12 Business Consulting Tools Proven to Increase Revenue
It can take a lot of resources to scale a consulting business. Landing and fulfilling bigger projects requires a team of talented sales reps, experienced consultants, savvy operations leaders, and reliable project managers.
Each of these team members has a set of manual processes, which are often filled with inefficiencies that make it challenging to expand capacity. To generate more revenue, you typically have to hire more people. This land and expand approach built on top of an inefficient foundation limits your consultancy to incremental growth.
Fortunately, several newer types of business consulting software can automate many of your team’s processes and increase the effectiveness of others.
Here are five business consulting tools that firms are using to increase revenue:
- Presentation Software: Assemble higher quality presentations faster, ultimately translating to higher close rates.
- Proposal Tools: Prepare custom proposals using pre-built modules and templates to get new proposals out the door within minutes, instead of days.
- CRM Software: Build more pipeline, move prospects through the sales funnel faster, and provide a single view of the customer for all teams.
- Business Intelligence (BI) Tools: Align marketing, sales, operations, and client services teams with clear, actionable data.
- Resource Management Software: Get complete project and resource visibility, plus the ability to schedule resources, optimize project planning, and forecast workload.
Kickstart your research by reviewing this list of recommended proposal, presentation, CRM, BI, and resource management software.
Presentation Software for Consulting Firms
OUTCOMES: Shorter sales cycles, more efficient sales processes, higher close rates
Generating a steady stream of new engagements hinges on your sales process, particularly on account executives’ ability to deliver stellar presentations that wow potential prospects.
You can certainly get the job done with Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote. But dozens of tools are now available to help you create customized, on-brand, multimedia presentations that lead to shorter sales cycles and higher close rates.
A few solutions at the top of our list are Prezi, Beautiful.ai, and Visme.
Prezi is a unique video presentation tool that lets you appear alongside your content so you can keep a personal connection with your audience.
Build and edit presentations with colleagues in real-time, dropping in photos, GIFs, videos, and other multimedia content. Deliver presentations using your video conferencing app, or record and send as a video. When people view a Prezi presentation, instead of static slides, they see you—front and center—interacting with the graphics and content in your presentation.
Beautiful.ai is an easy-to-use, AI-powered design tool that automatically turns your content into professionally designed slides.
Just add your basic content and Beautiful.ai applies design rules so that every slide looks like a professional designer created it. Build a master searchable library of slides so you can create custom presentations quickly. Push updates to all presentations with a couple of clicks. Beautiful.ai ensures everyone stays on brand, saves hours on each presentation, and empowers sales reps to impress audiences every time.
Visme is a visual creation tool that empowers designers and novices alike to create everything from presentations and videos to infographics and reports.
Intuitive editing tools make it easy to add links, animations, pop-ups, and transitions. You can share presentations online, embed them in other content, or download and present offline. Built-in analytics reveal who views your presentations, which slides they viewed, and how much time they spent with your content.
Proposal Software for Consulting Firms
OUTCOMES: Shorter sales cycles, more contracts sent, higher close rates
Following a great presentation, prospective new clients need a proposal advising exactly how your consultancy can help. Historically, creating a solid proposal takes a few hours. This important task often gets pushed back by days, adversely affecting your chance of closing the deal.
Proposal software, like PandaDoc, Proposify, and Better Proposals, empowers sales teams to create custom proposals quickly. This ultimately leads to shorter sales cycles, more contracts sent, higher close rates, and more revenue.
PandaDoc is an app that lets you build, track, and sign your docs all in one place. Automate your workflow, discover what sells with built-in analytics, and get signatures in minutes.
Start by building a library of modules that break down services, pricing, team members, case studies, and more. Then you can assemble new proposals with a few clicks and quickly add in client-specific details. Thanks to its CRM integrations, you can also pull client details automatically from your database. PandaDoc’s analytics deliver valuable engagement data so you know who views your proposals and for how long, how long deals take to close, and which templates yield the highest close rates.
Proposify streamlines creation, sending, and closing of proposals, quotes, contracts, and other sales documents.
Access all the typical proposal creation tools, with an extra emphasis on admin features. You can control which sales reps have access to what and require proposals to be approved before sending. Proposify can also streamline the sales and onboarding cycle by allowing you to store client-facing documentation and build automated workflows.
Better Proposals is an easy-to-use proposal builder that includes automatic formatting, collaboration features, e-signatures, contact and pipeline management, and more.
People choose Better Proposals for its simplicity. Pre-built templates, auto-fill text features, and drag-and-drop tools make creating professional proposals easy. It includes dozens of integrations so you can connect it with your CRM, payment processing system, live chat tool, project management software, and more.
CRM and Sales Software for Consulting Firms
OUTCOMES: Better pipeline management, shorter sales cycles, more closed-won contracts
CRM software helps companies win new business and nurture client relationships. A CRM is a staple of running any successful business, but it’s possible you’ve made it this far without one. Or perhaps you have a legacy CRM that’s too complex or expensive for your entire team to use.
While Salesforce has long been the standard in CRM software, other options are better suited to help consulting firms scale. Many consultants favor HubSpot and Pipedrive.
HubSpot is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps businesses grow better with sales, service, marketing, and content management software.
This CRM Sales Hub packs useful features like task and calling queues, conversation inboxes, email sequences, personalized video tools, and meeting calendars. Sales pros can more effectively grow and manage pipelines, while sales leaders get powerful analytics to understand organizational performance.
Pipedrive is a CRM designed by salespeople, for salespeople that lets organizations define pipeline stages, monitor deal progress, and automate growth.
People love Pipedrive because it’s easy to use and easy to implement, so teams can start using it to close more deals quickly. Its visual sales pipeline makes it simple to track leads, identify opportunities, monitor activity, and stay focused on closing deals. Pipedrive includes several of the same features as HubSpot for a lower price than HubSpot’s premium plans.
Business Intelligence (BI) Software for Consulting Firms
OUTCOMES: Increased operational efficiency, more revenue, higher profit margins, increased customer satisfaction
Data can be one of your biggest allies in driving hyper-growth. The ability to aggregate and analyze data is historically a specialized skill that takes a career to hone. Enter business intelligence (BI) software.
BI tools make it easy for business analysts to visualize data, extract key insights, and drive better business outcomes. They collect, monitor, and analyze company data from multiple disparate sources and convert them to real-time metrics, automated reports, and data visualizations. BI tools promise that everyone in the organization can use them to become better data-driven decision-makers, but these software Swiss Army knives typically require the help of analysts to build reporting customized to the business.
If your firm can enlist an analyst to draw meaningful conclusions from your business data, then consider adding Tableau, Domo, or Looker to your tech stack
Tableau is a visual business intelligence and analytics software that helps people and organizations become more data-driven.
Tableau connects directly to hundreds of on-premise and cloud-based data sources. Interactive dashboards, drag-and-drop functionality, and natural language queries make it easy to discover actionable insights. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface lets you access and analyze data, create reports, and share insights across the organization. Tableau can also clean, combine, and prepare data from multiple sources quickly.
Domo is a cloud-based BI and analytics tool that turns raw data into instantly available visualizations and real-time metrics.
Tailor data views to serve the needs of different organizational roles like the CEO, finance, sales, and operations. Create visualizations in minutes using 150 chart types and over 7,000 custom maps. Use interactive filtering to explore data and quickly find answers. Analyze trending topics throughout the organization and leverage predictive insights to make smarter, faster decisions.
Looker is a business intelligence software and big data analytics platform that helps you easily explore, analyze and share real-time business data.
Looker delivers the perfect balance between governance and self-service. Users of all technical levels can explore and interact with centralized, trusted data. Connect Looker with your database for a 360-degree view of your customers and leverage this data for actionable insights that will improve customer experience, optimize deal cycles, and drive revenue.
Resource Management Software for Consulting Firms
OUTCOMES: Increased operational efficiency, increased revenue
Your firm can only bring in as many projects as your team can effectively support. So, no matter how efficient your sales team gets, if your client services team is overloaded, you simply can’t take on more business. This is where resource management software comes in.
Resource management software lets you track and optimize workload, capacity, demand, and priorities across all team members and projects within your firm. This translates to more productive teams, more accurate timelines, happier clients, and increased revenue.
Mosaic is the only AI-powered resource management software that’s guaranteed to improve productivity and profitability.
Mosaic provides AI-powered resource planning and workforce intelligence so you can build a more efficient and profitable consultancy.
Mosaic integrates with project management software and accounting tools to provide complete visibility into who is working on what, when. Its powerful AI enables project and resource managers to allocate people to projects and projects to people more efficiently. Strategically plan workload for the next quarter and beyond, so you always know well in advance when to hire or when to chase proposals. Profitability reporting identifies which projects to pursue and which ones to pass on.
Mosaic backs its guarantee with real numbers. In just one year of using the platform, a company of 100 people will save 4,000 hours and make an extra $1,230,000. Use this ROI calculator to reliably predict your return on investment in Mosaic.
Before You Buy Any Business Consulting Software for Your Firm
Software is not one-size-fits-all, nor is it a magic cure to fix all your organization’s challenges. Before you invest in a new business consulting tool, be sure to have a plan.
If you haven’t done so already, document your current processes and technology, including:
- Sales, onboarding, and fulfillment workflow
- Processes involved at each stage
- Any tools you’re currently using
- If and how these processes and tools connect to one another
- Key metrics and SLAs for each stage, and where you’re falling short
- Which processes take the most time or are the most ineffective
Once you document your current state, you can take a step back to identify which challenges are slowing your team down and where technology can help. Prioritize the one or two tools that address your biggest areas of opportunity.
And remember—a software purchase without a plan and goals is just another overhead expense. Make sure you create an implementation plan, set benchmark goals for the outcomes you want to achieve, and track your progress.
If you develop a clear path to success, prioritize your investments, and choose software that’s proven to drive ROI, you can successfully increase your consulting company’s efficiency, effectiveness, and revenue.