Case Studies

Client: Big 4 Public Accounting Firm

Presenting Problem:
The Midwest tax practice of this Big 4 accounting firm was struggling with growth and meeting their revenue targets. For several years running, this region consistently performed in the lower half of the firm’s 8 North American regions. The new Regional Managing Partner felt intervention was needed, with the idea of onboarding a broader group of delivery resources to be more proactive and intentional to relationship development and opportunity identification on behalf of the firm.
We were engaged to develop a new training experience geared specifically for Sr. Manager level delivery resources. The project included assessments, needs analysis, curriculum/content design and development, pilot session testing and tweaking, and a broader rollout to over 300 consultants over a 2 year period.
Within one year of the final training session, the Midwest Tax practice had become the top performing region in the firm and has been in that position for 5 years running now. The then new Regional Managing Partner who engaged Gray Matters has become the global CEO of this firm’s multi-billion dollar Tax practice. We continue to work with this client and executive sponsor to this day.




Client:  $10B Privately Held IT Distributor/Pro Services Provider

Presenting Problem:
With the client striving for growth and a $10B revenue target by 2012, leadership saw an opportunity to enhance the client development and lead generation skills of its senior IT delivery resources, particularly those technical delivery resources who were embedded at their clients for extended periods of time.
We worked with client to develop a customized curriculum that married elements of our Rx for Professionals Fundamentals content with new, more advanced course content developed specifically for this client. The live classroom program was piloted in the fall of 2011 and rolled out to a broader audience in 2012 with more programming scheduled for 2013.  The Rx Aftercare program was also customized to support this constituency for up to 90 days after each learning moment and included live webinars, content refreshes, coaching, skill benchmarking, and activity tracking.
The firm successfully hit its $10B revenue target in 2012 and believes the Gray Matters programming played a role not only in the firm’s services growth, but also in helping to signal to all delivery resources the importance of relationship expansion and client development.



Client:  Large Healthcare Consulting Firm

Presenting Problem:
The Central Region  of this firm wanted to develop a unique marketplace development skill building experience for select Sr. Managers who are beginning to be considered for Partner/Director promotion.
Gray Matters worked with regional executives, as well as practice  area, business development and HR leadership to develop a customized learning and follow thru experience.   The program comprised a mixed delivery approach, leveraging live classroom, live virtual classroom, and OnDemand  eLearning, to present content, tools and resources to students over a 4 month period.  Gray Matters’ “Rx in Action” Aftercare system was used to automate

  • 97% with past client contacts and work colleagues,classmates, etc.
  • 55% with new prospects and referrals sources
  • 64% with current clients

coaching, benchmark before and after skill metrics, track field activity against student goal commitments, and provide dashboard reporting to executive sponsors.
Over the 4 month Relationship Xpansion/marketplace development initiative, average student BEFORE versus AFTER…

Relationship advancement activities rose by:
Opportunities identified rose:

  • 12% at current clients

Relative to this group’s overall ability and comfort in executing on relationship expansion and opportunity identification  skills :

  • 0% reported no improvement
  • 6% reported a 1-2% improvement
  • 44% reported a 3-5% improvement
  • 31% reported a 6-10% improvement
  • 19% reported a 10+% improvement



Client:  Fortune 1000 Business Services Provider

Presenting Problem:  
One of the organization’s growth engines is compelled to enter a “large” market segment in order to fully capitalize on their integrated services value proposition.  The strategic move into a new market requires an upgrade in the selling and sales management skills.
We introduced a new sales framework tailored specifically to the challenges of selling to a more complex and sophisticated buyer.  We trained the entire team of client facing resources on the new sales process.  We introduced a series of new sales management disciplines and instituted more rigor into quarterly market reviews.  We are currently coaching the vice-president of client development and two of her direct reports.
The results are largely positive.  To date, FY revenues are running ahead of last year’s pace.  There has been a significant shift in the size of a newly acquired client.  The majority of the client development management team and revenue generating resources are embracing the change and exhibiting some, although not yet all, of the desired consultative selling behaviors.



Client:  Health and Wellness Solution Provider

Presenting Problem:
Low and unsustainable win rate in competitive situations, due in large part to the fact that those responsible for business development were not being proactive in establishing relationships with buying influences outside of a structured competitive process.  Leadership was of the opinion that they had a unique value proposition, but they were not effective in communicating their value to their buyers.
We introduced a new sales framework that focused on matching business development efforts to the buyers buying process.  This new approach helped the team move away from aggressively broadcasting their product knowledge and helped them move toward becoming helpful colleagues in the exploration of health related challenges and the financial and productivity related impacts on their clients.  The change in focus also helped the team build the necessary confidence to become more proactive, and ultimately more successful, in holding exploratory discovery conversations independent of a structured and competitive request for proposal process.
Our efforts were part of a broader set of initiatives designed to improve the effectiveness of our client.  The results of the combined initiatives were dramatic.  In the “selling season” immediately following our four month training/coaching initiative, our client secured ten consecutive new business wins.



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