Ongoing Sector Monitoring to deliver maximum impact to key accounts – a perspective for consulting firms

All consulting firms have a matrix structure with their operations organized around a cluster of clients, such as a sector group. Each such cluster has a set of strategic, key, and potential clients.

The goal of a sector or practice leader is to ensure that their group delivers maximum impact to these clients by focusing on:

  • Onboarding the right client accounts,

  • Institutionalizing a robust cadence to track these accounts as well as sectors including possible disruptors,

  • Centralizing and disseminating insights using intuitive tools and platforms in an effective and timely manner

  • Collaborating internally to ensure internal tacit knowledge is leveraged and monetized

It is critical for practice leaders (partners or consultants) to establish their authority by sharing content, best practices, peer comparisons, etc., that highlight the problems or opportunities their accounts are facing or are likely to face. Doing so not only ensures that they gain the confidence and trust of clients but also draws attention to their abilities as preferred consulting/advisory partners. Indeed, with the fast pace of disruption, use of AI, and convergence of sectors, this is more important than ever before

While most consulting firms are aware of the need to establish their authority, they are encumbered by challenges while gathering sector and account intelligence. Some frequent challenges include:

  • Sporadic efforts focused on ad hoc and last-minute pitches
  • Siloed efforts across teams – knowledge on an account or sector does not permeate across teams
  • Overgeneralization of frameworks and deliverables across sectors, when each sector needs a unique lens (for example, intelligence on the life sciences sector will need to focus more on patents and therapeutic areas).

Gathering and sharing sector intelligence should be treated as an ongoing activity focused on uncovering interesting insights regularly, rather than a one-off and disparate action.

Evalueserve’s digital platform Insightsfirst tracks the Technology Sector (amongst other sectors) for a large number of consulting and advisory firms. Technology is a vast sector, which makes it challenging for any business seeking market intelligence to organize relevant data from online sources or build structured insights from them. Insightsfirst’s sector coverage involves a wide range of data screening and regular monitoring of:

  • M&A, alliances, JVs, partnerships, and new funding

  • Emerging technologies (AI / ML, IoT, robotics, 5G, 3D printing, blockchain, digital payments, OTT, health tech, cloud computing, semiconductors, etc.)

  •  Events and corporate disclosures

  • Positive and negative media mentions

  • C-suite strategies and other updates.

The value of insights lies not only in the availability of relevant content but also in metadata – which is extensively collected and tagged based on sub-sector, focus area, deal rationale, region, and company. With high-precision tagging and dynamic linkages and connections of metadata tags, Insightsfirst generates deep insights on areas such as sector convergence and sector disruptions, amongst others.

For example, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) has undertaken investments and acquisitions across various sectors. Insights on its activities can give a sense of where technology-related convergence is happening in the market.

Alphabet’s Investments and Acquisitions in the Last Six Months

Acquired Company Description Sector
Ethos InsurTech player Ethos raised $200M from GV and other investors Financial Services
Fitbit Google bought fitness tracking company Fitbit for $2.1B Healthcare
Factory OS Modular home company Factory OS raised $500M from Google and other big tech players Infrastructure / Industrial
Dialpad Dialpad, a business-centric voice, video and contact-center service, raised $100M from GV and other investors Communication
Air Protein Startup Air Protein, which uses fermentation to make a meat alternative, raised $32M from GV and other investors Consumer Packaged Goods
EQRx Low-cost drug maker EQRx raised $200M in Series A and $500M in Series B funding from GV and other investors Life Sciences / Pharmaceuticals

Similarly, an analysis of investments and acquisitions of other industry players can be used to identify strategies that may otherwise be overlooked. For example: The acquisitions and investments listed above show that to find disruption opportunities and protect its current market share, Alphabet is edging its way into entirely new spaces.

Such differentiated insights, if delivered timely, equip partners and consultants with engaging in meaningful conversations with their clients, allow them to stay ahead of the curve, and help them build eminence and thought pieces they can take to their clients. Our sector convergence report titled Sector Convergence and the Rise of New Cross-sector Opportunity Clusters is a good example that shows how continuous monitoring of alliances, partnerships, investments, and M&A across sectors can lead to a collection of cross-sector ‘points of views’ on opportunities and their implications for consulting and advisory firms.

Insightsfirst’s next-level insights on sector convergence are critical for predicting where a sector is heading and how a sector value chain is likely to be disrupted. Its application of AI / ML, coupled with domain expertise, allows companies to derive unique insights that could otherwise be missed.

By ensuring a steady spotlight on focus accounts, sector or practice leaders in consulting or advisory firms can ensure that:

  • They have a strategic rather than a transactional relationship with clients
  • They don’t remain oblivious to developments across other accounts in a sector
  • They have timely conversations with their clients.

Needless to say, such insights are often the difference between a winning game and a lackluster display.

About Insightsfirst: Insightsfirst is an AI-enabled digital platform that empowers PS firms to attain an edge through differentiated insights that are curated to their specific needs and for user groups across an organization. This centralized platform disseminates timely and actionable insights that can be easily integrated with other internal/external data sources and technologies.

Satyajit Saha
Vice President and Product Lead, Professional Services Posts
Shobhit Saxena
Group Manager, Corporates and Professional Services Posts

Shobhit Saxena is a Group Manager with the Professional Services practice at Evalueserve. He has more than eight years of experience working with consulting clients in managing research operations and applying technology solutions to make processes more efficient.

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