Blog Logo-2.svg

The BrightGauge Blog

Dashboard of the Month: Client Account Overview

When it comes to providing exceptional customer service, it is oftentimes the small details that can win a customer over. Making an effort to take something just one step further can result in repeat ...
When it comes to providing exceptional customer service, it is oftentimes the small details that can win a customer over. Making an effort to take something just one step further can result in repeat business for a managed service provider (MSP), which is always the goal.    Something as simple as providing customers with a quick way to get an overview of their account details can make a difference in the way an MSP and a customer do business with one another. And that simple account overview is exactly what we are presenting this month.    The Client Account Overview dashboard is ideal for lower-touch customers or those customers who don't require detailed visibility into the service provided to them. Essentially, it contains basic MSP information for the customer.   Client Account Overview dashboard - view here   The Client Account Overview dashboard includes: Useful information like contact details, how to open a ticket, where to pay bills, etc.  Currently open tickets Number of workstations and servers A list of all services currently being paid for  Modules to insert client logos, images, contextual information, and more    This dashboard can truly be customized to include the exact information that would be most useful to an MSP's customer. At the end of the day, it's a way to add a professional touch to an MSP's relationship with their customer.    To recreate this dashboard for your own customers, check out the links below: Client Account Overview dashboard (public view link) Client Account Overview Buildout Key   We'd love to see how you are using this dashboard with your own customers. Please feel free to reach out to success@brightgauge.com with any questions you have!  
request-a-brightgauge-demo

The Complete Guide to Quarterly Business Reviews for MSPs

Ready for a breakfast meeting? Not quite? Grab a cup of coffee because we’re about to tell you how to prepare for one of the most important breakfast meetings on your calendar. The Quarterly Business Review is among the most important meetings you’ll have with your clients. It’s like a managed service provider wellness check. An opportunity to build relationships with clients while showcasing your services and ensuring an ongoing partnership.   In fact, there are few things more important than customer satisfaction in the business of managed services, and the keys to that satisfaction are transparency and great communication. For this reason, Quarterly Business Reviews are one of the best tools you can use when it comes to keeping your clients updated on all the work that you’re taking care of for them.   Quick Links What is a quarterly business review (QBR)? How to structure a quarterly business review How to create a quarterly business review How to prepare for a QBR meeting Benefits of Quarterly Business Reviews Next Steps for Mastering Your Review What is a quarterly business review (QBR)?   Sometimes referred to as a Technical Business Review or Semi-Annual Business Review, a QBR serves as an excellent opportunity, throughout the year, to touch base with clients, highlight the value of the services you provide, and create a strategic agenda moving forward. It’s an excellent opportunity to discuss your client’s business goals, projects or plans they have in the pipeline, and learn about their long-term goals. In turn, it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you and your services can help them along the way. In our managed services business, Compuquip, we learned a lot about perfecting these reviews and they served as a cornerstone in our efforts to keep clients happy and informed.   Let’s take a deep-dive into what a QBR meeting should look like, and how to leverage these meetings for closer, more fruitful partnerships! How to Structure Your QBR   As noted above, our managed service business afforded us the opportunity to become quite adept at structuring a QBR. Not only did our format and content enable us align ourselves with our client’s goals, but it also allowed us to showcase how our services were essential to helping them achieve their goals. These meetings and QBRs also allowed us to provide transparency with our clients that enabled us to build trusting relationships, the kind that enhance partnerships and create long-term success. Timing for a Quarterly Business Review If you think about your work week, and more specifically your work day, there are times you’re more amenable to conversation, less pressed for time, and more open to the kind of conversations that open doors rather than close them. This should all be taken into consideration when it comes to the timing of your QBR. First, ensure the meeting is convenient for all stakeholders. Still, it’s more than convenience. You also want to choose a time when everyone is alert and, again, open. Not easy, right?! That’s why we always suggest avoiding late lunch or a meeting near the end of the day. To be more specific, we found that QBRs as a breakfast meeting gave us the best results.   Why is that? To start, people are more likely to be in good moods, alert, and ready to take part in strategic discussions in the morning. Further, because other meetings are rarely scheduled first thing in the morning, choosing an early meeting ensures availability and can help you stand out from the crowd. Finally, most of our morning routine’s are hectic. We rush out the door, drop off our kids or clothes at the cleaner (sometimes the other way if we’ve not had coffee) and fight rush hour traffic to get to work. A meeting that allows us to sit down, grab a cup of coffee, have something light to eat is a pretty nice way to start the day.  Pro tip: Don’t think you have to assemble an entire spread of breakfast choices! Trust us... after years of successful QBRs, keep it simple. The secret? Bagels and coffee. They’re easy to transport, practically everyone loves them, and the price is great too!   In addition to when, you want to consider how often you should be meeting. You know your clients best, and it is important to provide them with a valuable interaction, that uses their, and your, time wisely. That isn’t always possible if you’re meeting too often. We recommend you try to meet at least three times per year as that keeps you in the forefront of their minds and helps build a stronger partnership. Who Should Participate in QBRs? Knowing the first step to QBR success lies in picking a time that will yield the highest attendance, it’s also just as important to make sure the right people are present. This helps ensure that the QBR has the proper gravity, that all stakeholders understand the connection between their business and your services.   Let’s take a closer look at who those stakeholders are:   Your Technical Account Manager: Bring the person who manages this particular account on a day-to-day basis because they know the ins and outs of the client’s business. This is the person who puts together the report, sets the agenda, and generally leads the actual meeting. Your Point of Contact: Invite the person your team regularly interfaces with because they have an understanding of your daily operations and is likely someone with whom you already have rapport. Depending on the size and structure of your client’s business, this may be an Office Manger or even a COO or CIO. The Boss: Who’s the top dog, so to speak, on the client side? Again, this depends on the size and structure of each client, but someone like the Founder, Owner, or CEO of the business. The Person Who Signs Your Check: Who signs off on your partnership? It’s absolutely critical that this person sees the value in your services and they are the most important attendee. For your smaller clients, this may be the boss, but with your larger clients, the money person may be a CFO. Find out who it is, and make sure they are included at each QBR. Other Department Heads: This should include people who are one level down from the executives, such as members of  a leadership team. Invite anyone who is relevant to the discussion, especially if you plan on pitching changes in processes that will involve their department. If necessary, provide a brief explanation for why you would like them to attend when planning the meeting. How to Create a QBR Okay. We’ve got a time, we’ve got a place, we’ve got the people. This is where we really dig in. It’s “The reason I asked you all here today…” Make QBRs Strategic, Not Tactical Your Quarterly Business Review isn’t the ideal time to get down into the nitty-gritty of daily operations. This is one of the few times you have executives from the client company there to listen to what you have to say — make the most of it and don’t get bogged down in the details.   Instead, zoom out and take a high-level approach to subjects you discuss. Executives and stakeholders are unlikely to be involved in day-to-day operations, so they don’t care about execution. They care about results.   Sometimes MSPs are tempted to use QBR time to discuss tactical issues, but we advise against it because those points should be discussed and coordinated directly with your day-to-day contact person. Executives aren’t as interested in the how as they are the what as in what have you done for them? For that reason, come to the QBR meeting armed with data. Show real-world returns from prevented problems and increased uptime. This approach builds trust and furthers your relationship as a trusted business advisor, rather than as just another vendor.    Additionally, during the meeting address the various roadblocks and obstacles that must be overcome to deliver an ideal service. This allows you to demonstrate your overall understanding of the landscape, where your client stands, and where they’d like to be. Identify areas where improvements can be made, and take a big picture strategic approach to problem-solving. Make sure you also listen closely to their concerns. In the end, both teams should align on ways to drive more value through your partnership. What You Should Include in Your Reviews   As an MSP, the goal of your Quarterly Business Review should be to provide a top-down view of operations, making sure each discussion offers transparency and highlights the value your MSP has provided in that specific area.   Service Ticket Review First, your QBRs should include a comprehensive service ticket review from the past quarter that shows how your team is handling ticket volume. The metrics are very straightforward - you want to compare the number of open tickets to the number of closed tickets. If your open and closed numbers are fairly even, it shows your customer that your team is handling support requests quickly. If the numbers are not relatively even, then you may have some explaining to do! Or more likely, it may be an indication the customer is over utilizing the service desk or they may need a different structure for their support. In other words, this is an opportunity for you to be a business advisor. Suggest an alternative structure or methods and techniques to decrease service tickets. Service requests, even if your team is responding quickly and efficiently, results in slowed workflows and, potentially, employee frustration. Now is the time to offer a plan to alleviate both concerns.   SLA Review Your QBR should also address your SLA. Compare your agreement to the services rendered and highlight areas where you have gone above and beyond. If there have been disputes or issues, now is a great time to discuss the matter while decision-makers are present.   In your report, take a deep dive into your agreement and provide updates on goals. How quickly have you responded to service requests? Have you met or exceeded your agreed-upon standards? If not, is there a reason why this is the case? Have you reached your service request resolution goal?   The SLA Review portion of your QBR is a good place to leverage positive client satisfaction surveys as well. As always, focus on the value you’ve provided while being honest about how you can improve moving forward and how those initiatives will work for your client’s goals as well.   Technical Review   The technical review should make up the bulk of your Quarterly Business Review. It gives you the opportunity to put the value you’ve provided front and center, while also providing some insight into where improvements in process could be made on both sides. The technical review must include all aspects of your services to provide a complete picture. Your technical review should include the following:   Endpoint Management   Having the ability to centrally deploy, update, and troubleshoot endpoint devices for your clients is critical to a successful partnership, which is why most MSPs will agree that endpoint management is the “meat and potatoes” of your partnerships. You probably also know from experience that, when done well, the client rarely knows everything that goes into endpoint management and likely everything you’re doing for them.   For this reason, focus on detailing your endpoint management actions - it’s low-hanging fruit in terms of demonstrating value. Your QBR should include several aspects of endpoint management that should also be covered in your meeting: Patch management. Because patches are the first line of defense for your clients, it’s important to provide details about your patch management. More specifically,  detail which machines are fully patched, which machines are missing patches (and how many patches they are missing), and reasons why those machines are behind. For instance, if those machines were powered off during that last installation window; it’s an important fact you should relay. Endpoint Security. Endpoint security is an important but often overlooked aspect of an MSP’s services. Often, clients only look into endpoint security when something goes wrong. However, you should make sure you set aside time in your QBR meeting to discuss your proactive efforts on endpoint security. Provide stats regarding your threat reporting and antivirus efforts. How many threats were detected? How many scans did you complete to identify those threats? Not only does this establish transparency and provide a full view of the work you’re doing to protect their assets, but again, it provides an opportunity to align on goals and demonstrate your understanding of the security landscape. Warranty Reporting. Establishing your knowledge and oversight of your client’s devices is an opportunity to help showcase your value. Which machines will have their warranty run out soon? What are the recommended next steps? Will you soon provide a quote to extend the warranties? Infrastructure Management   The infrastructure management section of your QBR will include a lot of critical yet also technical information. While this is another excellent opportunity to showcase your value, reeling off a list of techie terms, speeds, and feeds won’t do that for you. Make sure that, in this section, you take the time to explain why each one of these areas is a big deal for the client’s business. Hint: If you use BrightGauge to monitor these areas, this is a great place to include your gauges and a visual representation of these values! If not, you can always include this data from other sources. Overall network uptime. Include network uptime data for all relevant servers. If uptime can be improved, provide insight into why the numbers are lower than expected and make recommendations for improvement. Alert trending data. Provide insight into recent trend reports. Is there a vital piece of equipment, system, or network that is constantly running into issues? What steps should be taken to improve performance? Server backups. How often are you backing up data? Have there ever been any issues during data backups? A summary of all relevant backups is a good thing to add, as it provides a detailed picture of how you are protecting their business. Domain admins audit. Who has access to the domain admin security group? Keeping a close eye on domain administrators that have access to servers, workstations, and files is important for protecting clients. How often is the user list being audited? Will that change moving forward? Server patch status. Which servers are up to date? Which servers are missing patches? Why are they missing patches? Offer a plan to ensure that all servers stay up to date moving forward. Again, the goal with each metric is to provide the data, look for and recommend areas for improvement, and take the opportunity to make those suggestions.   Network Security Defense   Since protecting networks against viruses and other threats is important for maintaining the security of the entire organization, you’ll want to detail some key aspects of your network security efforts in this section of your report (this may also be a good opportunity to touch on your GDPR compliance efforts): Server Virus Protection. How many updates and scans have been performed? Have any threats been detected? Provide a complete picture of server virus protection using data.   Email Security. Detail the protection efforts of the company’s emails and email server. Provide any relevant data regarding detected threats. Many organizations are compromised through employee email and clients know this. Reassure them that you have protections in place and demonstrate how those protections are working.   Strategic Planning   Keeping the subjects you just discussed in mind, now is a good time to dive into big-picture strategy and proposals to improve the business relationship moving forward. Make sure that everyone at the meeting has a solid understanding of what you are currently working on, what is planned for the future, and any recommended changes you may have. Include these recommendations in your report, and come to the meeting prepared to discuss those aspects of your partnership.   User-Training   Let your clients know which of their employees may require additional training, based on the support tickets you have received. Training not only enables your organization to save time, but it is also another way for you to prove useful to your clients during the QBR meeting. Training may also go beyond tickets, but can include updated security and threat training as this is often a shortcoming at many organizations.      How to prepare for a QBR meeting Got the bagels? Good. Truth be told, we all know it’s more than bagels and coffee. Again, this is your opportunity to stand out and demonstrate why your services are exceeding expectations and can continue to do so moving forward. You’ve got the chance to showcase how you are aware of your client’s business needs and goals and how your service can be tailored to help them achieve those objectives. Much like everything else outline here, however, there are a few steps you want to take to ensure your meeting runs smoothly and touches on all the points you want to address with your client.   Create an agenda The agenda is your opportunity to outline the information you’ll be presenting to your clients and also provides an overview for the areas you’ll want to research and be prepared to discuss in depth during the meeting. Finally, it’s important to remember that the QBR meeting is a chance for discussion, a chance for you to listen as well as speak, so the agenda is a good place for you to identify the areas where you may want client input. You can also outline here the time you anticipate you’ll need which allows any executives or upper management in attendance to understand expectations and block out time for you. Your ability to anticipate their needs and deliver on them, in even this small way, sends an important message. Gather your data and do your research   Three to four months, the time you’ll have, roughly, between QBRs, is ample time to analyze data regarding any initiatives started since your last meeting. Further, you’ll want to have the client data you’ll need as well as any relevant industry or market data to make any comparisons but also to provide that data and suggested initiatives to your client. It’s also an opportunity to review client goals discussed at the last meeting so you’re prepared to report on progress. You’ll also want ample time to formulate responses to any shortfalls or weaknesses and investigate potential fixes. Be prepared to demonstrate not only your awareness that they exist, but how you’re prepared to adjust your strategies and tactics to improve.   Benefits of Quarterly Business Reviews   After ironing out the QBR process in our MSP, we found that there are quite a few benefits. To start, it offers a personal touch that clients appreciate. As MSPs, we’re all too familiar with the dreaded “why am I paying you” question. Of course, we at BrightGauge advocate for weekly or monthly reporting to help avoid that question from popping up, but adding in the face-to-face QBRs is a great touch point and opportunity to explain things in detail or answer questions that may not come up in emailed reports.   Second, having several people there from each department makes it easy to pinpoint issues and receive input from multiple viewpoints. Additionally, you’ll have everyone you need to make decisions to solve those problems. Ensuring that several high ranking employees within the company attend, you will dramatically improve your CSAT scores and ultimately, your customer retention.   Another often overlooked benefit of conducting a thorough in-person QBR is the fact that it will help you to highlight which of your customers are not a great match for your services. During your meeting preparation, you may find that there are conflicts within your SLA that inhibit your ability to provide a valuable service. Some common examples include machines not receiving timely updates, or an unwillingness to invest in critical infrastructure. You can also use these reports to gauge the overall profitability of a customer and decide when it may be appropriate for both parties to go their separate ways. In fact, Andrew Hutchison, Network Ops Manager at BlackPoint IT, confirms “We had some hard conversations, but having the data available took us down the path of getting rid of unprofitable customers.” Next Steps for Mastering Your Review   Quarterly business reviews are a critical tool for your success. Instead of putting together a report and attaching it to an email, take the time to schedule a meeting with all relevant stakeholders. And, before the end of your meeting, schedule the next! Use each meeting to highlight the value you’ve provided, identify areas for improvement, and establish your business as a trusted partner, expert, and advisor, rather than an ordinary vendor.   In our MSP, we created a QBR template in Word that we could easily customize for each client with screenshot images from BrightGauge - and you can too! Download a copy of the Quarterly Business Review template that worked like a charm for us. And get in touch with the BrightGauge team to learn how our dashboards and gauges can enhance your QBR or how our reporting can streamline your data gathering efforts.

Subscribe to get the latest content delivered to your inbox

50 Goal Ideas for Every Member of Your Team

As we hit a few months into the new year, now is typically the time when memories of our resolutions start to fade, we lose track of our goals, or abandon them altogether. We’re here to say now is the time to recommit, rather than give up. It’s completely reasonable to review and adjust your goals regularly throughout the year. For many, 2020 was an interesting year and that means we put off setting goals in 2021 until we could see what the landscape might look like. Now is the time to set those goals. If you put them off or just need to re-evaluate, seize the moment. Quick Links What are team goals? How to set team goals Best practices for goal setting 50 team goal examples How BrightGauge Goals help you track progress throughout the year What are team goals? Goals help to keep our eyes on the prize, working towards a desired outcome, and focused on success. When we have an end result in mind, it’s easier to stay hyper-productive and in a deep workflow. This is especially true when working in teams. With a team goal, you ensure that everyone stays on track and focused on the common objective, even if their individual tasks seem isolated. When setting goals, both team and individual, it’s important to remember that there are 3 types of goals you, or a team, can set. Outcome goals are the results we’d like to see or what it is we hope to achieve. Process goals are the strategies or actions that will lead us to the outcome. Performance goals are the standards you set to apply to your process. For example, let’s say your team sends out a customer service survey after interactions with your team and lately those scores have fallen by 7 points. The outcome goal associated with this might be to increase customer service satisfaction scores by 7 points. The process goal would be to have weekly check-ins with your customer. Your performance goal would be to spend at least 10 minutes discussing concerns with the customer and ensure they have no questions or concerns when the call is done.  How to Set Team Goals When setting a team goal, it’s important that you’re not just “going through the motions.” Often when we talk about goal setting, people envision lofty goals that are unattainable, and so faith in goal setting as a practice is weaker than it should be. When specific and challenging S.M.A.R.T. goals are set, especially for a team, they can be motivating. When setting goals for a team, you want to do the following: 1. Figure out the outcome First, nearly 40% of employees do not know what their business’s goals are. This should be deeply concerning to a company, and to teams. While team goals may only be part of the larger business goal, getting everyone on the same page is key. Right now, according to these stats, half the team isn’t even reading the right book! Further, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, it’ll be next to impossible to figure out the process or performance goals that will help you get there. You’ll want to assess the larger business goal (outcome) and see where your team fits in achieving that. What will the outcome for your team look like? How does it align with the overall business goal? 2.  Have team members set personal goals One of the greatest assets you have is your team itself. For that reason, you want to ensure buy-in on your goals and one great way to do that is to allow team members to determine where their individual process goals will help achieve the outcome. Not only does this strategy ensure individual team members envision how they fit into the larger goals, but it can also improve efficiency and the chances of success. In setting these goals, it’s vital to remember the principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals: S-Specific - Keep it simple, but detailed. M- Measurable- Find a way to track it. How will you know when it is achieved? A- Achievable- Keep it realistic. R- Relevant- Does it matter? Does it help you get to the outcome? T- Timely- Set a deadline and keep that realistic, but challenging.    Here’s an example: If you’re in sales, it’s not enough to say, “Next quarter, we'll close more accounts.” Instead, a S.M.A.R.T. goal would be, “By the end of next quarter, I will bring in 10 new accounts that will result in a higher commission for myself and contribute to the overall revenue goals of our company; I’ll do this by increasing the amount of calls I make from 100 to 150.”  3.  Set deadlines One of the most important aspects of goal setting is creating deadlines. The fundamentals of S.M.A.R.T. goals include being timely. Open-ended goals, or a failure to create specific tasks (process goals), to be measured in a specific time, are likely to lead to confusion and, quite possibly, failure. Remember, it’s important to set realistic deadlines, and, if necessary, break large tasks into smaller tasks that can also be measured, and also have deadlines.  4. Track progress S.M.A.R.T. goals must be measured. That means you, and your team, need to be aligned and reviewing progress. Successes and meeting benchmarks will motivate team members, but tracking also allows your team to adjust. Some tasks may take longer than others and others may present unexpected challenges. By checking in with team members, and tracking progress, team leaders, and members, can step in where needed and adjust. 5. Adjust as needed One reason tracking is so important is that it allows you to adjust. Many people view goal setting as black and white. Success or failure. What this fails to account for is the importance of tracking progress and remaining agile throughout the process. Regular feedback and team input can help create the kind of cohesion that leads to success, even in the face of challenges.   Best practices for goal-setting   When you’ve landed on a goal that resonates with you and your team, and aligns with your overall business goals, be sure to keep a few things in mind that will ultimately help you be successful.   Tie your goals to overall KPIs. We often compare key performance indicators to a North Star because KPIs are what keep everyone focused and aligned. If your individual goals aren’t tied to KPIs, then you won’t be working towards the target you care about most. And remember, just like goals, your sales team, service team, project team, finance team, and NOC/operations team KPIs will all vary from one another. Don’t rely on goals for performance reviews. This can be hard to do, but remember: goal-setting should encourage employees to stretch for something big. And in the process, it’s okay to not be afraid to fail and to not settle for mediocrity. It's also important to keep tracking, keep monitoring, and adjust as needed.   If goals were simply boxes to be check and then tied to compensation, teams would naturally only choose attainable goals, which wouldn’t leave a lot of room for growth. Risk has its rewards. While goals should be attainable, they should also present a challenge. 50 team goal examples Each department in your organization contributes to the overall success of your company in different ways. Your support team will have different responsibilities than your sales team, and so each of your employees’ goals will vary as well. Make sure that the goals that are being set are relevant the goal owner. Here are some ideas: Leadership Team: Build on existing MRR: create upsell goals for existing managed services revenue Develop Existing Resources: look at how you can develop your team to meet hiring plans for the future Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead) Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead) Utilization Rate: hours billed vs. total hours in the week (good for operations manager) Past Due Receivables: track how much is owed to your business that is past due (good for finance lead) Average Response Time: monitor the time it takes to respond to a service request (good for services lead) Cash in Bank: see how much cash is in the bank at the end of the week (good for finance lead) Employee Engagement: assess whether you’re keeping and attracting top talen Current Pipeline: the total amount in the pipeline multiplied by percentage chance of closing (good for sales lead) Service Team: Bring Down Response Time: are you responding to support requests quickly enough? Bring Down Response Plan Time: are you starting work on the ticket fast enough? Bring Down Resolution Time: total time to resolve tickets, minus business hours and hold statuses New Certifications: stay on top of certifications that keep your team members relevant Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead) Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead) SLAs Missed: tickets that missed their SLA (good for services lead) Noisy Tickets: tickets with more than 5 time entries that are still open Ticket Backlog: tracking the backlog of tickets to make sure they are coming down Stale Tickets: open tickets that haven’t been updated in over 3 days Finance/HR Teams: Implement Quarterly Fun Event: a great one for HR, to keep team members engaged and close knit Nothing Over 90 Days Past Due: strive to reduce AR to as little as possible Past Due Accounts Receivable: total dollar amount of past due invoices >90 Days Past Due: total dollar amount greater than 90 days past due Cash in Bank: monitor how much cash is on hand Payables Past Due: total money owed to vendors/clients Invoices Delivered: monitor how efficiently and on-time invoices are being sent Continued Education Hours: track how well you’re investing in employees and how much continued education they are completing Operations/Projects Teams: Fixed Fee Projects > 20k: keeping track of the fixed fee projects in your pipeline Document Sales to Project Team Handoff: document the process for sales to hand off a won project to the project team Projects Over Budget: number of projects that are over budget against Work Plan hours Project Hours: track these to determine if too much/too little time is being spent on projects and see if priorities need to be readjusted Documentation New & Updated: monitor how many documents are being created and updated Open Projects: keep an eye on overall workload Hours Not Billed: hours without an agreement or project without an associated invoice Sales Team: New New MRR: the amount of money closed in managed services revenue Pipeline Per Sales Rep: the current weekly pipeline multiplied by stage Networking Events Attended: an important one for sales reps as they can result in new business, track the number of networking events they are participating in Dials Made: count how many outbound calls are being made Opportunities With No Activity: the number of opportunities with no activity in the previous week While professional goals are of utmost importance, we always like to leave room for personal development, too. That’s why we think it can be a good idea to assign 1 ‘fun’ goal to each employee per cycle. When we’re growing and pushing our own boundaries, it makes us more well-rounded and productive employees. Fun goals: Watch all the Oscar winning movies from your birth year Learn how to juggle Explore 3 new parks this quarter Win a trivia night this year Walk 50,000 steps in one month Learn an instrument Call at least one family member or friend on way to or from work, weekly Get an hour massage this month Watch a Ted talk with a friend or partner then discuss over coffee   BrightGauge Goals helps you track progress throughout the year We’re passionate about goal-setting, and the goals feature of BrightGauge was designed for that reason. It makes it easy to stay on track of progress because it's automated for you. Further, our dashboards allow you to track and customize the KPIs that are along the path to your objectives. You can share those with your team as a whole or individual employees. Send employees an email to check in on their goals through highly visible goal cards. You'll keep team members motivated and accountable for their process goals. Plus, those inspiration ideas  we mentioned above? Most of them can be found in BrightGauge, so if you’re feeling intimidated about the process of actually coming up with goals, fear not. They take just a few minutes to set up. We live for goals. Let us help you achieve yours.

How Your Business Can Benefit from the E-Automate Dashboard Integration

While some can quibble about the meaning of the phrase “Time is money,” the truth is time spent on one task does take away from others. When you’re trying to prioritize the needs of your clients and provide exceptional service, finding tools that enable you to be successful while enabling you to grow your own business is fortuitous. It’s why the pairing of an exceptional data collection and reporting tools with the power of automation is the kind solution that builds strong service relationships and provides the foundation for solid business growth. BrightGauge and E-Automate both offer business services that help streamline your efforts, saving you time and money, allowing you to grow your business all while providing outstanding customer service. When the two join together, you’ve got instant access to the data you need, the reports you want, and the automation that delivers both assets where they need to go. Quick Links What is E-Automate?  3 Core Features of E-Automate  Why Use BrightGauge With E-Automate's Dashboard Integration What is E-Automate?  E-Automate is a cloud based enterprise resource planning platform that streamlines all business operations and procedures by putting them in one easy to use application. Unlike traditional ERP platforms, E-Automate leverages the latest technology to work more efficiently so you can work smarter, not harder. In other words, regardless of your industry, you can automate the processes and gather the data you need across multiple locations, multiple clients, and multiple inputs and have reports automatically sent directly to you.  3 Core Features of E-Automate BrightGauge’s ability to pull the data you need to monitor from multiple sources and display it on one seamless dashboard makes for an invaluable and powerful tool for monitoring KPIs and critical business data. When paired with E-Automate, the two create a powerful system that harnesses the strengths of both BrightGauge’s dynamic dashboards and E-Automate’s automation capabilities. E-Automate Data Dashboards Regardless of the customer data you need, whether it’s service calls, parts ordering, or other sales and service functions, BrightGauge and E-Automate, paired together, provide a single integrated dashboard that’s updated in real-time. What this means for you is there’s no logging in and out of multiple systems, no complicated spreadsheets, no cutting and pasting information from one place to another. Further, because it’s automated, there’s no searching for the data either. The dashboard updates automatically, providing you with key data and information, saving you time so you can service your customers rather than the data. Customizable E-Automate Reports One of the most important aspects of any business is reporting. Whether it’s to our clients or to our team, we need to be able to furnish the data that demonstrates how well we’re doing our jobs and where we need to focus our efforts to improve. Whether you’re tracking the KPIs of your team or your SLAs, BrightGauge’s platform enables you to create customized reports based on the data you need and want. Then, when partnered with E-Automate, you can schedule that report to run as frequently as you need it to, easily adjusting when to send it and to whom. Reporting is a service provider essential and providing detailed reports, on time, helps keep your customers satisfied, improving your service level, but not increasing your workload. Default E-Automate Gauges All of BrightGauge’s integrations come with default dashboards and gauges, and  E-Automate is no exception. With 72 default gauges that measure the business demands that matter, we’re ready to help you out of the gate. While customization is one of the many benefits so is being able to leverage this powerful tool from day one. Why Use BrightGauge With E-Automate's Dashboard Integration When it comes to providing customer service, one of the best things we can do is to stay abreast of our customers’ needs, anticipate them, and be responsive to their fluctuations. To provide even better customer service, we can be predictive and anticipate their needs and deliver before they ask. While those are laudable efforts, and the hallmarks of exceptional service, they’re also incredibly time consuming. They require regular data collection and analysis and frequent reporting to a client to reassure them that we’re keyed into the needs of their business and our job as a service provider. In competitive industries, this enables them to focus on their business and trust that they’re in good hands. The value of that is immeasurable. One of the best ways to provide this service is to leverage the tools available to you, tools like BrightGauge and E-Automate. This pairing gathers the data collection you need to deliver on your SLAs in one place, and enables reporting that reassures your customers. As a result, you build the kind of trust that creates long lasting relationships and increases the lifetime value of your customer. If you’re ready to talk about how these two solutions can help you streamline your business and deliver exceptional service and support, get in touch with our team today.

What is a Goal Dashboard? (+ Why They're So Effective)

In June of 1986, the “Hand of God” helped Diego Maradona lead the Argentinian squad to a win over England in FIFA’s World Cup soccer final. That first goal (1 of 2) is known by most who follow soccer, even casual fans, because it was likely a handball and shouldn’t have counted. With the height of the ball, Maradona likely couldn’t have gotten his head on the ball alone (which he credits in part) and had the referees had a better view, England may have made it to overtime and, quite possibly, a win.   Why do we recount this story? Because goals shouldn’t be that hard. They shouldn’t require the “Hand of God” to help them be met or achieved. Goal setting and goal management are fundamental responsibilities of your management or leadership team and enabling them to do both, with the use of goal dashboards, can make them easier to realize - without resorting to divine intervention. Quick Links What is a goal dashboard? Why goal dashboards work  Types of business goals that can be tracked through goal dashboards  Achieve your business goals faster with BrightGauge's data dashboards! What is a goal dashboard? Simply put, a goal dashboard is a visual tool that allows you to manage, share, and gauge the KPIs that evaluate your progress on any goal, either short or long-term. Whether it’s your sales, customer service, development, or marketing team, you’ve got goals for the quarter and year ahead. A dashboard puts all the analytics you need in one place allowing you to monitor progress, align your team, and adjust as needed to make sure you hit your mark. Why goal dashboards work  Anyone who’s done any reading on goal setting is likely familiar with the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals. The reason this strategy (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) works, is because it provides a framework for the goal itself. Often we set goals that leave us with no way to determine whether we’re on track, made progress, or even, sometimes, achieved it. Goal dashboards facilitate the S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy in a variety of ways and allow you to effectively manage your goals, across your entire business. Further, research suggests that writing down and tracking and sharing goals results in more achievement success. S- First, they allow you to define specifics, especially when you’ve broken down a larger goal into something smaller. For example, let’s say for 2021 your sales team’s goal is to increase sales revenue over the year by 20%. The team can break this down by quarter, by team member, by client acquisition, and any of those measurements are accessible via a goal dashboard. You can then view, share, and drill down on these specifics over any period of time to assess whether you’ll hit that 20%. If it looks unlikely, you can adjust your strategy. M- Measurement is the bread and butter of a goals dashboard. It puts all the analytics at your fingertips, provides for reporting and sharing across your management team as well as the team responsible for delivering the goal. Further, you can design the goal dashboard to make progress clear (based on the style, color, or appearance), meaning measuring your progress can be at a glance before you move into strategy and analysis. A- What is success? With full analytics from each year, you can gauge and compare what’s feasible. If, for example, you set that sales goal at 20% yet your dashboard reveals that over the past 3 years the sales team has only been able to grow revenue by 10%, then you can adjust your goal. Without key performance indicators and measurable analytics, gauging what’s possible becomes more difficult. You want to set a goal that is challenging but feasible. Goal dashboards help you visualize that. R- Is the goal important to this team? Is it where they should put their energy? If sales revenue has increased, but client retention decreased, meaning you’re taking on new clients, but failing to keep them, then perhaps increasing revenue isn’t a relevant goal at this time. Goal dashboards, and the analytics you choose to include, can help you align your goals to your long term strategy. T- Finally, you want to have a timeframe to measure. Without benchmarks, without end points, how is your team to know whether they were successful? How are you, in leadership, able to adjust strategy and see where, in short term and long term goals aren’t matching up. Ideally, short term goals should act as mile markers for your long term goal. To use the same example for sales, to realize a 20% increase, you’d need to see a 5% increase over each quarter. Without keeping track quarterly, you may not realize you’re about to miss, or exceed, your goal. S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy is stressed in just about every goal setting endeavor for a reason: it works. All we’re saying is we have a tool to help you manage that strategy.   Types of business goals that can be tracked through goal dashboards  Not to overdo it on the sports analogies, but there’s a line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” and the same is true for your goal dashboards. Any team in your organization can “come” to a dashboard and find a way to use it as a valuable tool to achieve their goals, even if the goal isn’t building a baseball diamond in a corn field. If you build a tool that measures the KPIs that matter to that team, one that monitors their progress and allows them to shift strategies while staying in alignment, they will come. That means for your sales team you can set revenue goals, for your customer service team you can set client/customer happiness or retention goals, and HR can have recruitment or retainment goals. You can build out those goals across teams, across multiple departments, and even across the entire business, allow multiple team leaders to assess the long term strategy, their team’s role in that, and the smaller, specific goals their team must meet for the mile markers along the way. Achieve your business goals faster with BrightGauge's data dashboards! With a variety of pre-built dashboard templates and a fully customizable system with filters for your departments, BrightGauge’s dashboard solutions can help you stay on track, adjust when needed, and meet your goals, short and long term. You can use existing dashboards or build your own, depending on your needs and our team is ready to assist. Whether your goals are outcome or processed based, let our team help you determine the best way to measure your progress and score every time. Even if you need help envisioning that field of dreams, we can help. Get in touch today and let’s talk about what’s possible.

70+ Metrics for MSPs

Key metrics and accompanying formulas to help MSPs skyrocket growth and success!

Get your KPIs

Dashboard of the Month: Service Team Huddle

A necessity for any service team is a regularly-occurring stand-up meeting where team members can review what's going on with support action items. Stand-ups answer questions like:   How many tickets do we currently have open? What does our kill rate look like? Are we responding to tickets quickly enough? Is there anything that needs to be escalated?    Being proactive about this type of information allows service team members to provide the best possible support to customers while running an efficient and productive service desk.    So, how are you going about conducting your daily or weekly stand-ups?   This month, BrightGauge partner Paul Bischer, Director of Business Development at GRIT Technologies, shares his Service Team Huddle dashboard.   This dashboard provides an overview of the day's action items for the support team and is used to drive the agenda at daily team meetings by providing insight into open tickets, daily schedules, and any past due items. It also motivates daily conversation around performance metrics such as: % Same-Day Resolution Average Response Time Average Resolution Time   Service Team Huddle dashboard - view here This is a really great way to keep your team huddles productive, on-agenda, and time-efficient, plus it gives your entire team visibility into what's going on in the service desk as a whole. Visibility can be a powerful motivator, especially during this era of remote work.    To recreate this dashboard for your own team, check out the links below: Service Team Huddle dashboard (public view link) Service Team Huddle Buildout Key   Thank you, Paul for sharing your insights.   Please feel free to reach out to success@brightgauge.com with any questions you have!

KPI Examples to Gauge Employee Engagement

Teachers can often gauge student engagement by how many are looking at the clock, waiting on a bell to ring. Your employees are likely no different. Your managers and team leaders can likely measure employee engagement by how eager your team is to leave at lunch, at the end of the day, and on Friday. While no doubt most of us look forward to our non-work lives, the most successful businesses are the ones with employees who have buy-in. Employees who are invested in seeing that a company succeeds are focused on tasks and objectives more than the clock. In fact, 71% of executives say that engagement is fundamental to their success. That’s not to say work-life balance isn’t essential (and a contributing factor to employee happiness), but employees who are engaged in business can have a significant impact on profitability, customer satisfaction, recruitment and retention, innovation and a number of other factors that help build business success. Because these metrics are so important, monitoring valuable employee engagement metrics can be vital to making sure you’re leveraging your employees’ energy and investment and turning it into a boon for your business.   Quick Links How the remote workforce shift impacts employee engagement KPI examples for monitoring employee engagement Using data dashboards to gauge employee engagement How to use insights from data dashboards to boost employee engagement How the remote workforce shift impacts employee engagement By now, we’ve all come to the realization that the workplace changes instigated by the Coronavirus pandemic may be more permanent than originally anticipated. Certainly this shift presented multiple challenges to businesses well beyond human resource concerns, but those cannot and should not be ignored. It’s always been far easier to welcome new employees into organizational culture when they had daily touch points with other employees and integration into an office environment. Similarly, team building and mustering alignment on key objectives was also easier when everyone was in the same place. Team building opportunities and familiarity with co-workers and business goals, from working together on projects to casual office banter, facilitated employee engagement in ways that often cannot be recreated in remote work situations. That said, there is definitely an argument to be made that, on smaller teams, video conferencing has opened a window into our co-workers lives that helps team building and fosters relationships. Further, workers report being happier working from home as well. But can that, does that, translate into employee engagement? It might. In May of 2020, a study found that 62% of employees said remote work was actually beneficial to their engagement.  KPI examples for monitoring employee engagement Regardless of whether remote work continues, there’s no debate regarding the positive impacts of employee engagement. Whether from home or from the office, employees invested in your business improve your bottom line, so it’s in your team’s best interest to understand the best ways to gauge employee engagement. One KPI example used to measure employee engagement is productivity. Workers who are engaged are driven to perform. They see value in their work. In turn, they are 21% more productive than disengaged employees. There are multiple ways to measure this, including revenue/employees, but there are other factors worth considering. Another KPI example for monitoring employee engagement is absenteeism. When your team wants to be in the office, feels connected to your organization’s mission or vision, and feels driven to deliver on tasks and projects, you’ll see a decrease in absenteeism. In fact, in a study, 63% of U.S. employers report a direct connection between attendance and engagement. In this regard, you can track and monitor team absences as well as employee churn. Engaged employees want to be at work. Another metric to consider when looking at employee engagement KPIs is efficiency. While productive workers deliver a lot of work, effective workers complete work correctly and with as little wasted time, effort, and resources as possible. You can gauge this by looking at trouble tickets, customer satisfaction, resource management, and the time it takes to complete standard tasks. A final KPI example for measuring employee engagement is customer satisfaction. Engaged employees want to support the businesses they work for and contribute to their success. Naturally, many of them will make the connection between customer experience and satisfaction and the success of a business. In response, engaged employees are more likely to extend themselves for customers and clients, reaching beyond expectations to ensure that coveted customer satisfaction. In turn, your business has returning customers who cost less to serve and sing your praises providing valuable word of mouth referrals. Using data dashboards to gauge employee engagement   While we’ve highlighted a few of the key KPI examples to gauge employee engagement, there’s actually quite a bit you can be monitoring in terms of your employees to fully measure their engagement and satisfaction. In addition to their individual performance and customer response, you can also be monitoring revenue, customer acquisition, and HR metrics like successful hires and internal promotions. In short, there’s a lot to look at. One of the best ways to track all of these different KPIs is through a data dashboard. Particularly when you use BrightGauge’s customizable dashboards, you can tailor your view to include all the metrics you’ll need to fully understand how engaged your employees are and how that’s impacting your customers and business’s bottom line. A visual tool to monitor all of these items gives you and your team a great overview of where you’re having success and helps you measure when engagement may be waning so you can respond quickly and effectively. How to use insights from data dashboards to boost employee engagement Employee engagement not only ensures business success, but it also helps your organization hire and retain the best people for the job. Considering these two very important elements, it’s critical that should you notice employee engagement KPIs waning, steps can be taken to reinvigorate your team, increase their feelings of connection to the business and teams and to their work. Data dashboards and their visual display allow you to draw connections between an employee’s task and business growth or success. Your ability to share this data with teams or individuals helps establish a connection between them and larger goals, making them feel valuable to your organization. Additionally, if you notice issues, scheduling meetings with team members or whole teams, depending on the metrics and encouraging their feedback allows you to address issues before they start to impact other aspects of your business. Finally, the ability to see and share all of this information with your employees fosters trust in your organization. Transparency is valuable because it’s inclusive and that inclusion translates to buy-in. If you’re looking for a data dashboard that’s fully customizable, providing filters that allow you to organize information the way you’d like it to be seen, that provides a bird’s eye view as well as a drilled down inspection of the metrics you care about, that allows you to monitor the engagement, productivity, and retention KPIs you care about, get in touch with our team today. Let’s see how we can help you turn or keep your team into one of your business’s best assets.  

Cassandra Lutz Joins BrightGauge as Customer Support Specialist

We’re excited to welcome Cassandra Lutz to the team as a Customer Support Specialist! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge family.    In the beginning   Brooklyn in the house!    While most of us BrightGauge folk hail from Florida, Cassie comes to us from New York! She was born and raised in Brooklyn and spent her teenage years living in the Poconos. Eventually, Cassie made her way down to the Sunshine State. In her words, Cassie has earned her Florida stripes by "surviving hurricanes, ungodly humidity, severe sunburns, and general 'Florida crazy'". If you know, you know.    Cassie entered the world of MSP support in 2015, joining the ConnectWise team. In that role, she discovered a love for helping partners solve puzzles, making her feel like her own version of Sherlock Holmes (who she believes should be classified as a Superhero).    Joining BrightGauge   With BrightGauge and ConnectWise becoming one, Cassie was given the opportunity to join our Customer Support team. Here, she's looking forward to broadening her knowledge with SQL and working with a team that is expanding and leaving its imprint across many platforms.    She'd like to play a role in contributing to the growth of BrightGauge while still being able to enjoy the thrill of solving whatever puzzles partners will be throwing her way.    Out of office     Cassie's tribe consists of two teenage sons, a Husky, a tiny Boston Terrier/Jack Russell mix, and a NYC deli cat who also thinks he is a dog. She loves spending time with all of her "hooligans" and will tell you all about them if you let her!   When she can, Cassie loves hiking, paddle-boarding, painting crummy pictures, and enjoying live music, escape rooms and board games!   We're so thrilled to have Cassie - and her amazing sense of humor - on the team!

How to Use Employee Performance Dashboards to Inform Employee Development

Managing employees and gauging their success is a fundamental part of a business’s success. While you’ve likely got a team of managers, or team leaders, overseeing employee utilization and day-to-day performance, how you’re tracking employee performance over the long term is essential to determining whether employee development goals are being met, both individually and across your organization. In fact, 74% of employees suggest they’re not working up to their full potential and so it should be any business’s goal to learn how to develop the assets they have in their employees. It’s one reason why employee performance dashboards should be included in your employee development strategy. Quick Links What is an employee dashboard? How can employee dashboards be used to measure employee performance and utilization? 5 ways HR departments can use employee performance dashboards to assess talent needs and set employee development goals How BrightGauge data dashboards can help What is an employee performance dashboard? Employee dashboards are a management tool that enables you to track, over the short and long term, employee success across multiple KPIs. That data is then presented to you in a single display allowing you to assess entire teams or individuals and drill down on specific metrics. With BrightGauge’s data dashboard solutions, you can tailor those reports and dashboards to match your strategies and goals. While each of your teams may have different KPIs for their specific departments, your HR department will likely want to track different metrics, particularly as you create an employee development strategy.  How Can Employee Dashboards be Used to Measure Employee Performance and Utilization? At the end of the year, most businesses develop strategic goals for the next year, typically in terms of growth. While those goals are often discussed in higher level terms, any successes your business has are largely determined by the success of your teams, and in turn, the success of the individuals on those teams. While performance reviews are valuable, once a year is likely not enough to nurture and build your team to support your overall business goals. In fact, many businesses are moving away from this model and employee performance dashboards are the perfect tool to enable that evolution. More specifically, your team leaders, in setting their goals and strategies, will want ways to determine whether employees are hitting benchmarks, where employee utilization can be improved, and whether employees are performing at their peak. Being able to measure these means being able to address employee issues before they impact teams or, worse, customers. While one can certainly track revenue generation KPIs for employees, including revenue or profit per employee, and billable hours, when it comes to using metrics to create an employee development strategy, you’ll likely want to look at other metrics. Employee performance dashboards can, and should, be used to measure: employee capacity, average task completion rate, overtime hours, absenteeism, customer contact, contact quality, and many other metrics, often dictated by your industry and by the employee’s job function. In comparison, these metrics on an employee performance dashboard are far more likely to help you, and team managers, understand, develop, and initiate employee development goals. 5 ways HR departments can use employee performance dashboards to assess talent needs & set employee development goals As noted above, there are valuable metrics that can help you gauge employee performance, but the use of that data should go beyond performance reviews and team meetings. In fact, a record 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if the company invested in their learning and development. Anyone looking at churn rates can tell you that employee retention should be important to any leadership team. However, using an employee performance dashboard can address employee utilization issues and let you see where employees need more support or when they are capable of performing at a higher level. 1. Analyze the metrics It’s not enough to just have the data. You have to take a look at what the data means. For example, if your company experiences a high churn rate, which in turn costs you money, looking at an employee performance dashboard may reveal valuable information. As we all know, numbers are just numbers until we apply them. More specifically, if you notice employees leave when they are underutilized, it may be a good time to introduce training options to use their time and prepare them for a promotion or a move into a new role. When paired with employee performance reviews, you should have a sense of an employee’s individual goals and can match them with your organization’s needs and appropriate training programs. 2. Hire (or promote) who you need Often we don’t see weak spots in our teams until we see the consequences, like a lost customer, or decreased sales, or decreased revenue, or even employee churn. An employee performance dashboard allows you to track, daily or weekly, performance and address issues as they arise. Further, it allows you to develop a long-term strategy to see weak spots in teams and hire to fill those gaps or even promote from within to fill a gap. 3. Assess your on-boarding and training programs It’s not enough to have an on-boarding or training program in place. In fact, only 12% of employees say their organization does a good job of on-boarding. Employee performance dashboards can reveal quite a bit of information about how long it takes for an employee to be running full tilt in their position, and may even provide data regarding where training should be ramped up. Similarly, if you’ve currently got a training program in place, employee performance dashboards allow you to assess those programs. If you offer a training that targets customer satisfaction and yet you don’t see the customer satisfaction rates going up, across the team, it may be time to invest in or analyze the training program. 4. Up the chain analysis Not only do employee performance dashboards allow you to assess an individual employee’s performance, but they can also reveal quite a bit about an employee’s manager or team leader. If, across the board, you see the same performance issue within a team, it may be time to address the training needs of their team leader or manager. For example, if  a team regularly fails to meet sales goals, you can address the issue with each member or you can train the team leader in management and sales strategies. That leader can then deliver it to their team. In the long run, this saves you money on training while also developing individual team members. This type of investment makes employees feel seen and valuable. On the other hand,  this metric could also reveal if a leadership role isn’t a good fit. 5. Moving up or moving on When you have open positions, is your organization able to fill those from within and promote individuals? Tracking upward or even lateral movement in your organizations may reveal quite a bit about how well prepared your employees are to take on new roles and responsibilities. If you have employees who’ve been with your for a reasonable length of time, but they’d be unprepared to step into a new role or be promoted when the position opens (and you know the opening is coming or growth is inevitable), employee performance dashboards may provide the reason. Similarly, when employees move on, their skills/proficiencies and recommendations are reflective of your business. Gauging metrics regularly and aligning them with an employee’s career goals position you within an industry, and with the right management and oversight can build your reputation. How BrightGauge’s data dashboards can help Very few companies have a single department and each department has specific needs. Further, some employees have different goals and different needs as well. You need a solution and a service that can accommodate those needs and still provide you with a robust display that you can share with team members and team leaders. BrightGauge’s data dashboards are fully customizable with features that allow you to both drill down into the data detail and take snapshots that provide for analysis over the long-term. If you’re ready to maximize your employee’s potential and drive your growth strategy from the ground up with your biggest asset, get in touch with us today.

6 Financial Metrics Your MSP Should be Tracking

In just about every business meeting, webinar, training, or retreat, the topic of goal setting is on the slate. It’s no secret that specific and measurable goals, especially a business’s financial goals, are important.  For that reason, it’s even more important to understand key performance indicators (KPIs) and the business KPIs you should be using to track your progress on those goals. Furthermore, analysis of key financial metrics allows you to be responsive to any areas where you may be coming up short and help you understand where to build. Why MSPs should be tracking financial metrics Businesses, particularly in the tech industry, try to focus on a lot of different KPIs, but they often miss the important metrics. While there’s much to consider regarding the scope of your business, from IT and customer service to marketing and sales, there are also a lot of KPIs to look at to make strategic business decisions. However, one of the most important areas to analyze includes the several key financial metrics. These metrics help you assess your current position and provide insight into where improvements can be made and how to leverage your successes to continue your growth. The 6 key financial metrics your MSP should track While this is not, in any sense, an exhaustive list of financial metrics worth considering, as your metrics should always align with your specific goals, these are a few of the most important metrics you might need to examine closely to meet profitability and growth goals. 1. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) Your MRR is the income you can reliably count on each month. This is based on subscriptions, renewals, and contracted services. MRR should be a predictable number and one that informs your growth. Utilizing this data allows you to strategically scale your business based on established income streams. To determine your MRR, simply multiply the number of accounts you have by the average recurring revenue per account. Why not just total the value of all your recurring revenue? Because, finding the average value of each account’s recurring revenue can help with determining the impact of customer attrition on MRR. 2. Managed service agreement/contract profitability This is the profit you make on each service agreement you hold with a client. The temptation exists to simply look at the income, but to really understand this metric, you have to break it down and dig a bit deeper. There are, essentially, two ways to look at this metric. The first method requires that you look at how much you make from a specific client less the cost of attaining said client. This is known as the client contribution (CC). In other words, exactly how much is an individual client contributing to your gross margin? You can also look at your client effective rate (CER), which analyzes the value of a client based on how much you earn from them divided by the amount of time you dedicate to their service agreement. Being aware of how each service agreement is impacting your business allows you to adjust those agreements as needed and, perhaps, determine what clients you target for acquisition. 3. Customer lifetime value (CLV) For the duration of your relationship with this customer, how much value will they bring? Acquisitions being what they are, in terms of cost, client retention is typically quite a bit less costly than winning new clients.  That said, part of your growth strategy should absolutely be creating new or more revenue from existing clients through upgraded service offerings. CLV is factored by subtracting the cost of acquisition from customer revenue. 4. Revenue growth rate Perhaps one of the most overlooked financial metrics is revenue growth rate, which looks at the change in sales revenue between two periods, whether that be month to month, quarter to quarter, or year to year. How you decide to measure this growth (or lack of) depends on your short and long-term strategies and goals; however, the key variable is that the time periods you choose to analyze must be equal in length. One important element that must be factored in here is churn rate. The immediate response to flagging growth is, typically, to invest in methods and efforts that will earn back lost business, but strategically, the stronger, more balanced response is to focus on reducing the churn rate rather than increasing the revenue growth rate. Again, you’ll want to look at all the numbers here, but stability is generally preferable to paying for new customer acquisition. 5. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) While there’s some debate over the value of this key financial metric, it’s a fairly standard assessment of a business’s profitability and performance overall. It’s important as it provides insight into profit margins without factoring in any deductions. For that reason, it provides a clear look at a company’s cash flow and potential for stability and growth in the future.    There are two ways to calculate EBITDA. The first method is to add operating income to depreciation and amortization, and the second method adds net profit, taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization. One of the biggest uses here is that it acts as a point of comparison between businesses and, in a sense, levels the playing field to compare profitability and performance. 6. Gross margin Finally, but perhaps most importantly for managed service providers, another essential KPI is gross margin. This key business metric determines just how much revenue a business is generating to cover its overhead. The higher a company’s gross margin is, the more it can invest in strategic growth. For that reason, it’s a good key financial indicator of a company’s health and potential for growth. There are multiple ways suggested to calculate gross margin, but one method is to subtract cost of services from total services revenue and then divide that by total services revenue. Ideally, a healthy percentage for this calculation is 50%, with 60% suggesting industry leadership. When the number falls, it could lead to cash flow issues. The primary goal of tracking key financial metrics is to spot potential growth issues before they happen, which allows you and your team to respond in a strategically appropriate way. Successful businesses are monitoring key business metrics regularly and making analysis part of their goal setting strategies. Again, without understanding where your company is making progress or falling behind, it’s difficult to achieve any benchmarks your team sets. Track the right financial metrics with ease through BrightGauge’s KPI dashboards Let’s be honest. That’s a lot of numbers and a lot of data and a lot of work if you don’t have the right tools. That’s where BrightGauge’s KPI Dashboards come in. All accounts come with a number of "out of the box" preset gauges, and dashboards are fully customizable, allowing you to select and filter for the data you want and need. Not only do you get the data, but you can analyze it side-by-side and then deliver it to your team or customers so everyone has full visibility into performance and critical metrics.  When it comes to the key financial metrics that help you determine the direction your business is headed in, you want the right tools by your side, the tools that help you grow.

How to Show Value and Boost Sales Through Report Automation

When businesses look at their own key performance indicators (KPIs), one of the primary measurements to gauge customer service is the customer’s satisfaction and revenue expansion (their willingness to purchase additional products or services). What, though, are the mechanisms to drive those metrics? And what drives customer satisfaction? When asking what customers want, the clear and obvious answer is a return on investment (ROI). They want to know, and expect service providers to show, exactly how the service provides value and drives or supports their business objectives as well. The most effective and efficient way to provide that is through report automation. Quick links: Challenges of showing value to clients on a regular basis 4 ways to quickly show your value to clients through report automation How building strong client relationships through reporting leads to increased sales Drive revenue and boost customer service rates with BrightGauge's client reporting capabilities Challenges of showing value to clients on a regular basis When clients are looking at their own metrics and determining what adds value to their business, particularly during the budgeting process, they’re hoping to see exactly how your service is beneficial. If it’s clear, and you’ve provided tangible, visible results, then the challenges of demonstrating your value are certainly surmountable. Your client is looking for consistency and reliability. No one wants to chase down a service provider for the data they need to justify the expense. No one wants to have to translate complex reports that are delivered differently every time. While delivering the same product or report in the same fashion at the same time is key, if it’s not the data the client is looking for, it can be a huge misstep. Not only would unnecessary data create more work for the client, and you, but it can also suggest a lack of transparency, both of which are damaging to the customer relationship. If your competitor is offering the same services, at the same price, failure to deliver on promises or an ability to show how your service is supporting your client’s goals will likely impact retention. It’s one of the reasons that robust client reporting tools are essential to you. 4 ways to quickly show your value to clients through report automation The truth is, if your service is running effectively and smoothly, chances are your client isn’t spending much time considering your value, at least not until there’s a problem or a question about the expense. Regardless of if clients are looking closely at their ROI of working with you, there are plenty of ways you can showcase the value you deliver when using reporting automation. 1. Your automated reporting provides a valuable touchpoint Simply put, this deliverable reminds your client that you’re there and working for them. It’s a great way to initiate interactions and conversations with a client in a way that builds your relationship and positions you for future sales. 2. You're offering your expertise Reports, and customization of those reports based on KPIs, allow you to demonstrate your knowledge. But this expertise is not just of the service you’re providing. You're also showcasing the strategies your client can use to leverage your service to build their business. 3. You're building trust and a positive rapport Trust is as good as the coin of the business kingdom. It’s not just about the touchpoint; it’s about your ability to respond consistently, agilely, and reliably to the client’s needs. Without being present, automated reporting makes you visible, and your ability to deliver what a client needs through a solid client reporting solution makes them feel heard. 4. You're demonstrating accountability Along with building trust, regular consistent reporting shows that your business is accountable to the client. In a competitive market, the winner is often the providers whose customer service includes addressing client needs. Regular automated reports show your client that they’re a priority and when they have questions or needs, you’re willing to answer. How building strong client relationships through reporting leads to increased sales As noted above, regular reporting provides a valuable interaction with your client. Not only does it address their immediate needs, but it also opens the door for discussions regarding what needs aren’t being met, where their opportunities for growth are, and, perhaps most importantly, what role your business can play in that growth. Consistency, reliability, responsiveness, and expertise all build trust. Trust builds relationships. Relationships drive sales. If your client is already impressed with the services you're providing and sees demonstrated value, when they look to grow, they want to grow with someone they trust. Client reporting tools that provide automated reports on the KPIs they care about put your service in the position to make that sale. Drive revenue and boost customer service rates with BrightGauge's client reporting capabilities! When looking at your own organization’s metrics, you’re likely looking at ways to drive revenue, retain customers, decrease acquisition costs, and boost profit. Providing the services your client’s need and reporting on the KPIs they care about help build the kind of relationships that lead to future sales and, even better, referrals. BrightGauge’s client reporting tools allow you to build customizable reports that get delivered right to your client. There’s no time spent pulling the data, organizing it, and forwarding it; our tools do it for you. Reports are on time and organized where they need to be, freeing up your time to build your business with no sacrifice of customer support. Satisfied customers are customers who stay with you, and report automation ensures you keep delivering the same quality to the necessary stakeholders when they want it.

Our Latest Content