BD Tech and the Client Life Cycle

January 25, 2016

My goal at Klyse Advisory is to help firms define their needs and plans for technology that supports their business development efforts.  In my mind, this includes nearly everything partners and administrators need while developing (or servicing, or growing, or keeping) their clients.

In this, the phases of the client life cycle are significant.  I've broken this out into outreach, acquisition, service, and growth -- all from the firm's perspective, and recognizing that these are not mutually exclusive -- and am identifying the various bits of tech that support each phase.  In the meantime, I want to validate my thoughts about the phases and processes themselves.

  • Outreach.  This is about finding potential clients.  A former colleague used to describe this as "one to many"; another respected industry speaker at a conference called this phase "getting someone to want to have a meeting with someone at your firm." Associated technology and processes include web technologies, social media, thought leadership, marketing automation, events, and conferences.
  • Acquisition.  Here, firms are actually pursuing business and trying to win deals, projects, or matters (which is to say, sales and business development.)  Technology here supports opportunity, pipeline, and referral management; pitch and proposal preparation; pricing; experience records; conflicts and intake; and contract management.  To continue the analogies I used above, this is the "one to one" communication, or the actual meeting a prospective client has with your partner.
  • Service.  This phase covers the actual work provided by firms.  Pricing comes in again, along with document management, internal and external collaboration tools and portals, and effective project management.
  • Growth.  In the end, this is about keeping clients happy, creating referral sources, evaluating your white space, and succession planning.  Related technology and processes address profitability, client teams, client feedback, relationship maps and gap analysis, and attrition risk.

I will be creating graphics for this (I'm just getting started with Canva.)  For now, is there anything glaring that I am missing?