Whether you’re helping a company streamline its operations or boosting its sales numbers, key performance indicators (KPIs) help you spell out the success of your efforts in clear, undeniable terms. This turns your hard work into hard evidence.

But here’s the thing — picking the right KPIs can be tricky. You need to find the ones that truly reflect the goals and challenges of your projects. It’s just like choosing the right tool for the job — the better the fit, the better the results.

Why focus on KPIs, though? In a nutshell, they’re your proof of progress. They show your clients (and yourself) that your strategies are paying off. In a world where results speak louder than words, KPIs are your chance to let your achievements do the talking.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of KPIs in the consulting industry and discuss how consultants can establish, monitor, and analyze these indicators to improve overall performance.

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Understanding KPIs

So, what exactly are KPIs? KPIs are quantifiable measurements that reflect the critical success factors of a business or project. They serve as a tool to assess performance and progress toward specific goals. In other words, they’re indicators showing how effectively you achieve key business objectives. 

Why do KPIs matter so much, especially for consultants? Well, because your job is all about making improvements. Whether increasing revenue, boosting employee productivity, or enhancing customer satisfaction, KPIs help pinpoint where you can make the biggest impact. They turn your strategic visions into actionable insights.

In the context of consulting, KPIs provide insights into:

  • The effectiveness of consulting strategies
  • The impact on clients’ businesses
  • The overall value delivered

Establishing relevant KPIs for consultants

Before consultants can effectively measure success, they must identify relevant KPIs that align with their clients’ business objectives. This process involves a strategic approach and a thorough understanding of the core business objectives.

Identify core business objectives 

Like following a treasure map, you need to know where the X marks the spot before starting your adventure. What does growth look like? Is it expanding into new markets, increasing the customer base, or enhancing product offerings?  

For consultants, understanding a client’s core objectives is important. You’ve got to ask the right questions and listen closely to the answers. 

  • “What keeps you up at night?” 
  • “Where do you see your business in five years?” 
  • “If you had a magic wand, what aspect of your business would you change?” 

These questions help peel back the layers and reveal what the business aims to achieve.

Once you’ve got a clear picture of those objectives, it’s time to tailor your KPIs to match. If your business aims to improve customer satisfaction, look at KPIs related to customer service response times, satisfaction survey results, or repeat customer rates. Choose KPIs that directly impact the core objectives and give you actionable insights. Too many KPIs can dilute your focus and make it harder to achieve meaningful results.

And to bring your consulting A-game, you can use Wrike’s dashboard to visualize your metrics. Get a bird’s-eye view of your project’s pulse, with the ability to tweak your team’s schedule using a simple drag-and-drop action. You can also craft custom workflows, manage tasks with Kanban boards, plot out timelines, and share the latest info with spreadsheet-like tables.  

executive portfolio dashboard

Align KPIs with business goals

Once core business objectives have been identified, consultants should align KPIs with business goals. For example, if the client’s goal is to increase revenue, a relevant KPI could be the percentage growth in sales. By aligning KPIs with business goals, consultants can track performance and make data-driven decisions to drive positive change.

When aligning KPIs with business goals, establish clear and measurable targets and be ready to report on the effectiveness of the strategies and initiatives. What’s more, consider the industry benchmarks and best practices. Comparing performance against industry standards provides context and helps identify areas where the company may fall behind or excel. This external perspective can be invaluable in driving continuous improvement and maintaining a competitive edge.

Types of KPIs for consultants

When it comes to selecting the right types of KPIs, consultants have a range of options to choose from. The specific KPIs chosen will depend on the type of consulting services provided and the objectives of the project or engagement. 

Here are three common types of KPIs for consultants:

Financial KPIs

Let’s kick things off with the moneymakers — financial KPIs! You know, the kind of metrics that tell you if you’re making bank or if your piggy bank’s feeling a bit light.

Financial KPIs are your go-to when you need to know how well the business is performing. Whether you’re helping a client increase profits, reduce costs, or improve cash flow, these are the numbers you’ll want to keep an eye on.

  • Revenue growth: Assess the effectiveness of company efforts in driving business growth and increasing profitability.
  • Profit margins: Identify areas where costs can be reduced or efficiencies can be improved, ultimately leading to higher profitability for clients.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Determine whether the benefits derived from services outweigh the costs incurred.

Speaking of financial KPIs, Wrike can help you simplify this journey with its templates designed for seamless financial management. You can use the invoice tracking template to track every dollar, ensuring timely vendor payments and a clear financial overview. The business goals template ensures that financial KPIs resonate with the company’s mission, driving toward a unified goal. You can also use the monthly budget tracker to categorize costs and ensure there are no cost overruns.

business goals

Client satisfaction KPIs

Client satisfaction KPIs gauge client satisfaction with the consulting services provided. These metrics can include client feedback ratings, referral rates, and repeat business from existing clients. By monitoring client satisfaction KPIs, consultants can guarantee that they meet and exceed client expectations while also identifying areas for improvement.

  • Client feedback ratings: Collect client feedback to assess consultant performance and identify areas where they can enhance their services. Positive feedback ratings indicate that consultants are meeting or exceeding client expectations, while negative feedback provides valuable insights for improvement.
  • Referral rates: When clients refer consultants to others, it demonstrates high satisfaction and trust in their services. By tracking referral rates, consultants can measure the success of their client relationships and the value they bring to their clients’ businesses.
  • Repeat business from existing clients: When clients engage consultants for multiple projects or engagements, they are satisfied with their services. By monitoring repeat business, consultants can assess the strength of their client relationships and the quality of their work.

Operational efficiency KPIs

Operational efficiency KPIs assess the efficiency and effectiveness of processes within a business or project. For consultants, these metrics include the time required to complete tasks, resource utilization rates, and reduced errors or rework. By focusing on operational efficiency, consultants can improve productivity and streamline processes to deliver better client results.

  • The time required to complete tasks: Identify bottlenecks or areas where processes can be optimized to improve overall productivity and deliver projects or engagements within the agreed timelines.
  • Resource utilization rates: By monitoring the utilization of resources such as technology and equipment, consultants can ensure they’re making the most efficient use of available resources.
  • Reducing errors or rework: Deliver higher-quality work and improve client satisfaction by cutting out common mistakes. 

Monitoring and analyzing KPIs

Imagine you’ve just planted a bunch of seeds in your garden. You wouldn’t just walk away and hope for the best, right? No, you’d water them and, most importantly, check on their growth. That’s what monitoring and analyzing KPIs is all about — keeping an eye on your business’s growth and health.

Setting regular check-ins creates a routine that ensures you’re always in the loop with how your business metrics are performing. Then there’s using the right tools. You wouldn’t try to dig a hole with a spoon, right? The same goes for KPIs. Tools like Wrike’s dashboards and advanced analytics software are your best friends for business insight. They let you see the big picture and the tiny details all in one glance, making your life infinitely easier. 

And speaking of making life easier, let’s take a page from F5’s book. After integrating Wrike into its workflow, the company witnessed a remarkable 33% increase in on-time deliveries, and overall event attendance shot up by 77% in just one year

Patricia Davis, Manager of the PMO at F5, explored around 10 different solutions before choosing Wrike. She was captivated by its user-friendliness and the outstanding support her team received. “The support team at Wrike was on top of it,” she notes. “Every single thing we asked on our wish list is being addressed now, or was addressed within a matter of weeks.”  kpi

Improving performance based on KPIs

The true value of KPIs lies in their ability to drive performance improvements. Once consultants have analyzed their KPI data, they can take proactive steps to enhance their performance and deliver greater value to their clients. These steps include:

  • Identify areas where performance falls short and develop action plans to address these gaps.
  • Collaborate with clients to implement process improvements, enhance skills and capabilities, or adopt new technologies to drive positive change.
  • Leverage KPI data to benchmark performance against industry standards or best practices, providing further insights into areas for improvement.

Manage and track your KPIs with Wrike

Digging through data and metrics to find out if you’re hitting your targets can sometimes feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube in the dark. Imagine having a tool that keeps all your projects and tasks in one place and gives you a crystal-clear view of your progress. That’s the power of workflow automation software like Wrike for your operations.

With Wrike, you can easily track and manage your key performance indicators. You can create individual folders for each project or task as a central hub for all relevant metrics and updates, ensuring effective measurement of success.

Wrike provides a comprehensive suite of tools to streamline workflows, boost collaboration, and drive productivity. From real-time communication to intuitive task management features, Wrike delivers everything you need to measure success effectively and drive consulting performance.   

Want to know how close you are to hitting this quarter’s sales targets? Check the dashboard. Curious about the progress of that big marketing campaign? Yep, the advanced analytics feature has got you covered.  

Why not eliminate guesswork and turn insights into action with Wrike? Start your free two-week trial right away.

Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.