Collaboration, both internal and external, is a key element of a successful consulting engagement. Because it helps consultants reach better conclusions, it enables them to set themselves apart from competition and build lasting business with clients. But consultants frequently cripple themselves by relying on outdated tools and manual processes that don’t facilitate collaboration. A team of consultants may work together on an engagement, but usually the team will be working with data in disparate notebooks, spreadsheets, and hard drives. These tools do not enable easy collaboration with the client, either; clients normally do not have access to their raw data, and so they are only latrivy to the results that the consultants present in deliverable form.

Consultants today would do well to adopt a digital platform that allows a team of consultants to collaborate while working with client data. Not convinced yet? Here are five benefits of using a good digital collaboration platform.

Gain Richer Perspective

A single perspective can mean tenuous results. Ensuring that multiple consultants can easily work on analyzing the same data set will allow for multiple perspectives on a specific issue, making for a much richer perspective overall.

Increase Efficiency

Similarly, by making sure that consultants are working in the same place (or on one platform), you can better ensure that important details will not get overlooked. On the flip side, you will also prevent duplication of work and increase efficiency overall. Questions and frameworks that worked well for one client can be used on another with little additional effort.

Reduce Human Error

The more manual your process is, the more room there is for human error. That’s why it’s critical for consultants to eliminate the manual part of data collection, sharing, connection, analysis, and storage. Using a platform to collaborate will reduce human error and guarantee better results.

Provide More Value More Quickly

Collaboration allows a team of consultants to divide and conquer, meaning that a data set can be analyzed more quickly. Using a platform with automation enables even greater speed, allowing consultants to provide value to clients from day one. Moreover, using a digital platform allows you to aggregate data from individual consultants or teams to formulate a benchmark on issues or solutions. As a result, the broader team can benefit from leading with collective insight rather than having siloed information that is never developed or built upon.

Build Lasting Client Relationships

By adopting a platform that enables collaboration with clients as well as team members, consultants will set the stage for lasting client relationships. By including clients in the process, consultants build trust and rapport, and the client is more invested, increasing the likelihood that recommendations will be implemented and the client will be satisfied. Consultants can create additional stickiness by using digital capabilities to continue building the relationship after an engagement is completed. Digital tools can be used to assess feedback, diagnose issues or implementation challenges, monitor progress, and gather opinions on hot topics as an extension of the original project. By spinning their services as an ongoing initiative to continuously improve the client’s business, consultants can create recurring revenue streams and build strong client loyalty.

Today’s consultants are turning to digital assets to complement their expertise; as they do, they should be sure to adopt assets that facilitate both internal and external collaboration.