When you own a growth-driven B2B company, it is crucial to achieving new revenue and hit targets. Perhaps you are thinking of hiring an outside consultant to assist you in developing the right strategies.
But before you, there are essential considerations to look at when choosing a business consulting partner. Firms like 5P Consulting encourage clients to retain counsel that looks beyond shorter timeframe results.
Here are seven key factors that help you find the right B2B business consultant:
Set Your Priorities
Many firms that claim to be management consultants cannot differentiate between the strategies they use to achieve top-line and bottom-line growth. The top-line focus involves go-to-market strategies, CRM, sales and marketing, positioning strategy, new product placement, etc.
On the other hand, some companies focus on reducing your business’ bottom-line costs. Using enterprise (ERP) software properly, improving operational efficiency, cutting down expenses and talent costs, enhancing quality output, and other steps are vital in this approach.
Knowing your needs and how your business objectives align can help you decide if a consultant is right for you.
Type of Consultant
Although the title says “business consultants,” they are either strategic experts or functional specialists.
The difference is that strategic experts advise you on executing changes in the entire company or parts of it to obtain the desired results. They have a robust network of functional specialists, but not vice versa.
Functional specialists operate as outsourced technical support resources with tactical compliance. They have a background in quality systems, law, human resources, safety compliance, etc., while strategic experts are senior-level executives, CEOs, operations managers, etc.
Many professional services firms provide business consultancy. But it may or may not be their primary offering – some have it as an add-on. Pick a consultant that primarily understands the nuances of the service. For instance, you need a data architecture strategy consultant. Hire someone with expertise in data architecture management rather than a marketing agency that also offers big data consulting.
The reason behind this is these firms get their primary revenue from other sources. They will most definitely look for problem areas, which their internal resources can solve. It will be beneficial to them, not to you – their client.
The right consulting partner will be constructive in feedback regardless of the complexity of the work.
Strategic experts can help your company grow across all areas using an integrated approach. They offer expertise and knowledge to get you the output that mirrors your business responsibilities.
In some cases, you need a step-by-step approach, whereas an upfront, integrated approach is apt for the focus areas. So, make sure the consultant you pick can bring more value to the table than just using business advisors or analysts.
It includes recommendations of specific strategies, implementation of changes, and internal communication. Otherwise, the service may seem good on paper but fall short of delivering the achievable outcomes.
Varied Industry Experience
Preferring someone with a specialization in your industry may seem like a no-brainer. But if they only serve one sector, you should ponder over their efficacies. As you know, the business-to-business (B2B) field is unique and diverse.
For this reason, hiring a consulting partner with only your specific B2B expertise may be too risky in the long run. For one, micro-targeting can lead to complacency as the experts can be comfortable with the current industry standards. The next thing is that they may offer you solutions based on a pre-designed template.
Most importantly, it could affect your unique value proposition in the marketplace. There may be nothing to differentiate you from the rest of the lot.
Transparency and Clarity
There should be no ambiguity from your end while communicating with your business consultant. Likewise, the strategy that your consulting partner formulates has to be clear. These knowledge workers also should help you with their market education. They are generally well-regarded presenters.
One way to ensure they have a grip on happenings around them is to check their blog. Professional business consultants regularly post strategic content related to B2B growth in varying formats. These include white papers, guides, infographics, videos, blogs, ebooks, and other resources.
Client-specific strategic deliverables and the consultant’s recommendations are confidential. Still, high-quality business consultants can make in-depth case studies public while keeping their client’s information private.
Double-check before looking at firms that mention their previous projects vaguely. Professional business consultants proudly display the names of the clients they have served. The same goes for client testimonials or result summaries.
In short, choose a consulting partner that can craft seamless experiences for your business. They should be a cultural fit for your organization and showcase endless creativity. 5P Consulting will be an extension of your team and offer on-time services across varied industries.