University of Bath School of Management University of Bath School of Management

Client management for professional services


This programme covers the necessary skills for client management, business development, sales and marketing in professional service firms. It investigates the unique nature of managing major corporate clients and the complexity of managing professional service professionals in this environment. Not only will it investigate the problems and pitfalls of managing these complex relationships but also provide a toolkit for effective client (and partner) management.

Who should attend?

The programme is designed for individuals in client management, business development, sales or marketing functions within major professional service industries (Law, Accounting, Engineering, and Consultancy). It will also benefit practicing professionals or partners moving into client management roles or other individuals in service industries who work closely with major blue chip clients.


What does the programme cover?

This three-day programme features a unique and carefully designed blend of content related to client management for professional services. The table below provides an overview of the programme.

Day 1: Client Analysis Tool Kit
Time Brief description
09:00 - 09:15 Welcome and Introduction
  • Module overview and takeaways
09:15 - 11:00 Strategic Client Management (SCM)
  • The need for SCM
  • Client value in professional services
  • The 5 stages of SCM implementation
11:00 - 11:15 Coffee
11:15 - 12:45 The Client Planning
  • The SCM portfolio concept
  • Five types of SCM relationship
  • Defining relationship purpose
  • Planning resources
12:45 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:15 Managing the SCM portfolio
  • Identifying and prioritising strategic relationships Client Attractiveness Factors (CAFs)
  • ½ hour workshop
15:45 - 16:00 Coffee
16:00 - 17:30 The client analysis toolkit part 1
  • Identifying opportunities and threats
  • Investigating the macro-environment for locusts of change
Day 2: Developing Strategies
Time Brief description
09:00 - 10:35 The client analysis toolkit part 2
  • Investigating market competitiveness
  • The internal environment
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee
10:45 - 12:30 Developing SCM strategies part 1
  • The 9 box SWOT
12:30 - 13:15 Lunch
13:15 - 14:30 Developing SCM strategies part 2
  • Objective setting
  • Critical success factors
14:45 - 15:00 Coffee
15:00 - 17:30 Client value adding strategies part 1
  • Value propositions
  • Customer critical success factors
  • Evaluating strategies and passing the VRIN test
Day 3: Adding Customer Value
Time Brief description
08:30 - 10:00 The Role of the Strategic Client Manager
  • Matching the manager to the relationship strategy
  • Strategic Client Manager qualities and skills
11:00 - 11:15 Coffee
11:15 - 12:30 Contact Management and Communication
  • Building client network maps
  • Mapping the client and internal team communication
12:30 - 13:15 Lunch
13:15 - 15:15 Managing Conflict and the internal selling role
  • Negotiating the win/win
  • Negotiation and conflict
15:15 - 15:30 Coffee
15:30 - 16:30 Review, next steps and takeaway
  • Discussing barriers and making change stick!
End of Programme


How will I benefit?

The course provides you with a clear, targeted programme of marketing and management training bespoke to your work needs. It will give you:

  • a clear roadmap to career development
  • new insights into competitiveness in professional service firms and how to overcome the “commoditisation” narrative in these industries
  • a clear and frank exploration of the pitfalls of working with professional service professionals and ways of working with (and around) them.
  • a series of toolkits aimed at simplifying and expatiating decision-making providing the clear evidence needed to build a business case for change
  • a clear toolkit for building a customer value based narrative for enhanced sales performance in professional service contexts.

How will my organisation benefit?

Your organisation will gain:

  • a clear toolkit for managing client relationships
  • an approach for developing new strategic initiatives to build stronger relationships
  • a heuristic for managing scarce resources and prioritising strategic initiatives
  • an exhaustive investigation of where firms go wrong and what could be done better
  • an examination of the structural and cultural barriers to successful client management and a roadmap to overcome them
  • a new understanding of client value needed for identifying a unique competitive edge in saturated markets
  • a highly trained and targeted course to deliver exactly what professional service firms need from business development and marketing without generic marketing clichés

The programme is led by

Dr Iain Davies

Iain Davies

Dr Iain Davies is Senior Lecturer in Marketing. Ian consults, lectures and researches in Key Account Management, Sales, and Marketing Ethics. Iain has extensive commercial experience in professional services marketing including as a Strategic Consultant with Accenture and as a Legal Policy Advisor in the Banking Sector for HMCE.

He has extensive experience working with major professional service firms including Addleshaw Goddard, Linklaters, DLA Piper, E=MC2, Grant Thornton, Halcrow, Osbourne Clarke, and Practicus as well as many of their key clients including Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Dutch Shell, Rolls Royce, Santander, Merck, and RSA Insurance.



3-day programme, £2,550


2017 dates TBC


School of Management
University of Bath
Claverton Down

In Bath our purpose built Management Suite is located within The Edge at the heart of the University campus.