July 12, 2021

Your firm doesn’t get anywhere with major accounts! Yep, sad but true.


No significant impact, no significant revenues. And then ambitious partners are thinking of leaving. You’re firm is an also-ran!


So, what’s happening?


Lack of ambition


I recently talked to a partner looking after an industry sector at one of the large firms. He sounded upset.


He sees young and ambitious partners get promoted or come in from other firms, ready to make their mark.


And then they start wondering about the lack of ambition within the firm they have just joined. Because they see accounts, believe it or not, with an annual spend on professional services of USD 400 million and more. A huge market in which the firm holds a tiny 0.5% market share.


But the current account leader says that they have done their very best to get that slice. And more wasn’t feasible. And that the country managing partner had agreed.


So, let me get this straight:


A firm with ambitious partners achieves only a 0.5% market share at a mega account. Without any of the Channel 1 restrictions (an audit-firm term)? How can that be?


The answer is under-investment!


Resistance to change


We all know the large professional services firms: great brands, global reach, likely the right partners for equally large corporations. But they suffer from resistance to change, just like any large corporation, even at the most senior executive levels.


The firm’s country managing partner doesn’t believe in developing large accounts. The potential rewards seem out of reach, pie-in-the-sky – what if the revenues start to materialise only at the end of Year 2, or beware, in Year 3?


That’s why the partners attend the account meetings but don’t do much more. Mostly, they keep chasing their revenues at smaller accounts, at clients they grew up with. Where they know how it works, where they feel comfortable.


And that’s why our sector leader sounded so upset, and why ambitious partners are thinking of leaving…watch out!


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