If you need to improve your firm’s sales system, David A. Fields‘ latest post offers ten components that can help you do it.
What would the perfect, consulting firm sales system include?
Systems are the greatest. They help you master vital tasks and perform them more efficiently and effectively.
That’s why there are extensive personal systems and business systems, such as comprehensive methods for project management, turnkey packages for managing HR administration and, most importantly, a system for learning to cook chocolate desserts that includes recipes, ingredients and the equipment. (In the latest versions, you don’t even have to add your own light bulb to the Easy-Bake oven!)
My team and I identified a range of important components in a business development (a.k.a. BD or sales) system for consulting firms.
Some of the parts are listed below. Admittedly, my view of the list is biased because we’ve developed/installed these systems in many consulting firms.
However, consulting is all about discovery, and I’d love to learn from you. Hence, I left some elements out of the list and kept an open space for you to fill in anything else you think should be in a perfect, consulting firm sales system.
What should the 10th part be to make this a perfect system to help you/your firm succeed at business development? (Or, if you like the list as-is, which of the elements above are most important for you?)
Key components include:
- Visibility building
- Task management
Read the full article, The Perfect, Consulting Firm Sales System, DavidAFields.com.
If you have difficulty describing what it is you do to clients, Anna Engstromer’s post will help clarify and communicate the value and benefits of your services.
Much value of consulting can be decoded and applied in organizations, limiting the need to actually hire them and – hopefully – rendering work more challenging and rewarding.
I’ve served perhaps four dozen clients on almost the same number of topics, over a dozen years, across a dozen countries. Apart from a few basic trainings, I wasn’t really taught how to do it, but instead learned on the job, from and with colleagues and clients. Accenture Partners and client staff helped me pick up on value generation, developing people and effective and efficient ways of working. McKinsey colleagues and client executives helped me sharpen the expression of problems, findings and results. The people working on either side aren’t, in my mind, much different.
I’ve worked in organizations too, in different roles and always with a great degree of change. I’ve engaged, worked with, evaluated, extended and stopped consulting engagements. I see patterns of what consultants do well in organizations and how organizations can engage consultants better. There is waste in hiring consultants in poorly fitting ways, and there is lost opportunity in not expecting “consulting-like action” from employees.
I think much of the value of consulting comes from the situation of having new people come in and purposefully address a problem. The dynamic of that situation creates a momentum and an expectation that consultant-client teams deliver on, not just because they can but because they have to. What happens after a project sometimes disappoints, for a number of reasons, one being the loss of that momentum and specific expectation.
I believe much of the value of consulting can be decoded and applied in organizations, limiting the need to actually hire them and – hopefully – rendering work more challenging and rewarding.
Key points include:
- Defining the problem
- Fitting activities onto their purpose
- Sharpening communication
Read the full article, De-mystifying Consulting, on Engstromer.com.
Jason George shares an origin story of management consulting and lessons from the barnyard to highlight the benefits of putting people and practice before personal profit.
Marvin Bower faced a critical choice. He had led McKinsey & Company from its earliest years, in the process helping to define the fledgling field of management consulting. Now nearing retirement age, it was time to hand the reins to the next generation of leaders. As the principal shareholder in the partnership, Bower’s ownership stake was a gold mine, appreciating to many multiples of its value since his joining roughly thirty years prior.
To cash out he could sell to a third-party buyer interested in taking over operations. Alternatively, he could require the current partners of the firm to buy out his stake at market value. This would involve significant indebtedness that could constrain future agility.
Bower chose a radical, nearly unprecedented path. When the time came for him to step down as managing director, he elected to sell his shares back to the partnership at their nominal book value instead of their true market price. In the process he would forego a massive windfall, while also setting an example that would reverberate throughout the organization for decades to come. For Bower, a one-time gain was not worth more than investing in the culture and health of the institution he had laboriously built up.
Points of interest in this article include:
- Bain & Company’s downturn
- The twist in modern capitalism
- Establishing the ownership structure for investing
Read the full article, How giving away value can create more, on Jason’s website.