Three common challenges for professional service firms

Three common challenges for professional service firms

Hi everyone, and welcome to my video series. Today I wanted to talk to you about some of the challenges that I find when I’m talking to professional service firms, that they are constantly coming up against, and I wonder if these are types of challenges that you are facing too?

The curse of the CRM

The first one that I commonly find is that a lot of the smaller professional service firms I work with, they don’t have a CRM in place. So there’s literally no way of monitoring what opportunities, sales leads or anything that’s coming in or where they’re coming in from, what value they are. 

CRMs are so important because we can keep a track of clients and contacts when we contacted them, what we’re doing for them, the conversations that we’ve had and an Excel spreadsheet across a firm just won’t cut it. You need better information, better data, better information means that you can make better decisions down the line.

So CRMs are always a big one. I am by no means an expert in CRMs. I know how to use them. I know how to roughly set them up, but my advice would be if you are struggling to get that data that you need, bring in a CRM consultant to help you!

Just being too busy

The other issue that is constantly popping up is we don’t have any time. We are really busy. This is something that I’ve come across in large professional service firms when I’m working as an outsourced marketing director and with smaller ones, there is no quick win for this. 

My advice is you have to make time. You have to schedule it in your diary, your BD and marketing shouldn’t be up and down – it should be constant. And the only way that you can do that is to be super organised. Whether it’s half an hour at 8.30am on a Friday or whatever it is that works for you, there is nothing that I can do to help you get that time in!

You have to make time because if you don’t, then things will slightly go downhill. And I would definitely look at implementing something like a marketing, a BD planner to help really focus and structure your marketing and BD each week so you know what you’re doing, rather than just going, ah, what, what should I be doing? So that’s really, really important. 

The link between marketing and business development

And the third challenge that I’m often kind of overseeing is the link between marketing and BD or marketing and sales, depending on what kind of organisation you work for. 

Marketing quite often delivers leads and then the conversions don’t happen because sales don’t follow up or they’re not brought in.

I’m just wondering how closely are your marketing and your BD teams aligned to make sure that you’ve got that nice kind of conversion process happening from a marketing qualified lead through to a sales qualified lead through to actually a piece of business happening?

 This is a common issue that I’m finding. And if that is the case for your firm, then you definitely need to start having a chat with both of the teams to see how you can work more efficiently and what some of the key barriers are.

I hope that’s helped. I mean, these are the challenges that I come across every day. What are the challenges that you are finding as part of your professional service firms? Please let me know.

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