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How Consulting Firms Can Turn Executive Transitions Into Business Opportunities

Published by: RelSci
Published on:

Executive Transitions are Business Opportunities

Transitions of c-suite executives represent new business development opportunities for management and strategy consulting firms. Executive transitions represent significant moments of change, and firms undergoing transition often turn to outside consultants for guidance. To capitalize on this opportunity, many leading consulting firms offer executive transition services to firms undergoing leadership shifts.

As McKinsey, a leading provider of executive transition services, points out, in order for newly appointed C-Suite executives to succeed, they “must get up to speed quickly and make an impact in five key areas simultaneously:”

  1. Business: Does the executive have a clear read on current business performance and alignment on future priorities?
  2. Culture: Which shifts in culture will have the greatest impact and how will the executive influence them?
  3. External Stakeholders & Board: Is the executive ready to step up and strengthen his or her relationships with the board and key stakeholders?
  4. Oneself: Has the executive done the work to get up to speed and build on his or her strengths?
  5. Team: Does the executive have the right leadership team and is he or she continually improving performance?

An executive transition affects both the executive’s new company and the one he or she has just left. The company that the executive is leaving has to balance the search for the right successor with maintaining operations. For the company that the executive is joining, the transition often represents a shift in overall strategy.

Management and strategy consulting firms work with clients to make these transitions as efficient and effective as possible. For example, McKinsey works with transitioning CEOs, CFOs and Chief Strategy Officers by offering career coaching and leadership development. They also provide research and data-driven insights about the company and its broader industry.

Deloitte has established a CFO Transition Lab to help newly-appointed CFOs manage three resources critical to the role: the executive’s time, the Finance team’s talent, and the company’s key internal and external relationships.

Given the potential impact that executive transitions can have on a company’s overall performance, consulting firms need to be aware of them. Not knowing about such leadership shifts can mean missing out on new business. The rest of this post will explain how management and strategy consulting firms can use RelSci to identify executive transitions, and then use their relationship capital to pitch executive transition services.

A Better Way for Consulting Firms to Capitalize on Executive Transitions

Many consulting professionals rely a combination of software-based alerts (e.g., Google News Alerts) and word-of-mouth updates to stay on top of leadership shifts.

One limitation of this approach is that when a consultant learns of an executive move, it can be difficult to act on. Consultants who cannot identify a warm introduction to the impacted companies are not well-positioned to pitch transition consulting services. As a result, even when they are the first one aware of the move, they can still lose out to a better-connected competitor. A comprehensive and consolidated view of how their professional network is connected to the relevant company or executive can help consultants uncover the relationships that make such introductions possible.

Companies that have recently hired a new executive have just made a big strategic decision. They are heavily invested in the new leader’s success. The choice of a transition consultant is a high-impact choice that can significantly affect the new executive’s first six months and beyond. For such big decisions, risk-averse companies want to work with consultants they trust, not relative unknowns. As a result, relationships matter even more than usual. Companies are more likely to choose a consulting firm with which they have an existing relationship, or to rely on a referral from a trusted contact.

Using RelSci to Pitch Executive Transition Services

RelSci’s platform combines executive change alerts with critical relationship intelligence. Consulting firms can use RelSci to find warm introductions to companies that are newly in need of executive transition services. Here’s how.

 Step 1: Create alerts to track new executive appointments

Consulting firms can use RelSci’s 360° Alerts to proactively stay on top of executive transitions. They can also leverage RelSci’s pathing technology to uncover warm connections to the people and companies mentioned in the alert.

Many alerting systems focus only on a given announcement or event. But with 360° Alerts, consultants can also see their strongest relationship paths to the executive in transition, the company the executive is leaving, and the executive’s new company. They can then identify warm connections at each company and better position themselves to pitch transition services.

RelSci’s 360° Alerts are customizable. Consultants can receive notifications for executive moves at specific companies, industries, or geographies. This feature ensures the 360° Alerts they receive align with their interests and priorities.

For example, a consultant who focused on offering transition services to technology companies could set up the following alert:

Step 2: Secure a warm introduction

Once 360° Alerts have surfaced a relevant transition, a consultant can then use RelSci to map their connections to the people and companies involved.

For example, the below alert concerns Michael T. Sicoli, who has been appointed as President and CFO of Internap Corp.

By clicking the “paths” icon, a consultant can see all of their possible connections to Sicoli, to Internap Corp., and to Sicoli’s former company GTT Communications. With their warm connections identified, the consultant could work to secure introductions at both Internap Corp. and GTT Communications to explore possible opportunities for offering transition services.

A consultant might work with Internap Corp’s broader executive team to ensure that Sicoli’s transition into the company is as seamless as possible. At GTT Communications, there could be opportunities to help identify a replacement for Sicoli, or to work with the company’s existing leadership team on strategy and operations during the transition.

With RelSci, consulting firms have access to a curated dataset of more than 1.7 million organizations and over 9 million senior decision-makers across industries and geographies. This data coverage provides consultants numerous opportunities to identify executive transitions, and then leverage their relationship capital to turn those leadership shifts into opportunities to generate new business.

Learn more about RelSci

RelSci is the most effective tool for relationship-driven business development.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use RelSci’s 360° Alerts and other features to stay updated on leadership changes and leverage your relationship capital to win new business, we’d love to hear from you.

Request a demo to speak with one of our sales representatives.