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Marketing Insights

28 Mar 2012

Are your lead generation activities filling your sales pipeline?

There are typically two situations which we regularly see when we talk to professional services firms about lead generation. In the first scenario, it may be a firm that appears to be quite proactive in generating leads. They have a mix of regular marketing activities including email marketing, telemarketing etc that they implement, yet they are simply not generating the level of business leads they need. In the second scenario it may be a firm that has previously been quite successful and has now embarked on ad-hoc marketing activities to generate leads. But the overall feeling within the firm is that it’s a case of ‘spray and pray’.

In our experience, the firms that are highly targeted in Lead Generation and make it a habit, are the businesses that are currently experiencing the most success – domestically and internationally.

15 Mar 2012

The real cost of not living your brand in professional services

It was fascinating to see the resignation letter of Goldman Sachs’ Executive Director, Greg Smith, published in the New York Times this week. The letter wiped $2bn off the market value of the firm in one day.

Greg joined Goldman Sachs as a graduate twelve years ago and ultimately became head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. What makes the letter special is that this does not appear to be the rant of a disgruntled employee. Instead, it reads like a considered analysis of a fundamentally changed environment by a key management team member who was actively involved in the recruitment and mentoring of graduates.

04 Nov 2011

Social Media Stage 1: Leveraging LinkedIn

Our previous blog post highlighted a Social Media Roadmap for Professional Services firms. Now we are going to build on that by sharing the practical steps you can take to build your firms visibility through social media. The first stage is all about leveraging LinkedIn. Most professionals have a profile on LinkedIn however it is surprising to see how many have failed to use this powerful tool to increase awareness of their firm or harness its potential to generate business leads.

LinkedIn has over 100m+ professionals around the world with 20m+ members in Europe, 5m+ in the UK and more than 2m companies have LinkedIn Company Pages (June 2011). It is a rich source of information on prospects, hot topics and recommended service providers. The following practical guidelines outline current LinkedIn best practice:

07 Jul 2011

The social media roadmap – Five key principles

From breaking super-injunctions to successfully launching new products and brands, the power of social media is undeniable. Yet many professional services firms are unsure what elements of social media, if any, are relevant to their businesses. Some firms have already reported successes. Yet most have struggled to achieve any significant impact, despite a considerable investment in resources and time.

19 May 2011

Five steps to better proposal / bid management

In the consultancy sector win rates of 1 in 3 are average. However the reality is many firms are not even getting close to this figure. Research found that over 50% of business developers admitted that if they were in their prospect’s shoes, their own proposals would not persuade them to buy. So how can consulting firms increase their bid win rates?

Experience working with a wide variety of consulting firms has led Shaping Business to conclude that there are five principles of bid management that increase the chances of winning business in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace: