How To Consolidate Client Work Tools

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Sep 21 2023 read

How many software subscriptions did you pay for last month? If you’re trying to tally them up without wincing, you’re not alone. 

44% of SaaS licenses are wasted or underutilized.

Like many professional services firms, yours might be swamped with a plethora of software tools, each promising to be the silver bullet for client work management. Yet, many end up as neglected icons on a desktop. They eat into your budget without delivering value.

Isn’t it time you addressed the software sprawl problem and regained control over your tech stack? Let’s look at how you might approach consolidation and streamline your operations.

The Why Behind the Clutter

Before diving into how, it’s always useful to know why you’re making a particular move. Why has your business ended up with so many tools in the first place?

The answer often lies in the evolving needs of a service firm. As you grow, it’s natural to seek solutions for each brand-new challenge. It’s tough to fight the allure of the next best thing as the tech industry continuously releases new software that promises to revolutionize the way you do business. Unconsciously, you’re creating a mosaic of tools that may not work cohesively.

Moreover, if you have siloed teams, different departments could select software tools that work just for their unique needs without considering the full organizational context. These isolated choices can lead to redundancies, with multiple tools serving similar purposes. A lack of centralized decision-making can exacerbate clutter and complicate your workflows.

Steps for Streamlining Client Work Software

There’s no shame in realizing you might be in that position of tech tool overload. Use that awareness to drive action.

1. Take inventory

Start by conducting a thorough inventory of the tools you currently use. Catalog everything, from client communication software and project management platforms to invoicing systems and data analytics dashboards. Understand the primary function of each tool, its cost and frequency of use.

Example: The director of ABC Marketing Agency puts together a tech review committee with representatives from design, content, sales and client relations. Each person is tasked with building a master list of all of the software their respective departments use and detailing frequency of use, purpose, monthly or annual cost, user count and last usage date.

2. Identify overlaps

With your inventory in hand, it’s time to find out where there’s overlap. If you’re using one platform for quoting and another for sales lead tracking, there might be a unified communication tool out there that combines both features.

Example: ABC’s committee works together to filter the master list of tools by purpose, flagging any repeats. By cross-referencing with cost and usage, they create recommendations for which ones to keep and which to get rid of.

3. Prioritize integration

A fragmented toolkit doesn’t just eat into your budget; it also impacts productivity. Jumping between different platforms can interrupt work and stifle collaboration. As you consider which tools to retain, prioritize those that offer a suite of native integrations and, possibly, advanced integration opportunities via open API. Tools that speak to each other reduce manual entry and the chance of errors.

Example: In another round of review, the committee compiles all of the integrations for each platform that’s been deemed as a potential keeper. With this analysis and the expertise of each represented team, leadership is prepared to have strategic discussions about the benefits and risks of consolidation.

Benefits of a Comprehensive Solution

While niche tools address specific challenges, it’s worth adopting a platform that caters to the broader needs of businesses like yours: software that connects the stages of the client journey.


The Vital Nature of Change Management

Building a culture that’s receptive to change and innovation is key for achieving and maintaining a consolidated tech stack. Use these three tips to help:

  • Create an open dialogue. Employees should be aware of a big change in technology before it comes about. Develop a plan for the company-wide conversation, keeping in mind that some people won’t be happy to hear the news about deprecating familiar tools and implementing a new one. Every team member is not necessarily thinking about greater efficiency and cost savings the way you are. 
  • Set up sustainable team training. Training on a new platform could be overwhelming if you’re not intentional about it. And keeping up that training for new hires and to enhance skills over time won’t go well without clear objectives from the start. The platform you choose should have solid implementation and change management support to guide you in bringing your team up to speed for the long term.
  • Be patient and persistent. Your mindset as a leader is contagious. Take your time and don’t be worried about a delay if it’s due to thoughtful reflection. Pauses are sometimes necessary for figuring out a better way to navigate big changes. Accelo’s VP of Client Success, Robert Germain, recommends taking “tiny bites out of the elephant” when incorporating new tech into your team’s day-to-day.

Consolidating client work tools is not just about reducing your software expenses. It’s about creating a lean, agile and responsive environment so your team can deliver their best work. Use the above structured approach and our helpful buyer’s guide to evaluate, integrate and replace the components of your tech stack. 

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And the next time you’re about to click “subscribe” on a shiny new software tool’s website, pause and consider whether it’ll simply be adding to the clutter. Your bottom line, your clients and your team will thank you for it.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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