Instant Onboarding – Every PPC Account Manager’s Dream

By Kayla Kurtz | @one800kayla | Senior Digital Advisor at Hanapin Marketing

For January’s series post we are taking a look at our PPC wishlists. What tools do we all wish we had available to make our lives that much easier? Where do our chief frustrations stem from and what band-aid solutions are we using to fix them?


The series team has been pouring their hopes and dreams out all week, expressing their deep desires for very practical things when it comes to PPC management. Being more heavily focused with the task of capturing and onboarding new business for Hanapin, I tend to encounter a different set of complications than my fellow PPC Heroes. One that we get to share together is getting all of our new clients’ accounts and campaigns and channels and networks transitioned at the time of kick-off.


So what I do I wish I had?


I’d call it the ‘PPC Transitioner 5000.’ (Copyright pending – kind of)


I’m incredibly proud to bring new business to our team, because our exploratory process before rostering on a new account is incredibly thorough and we make sure the relationship is a good fit for our client and for ourselves before moving forward. It does not seem to fail, however, that with one of every 4 enterprise accounts we onboard – something, somewhere doesn’t get transitioned efficiently or effectively.


No one is really at fault – because it’s typically a miscommunication rather than a lack of communication entirely. That doesn’t change the frustration that arises or the need for a solution. Sometimes despite talking through the existence of an Analytics account with the client, we log in to find out it’s never actually be set up or utilized. Occasionally we’ll discuss management of all PPC channels, and the client will not have perceived that to include outside-of-Google Display networks. Periodically we’ll send additional tracking code that goes unplaced for longer than either side would prefer.


Do these issues stop us from being able to work? Most certainly not – but they do slow things down a bit at the onset for everyone involved.


So I wish there was one button, to instantly transition every bit of information from client to agency and agency to client during the onboarding process. This button would transfer logins for all accounts from which clicks can be paid for, send/place additional code needed on websites, whitelist email addresses so no one gets caught in spam filters, and so much more! Essentially it would allow the client to start sitting back and reaping the benefits of a full-time agency management team, and would allow the agency team to get to work at what they do best.


Sadly, this capability does not exist and so we come up with the best solution(s) we can to continue working around these miscommunications. Here are some of the things our team has implemented over the last decade to ensure as smooth a transition as possible with accounts new to our management:


  • Pre-Agreement Account Analysis

For nearly every one of our Enterprise-level clients, we take the time to do an actual analysis of the client’s accounts before determining if our team is the best choice for them. At the most basic of levels, this gives our team a chance to measure exactly how big a scope of work is going to be required to manage the account, and on a higher level it opens up conversations about goals and strategy that can help bring up potential pain points to be handled now, rather than later.


  • Internal Team Download

Once a client has signed with us, the sales team member(s) who brought the account in has a full download with the account team for that client before the first phone call is held. This allows for information to be relayed to the account team that the client may forget to mention, or help catch miscommunications early if goals are discussed with sales and with the account team and they don’t match. This also keeps the client from doing double duty and re-explaining something they’ve already told us.


  • Client Intake Documents

Our team utilizes something we call a Client Intake Document as another check and balance opportunity for the client to tell their team directly what they want, no filters or interpretation from anyone else. Again, this is a great opportunity to catch confusion up front if goals or strategies mentioned previous do not match those indicated in this information, etc. This document is filled out prior to holding the kickoff call so that the team has time to review and determine any questions they may have or additional information required to fill in gaps.


  • All-In Kickoff Call

When I say “all-in” I’m talking about everyone from both sides; the sales rep(s), full agency account team and anyone from the client side who could have information relevant to paid search. Yet another opportunity to chat through strategy, goals, reporting preferences, next steps, etc. before one step forward is really taken. Items from the account analysis, internal team download and client intake documents are reviewed, in addition to other things that come up as a result of what’s shared in those steps.


So that’s that – without an all-encompassing button of transition for new clients and all their accounts, we have to cover as many bases as we can and work through the ones we miss or that got overlooked as we come to them. The great news is that most PPC teams are incredibly agile and can adapt quickly to be sure no time goes lost, so I would say this happens to most of us…it’s all in how you handle it, right?


What are some of the ways you and your clients work through the onboarding process to make it as easy for all as possible? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below, and thanks (as always) for reading!