The Consultancy Process - From Headache to Handshake
Within the tech industry there are many challenges standing in the way of growing tech firms, particularly to those attempting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. For Infront Consulting, there are a fair number of obstacles especially on the consultancy side that can get in the way of sealing the deal; obstacles that simply don’t appear in other areas of the business such as training/education or software development. In fairness, areas such as those have their own issues, but at the end of the day, they are services that have a technical value to them. The same can’t be said of consulting. Speaking with Infront’s CEO Rory McCaw, the consulting side of the business comes with a unique hurdle referred to as a ‘customer tax’.
“There’s a lot of bureaucracy inside large organizations to get things done and sometimes the customer is over-optimistic in judging the time it will take. One example of this was on a pre-sales call, a director told us it takes about two hours to provision a virtual machine in their environment when in reality it actually took three weeks.”
So how does a tech firm get from headache to handshake?
In the case of Infront, they’ve instituted a rigorous system and vetting process that saves the company valuable time, resources and money. When walking a potential client through a consultation, Infront’s Solution Architects are dedicated to spending as much time as needed to understand their clients’ situation and particular needs. Rory refers to this process as BANT (Budget, Authorization, Needs, Timing) qualification.
“Once we understand the budget, authorization concerns, needs and time constraints, we can dive into some of the specific requirements that allow us to get a better idea of what they hope to accomplish. We are then able to put together a roadmap or plan to help them get there, which is broken out into individual phases that each have their own budget and timeline. If everything is agreed upon with all the parties involved, we get them to sign off and move forward.”
For tech firms to acquire clients, it’s important to have a process like this in place; a streamlined and organized routine that can get the customer to the handshake stage and one step closer to sealing the deal… but it’s not the most important part; and Infront Consulting understands this. The even more important outcome to the consultancy process is doing whatever it takes to make that handshake into a long lasting relationship that is a perfect fit for all involved.