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The “catalyst” for building sales and service delivery collaboration — learn from the best and compare with the rest

The top five percent of professional services businesses “rely on” customer relationship management (CRM) software to improve marketing and align sales and service delivery, according to a new benchmarking report.

The 2020 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark report (PSMB) concludes that 2019 was “a year of smooth sailing” for the industry, with improvement in “most major metrics,” as the market continues to grow. The report’s author, Service Performance Insight (SPI), predicts further smooth sailing for 2020.

Part of the reason for the success of the top-performers, says the report — which compares service execution metrics between The Best (the top five percent) and The Rest — is down to harnessing the combined power of software for CRM and professional services automation (PSA).

A “catalyst” for building collaboration

Almost all The Best firms in this year’s report rely on CRM applications to improve their sales and marketing effectiveness, says SPI: “Several firms credited the tight integration between their CRM and PSA applications as a catalyst in building collaboration between sales and service delivery”.

This collaboration between sales and delivery produced higher win ratios, larger sales pipelines and more reference customers.

Results from surveys and live interviews with leaders revealed that for The Best, repeat business and referrals are the primary source of new business. Their percentage of reference clients is 88.8 percent compared to only 71.2 percent for The Rest.

“They have instituted consistent sales processes and bid reviews to ensure they are focused on the type of projects they are most likely to win and to maintain pricing and contract terms within guidelines.”

When The Best do compete, they are far more likely to win; their bid-to-win ratio is 68 percent compared to 52 percent for The Rest. The Best also have a higher deal pipeline relative to quarterly bookings forecast (250 percent for The Best, 177 percent for The Rest).

Interviews revealed leaders do not have the schism between sales and service delivery which is so apparent in many PSOs.

Learn from The Best and compare with The Rest

SPI’s report is an objective, fact-based strategic planning and management framework for performance improvement. It is used by more than 35,000 service and project-oriented organizations to chart a course to service excellence. To learn from The Best and compare with The Rest, download the report.

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