Skip to main content
Blog Business Development
Introhive's Activators blog - woman talking on cell phone

Encouraging & Monitoring Activator Behaviors with Relationship Intelligence

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, professional services firms need to embrace a more proactive approach to business development practices. As highlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review article, the traditional notions of client loyalty and competitive advantage are being challenged. Professional services partners are increasingly required to own the business development and service-delivery lifecycle as “rainmakers.” The most successful partners are those described as ‘activators’ who exhibit a unique set of behaviors that correlate with positive performance outcomes, including a revenue generation increase of up to 32%. 

Understanding and fostering ‘activator’ behaviors is essential for professional services firms seeking to thrive in today’s competitive landscape, as it can lead to increased client acquisition, retention, and overall business growth. In this blog article, we explore how Introhive’s relationship intelligence can be used to encourage and monitor core ‘activator’ behaviors in navigating the complex terrain of professional services business development. 

What are activator behaviors?

Successful rainmakers, or ‘activators’, exhibit key behaviors that contribute to their effectiveness in driving revenue growth. They prioritize business development efforts and focus on building expansive networks of colleagues and clients, leveraging collaboration to introduce clients to a diverse range of services. Moreover, they maintain a proactive and consistent routine in their business development efforts. In essence, activator behavior centers around the ‘three C’s’: committing to business development, connecting with stakeholders, and collaborating with colleagues, all of which are essential components for success in today’s competitive professional services environment.

Balancing billing with business development

Across professional services firms, partners are increasingly tasked with balancing the responsibilities of billing and driving new business development. With firms raising their rates to offset rising expenses, partners are under pressure to ensure profitability through billable hours. This dynamic places even greater importance on partners to dedicate time and effort to nurturing client relationships and seeking new business opportunities. Despite the pressures to bill more hours, partners must also prioritize business development efforts to maintain and expand their client base. 

Consequently, partners find themselves navigating a delicate balance between fulfilling immediate billing needs and investing in long-term growth strategies. This underscores the critical need for firms to foster activator behaviors among their partners, as these behaviors are essential for driving sustained growth and success in the competitive professional services landscape.

Enhancing time management and client engagement

Introhive’s platform boosts time management, client engagement, and revenue generation for fee earners. It equips them with essential tools and insights while eliminating data entry tasks, freeing up more time for business development activities. By seamlessly integrating with existing workflows such as Outlook and Salesforce, Introhive offers valuable client insights, including the latest news on clients they’re meeting with, relevant CRM data, historical and upcoming firm-wide interactions, and other pertinent information such as marketing or billing activity. 

This streamlined process allows professionals to focus on collaborating, building relationships, and delivering services. Whether it’s delivering pre-meeting briefs or facilitating access to crucial client information, Introhive’s platform empowers activators to engage with clients more effectively and efficiently, ultimately driving revenue growth for the firm.

Building robust networks

Activators within professional services firms demonstrate exceptional prowess in cultivating connections that extend far beyond mere acquaintanceships. They are adept at establishing meaningful relationships with both current and potential clients, as well as subject-matter experts within their respective fields. Moreover, activators extend their networking efforts to benefit their colleagues, acting as facilitators in forging connections between clients and partners across various practice areas within their firms.

However, the path to building robust networks is a challenge for many firms. Time constraints often loom large, with professionals grappling with heavy workloads and tight deadlines that leave little room for networking activities. Furthermore, the lack of clear incentives or recognition for networking efforts can lead employees to prioritize billable work over relationship-building endeavors. Additionally, some may not fully comprehend the strategic importance of networking in driving business growth, perceiving it as an ancillary task rather than a priority.

By navigating these challenges and fostering strong connections at all levels of client organizations, activators position themselves and their firms for long-term success in generating new revenue streams. They leverage these relationships to enhance client retention, explore expanded service offerings, and secure valuable referrals, thereby driving revenue growth and solidifying their firms’ standing in a competitive market landscape.

Leveraging existing connections for growth

Introhive’s platform serves as a powerful tool in facilitating and enhancing these networking efforts. Introhive’s relationship mapping capabilities provide visibility into a firm’s network and encourages professionals to leverage these connections. By analyzing, segmenting, and visualizing the breadth of relationships, Introhive empowers individuals to identify and capitalize on opportunities for growth, beyond just engaging with top decision-makers. Seeing connections to clients across your firm also naturally drives conversations between colleagues about a client’s evolving business needs, corporate goals, and the potential for additional services when changes occur in the regulatory or economic environment.

For example, consider a global firm facing the challenge of maintaining and expanding its client base across different regions. Recognizing the potential of activator behaviors in addressing this issue, the firm encourages its partners to leverage their networks effectively.

In one scenario, a partner based in the EU branch of the firm has a strong relationship with a key client who also operates in the U.S. This partner, an activator, understands the value of nurturing connections not only within their own jurisdiction but also across borders. Identifying an opportunity to revive and strengthen the relationship, the partner facilitates introductions between their U.S.-based client contact and relevant partners in the firm’s U.S. branch.

By proactively fostering this cross-border connection, the activator not only strengthens the existing client relationship, but also opens up opportunities for collaboration and expansion into new services. This collaborative approach benefits both the client, who receives comprehensive support across different services, and the firm, which increases revenue through enhanced client retention and cross-selling opportunities.

Driving value creation

Driving value creation presents a significant challenge for professional services firms, particularly in the context of fostering proactive client engagement. While activators excel at curating essential information and initiating proactive conversations with clients about potential opportunities and challenges, this proactive approach faces several hurdles.

Firstly, professionals within these firms often operate within a reactive framework, waiting for clients to express their needs before taking action. Breaking free from this reactive mindset requires a shift towards proactive engagement, which may encounter resistance due to entrenched organizational norms and practices.

Moreover, initiating proactive conversations necessitates a deep understanding of client needs and industry trends, which may require additional time and resources for research and preparation. This challenge is compounded by the fast-paced nature of the professional services industry, where staying abreast of developments is one more demand on professionals’ time.

Driving value creation through proactive engagement also requires effective collaboration and coordination within the firm. Activators must connect clients with the right expertise within their firm or network, which may be hindered by siloed organizational structures or communication barriers.

Creating value through collaboration

The depth of client insights Introhive provides are invaluable in fostering a culture of activator mindsets and behaviors within professional services firms. Contextual client insights and advanced features like lonely client, multi-threading, and white space analysis enable firms to identify and capitalize on opportunities for value-added service offerings. 

By analyzing client data and preferences, professionals across the firm can pinpoint areas where they can add value. Consequently, Introhive helps firms ‘institutionalize’ clients, positioning themselves as the ‘go-to’ for all service requirements. This approach enhances client satisfaction and loyalty, cementing firms as indispensable partners and fortifying their market position for sustained profitability.

Moreover, Introhive’s platform facilitates seamless collaboration among team members, allowing activators to leverage internal networks and connect clients with subject-matter experts across different service areas. This not only enhances the firm’s ability to meet client needs comprehensively, but also strengthens internal collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Monitoring activator behaviors and impact across the firm

Introhive allows firms to identify high performers and analyze their approach, enabling firms to replicate successful strategies across the board. In assessing the performance of the entire team, metrics on revenue gains can help firms see which relationships are contributing to revenue, while seeing the number of collaborators contributing to client accounts can help firms adopt proactive strategies to increase the breadth of the connections across key accounts. These proactive approaches ensure that activator behaviors are not only encouraged but also consistently exhibited throughout the organization to drive sustainable growth across different practice areas and service lines.

Enabling activators with technology

Introhive catalyzes activator behaviors in professional services firms. Through our platform, activators streamline business development, boost client engagement, and foster sustainable growth. 

Here’s how Introhive’s client relationship intelligence platform empowers activators:

  • Integrating relationships: Introhive’s platform seamlessly integrates individual relationships into the firm’s collective network. By creating a comprehensive view of all client interactions and connections, our platform ensures that activators can leverage the full breadth of their firm’s network to drive revenue growth.
  • Creating relationship maps: Our sophisticated relationship mapping tools provide visual representations of the firm’s network, empowering activators to identify key connections and opportunities for growth. With Introhive, activators can prioritize their efforts and focus on nurturing relationships that have the greatest potential for success.
  • Company digests: Activators can subscribe to Introhive’s company digests to stay informed about developments within client accounts they’re interested in. These digests deliver valuable insights that enable activators to anticipate client needs and engage proactively to add value.
  • Pre-meeting digests: Introhive’s platform delivers pre-meeting digests that equip activators with relevant information about clients before meetings. By providing insights into client preferences and priorities, these digests enable activators to engage clients effectively and drive meaningful conversations.
  • Advanced analytics: Our platform offers advanced analytics capabilities that allow firms to monitor activator behaviors and track key metrics such as multithreading accounts and executive alignment. By analyzing these metrics, firms can identify high performers and replicate successful strategies across the organization.

Next steps

By fostering activator mindsets and behaviors, Introhive’s relationship intelligence platform empowers professional services teams to generate value, seize opportunities, and propel sustainable growth throughout the firm. Request a demo to learn more.

Sign up for our newsletter
today for the best
Client intelligence insights.