For most commercial practices, upward of 75% of their total revenue is derived from around 20% of their client base, so maintaining strong and ongoing client relationships is key to the success of these firms.
Despite the importance of managing these key clients, many firms struggle to maintain accurate visibility over their commercial relationships.
What is Client Sense?
Client Sense was designed to help firms unlock and protect their greatest asset, their client relationships.
Here are five common scenarios where Client Sense can help:
1) The planned retirement of a ‘rainmaker’
Most firms at some stage have had to transition a very well connected and influential Partner, Director or Senior Consultant out of their practice. Succession planning and the client retention strategies that surround these changes can be very difficult to manage, particularly with no objective measures to monitor these efforts.
Using Client Sense, firms can identify and flag those key relationships which will be impacted. By specifying the individual(s) that will need to take on those relationships and then tracking the ongoing communication, a firm can monitor the successful transition of contact to ensure those relationships are maintained.
2) The departure of a key staff member
Client Sense allows you to quickly and easily identify the client relationships that may be threatened by a key staff member leaving your firm. Many firms have been able to use Client Sense to immediately identify which clients may be most impacted and which other staff members may be best placed to speak to those clients. Being able to act quickly and decisively has in many cases worked to avoid the subsequent loss of those clients.
Client Sense also allows you to see which clients that staff member may have been in contact with in the lead up to their departure.
3) Client retention
Client Sense provides insight and trending into client relationships. Having a deep and ongoing relationship is important in ensuring the longevity of a commercial client. By showing the number of individuals your firm has regular contact with at the client organisation and how that is changing over time, can indicate a weakening relationship or forecast the potential loss of a commercial client.
Using Client Sense, you can quickly and easily view depth and breadth of communications in real-time including last contact, recent meetings and email frequency both at an organisational and individual level.
4) The acquisition of a firm, a practice group or lateral hires
The acquisition of new hires, a new practice or a new practice group is one of strategic importance. These mergers and acquisitions can strengthen a firm’s position in a particular industry, expand a firm’s geographical footprint, provide a firm with access to new clients, or provide an ability to offer a broader capability to a firm’s existing client base.
Client Sense exposes those newly formed relationships, providing insight into individual relationships and allowing you to capitalise on your recently bolstered network.
5) Pitching for new work
Irrespective of if your firm has thousands, hundreds or even a handful of staff, the network that extends from those people likely reaches far beyond your list of active clients. In numerous cases already, the firms that use Client Sense have been able to expose relationships within their firm that have led to a ‘warm’ introduction and the acquisition of new clients.
Despite the business to business (B2B) nature of commercial practices, people buy from people, more specifically, from people they trust. Client Sense helps to identify existing relationships that can strengthen your position when pitching for new work or targeting clients.
Real-time and accurate data
There are many other uses for Client Sense Monitor beyond these examples, but these 5 scenarios demonstrate the value that integrated and focused technology can deliver to professional services firms.
In a future article, I will explore the ways that firms are using Client Sense data to clean up active client contact lists, compare active contacts with email marketing lists, support business development initiatives and integrate Client Sense data with CRM or Practice Management System data, to establish and monitor actionable client retention strategies.