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An Alternative Framework for Consultants

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An Alternative Framework for Consultants

Anastasia Ksenofontova shares an article designed to help consultants improve their business process.

Let’s start by understanding how consulting has changed over the years. At first, consultants provided their clients with a multi-hundred-page presentation with all possible kinds of analysis and strategic recommendations.

This approach had its limitations. Without the organization’s full buy-in, the solutions were difficult to implement at scale without the long-term support of expensive consultants.

Understanding this, consultants evolved a more modern approach where in addition to providing the answer to “what” should be done, they also coach the client on the “how.” This work is done in tandem with the client, where the roles are very dynamic. In this model, both the consultant and the client generate ideas, create prototypes, negotiate with third parties, and propose candidates for new positions, together.

This approach would typically follow these stages:

  1. diagnostics to understand the client’s context,
  2. recommendations development, and
  3. implementations through piloting or big bang at scale

While this modern approach has shown to work well, it does require a lot of top management resources and significant effort to implement the changes throughout the company.

In a recent project, a telecom services provider wanted to accelerate its growth by transitioning its focus from traditional telecom services to industry-specific solutions for its B2B clients. The goal was to have the salesforce implement a radically different sales approach supported by systems and processes that the management team would put in place.

According to the modern approach, a consulting team would first help analyze the current situation by interviewing 15-20 stakeholders at different levels; ideally 20-30 customers, and look into the sales funnel and tools. Having identified the problems, the team would develop a target model and a roadmap for its implementation. One of the components of the implementation plan would undoubtedly be salesforce training. From start to full scaling-up, such a project would take 12-15 months which the telecom company did not have as the sales targets had already been set. Additionally, some key capabilities like the CX management function and an integrated CRM system were missing.

 

Key points include:

  • A value-based selling approach
  • Alternative frameworks
  • Situation analysis

 

Read the full post, Accelerating Modern Consulting, on YourBusinessProducer.com.