The utilization of business software applications is helping drive professional services organizations to new levels of profitability, with firms now averaging over 15% net profit*. Helping professional services firms leverage technology to improve results – whether it be at finding business, serving clients, tracking projects, or managing relationships – is a passion of ours at HSO ProServ.
We want to help firms do better in all phases of their operations, from business pursuits all the way through to project completion and billing. To achieve that goal, we’ve developed a three-part webinar series to cover a list of strategies that professional services firms can employ to drive better results for their clients, their staff, and their bottom line. I’ll be joined by Patrick Connally, National Industry Director – U.S. Professional Services at Microsoft, to discuss strategies you can employ across your own firm that provide maximum impact without increasing headcount.
Session 1: Find and Win More Work
With the hyper-competitive nature of the professional services industry, identifying new potential projects – and then winning that work – is not as easy as we might hope. Add in the lengthy and complicated sales cycles often involved in such projects, and you have a challenging environment for developing a healthy project pipeline.
There are strategies for identifying new opportunities and improving win rates. With the right mix of technology and strategy, your firm can lean on existing relationships to find new work, use pursuit intelligence to increase bid-to-win rates, and develop better pursuit strategies based on opportunity strength indicators.
In this first session in the series, Patrick and I will dive into several topics related to finding and winning more business, including how to:
- Put your firm’s relationships to work to uncover new opportunities and increase win rates
- Leverage your firm’s experience and qualifications to create winning proposals
- Use pursuit intelligence tools to increase make effective pursuit decisions and increase your bid-to-win ratio
- Gain a 360-degree view of your clients, relationships, pursuits, and experience
Session 2: Deliver Profitable Projects
After winning a project, your firm likely has two major goals: delivering the best possible outcome for your clients, and maximizing the revenue earned through the contract. Throughout project delivery, it’s important to optimize project plans and resource allocations, as well as monitor project profitability in real-time.
SPI’s 2022 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark Report highlighted an 11% increase in billable utilization for firms that adopted a professional services automation solution. In the second session of our series, we’ll address how you can optimize project profitability, including how to:
- Develop more accurate project estimates that get your projects off on the right foot
- Effectively plan and manage resources to drive on-time delivery
- Put project controls back in the hands of your project managers
- Leverage real-time insights to drive better utilization and project margin
Session 3: Streamline Time Tracking and Billing
Accurate time tracking and billing practices are an integral part of doing business. Unfortunately, these crucial tasks are often time-consuming with too many manual steps that can lead to inaccurate hour tracking and billing. Far too often, project managers or finance staff are forced to track down employees to get insight into their hours. This can cause delays in billing and take staff away from more important aspects of their work.
Automating these processes can significantly improve their accuracy and timeliness. Streamlining these processes can also help reduce the frustration felt by many parts of your organization. Of course, optimizing your time tracking and billing will also help you get paid faster and more accurately, which supports revenue growth. According to the same SPI benchmark study, productivity improvements have directly impacted a firm’s bottom line with project margins climbing 12% in 2021.
In the final session of our series, we’ll address a range of topics to help you streamline time tracking and billing, including:
- Streamlining time and expense capture and approval processes
- Increasing timesheet accuracy and easily chasing missing timesheets
- Automating the review and approval of client invoices prior to sending them
- Improving AR and collection processes