22 May Rising stock: High demand for client and sector specialists

22 May 2018

In recent years, professional services firms have been taking their cue from clients when developing their business strategies. As such, professionals with pursuits, digital, change management, innovation and customer experience expertise are ever more sought-after.

BD teams are no longer simply support functions, but core members of the client team. We are seeing certain sector- and client-focused professionals becoming some of the most influential and valued people in the business.

Fee earners are relying on their BD teams for strategic input on firmwide initiatives, as well as specialist advice at client level. Many BD professionals pitch alongside partners, with BD becoming the sole point of contact for key clients. In some firms, BD are fee earners who sit within client teams alongside partners, and charge for their services. No wonder some BD professionals earn more than their equivalent fee earners: BD skills are now seen as critical to winning clients and maintaining relationships.

We are seeing many candidates upskill in these areas by:

  • Facilitating client feedback sessions and using findings to drive change
  • Networking with partners and clients
  • Attending industry conferences and events 
  • Reading industry journals and publications
  • Generally keeping abreast of economic and market trends.

This mindset is still somewhat new to professional services, and firms are drawing on talent from outside the industry to drive this commercial change. It is important to note that many of these roles are at the senior level (10+ years).

As professionals continue to upskill and educate themselves, they will become even more important both internally and with clients. Knowledge is power after all.