The market is swamping with project management tools. Most of them are great for what they’re made for: managing projects and tasks. But if you think that a simple project management tool can cover all the needs that your agency has—think again.
In this article we cover why having an end-to-end agency management tool is crucial for your agency, much more so than using just a project management tool.
Which Features Do Agencies Need in a Project Management Tool?
Even though one of the greatest challenges that you face as an agency is optimizing project management workflow, agency businesses are much more complex than that. Agencies with a growth mindset know that many aspects of their business play into optimizing performance.
That’s why project management tools often don’t have all the features you need to manage and grow your agency. It’s hard to rely on a project management tool to save time for your agency if it doesn’t have all the features you need to manage your agency end to end.
So what are the features that you need in your agency management tool? Continue reading.
1. Agencies need time tracking that provides key agency metrics in real time.
To know where your agency is making money, the first question is always whether or not your agency’s employees are tracking time.
Because project management tools aren’t focused on key agency metrics, it’s not likely that a project management tool will automatically combine fixed and hourly revenue based on accumulated billable time.
So, to monitor the state of your revenue, profit margins, and utilization rates (among other agency KPIs), you need a tool in which your time tracking will be linked with your key metrics, and not be separated.
In Productive, when you have time data regularly updated, you get access to a bunch of really important insights for your business.
2. Agencies need resource planning with leave management included.
To make better decisions regarding project and resource management, your agency needs a tool that will cover leave management, too.
Resource planning is key for balancing teammates’ workloads and properly handling agency resource management is essential for keeping both clients and employees happy.
Having leave management embedded in your tool will cut admin time for employees because they won’t need to request time off in another tool or send you emails asking for days off. Ultimately, a feature like this one will improve your agency’s project management workflow.
More about agency resource management.
“Productive has alleviated a lot of the meetings that we used to have to discuss resourcing. We had different sheets all over the place. It’s live, easy, it’s made life simple…and it made our people productive! As a Project Manager, it definitely gave me more confidence to make decisions because I’ve got the data to do it now. If I need it to move resources around, add a change request, pull things back, I have the visibility to do that. So I’m more in control now.“— Patric Osburn, Service Operations Manager at Quintica
3. Agencies need a sales pipeline that can switch won deals into projects.
When your agency management platform has an embedded sales solution in it, you can turn won deals into projects and save time when passing new customers onto project managers.
Using the Sales feature in Productive, your teammates can easily take over new projects on their own by reading all the emails and comments from your pipeline.
With a sales funnel in your agency tool, you can also count on the following:
- Enhance collaboration when working on sales strategies to land new sales deals by including colleagues to get their perspectives.
- Keep everyone informed by syncing your correspondences with actual sales opportunities.
- Document project estimates, as a reminder of what the logic was behind a certain estimate.
- Keep track of discounts and special offers, because you might offer a discount to a prospect, but by the time that same service gets to the billing phase, there’s a big chance you’ll forget exactly how much discount you promised.
4. Agencies need budget management that’s connected with invoicing.
Certain project management tools may offer you budget management features for handling your project finances. Let’s take budgeting a step further, though. Besides having full control over your budgets and profitability–how easy is it to manage complex budgets in those tools?
In Productive, when you have long-term projects, you can make things easier by splitting budgets into separate phases. Invoicing automatically tracks billed amounts so that you’re sure that you’ve billed everything on time. You’ll save time for your project managers by generating invoices with tracked time on billable services.
“In Productive, the ability to tie invoicing and detailed estimates and project deliverables: that’s kind of been the secret sauce.”Orion Jensen, CEO at Clear Launch
Want to Grow Your Agency’s Profitability With an End-to-end Agency Management Tool?
At the end of the day, a non-negotiable feature in your agency’s new business management tool should be how you will monitor your key metrics and growth. If you want to future-proof your agency with one tool, start your free, 14-day trial.