Legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi is credited with coining the iconic blurb “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”
While Lombardi may not have been the first one to say it, the message nevertheless resonates with professional services firms from accountancies to financial services to consultants—winning new clients (and retaining current ones) is everything.
In order to win, professional services companies must exchange a myriad of business-critical information with clients and must operate under strict confidentiality policies or stringent privacy or financial regulations.
At the same time, firms need to collaborate effectively internally and externally to deliver quality results while thriving in the pressure cooker that is the world of modern work. Most companies, and their employees, struggle with this puzzle daily.
The solution, it turns out, involves more than simply pointing to an old football metaphor. A winning team must create and maintain a balance between the seamless sharing of sensitive data and maintaining confidentiality. The balance can be found by leveraging modern client information management solutions.
Winning the CIM Game
But what is client information management (CIM)? It’s a simple concept:
• It’s about managing information related to clients and client engagements.
• It’s about winning new customers, delivering efficiently, and managing relationships well.
• It’s about making your staff productive and satisfied while ensuring bullet-proof client confidentiality and regulatory compliance.
For example, consider the consulting sector. For consulting firms, winning new business is all about staying relevant to clients and prospects by demonstrating a sharp understanding of their business as well as proving the consulting firm’s differentiated value.
As a consulting firm grows, it can become difficult to keep track of all the latest thought-leadership materials and the value delivered to clients across business lines. For example, studies show staff may waste up to 2.5 hours daily just searching for information. The ability to find the right information at the right time (for example, new case studies for a proposal) is a game changer for win rates.
A winning CIM game plan helps firms:
• Connect all documents to the proper business context, making information related to any given client easier to find.
• Facilitate internal collaboration and easily surface the latest thought-leadership content based on industry or functional domain.
As the state of modern work continues to evolve post-pandemic, many firms scramble to onboard new employees with client data files efficiently and competently.
Industry turnover creates a steep learning curve—new hires can’t ramp up quickly and utilize resources that already exist to complete their work quickly and understand compliance or other client needs.
For example, in the accounting sector, growth and utilization rates (and reputation) can suffer as clients grow frustrated when they have to go over the same concepts with staff year after year. Slogging through historical documentation for new staff wastes billable time.
• Jump-starts the onboarding of new clients automated workflows and templates for proposals, contracts, and other standard docs.
• Makes client related information easy to find and maintain, helping onboard new staff and execute engagements efficiently.
• Implements a solid versioning and review system to ensure employees always work on the right information and client deliverables are appropriate approved.
For professional services firms, navigating the latest regulations, as well as fending off the newest data-security threats can seem like an almost insurmountable challenge. One wrong move can lead to crippling fines, loss of reputation, and even business closure.
A robust CIM platform won’t solve every regulatory snafu or rid the world of cyber-criminals. However, the right CIM solution can help ensure staff and clients follow best practices for sharing and storing sensitive data, as well as eliminating the endless volley of back-and-forth emails that can create a confusing and unsecure client experience.
CIM systems can:
• Modernize secure information exchange across all client-firm channels.
• Automate secure document-sharing practices and permissions management.
• Streamline audits with automated audit trails and advanced search capabilities that allow for immediate access to information needed by auditors.
M-Files provides a seamless set of CIM tools and capabilities to win and onboard new clients effectively, helping professional services firms exchange information securely and deliver smoother client engagements, while still maintaining a control over client confidentiality and ensuring regulatory and industry compliance.
To schedule a CIM demo, contact M-Files today.