That’s one of the great things about you. There isn’t much you can’t do. Servicing clients? That’s a given – even the managing partner is hands on. Marketing? That’s fine – you can write a case study or put on an event. Come to think of it, new business, HR, finance – you can do all of those things. But the issue is, even though you might be able to do it all, can you honestly say that you can do it all well, particularly in the new digital age?
Account management is a classic example of this. A partner might own a client relationship, worked with the client for years and have a sound understanding of their business. Nothing can replace that rapport. But what if the practice – as a whole – also had a role in supporting that client relationship? A more objective take might shine a light on opportunities for clients to buy more services. Or it might flag up risks. Technology can play a key role in identifying those and driving the right decisions.
Take CRM. Many accountancy practices – like yours – might think CRM is a step into the unknown, a technological advancement too far. But you would be surprised. Having a cross-practice platform, that logs and analyses client data, the services clients buy and all the communication between the firm and clients, you can begin to unearth some real gems of insights into client behaviour. Some positive, some negative, but all can have a material impact on your revenue stream.
- Risky business: let’s do the bad first. CRM is able to spot negative patterns in client behaviour. The client might not have voiced any concerns, but the CRM system will detect a cancellation of a service or notice a drop off in the amount the practice is invoicing that client. This behaviour could indicate client “drift” and if detected early enough, your practice will be able to do something about it. CRM can help with risk mitigation.
- Pots of gold: on the flip side, CRM is excellent at unearthing cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. Because website data is fed into CRM, you can identify what clients are doing on your website, for example a client is looking at the page on outsourcing payroll. The client doesn’t buy that service from you at the moment, but they might be interested. CRM can let you know that it’s a possibility, so you can go and have the conversation with them.
There is no panacea when it comes to accountancy practice evolution. But using the right technologies to help you work smarter is a big step in the right direction. To learn more about how CRM can help you with cross-selling and up-selling opportunities and risk mitigation, read our white paper A Practical Guide to Cross-Selling and Up-selling.