This is exciting! Our first video created with the Salesforce AppExchange team, it’s been a great experience.
This 60sec clip shows how Klient streamlines the Proposal & Estimation process of a Consulting Project.
This is exciting! Our first video created with the Salesforce AppExchange team, it’s been a great experience.
This 60sec clip shows how Klient streamlines the Proposal & Estimation process of a Consulting Project.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
For those who have followed Salesforce through the years, they know the #1 CRM in the world always set ambitious goals in terms of growth.
Here’s some highlights:
Salesforce realease their new research from IDC detailing how they will drive nearly 9.6 million new jobs (yes, you read that right) and more than $1.6 trillion in new revenues for customers by 2026. Following the pandemic, their focus is not only about the jobs and revenue growth, but also to provide support their partners.
The ecosystem of companies supporting Salesforce customersʼ implementations is five times as big as Salesforce itself today and will be more than six times as big
in 2026. With 2026 ecosystem revenue forecast to be 3.5 times that in 2020, the challenge will be finding talent.
The growth of cloud software2 suffered little from the pandemic, growing 22% worldwide
in 2020, while on-premises software growth fell to zero. This year, cloud-delivered
software will be 43% of the software market, and by 2026, it will be 61%.
Read the full article here.
Download a full copy of the IDC: Salesforce Economy 2021
When you sell a product, all you have to do is deliver it. As long as you have stock on-hand, you can fulfill the sale immediately. Sell a service and your work has only just begun. For example, let’s say you sold a 2-day consulting package to a client in another state. You have five consultants on staff. You (or someone in your organization) will have to find a time that works for both your client and for one of your consultants. Travel arrangements will have to be made. Lodging, meals, and a hundred other details will have to be sorted out. All to fulfill that one sale.
How PSA Software Is Different than CRM, ERP, and Project Management Software?
CRM software stops once you’ve made the sale. It’s great at managing a pipeline and estimating revenue. But if you sell services, a CRM system doesn’t help you schedule your human resources after a sale has been made. Project management or ERP software can help with the scheduling side of things. However that means you’ll be managing the same clients out of two completely different systems. When you make a sale, someone at your organization will have to transfer data from your CRM system into your project management or ERP system.
That’s a process that’s inefficient and likely to have errors. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software gives you one system to manage both prospects and clients, without having to transfer data between systems. It doesn’t mean you have to drop your current CRM provider. If you use Salesforce.com, you can simply add a service like ours, which works natively on the Salesforce platform.
Is PSA Software Right for My Company?
The first thing is to be clear about what you’re selling. If you sell services directly, people are your product. In that situation, having PSA software will help you better manage both the sales process and the delivery of your services. If you sell products, you still might need to manage human resources to deliver those products. Do you have an install team? Do you require a certain number of hours of training or consulting for new customers? If so, your company could also benefit from Klient PSA Software.
It’s not easy for a services company to accurately predict revenue and expenses. There are often many costs that go along with delivering a service, and those costs can vary widely depending on the client you’re working with. PSA software includes the ability to more easily predict both your revenue and expenses.
Salesforce CRM is the world’s most popular CRM system. It’s AppExchange is also the leading enterprise software platform in the world. Companies using Salesforce CRM have access to thousands of applications that work natively on the Salesforce.com platform. That includes PSA software that works directly with your existing CRM database. Native Salesforce apps use the same infrastructure and database as your Salesforce CRM. They also have the same reliability and security standards.
Staffing and turnover are often sources of frustration for service providers. It can be difficult to know whether you really need to hire a new consultant or provider for your team. Will you have the work to justify the new hire? Or will you just be paying for someone to sit around all day while your sales team tries to fill the schedule? The best way to make good decisions about staffing is to have good data. PSA software can give you a comprehensive view of how many resources you’ll need in the coming months compared to what you have on staff.
Finally, there are your customers to consider. Is “scheduling” a constant headache? Have customers ever been frustrated trying to find a time that works for both their schedule and your team’s schedule? From a financial standpoint, logistics frustrations also kill referrals, which is usually a big driver of client acquisition for service companies. If scheduling is costing you referral business, PSA software can help your team deliver a smoother experience for everyone.
Ultimately, selling services is just like selling anything else—your customers have to see value in the service you deliver to them. PSA software can help your team deliver a great experience to all your clients. It can also help your management team make data-driven decisions about staffing and scheduling, instead of just trying to guess.
If you’d like to learn how to deliver more value for less expense in your service business, we’d love to show you more about how PSA software can help.
It expresses what percentage of their time people spend generating revenue for the organization. Since the vast majority of resources in most services firms are salaried employees, that time not spent generating revenue is still costing the organization money.
Whether you’re the VP of services, a project manager, resource manager, or consultant, you should know that utilization is critical to your bottom line, and always look for better ways to track it and improve it.
Here are a few essential ways to improve resource utilization for your professional services business:
Being “resource-ready” is about more than just ensuring your employee headcount is large enough to handle influxes of work. It’s also about knowing you have the best possible resources, with a variety of skills and experience under their belts, to equip you to handle projects of all types and sizes. Having the right team on the right project at the right time is what truly drives success for services organizations. It’s a huge piece of what keeps projects on track, margins in line, and customers happy.
One way to improve this is by ensuring your sales and services teams are working with the same data, in the same system, from the same customer record, so everyone involved has a view of current customer projects, staff commitment, and pipeline. The sales team will know what service levels they can promise, while the services team can see what’s in the pipeline and build the right staff to deliver.
If you’re still using spreadsheets to track utilization, the time to stop was yesterday. Resource managers can attest that nothing throws utilization off its axis quite like the chaos of managing resources, conflicting schedules, and a wide-range of billable rates. Not only is it extremely time-consuming to use spreadsheets to track utilization, but it also sets you up to make numerous potential errors that could be damaging to your margin tracking and profitability.
To improve utilization tracking, look for a powerful and modern professional services automation (PSA) solution that will make it possible to automate utilization tracking with speed and accuracy.
Tracking utilization in itself is important, but at the end of the day operating a successful professional services organization will not be possible if your utilization rates are at an all-time high, but your bill rates are going down.
In the professional services industry, utilization and profitability are two sides of the same coin. It’s quite simple to optimize one at the expense of the other, at least in the short run. Discount your rates heavily, and your utilization will soar, but to the detriment of profitability. Overwork your people without investing in training and professional development, and you’ll see great resource utilization today, only to see major drops in profitability next quarter. Figuring out how to optimize both at the same time is one of the real keys to running a successful professional services business.
This is another instance where it pays to have sales and services teams on the same page with access to the same data.
By unifying all the data related to your customers, projects, resources, financials, all in one place, not only does it make calculating utilization and increasing it easier, but it accounts for every detail and ensures that your sales team and services team will have access to the same data and be able to work together for the greater good of the organization as a whole.
One way to improve the synchronicity between sales and services teams is to leverage a PSA solution that is connected to your CRM tool, like Salesforce. A modern PSA solution connected to your CRM system has become a no-brainer when it comes to boosting your utilization figures. Leading industry analyst firms like Gartner, Services Performance Insights (SPI), and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA), report that when organizations have a PSA solution integrated with a CRM, their utilization is 4% higher than organizations that don’t have the same system in place.
Between connecting the Services team members themselves, to cross-departmental collaboration with other teams in the organization (Sales, Support, Accounting, etc.), to ongoing communication with the client, there is no shortage of people that need visibility into a project and its status.
A Professional Services Automation (PSA) software with functionality that fosters team collaboration can make it easier for Services organizations to support open communication with internal and external stakeholders throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.
Services teams need to communicate and collaborate amongst themselves in order to manage projects efficiently and effectively.
PSA software offers features that make it simple for Services teams to create visibility within their department and increase communication. Some of these features include project management, resource planning, and time and expense management. A sophisticated Gantt chart with functionality including full inline editing, rapid task creation, drag-drop of task sequence, quick predecessor creation by wbs or task name, task scheduling directly from the Gantt, configurable columns display, split-pane, and much more deliver an exceptional experience for managing projects and ensuring teams are on the same page when it comes to project deadlines.
In addition, choosing a PSA solution that integrates with the tools that organizations are already using to communicate can drastically improve team collaboration. Integration with Slack for example, is becoming increasingly important for organizations selecting a PSA software, because it allows teams to manage projects and services directly from within Slack. A PSA like Klient Software, for instance, allows users to view projects and tasks, drill into project and task details including project profitability and financials, create new project and tasks, as well as enter time worked against projects and tasks directly from within Slack.
The most successful services organizations also work hard to improve communication across various departments within the business. Repeatable project delivery success relies on close collaboration between the sales team, the project delivery organization, the finance function and the client. PSA provides a single, trusted platform to manage deal scoping, deliver projects and track financials that improves outcomes for all parties and builds stronger customer relationships.
A PSA built on Salesforce, for example, can boost communication and transparency between your Sales and Services teams. This can drastically improve project scoping and estimating. And, by integrating with various accounting and ERP applications, a PSA software can succeed in aligning the accounting department with sales and services as well.
Perhaps most importantly, communication with the client is imperative to driving repeat business and creating long-term customer relationships.
PSA software enables better client collaboration throughout the life of an engagement, significantly improving the likelihood of the project being delivered in line with customer expectations. PSA formalizes the process of engaging the services team in the sales cycle, which promotes confidence on both sides that the project will be delivered as sold. During the delivery of the project, customer communication can take place in real-time, quickly resolving issues as they arise.
Krow Software, recently announced survey functionality for their PSA solution which goes a step further in fostering collaboration between the project team and the client. With Krow PSA, you can now create and deliver project and customer surveys including NPS, CSAT, or free-form surveys to analyze client feedback and sentiment, learn from project engagements, and help build long-term customer advocacy to increase retention and expanding selling.
A Customer-Centric PSA is designed with customers at the core, providing a way for project teams to work with each other, and hand-in-hand with customers from sales through service delivery.
Klient PSA offers a modern and seamless customer experience, fully transparent communication between the project team and client to ensure alignment of expectations with real-time two-way communication, integrated customer feedback through survey tools and project health check statuses, and real-time integration with back-office systems for more successful project implementation and greater customer success.