Updated: Feb 2
Consultants need to consistently add value to their clients. That value normally comes from their experience and strategic conversations.
Let a dashboard get you right into the meat of your client meetings, deliver some value, and look incredibly professional doing it.
Let me explain...
Client-facing Performance Dashboards
When you, as the consultant, have meetings with your clients, you're most likely talking about something that is related to the overall business or looking at the overall business itself.
When you have to cover the whole business in the hour-long meeting you have with them, that's where the Performance Dashboard can really help!
What is a Client-facing Performance Dashboard?
A Client-facing Performance Dashboard takes an overall look at the business, highlights the main KPIs of the business in total, and puts them into a summary view so you and your client can get a feeling for the health of the business in less than 10 seconds.
Performance Dashboards will likely factor in some financials, some marketing, and some operational data points, along with what matters most to the client.
If you have a group of Logistics clients, they might lean more operational (did things get delivered on time, how efficient were the drivers, etc.) with a smaller consideration to financials.
If you have Medical offices as a large group of your clients, you might focus on averages (average patient revenue, collections %, etc.) and marketing effectiveness (SEO ranking by keyword, best referral source, etc.).
The point being... if you and your client had just 5 minutes to talk, what are the things that you would discuss every time?
You know what they are. Your client knows what they are. The issue is you that can't gather all that data, pull out the important pieces, and show performance in 5 minutes.
At best you could do that for one client if you spent a while preparing for the meeting, but it's not really possible or practical to do for multiple clients, let alone 15 - 20.
That is where the Performance Dashboard comes in!
How is a Client-facing Performance Dashboard beneficial?
As a consultant, you want to be efficient while also delivering value.
The purpose of a dashboard is to efficiently deliver value.
When neither you nor your client has to gather all the necessary data, interpret it, and wrangle the story, you both save countless hours. Having an automated Performance Dashboard (or even one that is updated by simply exporting a CSV file) will save you time in preparation, do the analysis for you, and the story will be clear as soon as you open it up.
Now when you get into the meeting, you can open up the dashboard and have a data-driven foundation to advance your conversation right into strategy talk.
Then you're having more effective conversations that are full of value and you didn't even have to do any of the annoying data gathering! Win win!
If you are a consultant that uses data in your client conversations, a Performance Dashboard will save you time, enhance your conversations, and improve client retention (because they'll be hooked on the dashboard as much as you are)!
Client-facing Financial Dashboards
QuickBooks is great, we all know that. But it's only great for what it's meant to be great at. If you really want to talk financials with your clients, a black and white income statement isn't going to cut it.
Bring that income statement to life! Put it into a Financial Dashboard that highlights the line items that you and your clients are already focusing on!
If you are a Fractional CFO, high-powered CPA firm, or any other type of financial-focused consultant, a Financial Dashboard can really improve your clients' experience.
Your clients love you because you are awesome at your job and you not only understand but also translate all the financial "mumbo jumbo" into a way they can understand it. Double down on that client experience and allow them to SEE it too!
With the right dashboard, you can have the income statement flow into the backend (with some helpful automation) and turn into a beautiful picture of charts and graphs that do a lot of the basic translating for you.
How did we do vs last month? What is the revenue trend looking like? Did we hit budget?
All of those types of common questions can be at the forefront of a dashboard so both you and your client can immediately be on the same page and you can dive into the particulars of the recent month and really deliver the value that your clients count on.
So to quickly recap...
What is a Client-facing Financial Dashboard?
A Client-facing Financial Dashboard brings the income statement to life in visuals so you and your clients can immediately be on the same page.
How is a Client-facing Financial Dashboard beneficial?
They'll answer some standard questions that you cover each month right away because the financial data that you bring in (via automation) will present the top KPIs and answers to common questions in a very digestible way.
You save a whole bunch of time. Your client quickly gets the story. You both can move on to part two of the conversation that adds to the strong foundation supplied by the dashboard.
Client-facing Sales Dashboards
Sales are revenue, right? So who needs a separate dashboard for just sales? Ask any sales leader or sales consultant and you'll get an in-depth answer!
Sales result in revenue, yes, but there is so much more to a sale than the money. Tracking all the pieces that lead to a sale can be pretty tricky, but once they are in a Sales Dashboard, it'll be something you check every day.
What is a Client-facing Sales Dashboard?
A Sales Dashboard could almost be called a "Sales Activity" dashboard. It does track sale amounts, but it also gets into sales cycles, touchpoints, tasks, upcoming meetings, etc.
A lot of that is touched on in your clients' CRM system, but it can be kind of difficult to get at unless you are using the CRM 100% as intended (which we all know is pretty rare).
A Sales Dashboard takes all the stuff that you really care about for each sales rep and puts it into one, easily digestible view. It'll have recent activity, average sales cycle, leaderboards, team summaries, etc. - whatever is most important to your clients!
How is a Client-facing Sales Dashboard beneficial?
As a Sales Consultant or Fractional CSO, you work with your clients to improve their sales funnel from value to process and everything in between. It's easy to say whether or not sales increased, but the ability to dive into why they increased, and have data to back it up makes the conversation much more valuable.
A Sales Dashboard will start off with how sales performed, then get into which team or person did the best, then get into why and leverage that. In an industry where reps and leaders are judged (and sometimes paid) based off of their data, it helps to start with a data-driven foundation to the conversation. Putting it into a dashboard saves you time and allows you to do just that.
Client-facing Marketing Dashboards
Most companies have several marketing avenues that they pursue every day/week/month. It's hard to keep track of that. As a Marketing Consultant or Fractional CMO, it is your job to improve either your piece of the machine or the overall story.
In both cases, putting everything into a summary dashboard will paint the clearest picture possible and allow you and your client to have the most productive conversation you can.
From specific YouTube data, to tracking 12 different marketing channels, having one picture (literally, a picture... aka a dashboard) will give you the data you need to make strategic decisions with your client.
If you are a Marketing Consultant, you surely use to data in some fashion already. If for no other reason than to prove that your work is paying off! Putting that data into an accurate summary will make you look incredibly professional, save you from manually tracking things, and give you the flexibility to look down into the weeds while still staying on the surface.
What is a Client-facing Marketing Dashboard?
A Client-facing Marketing Dashboard is a way to show the data of your efforts in a digestible way so your clients can quickly understand their performance.
If you were looking at YouTube data and wanted to see overall views and ad spend, along with the ability to dive into a specific video or campaign, a dashboard can do that in one view.
If you were looking at several different marketing channels for your client and wanted to see which one is performing best along with what revenue it corresponded to, a dashboard can do that too!
How is a Client-facing Marketing Dashboard beneficial?
Simple summaries for you and your client don't mean that the info is simple. Chances are it's highly complex. Normally, when you are in that part of the conversation, you have already spent a bunch of time combing through the numbers and pulling the data. A dashboard gives you the ability to dive right into the complex part by showing the summaries (with automated data!) that answer all the initial questions!
Client-facing Dashboards are a Consultant's Best Friend
Client-facing dashboards eliminate the annoying data gathering that you have to do for all of your clients, present simple summaries so you and your client can get the story in a matter of seconds, and allow you to get into the strategic part of the conversation that you thrive in and your clients get the most value from!
It is a simple fix to a common problem and one that will enhance your conversations, improve your retention, and even attract new clients that hear about your fancy dashboard that saves time and headache.
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