Skip to main content
University of Bath

Client Management for Professional Services

Best practice in client management, business development, sales and marketing, distilled from the world’s top professional services firms.

Participant in a management training workshop writing notes
Our Client Management in Professional Services programme will provide you with a toolkit for building enhanced sales performance

Equip yourself to succeed in 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 firms 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 for those in client management, business development, sales or marketing functions within major professional service industries (law, accounting, engineering and consultancy). It will also benefit practising professionals or partners moving into client management roles or other individuals in service industries who work closely with major blue-chip clients.

What the programme covers

This three-day programme features a unique and carefully designed blend of content related to client management for professional services.

Day 1: Client analysis toolkit

  • Welcome and introduction
    • Module overview and takeaways
  • Strategic client management (SCM)
    • The need for SCM
    • Client value in professional services
    • The 5 stages of SCM implementation
  • Client planning
    • The SCM portfolio concept
    • Five types of SCM relationship
    • Defining relationship purpose
    • Planning resources
  • Managing the SCM portfolio
    • Identifying and prioritising strategic relationships Client Attractiveness Factors (CAFs)
    • Half-hour workshop
  • The client analysis toolkit part 1
    • Identifying opportunities and threats
    • Investigating the macro-environment for locusts of change

Day 2: Developing strategies

  • The client analysis toolkit part 2
    • Investigating market competitiveness
    • The internal environment
    • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • Developing SCM strategies part 1
    • The 9 box SWOT
  • Developing SCM strategies part 2
    • Objective setting
    • Critical success factors
  • Client value adding strategies part 1
    • Value propositions
    • Customer critical success factors
    • Evaluating strategies and passing the VRIN test

Day 3: Adding customer value

  • The role of the strategic client manager
    • Matching the manager to the relationship strategy
    • Strategic client manager qualities and skills
  • Contact management and communication
    • Building client network maps
    • Mapping the client and internal team communication
  • Managing conflict and the internal selling role
    • Negotiating the win/win
    • Negotiation and conflict
  • Review, next steps and takeaway
    • Discussing barriers and making change stick!

How you will benefit

The programme will provide you with ou 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 your organisation will 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

Fees, dates and location


Three-day programme: £2,550.


2020 dates to be confirmed.


The programme is run in the Executive Development Centre at The Edge on our campus in Bath.

Register your interest in this programme

Programme leader

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.