Do your client teams measure up with other agencies?

April 11, 2023

Client expectations of agencies have spiked. Are your teams keeping up?

Marketing clients are under more pressure to perform than ever. When selecting and retaining agency partners, they want stronger leadership, deeper strategic thinking, more integrated activation, and tangible business impact – agency account teams are the linchpin.

As client demands of agency teams continue to increase, it’s more important than ever to demonstrate your value. Here are two talent assessment models that provide insight to help with skill development and career planning – across one clear set of consistent standards. The goal is to immediately improve the effectiveness of those who manage your clients.

What are the essential skills of successful account leaders?

In Mirren’s client-side research, we found that marketers are concerned their agency teams have become too passive. Rather than leading the way forward, they’re more focused on just trying to please. They need account managers who proactively lean in and lead the way forward. These are complex times, and clients are seeking account leaders willing to step up, provide well-informed strategic counsel, and elevate the impact of the agency’s work. Ultimately, clients want to feel confident they can follow your lead.

Most importantly, which agency leader will be more valuable to a lodging industry client: one that understands and focuses the agency on driving spend per occupancy, duration of occupancy, and RevPAR (revenue per available room) – or one focused on just brand reputation and awareness? The answer is obvious. While the performance of brand and awareness strategies is critical, it’s only a means to a much more valuable end – driving business impact.

With this in mind, The Mirren Account Leadership AssessmentTM provides two models that can help you and your teams be more valuable to your clients. The first applies specifically to the role of account management, while the second takes a deeper look at critical attributes for strong talent across the entire agency (including this role) from the client’s perspective. 

Part 1: Assess Your Account Leadership Skills 

For each question below, score yourself on a scale from 1 to 5: 

1 = Not at all; 2 = Weaker; 3 = Average; 4 = Stronger; 5 = Nail it 

  1. Are you leading the client forward? Do you proactively lean in and lead your client as a strategic business partner – helping to navigate their challenges, and making it easier for them? 
  2. Do you understand your client’s business? Do you have a solid grasp of your client’s business model, category-specific performance metrics (KPIs), and growth objectives?
  3. Are you clear on how the agency can impact the client’s business growth? Are you focused on specific, measurable client business objectives the agency will impact? 
  4. Are you growing the agency’s business? Do you have an assertive, actionable, and accountable plan to grow this client?

Now review: where are your higher and lower scores, and why? What are your next steps to keep improving?

Part 2: Agency Talent Assessment (from the client’s perspective)

Reminder: this second assessment takes a deeper look at critical attributes for strong talent across the entire agency (including account leadership), but from the client’s perspective.

Using the same scoring criteria (scale of 1 to 5), what would the client say about you and other members of the agency team? Use this to set the bar for yourself as an account leader and for team performance reviews. 

  1. Aptitude: “This person has the technical skills to perform their individual function at a high level on my business – as good or better than those at my other agencies.”
  2. Dedication: “Core to their integrity, this person won’t accept anything less than their best work on my business.”
  3. Assertiveness: “This person proactively leans in – consistently. On a day-to-day basis, they anticipate and address my needs as it relates to their role on the team. They make it easy for me.”
  4. Resourcefulness: “Without flinching, this person is willing to roll up their sleeves to get things done. They’re resourceful and always find a way. I know if they’re on it, I’m good – consider it done.”
  5. Emotional IQ: “This person is a pleasure to work with. They’re a natural at keeping everything and everyone on track, without any drama.” (Think: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, social skills)

Again, where are your higher and lower scores, and why? What are your next steps to keep improving?

Taking Action: Your Next Steps

Use both models of The Mirren Account Leadership AssessmentTM to determine how you and your team score as client-facing leaders as well as how the entire agency team would score from the client’s perspective. 

Next, work with your agency management on implementing these models to set clear expectations for the entire team. 

Looking to get even more insights on improving the performance of your client-facing teams, including generating organic growth? 

Join us at Mirren Live:

This May, 800 agencies will join 60+ speakers at Mirren Live to address agency industry creativity, innovation, growth strategy, and more. To save $150: use code Winmo150.

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