Why a Client Collaboration Portal Is Key to Running a Productized Services Business
Productizing your services is a smart way to expand your business and generate consistent revenue for your agency, but it can be tricky to pull off. For instance, figuring out a fair but profitable pricing structure for your productized services is hard, and creating ideal service packages can seem nigh on impossible. And when you think you've nailed these things and are ready to hit the ground running, you realize that you need an efficient system that allows your services business to run smoothly and scale faster. This is where a client collaboration portal comes in.
A client collaboration portal is a web-based application where you can easily manage client communication and business administration for your productized services. It streamlines your workflow, improves your client experience, and shortens your sales cycle, which helps you productize your services business.
A client collaboration portal helps agencies develop a standard workflow for their productized services
A client portal owns the core administrative processes of your business. It automates the steps required to successfully onboard new clients and manage their projects. After a new client accepts the email invitation to your portal, you can automatically send them your contract to review and sign. After this, you can send them an invoice for the required payment. And when you receive the payment, you can automatically generate receipts and onboarding forms to officially kickstart the project. All of these activities happen right in the client collaboration portal, creating a seamless standard workflow.
A standard workflow with a client collaboration portal makes your business more efficient because you don't have to worry about “what's next” — your collaboration portal manages the process. This frees up time for more important activities like customer research, finding and attracting clients, and financials, which are crucial for running a productized services business as an agency. For instance, with a standard workflow built into your client collaboration portal, you can cut back on the three to four hours spent on editing invoices and dedicate more time to client prospecting.
A client collaboration portal streamlines your client experience
A client collaboration portal streamlines your client experience by providing all the information and functions customers need to effectively work with you in one place. Clients can complete numerous activities in the portal, including making payments, signing contracts, and sharing files, which eliminates the need for multiple platforms and tools. In addition, they also get a self-serve dashboard for tracking project progress, and they can also use the in-app messaging feature to request updates, ask questions, and give feedback instead of sending an email or dropping a message in Slack.
You need a streamlined client experience powered by a client collaboration portal to run your productized services business because it improves customer satisfaction, which helps you grow your customer base and increase your revenue. Satisfied customers become loyal customers who can help you win more business through word-of-mouth marketing. According to Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report, 72% of customers who have bought from you will share their good experiences with others.
A streamlined client experience also strengthens your client relationships, leading to better output and results. Since clients can find all they need in one place, it is easier for them to work with you efficiently, which means you won't have to chase them to approve a brief or provide feedback on a draft. They can be fully involved in their projects without spending too many hours on collaboration.
These days, customers prioritize positive experiences over anything else and wouldn't hesitate to pitch their tents with agencies that guarantee this. For example, "74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experiences alone."
A client collaboration portal shortens your sales cycle
The average sales cycle length for a professional services business is one to three months. But a client collaboration portal shortens your sales cycle by helping you onboard customers faster. Once you add new clients to the collaboration platform, you can auto-generate and share forms, contracts, invoices, receipts, and other paperwork required to officially close the sale and kickstart the new project on time.
A shorter sales cycle gives you more time to grow your pipeline and close more customers, helping you generate more revenue and rapidly scale your productized services business. For instance, if you cut down your average sales cycle length from three months to one month, you can close 12 clients instead of four and potentially triple your revenue, as well as the number of qualified leads in your pipeline. Ultimately, think of your sales cycle as a conveyor—the faster you get qualified leads off by converting them into paying customers, the quicker you can get new leads on the conveyor system.
When you make more sales in a relatively shorter time frame, you can invest the saved time into prospecting more right-fit clients for your agency. For example, let's say your average sales cycle length is now one month instead of three. This means you have an additional two months to generate more qualified leads for your new productized services business.
Scale your agency's productized services business with Portal
With Portal, agencies can deliver a modern and customized client experience that fully aligns with your brand and drives business growth. Portal takes care of your core business processes — from billing to project tracking and streamlined client communication — so you can focus on launching and scaling a modern services business. You can set up your client portal in less than five minutes, customize its look and feel to match your brand, connect it to your custom domain, and start collaborating with your clients seamlessly.