2017 Benchmark: Cloud is Key to Professional Service Organization Success

Spring is upon us. Perhaps your professional service organization (PSO) needs to take a look internally and do a little spring cleaning. Polishing up your organization in a few key areas can help your service become more agile, allowing you to serve more companies and improve productivity, efficiency and collaboration. The good news is that you can learn from top-performing PSOs to develop your spring cleaning chore chart.

We recently sat down with Dave Hofferberth, Founder and Managing Director of Service Performance Insight, and he reviewed for us the latest results of his 2017 Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark study. Lets start with the pitfalls that you can avoid. 2017 marks the tenth year that Dave has surveyed PSO companies, and he was troubled to find that overall, revenue growth has slowed since 2014, attrition is up 15.5%, billable utilization is down and there is a decrease in revenue per employee.

He then sliced the data to demonstrate what the top 20% of PSO firms are doing to avoid these troubling trends. Dave specifically broke the data down into the five pillars of success for these top performers (your chore chart):


  • Top firms have stellar leadership teams
  • They are specialized and focused
  • They are technology innovators, using advanced analytics and the cloud

Client Relationships

  • Focus on pipeline – 200% of quarterly pipeline - twice as much as actual availability
  • High levels of customer satisfaction, referrals and repeat customers
  • Integrated CRM and PSA

Human Capital

  • Ongoing training
  • High levels of billable utilization

Service Execution

  • Robust project management support
  • On time project delivery – the best shoot for 80-90%
  • Supporting methodology

Finance and Operations

  • High levels of project margin – over 40%
  • Robust pipeline
  • Lean overhead

From this survey, we learn that the most successful PSOs are moving to the cloud in order to access real-time data and discover ways to shift consultants from project to project for maximum agility and productivity. Billable, utilized consultants are the happiest, thus reducing attrition. And mobile access makes it easier to get things done.

Additionally, the most successful PSOs have an integrated professional services automation (PSA) and customer relationship management (CRM) system that helps them raise performance levels overall. An integrated tool supports KPIs; better converts leads to prospects, customers and projects; and reduces write offs and revenue leakage.

Check out Tribridge Professional Services solutions and see how we've helped organizations like yours utilize the right tools and technologies to better run their business. And, be sure to watch the entire webcast featuring the benchmark results. 

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