In-house capability - relative to yesterday, client organisations have acquired
know-how and skills to deal with more needs. They've hired talent from advisory firms and only buy external services for 'critical' needs. Gone are lax policies on consultant
Availability of external intelligence- free tools, data and research
now widely exist. Organisations can often easily look outside, identify risks and opportunities, answer their own questions and fix their company's problems.
Sophisticated procurement- organising, specifying and acquiring professional services has
changed. Corporates are more innovative in bundling or de-bundling requirements relative to the past. More price comparisons result.
'Alternative' providers- online, offshore,
'challenger' entrants and mainstream B2B product providers adding advisory capabilities to move ‘upstream’. Clients can consider different choices and more value propositions.
Resulting challenges for Commercial Heads,
Operations and Owners
Managing downward fee pressures. Commoditisation is now impacting types of professional services that were
once immune. Clients want more for less - and you to take more risk.
Differentiating the offering. Quality
of talent has traditionally been the primary way to differentiate knowledge-based offerings. The problem is that people rotate between the best firms. How to differentiate through services, relationships and commercial approach is key. And in
language that describes the resulting client impact.
Reducing cost of service.Greater need to
productise offers, standardise approaches and exploit technology, often whilst ensuring clients feel they're receiving a customised service.
Managing and growing relationships. Nurturing long-standing relationships and developing new networks through fee earners not always naturally inclined to develop business and 'sell'. Strong relationships are
increasingly built on value delivered, not how well you know the individual.
These challenges impact yourservices, products, technology, pricing, margins, business development, marketing,
people and resourcing models. To fully exploit a professional services firm’s core technical strengths,leading operational,
commercial and practice management is vital.However, professional services firms often struggle due to:
technical expertsnot being suitedto carry out leadership,
transformation or commercial activities
-Culture:pockets of resistance exist or external talent
bought in to drive changefails to fit into the unique culture of professional services
-Priorities:change doesn't get executeddue to concerns about the required effort sapping valuable time from fee earners
- Perspective:a lack
of external perspective taken from outside the competition, resulting in 'me too' strategies that fail to result in competitive edge