ABS and Management consultancy business What is the industry? Structure of the industry The structure of this industry has changed enormously, both inresponse to the needs of clients and as a result of major new entrantsinto the market. Client demand for more IT expertise has encouragedthe large IT companies to come into the market in a very significantway. Having done so on the back of IT, many of these companies havebegun to offer services in other sectors of consultancy, so their growingpresence in the market is changing the shape of the industry.The current structure of the industry is therefore highly complicated,with many suppliers earning their revenues from non-consultancywork as well as consultancy and with suppliers overlapping each otherin what they offer. It is often difficult to categorize particular consultanciesbecause even if they are specialists they still stray into what for themare non-specialist sectors.In order of size, the industry has seven kinds of operators:• accountancy-based firms• IT companies• small- to medium-sized independent consultancies (ABS)• actuarial firms• business school-based consultants• small consultancies• sole practitioners.
Here are the top 10 most prestigious (Forbes 2015)1. McKinsey & Company2. The Boston Consulting Group3. Bain & Company4. Deloitte Consulting5. Booz Allen Hamilton6.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC7. EY LLP Consulting Practice8. Accenture9. KPMG LLG (Consulting Practice)10. IBM Global Business Services Situation AnalysisPast Present• Few customers. • Millions of customers.
• Traditional competition. • Thousands of competitors.• Predictable technological change.
• Exploding rate of change.• Hardware-dominated. • Software/systems/solutions.• Direct sales force. • Business partners/alliances.• One set of terms.
• Many ways of doing business General TakeawaysThe speed with which the business environment is changing carrieswith it a number of implications for the consultancy industry.• To remain effective, consultants need to be fully aware of the majortrends and able to assess the impact of these on the strategic positionsof their clients.• Consultants must develop considerable competence in the field ofchange management if they are to be of real value to their clients.
Successful implementation in today’s climate calls for great sensitivityto the various causes of resistance to change, sensitivity of a kindthat comes with considerable experience of change management in arange of situations.• They must also develop other skills in such diverse fields as IT, workingacross cultures, using psychometric tools and survey researchmethods.• Finally, the consulting firm itself must adapt to new environmentalpressures and opportunities. Phases in a typical Consultancy process which should be adhered by ABS strictly· Orientation Forming a working allegiance Client-centred· Adapting to each other’s world· Developing trust· Negotiating rules of engagement· Identification Clarifying problems (Problem-centred)· Raising strategies· Understanding the contextual frame· Bonding in partnership· Exploration Implementing chosen strategies Strategy-centred· Modifying and experimenting· Deepening understanding· Resolution Evaluating outcomes Quality-centred· Completing consultation· Reviewing follow-up· Debriefing for insight Question which a typical SME will want answered by ABSThe following is a list of the questions which can be asked by typical SME particularly family run establishments: • How can we manage to grow and take advantage of market opportunitieswithout being ruined by high debt?• How can we improve our productivity with the same staff• Can you keep us up to date and aware of what is going on ‘out there’,• How can we cope with sudden growth?• How can we become more professional, giving an image to our customersthat we are bigger than we actually are, having efficientprocesses and systems?• How much do you charge and how we will be able to recover that investment Challenges for consultants like ABS when consulting with SME’s include • assuming that the experience and skills they have acquired in largefirms can be transferred easily• stakeholder’s vs Management goals• Clients not appreciating the need for multiskilling• assuming that the directors are unprofessional amateurs who havenothing to teach and no interest in learning• assuming that directors will want to make time for additional training courses• assuming that a set of recommendations in a report is the answer to afirm’s development needs• applying short-term solutions, such as staff cuts and financial controls,without considering the loss of tacit knowledge that occurswhen the experienced people are made redundant How to increase sales for ABS (Broad Framework) Quick summary of the simple, practical steps Step 1: Think “Right-Side Up”First, revamp how ABS perceives itself as a consultant by, ironically, thinking less about themselves! shift from thinking about your servicesand your expertise and your problem-solving skills to thinking about your prospects’problems, needs, and situation. Step 2: Maximize ImpactOf course, before you start confidently shouting out to prospects, we have tomake sure they’ll listen! There’s little point in ratcheting up marketing if noone is paying attention to what ABS says. Step 3: Build VisibilityNo consulting firm has ever won business from a client who’s never heard of them. ABS has to become known.
Creating and executing a powerful, efficient visibility-building program.Periodic Content Blogs, podcasts, and emailed newsletters produce a steady, periodic flow of con- tent. The minimum frequency is about once per quarter. You won’t generate a large body of work quickly if you’re only issuing occasionally. However, that low frequency is sufficient for keeping your name in clients’ minds. The whole idea behind your periodic, online content is to keep you top of mind and support your relationship .
As long as a client thinks of you when he starts searching for a solution, your ongoing, digital marketing has done its job. In the consumer products world, call this reminder advertising. Webinars They’re uber powerful in terms of reputation building. Webinars deliver a high-impact reputation punch similar to an in-person speech but with a much shorter sales cycle. There’s a good reason webinars have become a pervasive marketing vehicle.
They should bea prominent part of digital presence, too. The hardest part about webinars is getting attendees. Partners are the answer. Joining forces with magazines, associations, and even other consultants who can extend reach among the target audience. Social Media It’s a high-promise, ever-changing landscape of opportunity where you can spend a for- tune and end up with nothing but tumbleweeds. At the moment, the only social media outlets worth focusing on by consultants are LinkedIn™ and Twitter™. That’s bound to change as younger generations make their way into the upper tiers of management.For consultants, Twitter’s primary purpose is to drive prospects to your other digital presence vehicles, such as your website, blog, podcast or an upcoming webi- nar.
The golden rule of twitter is to provide value first and promote only with value. LinkedIn is emerging as a viable path to obtaining client.We are yet to meet a consultant who’s won a six-figure project directly from LinkedIn outreach; however, that could definitely happen in the not-too-distant future. With a deliberate, detailed approach in place, LinkedIn can be a highly useful first step in creating new connections.
Offer a Valuable ResourceAnother strategy and tactic is to use a valuable resource to leverage your marketing. Here you’ll get in touch with your ideal client and offer them a free resource. It can be a PDF, video, audio, whitepaper, report – almost anything as long as your ideal client will find it valuable. You can offer it by calling your ideal client on the phone, by email, or even using advertising. The buyer is most often thrilled to receive a free resource of such value is now feeling gratitude and more connected to you. This approach leads to greater contact with your ideal client and is a mainstay for many successful marketers.
Step 4: Connect, Connect, Connect Relationship power is the rocket fuel for your consulting practice (and life). No onebuys 5 crore consulting projects with an “add to cart” button, which is why creatingstrong connections with decision makers is critical.