Sales and Marketing Consulting as a Revenue Platform for Turnaround Management Firms

In a still slow Turnaround Industry, some Turnaround Management Consulting firms may want to consider an “all of the above” strategy for generating additional consulting revenues. One such strategy that has proven effective for at least one prominent Turnaround Management Firm has been the deployment of a supplemental marketing and sales force effectiveness advisory.

For that firm, over a 10+ year period, their marketing and sales capability has proven pivotal to landing and then sustaining multiple long term engagements.

Clearly clients chose this prominent Turnaround Management Firm over others in competitive pitch situations for a variety of reasons including reputation, rapport and overall pricing. However, many clients specifically mentioned that it was the marketing and sales force effectiveness platform presented and proposed during the pitch that was the pivotal factor in their decision. Specifically, clients said about the firm after they chose them:

  • “Their positive outlook that included the potential for improved top-line performance during the turnaround differentiated them”.
  • “Because of their sales and marketing process, we felt as if they were the only firm with whom we would actually benefit during the turnaround process”.
  • “They were the only firm to address our most pressing needs – poor sales force performance and decreasing top-line sales”.
  • “They tailored their presentation to our specific top-line and strategic challenges – everybody else’s presentations were “cookie cutter” and all about them”.

Having a marketing and sales capability was not only key to winning competitive cases for this firm, it was also a key to turning basic financial assessment and cash flow development cases into profitable, multi-consultant, multi-year implementation projects.

In several notable cases, the marketing, sales and strategic assessments developed by the Turnaround Management Firm convinced the client and stake holders that it was in their best interests to keep the TM firm on in an implementation capacity.  Some examples:

  • In what was originally a 4 week financial, strategic plan and operations assessment project, the sales plan written identified immediate new product, promotional and personnel opportunities that the existing staff had missed. Implementation work was endorsed by the lender and Private Equity sponsor who eventually benefitted greatly from the increased value of the company when it was sold to a competitor.
  • In a similar 4-5 week cash flow and strategic plan case, the plan presented identified the potential for $2-$3 million in new monthly revenue opportunities for the client. The PE sponsor, who had lost confidence in the clients’ management team, asked the TM firm to implement the plan which lasted almost 2 years and included up to 10 consultants working simultaneously.
  • In a case that just ended, (after more than 1 year), the client itself asked the TM firm to stay on and implement an initiative which built sales by focusing on sales force effectiveness initiatives.

These are just some of many examples of cases where the supplemental marketing and sales effectiveness work drove long term engagements that not only delivered niche revenue but also delivered significant basic financial consulting revenue for the TM firm.

Admittedly, the number of cases where clients and stake holders will consider supplemental consulting to their financial consulting needs are rare. However, cases where clients can benefit from improved sales force effectiveness and top-line are not uncommon. The challenge for TM firms is learning how to have supplemental resources available when needed and how to use them during a pitch process and on case work.

The specific approaches to how TM firms can profitably deploy marketing and sales force effectiveness consulting will be the subject of upcoming articles. However, if you are interested in learning more about how you can use this platform at your firm, please contact us via our website, via LinkedIn, via email or by calling (973)-452-2584.