow ups get lost in the shuffle and are gone forever
  • You’re so freaked out about next month’s budget, you’ll take any client who shows an interest.
  • Your business keeps having feast or famine cycles, and it’s sapping your enthusiasm and stressing out your team.
  • No one knows how to sell as well as you, because well, you’re the owner.
  • You know you can increase conversions along the sales process, but are stuck on how to do it.
  • You’re freaked out that if you turned on the marketing machine, then your sales engine would sputter and die.
  • Every third client you get is a nightmare and a broke as$ bi$ch (that’s harsh, I know I know)

You can’t fix things if you don’t know exactly what’s broken. The first step in the S.C.A.L.E. framework is pinpointing precisely where the problems are and so you can fix them.

Next, we look at where you are currently with your sales process and establish a baseline.

C. Create a Baseline

Do you feel like you’re losing your mind?

We promise, if you fix your sales process, the problems will go away. And your desperation for a client, any old client, will too. Because when you think you can’t turn away clients, your agency goes from livin’ the dream to trapped in a nightmare.

Maybe it’s the opposite. You have all dream clients, but you want more of those and you just haven’t turned on the marketing engine because you’re still the one selling.

So, let’s freshen up your sales process and get rid of that icky feeling for good. Because you know what? You’re the prize, not the other way around.

During this part of S.C.A.L.E., we’re going to take a laser-focused look at what you’re doing right, what needs tweaking, and establish a baseline of how healthy your current sales processes are.

From here, we’ve got nowhere to go but up. So what’s the next step? It’s to pinpoint the good stuff happening in your sales process and optimize and amplify it.

A. Amplify how you do it

Think we’ve gotta stop your processes in order to fix them? Well, stop right there cowboy, cowgirl, cowperson. We know you can’t just stop closing sales.

We’re catching this flight in mid-air. During the A part of S.C.A.L.E., all the good stuff you’re doing will continue and get amplified. You’ll remain profitable and growing while we fix the sales process.

How?

  • Documenting the process so you’re not relying on memory
  • Creating a reliable, consistent pipeline
  • Seeing where and what the stats are

Once we’ve got your sales process on-point, it’s time for the lead and delegate stage of the S.C.A.L.E. framework.

L. Lead and Delegate

You can’t be the closer with all the coffee. Delegating and tracking metrics means you’ll be handing the reins to the capable people on your team. We’ll show you the best ways to do that.

Because bottom line? You need a delegation process for your sales process to work.

As the owner, you’re probably the best sales person on the team. You’re closest to the product and you possess all the granular knowledge of it.

We’ll show you how to train your sales people so they’re the ones closing with coffee cups full of victory with a capital V. (Because coffee’s for closers 😉)

That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of owning a business. Keep the money tap on while you get some much-needed balance in your work-life harmony.

Because guess what? The next step is where you get to exit stage right.

E. Exit and oversee

Gracefully or with a bombastic bang, you get to exit from being an active part of the sales process. The final step in the S.C.A.L.E. framework will get you over the final hurdles to setting up repeatable sales processes that run on autopilot.

No more putting out forest fires. Take a breather and let your business work like a well-oiled machine without you needing to manage it all.

All you have to do now is put on the mantle of relaxed and content overseer. Keep a watch on your metrics so you can see how you’re growing and scaling in real time.

Agencies, Start to S.C.A.L.E. Your Sales Process

Getting your sales process up and humming along like a well-oiled machine is going to fix so many problems with your business. Mainly, the feast or famine cycle.

With a streamlined and scalable sales process, you won’t be leaving money on the table. You’ll know how much money you’re going to bring in each month. Everyone on your team, even if you’re a solopreneur, is going to know precisely:

  • What the offer is
  • Who is going to want it
  • Who you should sell it to

The result? You get to consistently keep the lights on and work with your dream clients.

ScaleTime’s Sales Process will help you figure out the scalable systems you need to close your ideal customers. Our process will also show you how to delegate parts of the process, freeing up your time.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Set goals and understand your metrics
  • Track the sales process
  • Optimize for growth
  • Delegate to a rep

*** Resources ***

Get started today with our free sales process resources.

Download the Kick As$ Sales Process ToolKit. It’s free.

Gimme!

*** Testimonials ***

Get your weekends back with a sales process that can scale your agency. 

With a streamlined sales process in place, you’ll eliminate the feast or famine cycle and ensure that you’re only working with good clients who can afford your services. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Fix My Sales Process, ScaleTime!

Top KPIs for Optimizing Your Sales Process

The best part of owning an agency? 

It’s all the stuff that happens outside the day to day of your agency – travel, watching your kids play sports, creating cool shit. 

It’s letting go and letting your business run like a lean, mean, well-oiled machine. Ahh, priceless! But priceless or not, we have to get a grip on our numbers — the sales process. 

If you don’t have one in place yet, grab our free Sales Process Toolkit. We’ll walk you through it step-by-step. 

To keep your agency running smoothly and scaling, you must keep track of all your processes, the people, and the performance. Today, we’re going to dive into the agency sales process with the KPIs you need to measure success. 

“But Juliana, don’t I just measure revenue when it comes to sales? My sales are great!”

Well, that’s good to hear, and it’s true — your sales process is measured in revenue. 

But that’s not all. 

Measuring revenue is one thing.

Measuring other top KPIs will help you optimize it, get straight A’s across your sales scorecards, and identify room for growth

And remember, you want to keep your agency running smoothly. These top sales KPIs will help you do just that. Let’s take a look at the metrics that’ll help you develop an excellent agency sales strategy. 

Why you need data to go from good to flat-out great: Sales accountability 

If you haven’t already, you need to start making decisions based on data, not feelings. The more we use data to make decisions, the more objective our choices will be. Ultimately, this will make our business more agile. 

The thing is, inaction costs money. When we don’t have the data we need, we won’t act. So, having data makes it easier for us to act and to make accurate decisions. 

Am I saying eff it to feelings? No. Sometimes it’s good to listen to our gut. 

But looking at the data instead of relying just on feelings will save us time and money in the long run while keeping sales accountable to raw, hard numbers. 

Profitability: The King KPI

All right, there are different types of profitability. But let’s keep it simple so we can get a grip on our actual sales numbers. What’s the simplest profitability KPI?

Sales minus costs. 

That’s where you get your bottom line or your profit margins. When you look at this super simple metric, it gives you the ability to identify and cut the fat. 

So, why is this important? It all goes back to sales accountability. When you’re able to see where things are dragging, you can cut that out and make your business more agile and profitable. 

Customer Acquisition Costs KPI (CAC)

Everyone and their uncle claims to be a marketer nowadays. No matter what, though, marketing is getting super competitive. Measuring how much it costs to get a new customer will help you keep these costs reasonable. 

Here’s how you measure it:

CAC = costs related to getting new customers divided by the number of customers.

And here’s an example:

Let’s say a SaaS company spends 20K on a marketing campaign and customer acquisition expenses. They get 3500 new customers from this campaign. 

So, 20,000 divided by 3,500 is 5.71. It costs the company $5.71 (CAC) to acquire each customer through this campaign. 

Average Sales Cycle Length KPI

“How long is this lead going to take to close? Oh crap. I don’t know if I can keep the lights on next month. Good thing I like Ramen. ”

Measuring the average sales cycle length will make your sales forecasts more predictable. Get a certain number of leads, and you’ll know what your numbers will look like down the line. 

This KPI can help reduce the whole feast or famine thing. If you measure this KPI and decide to reduce it, you can boost your revenue growth. 

Keep in mind that if you sell to small business owners, your sales cycle will be shorter than if you sell primarily to enterprises. Also, customized products and services will have a longer sales cycle than something pre-made. 

Where you get your leads is also going to impact this KPI. Outbound lead generation where there’s low purchase intent will equal a longer sales cycle. To make sure you get an accurate picture, segment the equation down to:

  • Lead source
  • Prospect size
  • Product sold

First step:

Add the (X#) of days from the first contact to customer conversion for all deals = Total (X#) of days for sales combined. 

Next step:

Total (X#) of days for all sales combined divided by (X#) of deals = (X#) of days to the average sales cycle. 

It’s essential to measure average sales cycle KPI before diving into the next — SQL, or Sales Qualified Leads, to win conversion rate. 

SQL to Win Conversion Rate 

Sales and marketing need to be aligned to keep the entire sales process running smoothly. 

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) represent those prospects that have expressed enough interest in your business to officially enter the sales process.

Measuring SQL to win helps your teams stay on the same page regarding the volume and lead quality that marketing passes off to the sales team for sales proposals. 

With this KPI, you’ll know conversion rates and gain the insight needed to pinpoint opportunities to improve your agency sales cycle. This KPI will improve sales accountability. 

How so?

It helps uncover efficiency deal closers and if there are any problems with the quality of sales opportunities. Conversion rates can indicate whether or not there’s something wrong with lead generation efforts. So, here’s how to measure it:

(X#) of deals won divided by (X#) of sales qualified leads equals the (X#) win conversion rate.

Measuring Sales Process KPIs: Key Takeaways and Action Steps

All right, it’s execution time. The first step, grab a copy of your P&Ls going back the last six months. 

“Uhhh, what are P&Ls? Don’t think I have those . . . “

Then that’s your first step. You need the data from your profits and losses (P&L’s) for the last six months to even begin measuring your sales KPIs. It won’t take too long, and you should be doing P&Ls once per month. 

Okay, got your P&Ls? Calculate your profitability and find your profit margin. 

Do it per client or per service if you’re a full-stack agency. This will help you identify the clients or services that are costing too much. 

“I’ve got some loss leaders, but I upsell!”

Well, okay then. Include upsells in your total revenue. 

The key takeaway? Be ruthlessly honest with yourself, especially when reviewing profitability per client. Remember, it’s basing decisions on data and not emotions that are going to make you scale. 

Use your sales process KPIs to get hyper-intentional about how you design your business, make decisions, and overall, run your agency. 

Now, go out there and kick some as$, Gladiator!

Get a Grip on Resources and Budgets with Time Tracking

Time tracking helps agencies improve their project management, budget, and resource allocation. But no one likes having a beady-eyed manager looking over their shoulder — even if it’s a digital one.  

Most of us have had to deal with a nitpicky micromanager at some point creating some management trauma. I know you don’t want to turn into that person and inflict that on your own team’s morale. But you need a way to keep track of your resources and budgets. 

Enter time tracking. 

UGH, I know. 

But I promise – this is a good thing. 

It’s a great tool, but only when implemented the right way, which we’ll get into here in a second. 

First though, a few important points. 

If you implement time tracking protocols and software with a hammy fist, your employees might feel the same way you did once — spied on, controlled, and micromanaged. 

But what if I told you that specific brand of paranoia isn’t justified?

That is if you can effectively communicate with your team on the importance of time tracking. And why it’s a good thing — for them. 

Let’s dive into how your business and your team benefit from time tracking. We’ll also show you the top time tracking tools to use to get a better grip on your resources and budgets.

Time Tracking, Project Management, and the Pareto Principle

You’ve probably heard of it — the Pareto Principle, one of my favorite principles, AKA the 80/20 rule. 

Applied to agencies, the Pareto Principle states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. Or a specific type of work. 

Do you know who those clients and projects are?

If you do, you can refocus your agency goals to maximize the most profitable clients or projects and improve your budget management. 

“But Juliana, what’s time tracking got to do with all that?”

Every hour you track is another hour that can be billed. When running fixed-priced contracts, you can identify the 20% that brings the most profits to the yard. 

You can weed out the types of projects and clients stretching your resources without doing much for your profit margins. 

Time tracking is a tool that can help scale your agency since you won’t be wasting time frying the small fish. 

Client management got you down? Your client onboarding probably needs some adjustments. It’s not too hard to do with our free client onboarding toolkit

CTA Button: Get the Free Toolkit

How does time tracking help your team members?

Scope creep can bury itself into your budgets, timelines, and also stress your employees. But in a lot of cases, workloads increase in such small increments, you might not notice. 

That is until you’re up at 3 AM stressing out about a project and not knowing how the heck it got so out of control. 

Implementing time tracking can help you identify when a workload is starting to get too big for its britches. 

But when employees hear “time tracking,” they often feel like Big Brother’s about to start spying on them. 

Tips for getting employee buy-in 

PMs, clearly communicate the point of time tracking to your team: 

  • We’re protecting our bandwidth so you don’t burnout 
  • We’re using time tracking to see what’s getting accomplished and when
  • Time tracking will reduce micromanaging because it increases transparency

On that last point, time tracking gives PMs the ability to supervise more efficiently. 

They won’t have the chance to nitpick or directly observe every single detail of the employee’s work process. With time tracking, project managers get a clearer picture of someone’s performance at a cursory glance.

Time tracking can also increase accountability across teams. 

If you’ve noticed a pattern of deliverables repeatedly missing deadlines, or certain team members taking on a huge workload, you might have an accountability issue somewhere. 

With time tracking, you can see where someone or a certain department might be slacking. Let your team know that time tracking can help with this issue and lighten their loads. 

When implementing time tracking, be clear about how you’ll do it, the data you’ll see, and how you’ll use it. 

Being upfront will go a long way toward building trust and getting buy-in from your team. So, manage expectations well in advance of implementation. 

Top Time Tracking Tools for Agencies

Make your life easier. When choosing a time tracking tool, get one with the following features:

  • Budget tracking
  • Freelancer tracking
  • Invoicing 
  • Project management integration

What about the price? If you capture just two hours a month, most time tracking software will pay for itself. We like these two:

Harvest

Harvest is $10 per month for each user and is one of the most popular time tracking tools on the market. It’s got all the important stuff you need:

  • Budget tracking
  • Built-in invoicing features
  • Ability to assign roles so that freelancers and part-timers can time track
  • Offers integrations with Asana, GitHub, and Jira

Toggl

Toggl paid plans are a little more expensive than Harvest — ranging from $10 to $59 a user per month. But it’s got a lower barrier to entry and is easier to set up. 

No need to set up tags, tasks, or projects. Just hit a timer, and you’re off to the races. 

  • Budget tracking
  • Invoicing abilities 
  • Freelancers can track their time
  • Integrations work through Chrome Extension
  • Great for small teams as it offers a free plan for up to five users

Your Next Steps for Time Tracking

Communicating with your team is the most important step in the process. Remember that.  

  • Figure out how you’re going to time track 
  • Be transparent about how you’ll use the data
  • Openly discuss your plans and goals
  • Let your team know how time tracking is going to benefit them 

Anytime you add something new to your team member’s workflow, building trust is key to getting buy-in. 


Have you wanted to use time tracking software to help scale your agency? What’s causing you to hold back? Let us know in the comments.

KPIs for Growth: Measuring Hiring and Onboarding

Employees are the engine that power your business success. But business owners often underestimate the cost of a new team member

So what are those costs? Roughly 30% of that person’s first-year salary. 

Make a bad hire, and those costs will skyrocket. 

74% of surveyed businesses have made the mistake of hiring the wrong person for the job. So if this is a misstep you’ve made, you’re not alone.

So don’t feel too down about it. Tomorrow’s another day and this is something we can fix so you never make the same mistake again.  

An airtight hiring and onboarding process is critical for your agency’s bottom line and will keep the wrong candidates out of your system. 

With the right hiring and onboarding KPIs, you’ll improve the quality of the hire while streamlining the hiring process. 

These KPIs will work for both in-person and remote hiring. Let’s break them down. 

How Putting Aces in Their Places Benefits Your Agency

Introverts make great front desk receptionists! No, no, they don’t. 

Bad hires can sap your team’s productivity and performance. They also risk legal fees for unlawful termination. 

You want to make sure you have the right person for a position. Otherwise, the costs of a bad hire will eat into your revenue stream. 

Here are just a few of the benefits hiring the right person for the job for your agency:

  • Decrease the time and expense of training
  • Improve employee morale
  • Increase retention rates
  • Make customers happy with better customer service

Using KPIs for onboarding and hiring will also reduce the costs of reviewing resumes, recruitment fees, and time spent interviewing. 

Time to Hire KPI

Recruiters and hiring managers, listen up: 

If you’re going to master any of these KPIs, make this one a top priority. 

How come? Because the time to hire KPI helps you:

  • Optimize your application process
  • Protect your company’s productivity, revenue, and brand image
  • Ensure that you’re interviewing only the top candidates

On average, and depending on the industry, time to hire can take anywhere from 14 to 63 days. 

Let’s think about this for a hot minute. You’ve got an exciting, well-paid position available that you want to fill asap. 

Your job ad is drool-worthy and laser-targeted to your ideal candidate. It’s being advertised freaking everywhere. 

So, who do you think is going to jump at the chance to apply and try to snag this top-notch position first?

Hint: it won’t be the forks when all you need is a knife. 

Your best candidates are going to apply early in the process. Take too long to hire and have a lengthy hiring process, and your best and brightest will drop out. 

What’s left? A pool of mediocre candidates that, if you hire, can hurt your brand image and productivity. Ugh. That’s some rain on your wedding day. 

If you notice a lot of candidates starting an application but not finishing, then you might need to tweak your application and hiring process. 

Time to Hire = Date of Hire – Date Candidate Enters the Pipeline

Quality of Hire KPI

Ensure that your new employees have A’s across their employee scorecard with the quality of hire KPI. 

To measure this KPI, you’ll need to go through your retention and performance data. 

You’ll also want to measure how your new hires fit in with the company. 

Are you experiencing new hires leaving within the first six months? Then you’re probably screening for the wrong traits. 

Also, this KPI can help you determine where you’ve found your best hires, like social media, job boards, or references.

(Performance + Productivity + Retention) / N = Quality of Hire

Measuring Time to Productivity

Time to productivity measures how long it takes for a new hire to meet performance level expectations. Setting a KPI here will help you uncover any cracks in your onboarding process. 

The exact KPI you set to measure time to productivity will vary across teams. But suffice it to say, it shouldn’t differ too much from one person to the next within a particular group. 

Keep These Marketing Agency Hiring and Onboarding Best Practices in Mind

Before you start measuring your KPIs for growth, take the following action steps:

  • Be consistent — Use the same onboarding process for each new hire. Consistency will make it easier to extract meaningful data from the hiring process. 
  • Be warm — During the hiring process, candidates are looking at your agency with a sharp eye, wondering if they’re making the right choice. Make candidates feel welcome during the onboarding process so they won’t feel unappreciated and bail. 
  • Think of it as a relationship — Think it’s done and over after hiring? Not so. Guide your new hires and develop them after the onboarding process is done. This will help them stay engaged and feel appreciated enough to stay with you for the long haul. 

Is the hiring process an exercise in frustration for you? 

Get some of your time back with our free Hiring Hacks Guide. And keep these hiring and onboarding KPIs in mind when you’re ready to add a new member to your team. 

Gimme!

KPIs for Growth: Measuring Project Management

“I love flying blind! Oh look, we’re about to fly headfirst into a mountain.” And it’s a mountain of misplaced expectations, lost brains, and absolute disorder. 

We all like and need certainty in our lives. And when it comes to scaling an agency, knowing where we’re winning and where we need a little bit of help is vital to agency growth. 

Hardly anything happens in a vacuum and effective project management is another one of those things. You need to make sure you’ve got the right tools and processes in place for scaling and growing. 

Because bottom line? You can’t scale chaos. 

So, how do you define KPIs for project management? It’s ScaleTime to the rescue to right your flight and steer you clear of the Mountain of Chaos. 

Check out our top growth KPIs for measuring project management tools to see just how well (or not) your current project management processes are working. 

Hold up — what makes a good KPI anyway? 

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator

Every internut (typo and it stays) guru and their uncle will throw a million KPIs you must measure or else!!! at you. But I want you to focus on KPIs that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Anything less, and you’re going to get overwhelmed. So let’s focus on the following to keep us on track. 

Growth KPI #1: Project Run Rate 

Gotta keep an eye on that budget. Success isn’t just about right deliverables, although that’s vital too. You also need to keep an eye on expense efficiency. 

Unforeseen issues can and often do occur during the course of a project. Project Run Rate can help you see how, why, and where budget shifts need to happen. 

Projects that keep running over budget are going to raise an eyebrow when it comes to your agency’s integrity. So, track the Cost Performance Index, or CPI KPI (catchy, right?) to measure how well you’re doing. 

Project Run Rate = Earned Value/Actual Costs

Earned Value is how much work’s gotten done at a specified cost. Actual Costs are pretty straightforward — they’re the money that’s already been spent on the project. 

If CPI is high (over 1), then you’ll finish the project under budget. Too low (below 1), and you’re about to go over. This KPI is vital to understanding your project’s health – whether it’s a one time project or retained services.

So, you’re 2 months into a 6 month project budgeted at 5k, month, you look at your data and you’ve spent 14k through two months. Houston, we have a problem. Time to look at managing your team’s time to get back on track.

Growth KPI #2: On Time Deliverables

Delivering on time is just as critical as staying on budget. Schedule Performance Index (SPI) helps you measure how well your team is sticking to the schedule.

SPI = Earned Value/Planned Value

Planned Value is the planned percentage of work you’re aiming to complete within budget. 

Say you’ve got a 10K budget and 40% of the project left to do. Planned Value is 4K. 

Use SPI to compare your actual costs and time and tweak the budget if you must. 

We often underestimate our timelines and how long a particular task is going to take. You usually can’t identify a creeping scope down to the last detail. 

This KPI will help you see where you have some leeway with timelines without jeopardizing the budget. 

You have a client who wants copy for their next email campaign. But oh yeah, could you just add in a few A/B split tests while you’re at it, too? For copy and subject lines? You’ve got the time for that, don’t you?

Dutifully measure this KPI, and you’ll know if it’s, “OMG, hair on fire! Must get done ASAP!” Or if you can breathe a sigh of relief. SPI helps you figure out your project management priorities and if you have some breathing room in the schedule. 

Growth KPI #3: Resource Capacity

Resources are finite. 

Does your team have the time needed to hit milestones by their due date? What about changes in scope? Does your team have the bandwidth to accommodate?

You must have the right amount of resources (people and their time) to complete your projects on schedule and within budget. That way, you’ll have a happy customer, and happy employees, at the end. 

When you’re short of crucial resources, projects are painful. 

You’ve might have been here before. You didn’t adequately onboard your client (no worries we’ve all been there, done that). Now they’re asking for “little” extras that are really adding up, resulting in an out-of-control, ballooning project and stressed employees. 

You have to measure your resource capacity to prevent these kinds of problems. 

So project managers, measure your resource capacity KPIs for maximum performance and resource efficiency. 

When you set this KPI, make the target realistic. No one goes full-throttle, 100% productive throughout the whole day. We all need a coffee break (or five) at times.  

Measuring this KPI has several different benefits:

  • You can allocate resources properly
  • Determine any hiring needs
  • Set an accurate schedule for deliverables
  • Determine an accurate project completion timeline

Resource Capacity = # of Project Team Members X % of Time Team Members are Available to Work

Use Growth KPIs and Go from Good to Gold

With the measurables of project management, you’ll:

  • More quickly and easily scale your agency
  • Increase your business integrity
  • Become more efficient, lean, and mean

Use these top three project management KPIs to keep your project’s on track, within budget, and your clients happy. 
Are you having trouble measuring KPIs and optimizing for growth? Reach out to us today.

5 Digital Marketing Agency Tools to Simply Collaboaration & Communication

So many tools. So little time. 

Figuring out whether the latest and allegedly greatest newfangled communication tool is going to help your agency scale is not an easy task.

digital marketing tools

There’s the tried-and-true email, Slack, Asana, Monday, Clickup, and so many more. They’re all good, but here’s the problem:

If your organization doesn’t clearly define the roles these communication and digital marketing tools play, information gets:

  • Disorganized
  • Lost
  • Jumbled

Communication and efficiency suffer. Bottom line, you can’t control chaos, and chaos is what happens when your best tools don’t have clearly defined communication roles. 

Let ScaleTime fix that for you. Use these top agency communication tools, social media marketing, and customer relationship management tools in the right roles for agency growth and provide best marketing strategy. 

Best Agency Tools for Managing Projects and Timelines

Are you running headfirst into a brick wall of:

  • Confused staff who don’t know what tasks to execute or prioritize?
  • PMs unaware of project status?
  • No clear expectations or higher-ups identified?
  • Impatient clients tired of waiting for your team to get their sh$t together?

Then your issue is you don’t have an organized system to monitor your project status and manage timelines. Managing project timelines is critical to scaling an agency. 

The best collaboration tools for project management are project management tools like:

  • Clickup
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Monday

These are powerful project management tools with easy-to-use, modern interfaces for managing your project timelines. You can:

  • Plan project timelines
  • Assign specific tasks
  • Work on team management 
  • Monitor the status of each project
  • Quickly see where each project is on its dedicated timeline

But, these tools are NOT for communicating around things that are not directly project-related, which lead us to . . .

Best Tool for Non-Task Related Communication

It’s Slack. Hands down. Think of Slack like a digital version of the traditional water cooler. Slack is ideal for digital marketing agencies of all sizes. Using Slack can help improve teamwork, productivity, and culture. 

Employees can shoot off a quick message or meme to brighten the day. Questions can be answered quickly and communication efficiently improved. 

Setting up Slack channels related to different client accounts and tasks can help keep communications streamlined. You can also invite clients to Slack channels so clients and account managers are all on the same page. 

Best Long-form Communication Tool

Email is one of the best communication tools for your vendors, partners, and clients. Unless, you can convince them or they have the sophistication to get on your project manager or Slack.  

If you want your communication to be efficient, clear, and concise, head on over to email to make sure nothing gets lost in translation. 

Email enables you to communicate a lot of complex information in an archivable form. And it makes it easy for you to archive important communication chains for later reference. CCing streamlines communication among multiple partners at different companies too. 

WARNING – you don’t want a hairy inbox! To get clients out of your inbox use marketing automation to move actionable messages and requests over to your project manager to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. 

Best Collaboration Tools for Scaling an Agency

Google Drive is an excellent project management tool for collaboration and storing critical project documents. Team members can access the cloud from any device, anytime, and anywhere. 

Ever lost your brain on a project? Then you need to start using Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

Google Drive is empowered with Google’s search capabilities so docs are easily found and accessed. Store your instruction forms, SOPs, and other vital documents in the easily accessible cloud. 

Communication Tools Help Everyone Work Smarter and Faster

One final tip — invite your clients to use these tools. This can help you all work smarter and faster and hit those deliverable timelines. 

Just make sure you identify any cracks in your client processes and fix them first. Let’s just say, boundaries are beautiful and vital to a project’s success. 

Put your communication aces in their places

Today’s agencies need powerful collaboration, communication tools and social media management software to hit goals and consistently deliver results. 

Increase your efficiency and communication effectiveness, and you’ll have an easier time growing your business. 

Whether you want to ixnay the crossing of communication wires or improve workplace culture, these top business communication tools can help.  

What agency communication tools have you used? What results did you achieve? Let us know in the comments!

What to do when a top employee takes leave

It’s going to happen one way or another.

Maybe it’s because she gets pregnant. Maybe it’s because she gets sick. Maybe he takes a sabbatical or finds a new job. Whatever the reason, one day your top employee is going to tell you they need extended time off.

And in that moment, if you don’t read this article, you’re totally screwed.

The good news is, you’re reading this article, so there’s hope for you yet, youngblood.

You see, here’s what most people do when their top employee leaves:

Freak out and have a nuclear meltdown.

Take on all the work themselves, pretending like everything is fine.

Dump it on some poor, helpless, unsuspecting employee.

Panic, hire someone random and hope they can figure it out.

No, no, no!

What you need to do is create a plan NOW, so that you’re prepared for this moment when it comes. When you prepare, you’ll be able to absorb the shock of the impact without much damage to the business. If you don’t prepare, well, see “freak out and have a meltdown.”

Today I want to share three ways you can prepare for the inevitable loss of your top employee, whether it’s temporary or permanent.

Step #1: Find the docs

One of the biggest challenges owners face when an employee leaves is figuring out where everything the employee was working on is. Is it on their desktop in some folder? Some dungeon drive that hasn’t seen the light of day in years? Even worse, is it in their head, physically inaccessible to anyone besides your employee (at least until Elon Musk creates his brain linking company)?

Before it’s too late, build a clear structure for documentation that all of your employees understand and follow, and create a consistent naming structure so that documents are easily searchable.

Step #2: Track progress

Ah yes, the age-old question: Is my employee almost done with that client deliverable or have they yet to start?

If you don’t have clear insight into your employee’s progress on client work, you might as well be working alone. As the owner of your business, you need to be steering the ship in the right direction, but the only way you can do that is if your employees are rowing.

To solve this issue, implement a project management system with clear workflows, so you always know where any project is. This allows you to easily handoff work to different employees when another one has delays or roadblocks.

Do this and you’ve suddenly got a ship full of vikings, all rowing together towards Valhalla ($$$).

Step 3: Handoffs

Oh damn! Did I just say handoffs?

Why yes, yes I did.

When you’re employee says they’re going to take leave, who is going to handle their workload? Plan this out BEFORE they leave.

Can you shift their workload to one or two other people on the team? If this is your plan, do those employees have the capacity? You don’t want to shift the workload to people who can’t handle it.

Will you hire a temporary employee who will fill the gap while they’re gone? If so, how will you get them up to speed?

Will you promote another employee to take on the workload and then hire a new employee to fill that employee’s space?

Or will you hire someone new who will continue working with you when your #1 returns? If so, where will you find them?

These are all critical questions to ask before they’re necessary to answer.

So there you have it…

When you’re adequately prepared for your employees to leave, you can actually mean it when you congratulate your #1 employee when she tells she’s pregnant. 

ScaleTime Tips:

  1. Make sure everyone on the team has access to documents and client progress
  2. Make sure you have access to progress
  3. Make sure you can easily hand off their work

Have you ever lost your top employee before? If so, how did you handle it?