‘Twas the month before Christmas 2021 ... and Tony Bradberry was worried. His team’s workload was already maxed out and the impending holiday hoopla could make it impossible to execute fundamental changes to their processes.
While a slowdown is typical for most businesses during the season of distraction, that wasn’t the case for Grey Matter, a Cincinnati-based B2B marketing agency serving small to medium-sized businesses. As Managing Director, Tony had a bigger burden than usual on his shoulders. And it had nothing to do with the impending season of company parties and holiday bonuses.
The agency was growing wildly and he couldn’t afford to wait any longer to find the perfect client work management solution.
Tony knew just what he was looking for to replace the way his team had been managing projects in HubSpot: a consolidated method to track resource utilization, manage billing and invoicing in-house and monitor profitability.
He was hoping for a platform that would automatically do all the things he had been personally doing manually. When he came across Accelo, he was sold by the broad functionality it could offer his team of 25.
But he had some reservations beyond the challenges of the season.
Tony had experience implementing software platforms across large organizations, but that meant he knew how easy it was for the process to go wrong.
He describes his mindset before working with Accelo: “You go into system implementations expecting the worst.”
Propelled by the platform’s potential, Tony signed on the dotted line to deploy Accelo’s Sales, Projects, Retainers, Tickets and Billing products and give Grey Matter the power it needed to continue growing.
Because he knew he needed onboarding to be as efficient as possible, he invested in Accelo’s Full Implementation program.
As the holidays approached, Tony felt both eager and hesitant. How would this work with all the out-of-office statuses about to be activated?
Enter Dan Desrochers, Implementation Manager at Accelo.
Dan got Tony started by sparking conversation about the business’s existing processes with questions like:
Answering these questions can be intense, even if your business already has established workflows.
“Tony had to make commitments on his end, go through many tests and rethink his business processes in readiness for Grey Matter and Accelo to be heading in the same direction,” Dan explains.
Luckily, Tony understood his role.
"Come into it expecting to have to do it as a partnership,” Tony advises. “The more responsive and active you are in the process, the better and quicker it’s going to move for you.”
His mindset made it possible for Accelo to expedite the account setup and data migration phase of implementation — and, most importantly, avoid holiday speed bumps. Dan and the Professional Services team reworked their typical platform configuration steps to align with Tony’s requests.
☑️ First, they configured Projects and Retainers using the information Tony had provided about how Grey Matter manages client accounts and recurring work.
☑️ Then, to ring in the new year, they held three live training sessions for the Grey Matter team.
☑️ Finally, Accelo configured Sales, Tickets and Billing with the company’s data.
Both Tony and Dan attribute the success of Grey Matter’s implementation to their seamless collaboration. Much to Tony’s surprise, Dan ensured Grey Matter’s implementation continued at the same pace it would have any other time of year — because both parties’ expectations were clear from the start.
“Dan did a good job of explaining that when you go to a new system, there’s an uptake period that can take a little time,” Tony says. “But we expedited that pretty well.”
It’s rare for a software adoption to go off without a single hitch, as Tony already knew. And while his worst fears didn’t come true, he and Dan did need to do a bit of problem-solving.
For example, Tony wanted quotes for recurring work (retainers) to be converted into projects — as they can be for new sales quotes in Accelo. Dan teamed up with colleagues to find a workable solution: a custom action in the sales workflow that notifies Tony’s team of what to do next to generate a new project for an existing client.
By February, Grey Matter was up and running in the platform.
Not only has Tony gained back all the time he spent on tedious admin tasks each week, but his team has also fully embraced Accelo.
❇️ Every stage of the client relationship is now visible, making individual responsibilities clear and trackable.
❇️ When the business brings on new team members, they simply access the recorded training sessions to learn how to use Accelo.
❇️ Grey Matter has even adopted the data input approach they saw Accelo’s Implementation team use to improve their client onboarding.
The positive experience of implementing Accelo was the greatest gift Tony received that holiday season. It was so successful, in fact, that he says he “would do it again — but hopefully we don’t have to!”
Want to be the next Tony and change how you run your business? Schedule a demo to see why he and his team love Accelo.