Jan 26, 2022 | Achievements, Consulting Businesses, Klient University
SQALE, It’s with great honor that we welcome you into Klient’s ecosystem. A special kudos for overperforming during your Klient-University class, you were great!
You’ve mastered Klient’s Performance Path in no time and with ease. The 5 days we’ve spent with you Erica, Michiel and Hans were just delightful!
We have no doubts that you will succeed in streamlining, growing and evolving your business!
Please, let’s all welcome SQALE to the Klient ecosystem!
Oct 22, 2021 | Consulting Businesses, Klient PSA Webinar, Salesforce Consulting Partners, Salesforce PSA
Are you responsible for igniting growth in your business? The pressure to keep a Consulting business thriving can be a challenge. It’s definitely not easy.
At Klient, we see Consulting businesses all the time who say they feel stagnant – or they’re backsliding. If you’re on a plateau, it’s time to break out of that rut and unlock these 4 key drivers of growth:
- Proposal & Forecasting
- Project & Resourcing
- Revenue & Invoicing
- The Customer Experience
These are areas we see the biggest challenges with our customers and in the market today. Tackling these Consultant Challenges is our favourite way to ignite growth in a Salesforce Consulting business.
Watch our latest Success Series (Episode 2, Season 2) to learn about how we can tackle common Consulting Challenges with Klient.
The 4 Consulting Challenges
Proposal & Forecasting
1. The Missing Link Between Opportunity & Project
Watch the webinar from 3:05 to 10:51
For most Consultancies, success is signing a Statement of Work.
But that’s only half the story. For a Statement of Work to be a winner, your business has been feeding it info for days, if not weeks prior. From details on the sales Opportunity, to the billing requirements on the Project itself, your different teams need to share a lot of information to make good estimates.
Making one good estimate is one thing, but at Klient we’ve identified that a key driver of growth is consistent and accurate estimates. Along with good info sharing, that means starting estimates early so your Sales and Delivery team are aligned from the beginning – which is the first Consulting Challenge we want to address.
An evolved Consulting Business starts estimates early, ideally as soon as you start talking about a deal. That’s where Klient Proposal comes in.
While you’re working on an a sales Opportunity in Klient, you can connect it to a Proposal. In that Proposal, you can import a successful Project Template from a past project that will set the framework for what you can deliver. This is the missing link between Opportunity and Project.
Using a Proposal, you can ensure that your Sales team is selling something that your Delivery team can deliver from the very, very beginning of a sale. This sort of alignment between Sales and Delivery ensures you’re starting on-time and ending on-budget.
The brilliance of the Klient platform is that all the information you need to make & update your Statement of Work, including Proposal, Project and your customer Account, is all in one place. No more delays when a prospect requests a revision to a Statement of Work. With Klient Proposal, accurate and consistent estimates won’t be a Consulting Challenge anymore.
Project & Resourcing
2. Improving Profit Margins
Watch the webinar from 10:51 to 24:13
The second Consulting Challenge we want to look into is recruiting Resources and onboarding them efficiently.
An evolved business gets their new hires billing as quickly as possible. That’s where Resource Planner, Klient Job Portal and structured onboarding come in.
If you’re using a tool like the Resource Planner, you should have good visibility over your staff hours. If you see that you don’t have enough Resources, you can go about hiring more.
Of course, once you figure out that you need Resources, don’t forget to check out the Klient Candidate Job Portal. It’ll help you post job openings, take Applications, sift through Candidates and their skills, and plug a successful Candidate straight into your current Proposals and Projects.
But a lot of Consulting Businesses run into a real problem at the onboarding stage. It can take weeks, if not months to onboard if you don’t make your process consistent and structured. And if your new hire isn’t ready to bill against the Project you hired them for, then your Consulting Business’s profit margins and timelines will suffer.
To solve for this, you can create an Onboarding Project in Klient. Build out all the key tasks and milestones and simply use this as a Project Template for onboarding every new hire. You can shave weeks off your onboarding, and the joy of a structured process is it can be improved with every pass. The faster you can onboard that new staff and get them billing – well your bottom line will thank you.
Revenue and Invoicing
3. Maximizing Your Cash Flow
Watch the webinar from 24:13 to 34:12
Revenue leakage. You do not want to see those words next to each other.
All Consulting businesses face challenges when it comes to managing their Revenue. The sheer amount of Invoices and Timesheets needed to manage your business can be staggering. Inevitably things fall between the cracks, and that’s called Revenue leakage.
An evolved Consulting business takes their cash flow seriously. That’s the third big Consulting Challenge that every successful business needs to tackle. How many days does it take you to close your end of month? If it’s more than a couple days, you’re losing big on your cash flow.
We help so many of our customers tackle revenue leakage with a combination of Klient Revenue, Invoicing and Timesheets.
We really can’t overstate the benefit of working on one platform, from Opportunity at the start to Analytics and Reporting at the end.
Because your Projects and your Invoices are all managed in Klient’s PSA, there’s no more lost Invoices. Helpful team collaboration tools like Chatter mean that your Finance team and your Delivery team are closer than ever. Plus all the accounting Integrations mean your Finance team don’t need to give up the tools they know and love.
The Customer Experience
4. Providing a 5-Star Experience
Watch the webinar from 34:12 to 43:18
Word-of-mouth is a key sales tactic for nearly all Consulting businesses. You customers are your ambassadors, and you want them to be your number one sales team. But it’s not always easy to keep them happy. Even the best intentioned Project plan can start to creep in terms of scope, or get delayed and squish your timelines.
Life happens. There’s only so much you can do in this fast-paced Consulting business space. So you need to be proactive. That’s the final Consulting Challenge we want to talk about today.
Starting Projects at the Proposal stage and being proactive with Klient Surveys are key ingredients in providing that 5-star experience.
With Survey Scheduler in Klient, you can survey at any step in your Project plan. Surveys aren’t just for the end, you can:
- Survey at the start to assess their unique customer needs
- Survey in the middle to check for any issues your customers may be too shy to bring up on a call
It’s this attention to detail that will make you shine in front of your customers. Project Details are also a great way to be transparent with customers. If you start your Project plan early enough that it’s linked to in your Proposal, it’s easy to update customers on the changes they’re requesting in the estimate. Make sure you’re both happy with any changes to a Project, particularly to Resources and costs, with Klient Project Details and Proposals.
Evolving Past Consulting Challenges
We’ve shown some of our favourite ways to tackle these common Consulting Challenges. They’re not always easy, but overcoming them is an important step in becoming a top Consulting business. From customer experience to streamlining your processes, the Klient PSA platform can be your partner on the way to top. If you want more details, you can always check out the Klient Success Series Webinar: Evolve Your Consulting Business.
To schedule a discovery call and a demo with our team, please don’t hesitate to connect on LinkedIn at yanick-abraham or contact us on the Request a Demo page.
Oct 25, 2019 | Consulting Businesses, Consulting industry, Professional Services Automation
Time is money, especially for consulting firms.
This means that project management isn’t just a way to track what is or is not completed; it is also the best way to make sure resources are being used strategically, that output is maximized, and that progress is in line with projections and commitments.
In a consulting company, project management can help improve profitability and productivity by improving timeline and budget management, maximizing resources, optimizing processes, and ensuring consistent and timely deliverables.
Here are some of the best project management tips for achieving best-in-class consulting services:
Scope Thoroughly And Specifically
If there’s one thing that every consultant dreads, it’s a mid-project change in scope. One of the biggest threats to a project’s profitability is when the scope changes partway through a project and timelines and budgets get thrown out of whack.
Taking the time to truly understand a project and include a detailed scope of work in the contract can help to prevent the scope of work expanding without compensation. It gives you the opportunity to create change orders—including an updated budget—if a client comes back with additional changes not included in the initial scope of work.
But scoping a project should be equally as important in terms of your project management. Being specific about what is included in each stage of a project will enable your employees to do exactly what is required—no more, no less—for a more controlled output. Being specific about project scope within your team means you’re ensuring additional resources aren’t being used where they won’t result in actual productive business impact.
Don’t Start From Scratch When It Isn’t Necessary
Efficiency is key to productivity and profitability. Most consulting companies have aspects of their deliverables that are repeats in whole or in part of products already completed for other clients. Whether this is templates of documents, programming code, presentations, or other projects, it can be highly productive to prevent redundancy in your consulting company. This allows you to produce similar output with decreased input.
A helpful tip is to make it part of your project management process to identify what aspects of completed tasks may be reusable, and to have these items readily accessible to your team. It can also be helpful to tag tasks in your project management software or Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution that can be completed using one of these reusable documents.
Regularly Update The Client And Check-In On Their Satisfaction
Don’t initiate a project and then fail to check in until the deadline is approaching. Healthy project management requires regular check-ins to make sure the project is developing on time, on budget and most importantly, to the customer’s satisfaction.
A good tip is to identify which points of the project have the highest risk of throwing the project off course and the earliest points you’d be able to detect these threats, and to set—at minimum—check-ins at these points. It can also be helpful for consultants to choose a PSA solution that allows you to see at a glance the health of your current projects. A tool with surveying capability to routinely request client feedback and gauge their satisfaction level is an added bonus as well.
Keep Everything In One Central Location
Our next project management tip for consultants is to keep everything in a central location. Many consultants have fallen into the trap of using multiple file management systems including multiple messaging platforms (such as email, chat, or Slack) as well as CRMs to track conversations, DropBox and/or Google Drive to store documents, different file versions unintentionally saved on multiple devices, and so on. This can lead to confusion, inconsistency, and lost productivity.
Instead, part of your project management process should include managing documents, revisions, client feedback, customer information, and communication in a central location. A robust PSA solution like Klient Software can manage your entire services business on one platform. And by integrating with your existing CRM, ERP, and other applications, you can ensure that all of your processes are in sync.
Learn From Past Successes And Failures
The final, and perhaps most important part of your project management strategy should be a project debrief at the completion of every project. This debrief will help you and the rest of your company to understand what went well, what went wrong, and what processes can be improved in the future.
If you managed your project effectively, you should have analytics that show the progress of task completion, information about when budget was used and whether it was in line with projections, resource use compared to projections, and reports from any risks or changes that may have manipulated output. A PSA solution can be especially helpful in making sure you have this data available at the completion of a project.
The information from each debrief should then be compared to previous reports. Is there a part of your projects that your company predictably underbids? Resources that aren’t being used efficiently or that aren’t being given enough time to complete tasks? Steps of the process that tend to go slower or faster than expected? Analyze your data, adjust processes accordingly, and repeat what is working well.
Jun 22, 2017 | Consulting Businesses, Customers, PSA Growth, Salesforce PSA, Services Businesses
Fast Growing Software & Services Companies Continue to Select Klient for Professional Services Automation
Klient Software, a leading provider of professional services automation software, today announced explosive momentum as organizations globally continue to select and deploy Klient PSA.
Leading organizations continue to select Klient’s unified suite for professional services automation built 100% native on Salesforce with new customers including:
Increasing Competitor Replacements
In addition to recent customer wins, Klient continues to replace competitor solutions in an increasing number of opportunities. Recent replacements include multiple Financial Force customers including:
- Netsuite OpenAir
Debut of Klient PSA for Intacct
Klient also announced the general availability of Klient PSA for Intacct, combining sophisticated Project Management, Resource Planning, Time & Expense, and Project Billing with Intacct’s market leading Financial Management & Accounting Solution saving professional services firms significant time & effort, improving data integrity, and increasing alignment between delivery and finance teams.
Launch of Major New Enhancements
Klient is also unveiling major enhancements & new innovations to their Professional Services Automation (PSA) Suite with new functionality spanning Project Management, Proposals, Resource Planning, Time & Expense, Billing, and Pre-Built Integrations.
Jan 26, 2016 | Consulting Businesses, PSA, PSA Integrations, Salesforce PSA
Buying software isn’t easy. Out of all the different types of digital products, software is one of the most important digital purchases you can make.
In the last 10 years, we’ve seen an explosion of cloud-based and software-as-a-service companies. Many are well-designed, easy-to-use like ringless voicemail and have strong marketing and sales teams working to accelerate their growth. In this environment, how do you know which software products are right for your company?
Here’s the ultimate checklist to select the best PSA for your business:
1. Does the Software Solve a Problem or Provide a New Competitive Advantage?
It happens to the best of us. You go to a trade show, see a flashy software demo, and get caught up in the excitement of a bunch of new features. Before you know it, a sales rep is signing you up for a long-term contract. Before you sign the paperwork or pull out your credit card, stop to ask yourself: does this software fix a problem I’m facing or give me a new competitive advantage? Or am I just buying something because it’s “new”?
To justify a purchase, a software product should provide an obvious benefit to your company or an upgrade over what you’re using today.
2. Is the Software Designed for a Business Like Mine?
Most software companies design products to help a wide variety of businesses. It makes sense. That way they can maximize their revenue by selling their product to a variety of industries. That’s good for companies that make software. But it can be a problem for you because you’ll often be considering a product that wasn’t really designed to work within a business like yours. At Klient Software, we make a project management tool that’s specifically designed for consulting and professional services organizations, especially those using Salesforce for their CRM. By focusing our efforts on a narrow group of companies, we’re able to make software that’s better suited to their needs. Whatever your business needs, look for software companies that are focused on your industry or your type of business.
That’s where you’ll get the best value for your purchase.
3. Does the Software Work Well with Our Other Software?
As more software goes into the cloud, you have to ask, “Does this integrate with the services I already have and pay for?”
For our part, we’ve chosen to build our software on the Salesforce platform, in part to get the best integration possible with the most number of other services.
4. Is the Software Stable?
Cloud software runs on servers. Some cloud companies have their own servers and their own hosting environments. Others rent space in third-party server farms. In our case, we chose to build software on the Salesforce platform, which is one of the most stable cloud platforms in the world today. As long as Salesforce is up and running, our software will be up and running too. If you’re working with a company that has chosen another path for it’s servers, just make sure you know where those servers are and how stable they have proven to be.
No amount of flashy features will make up for a system that’s constantly down when you need it.
5. How Difficult Is the Software to Learn?
Every tool has a learning curve. But it helps if the software you’re buying is relatively easy to learn. It’s even better if it shares a familiar interface. This is another reason we chose to use the Salesforce platform. Our software looks and feels familiar to anyone who’s used Salesforce CRM, which makes our software easier to learn than some other project management tools.
Another thing to look for is training courses or materials that are available for your team members after purchase.
6. Is It Compatible With Our Existing Hardware?
Tech specs matter. Some software requires specific hardware for it to work. 100% cloud software makes this process easier, since all you need is a web browser to access the software. All updates and maintenance happen as part of your subscription. That means you won’t have to buy additional hardware just to buy the software. Remember to consider mobile access.
If your team is remote or travels often, you may need to ensure they have access to this new software from their mobile devices.
7. Is It Within Our Budget?
Finally, after you’ve ensured everything else is in place, consider the price. Remember to look at more than just cost. Will this software make you more efficient or more profitable? If so, then it’s more of a cash flow question than a true cost question. But even still, if you have to convince your boss or a purchase committee to fund the purchase, it’s good to have cost and expected return on investment numbers to present to them.
Now That You Have Your Checklist In Hand…
Buy the right PSA software for your company and you’ll become a hero, helping everyone get more done and make more money in the process. But make a poor decision and you’ll be stuck with a product that makes everyone’s life more difficult. Or at the least, you’ll be stuck paying for a product no one uses. Keep these steps in mind the next time you’re looking at a new piece of software.
And if you’re looking to become a professional services automation super hero, take a look at Klient PSA 😉