Skip to main content

Relationship Lead

Last updated: 2022-05-23

Rationale

This document explains the role of a Relationship Lead at Infinity Works and helps you to understand what is expected of you when performing the role of Relationship Lead.

What is a Relationship Lead?

Being a Relationship Lead means being ultimately accountable for a positive relationship between Infinity Works and a client, who may have multiple accounts with us. Your actions and behaviour will set the tone for the relationship with the client and define how they feel about us as a partner.

Relationship Lead is a vital role at Infinity Works. It is important that everyone who acts in this role understands what they have signing up to. This document defines and explains the key elements of the role, as well as providing some helpful advice on how to be effective in this critical role.

This role is usually carried out by those at career level CL6 Distinguished and above.

The Role in Practice

A Relationship Lead is a role and not a job title. This means that you will have a normal 'day job', along with additional responsibilities to manage a relationship with a client, who may have several accounts with us. Personal rapport and individual style is often essential to a successful relationship, so this role is the responsibility of a single person.

The Relationship Lead takes input from any Account Leads that are engaged with the client and uses that to frame their work. The Relationship Lead works to make sure we maintain a great relationship with client across all the work we do for them.

Responsibilities

As a Relationship Lead, the things that you do and how you do them will have a defining influence on the relationship between Infinity Works and our client. Your actions can make or break our relationship with the client.

The Relationship Lead is responsible and accountable for maintaining a transparent, productive and positive relationship with client sponsors, at an executive level.

Efficient delivery of services on-time and on-budget goes a long way to establishing a good relationship with a client, but a personal relationship with the right stakeholders is also an important part of ensuring we retain and extend the work we do with the client.

The Relationship Lead must identify the key sponsors in a client business, understand their motivations, their objectives, their influences and actively work to build a personal relationship with them.

The aim is to be able to have a frank and honest conversation with key sponsors to quickly and effectively resolve any issues, position us as the trusted partner to their business and build a relationship that goes beyond their tenure at the current employer. Good personal relationships with influential people can win us new business if they move on to other potential clients.

Accountable for Client Strategy & Profitability

The Relationship Lead defines, communicates and coordinates the execution of a commercially beneficial strategy for our engagement with the client.

Beneficial, long-term relationships with clients don't happen by accident. Our engagements often start small and it takes careful planning and focus to grow our engagement in a meaningful way.

The Relationship Lead is responsible for defining a strategy that shapes and steers all our engagements with the client, making sure it aligns with the client's needs and all of our staff know how their efforts contribute to that strategy.

To build an effective strategy The Relationship Lead must understand the customers business domain, their market, their challenges, their priorities and know how Infinity Works services can be applied to help them solve their business problems and achieve their aims.

Any strategy needs to be financially viable and ultimately profitable for Infinity Works. This means carefully considering the number and type of staff that work on the engagement, what rate we bill them at and the structure of the commercial model for that account.

Escalation Point for Customer & Colleague

The Relationship Lead is the ultimate escalation and resolution point of any issues for the customer and any colleagues working with that customer.

While Account Leads are responsible for the effective day to day running of individual engagements with the client, occasionally things go wrong and the client or a member of our team needs to escalate an issue for resolution.

The Relationship Lead is accountable for the timely and sensible resolution of any issues related to their client. The objective is to maintain a positive, sensible engagement with the customer. The big decisions rest with you.

The Relationship Lead is accountable for ensuring the legal and financial agreements between Infinity Works and the customer are complete, valid, up to date and well managed.

No matter how great our relationship with the customer is, there are a range of legal and financial documents that have to be in place for us to meet our obligations as a professional business.

It's up to the Relationship Lead to make sure that all the appropriate legal and financial documentation is in place, valid, up to date and appropriately managed.

You will be aware of proposals made to the customer by others, and collaborate with the Account Lead on the key areas within a Statement of Work ahead of presentation to the customer. You should ensure that the Account Lead has worked with the legal and finance teams are fully informed on all agreements with the customer.

Regular Engagement Review

The Relationship Lead regularly reviews our engagement with the customer at a strategic level to keep the relationship are on track, ensure objectives are clear and issues are addressed.

When an engagement with a client is up and running, it's really easy to become complacent and assume that everything is going well. Even at the times when everything appears to be going well, it can be easy to forget to check how the client feels about the service that Infinity Works provide.

The Relationship Lead should host a formal engagement review with the customer on a regular basis to discuss the service being delivered, the quality of the relationship and address any issues that arise. This formal session should be augmented by informal check in sessions wherever possible.

Client Business Development

The Relationship Lead is responsible for deepening and widening our engagement with the customer where appropriate.

While an engagement may start small, we usually don't want it to stay that way. Once we have demonstrated our capability and delivered some value for the customer, it is the responsibility of the Relationship Lead to ensure that customers are aware of our additional capabilities and how additional services might benefit their business.

Techniques & Essential Measures

There are a range of tools and techniques that you can use to ensure that you are meeting the responsibilities of the Relationship Lead role.

The Relationship Lead is responsible and accountable for maintaining a transparent, productive and positive relationship with client sponsors, at a executive level.

  • Maintain a Senior Stakeholder Map to understand the sponsors and executives in the client business, their motivations and our relationships with them.
  • Use formal and informal engagements such as industry events, sporting events, lunch, dinner and coffees to build a personal rapport with sponsors and executives.
  • Conduct a monthly Service Review to discuss successes and challenges across all engagements with the client, including managed services. Assess how IW can support the wider customer roadmap through additional services.
  • Conduct a quarterly Client Satisfaction Survey & Relationship Review to measure how the client feels about IW and the services we provide.
  • Offer Value Add Services such as presentations, speaking engagements, industry events, knowledge sharing, partner introductions and co-promotion.

Accountable for Client Strategy & Profitability

The Relationship Lead defines, communicates and coordinates the execution of a commercially beneficial strategy for our engagement with the client.

  • Build and maintain a Client Strategy Canvas to understand the opportunities for each customer and how best to offer IW services, sharing it with Account Leads to maintain aligned execution.
  • Use the Finance Trackers provided by Account Leads to keep track of budgets, forecast and actual spend across the client engagement.
  • Define a Commercial Model that allows us to deliver services to the customer using a payment structure that works for them and maintains appropriate profitability for IW.
  • Review the Utilisation Report provided by Account Leads to track of how people are spending their time and ensure a sensible balance between billable account work and other activities.
  • Use the Client P&L Report to make sure you're spending money wisely and using staff in cost effective engagements.
  • Review the Aged Debt Report to ensure the client is invoiced in a timely manner and invoices are paid on time.

Escalation Point for Customer & Colleague

The Relationship Lead is the ultimate escalation and resolution point of any issues for the customer and any colleagues working with that customer.

  • Be accessible to client sponsors and stakeholders. They should be comfortable to call you whenever necessary to discuss issues and shouldn't be surprised if you call them. Share your contact details freely and encourage them to use them.
  • Be accessible to IW staff working on the engagements and understand how they feel. Use OfficeVibe and walk the floor to keep your finger on the pulse and be ready to act early to head off emerging issues.
  • Be prepared to take ownership and act decisively to ensure any issues are effectively resolved.

The Relationship Lead is responsible for ensuring the legal and financial agreements between Infinity Works and the customer are complete, valid, up to date and well managed.

  • Ensure that all engagements have an appropriate MSA or CCSA in place that has been reviewed and approved by the legal team, before works starts.
  • Review all Statements of Work and related proposals for sound commercial and legal terms, before they are issued to customers.
  • Review the financial and legal position of your client engagement monthly.
  • Ensure Aged Debt is appropriately managed and no invoice is >30 days late.

Regular Engagement Review

The Relationship Lead regularly reviews our engagement with the customer at a strategic level to keep things are on track, ensure objectives are clear and issues are addressed.

  • Conduct a monthly Service Review to discuss successes and challenges across all engagements with the client, including managed services. Assess how IW can support the wider customer roadmap through additional services.
  • Conduct a quarterly Service Quality Questionnaire to evaluate how the customer perceives IW, taking appropriate action to address any issues that are raised.
  • Spend time with the client to understand how they really feel 'off the record'. Coffee, Beer and Lunch are all effective excuses to be honest with one another.

Client Business Development

The Relationship Lead is responsible for deepening and widening our engagement with the customer where appropriate.

  • Use the Strategy Canvas to identify opportunities to help the client with their challenges.
  • Collaborate with the Business Development Director to ensure that the customer understands the IW Service Offerings and the benefits they can bring to their business.
  • Offer appropriate Value Added Services like Well Architected Reviews, Firm Foundations, Think Tanks, 101's and co-hosted events to deepen our engagement with the customer.

ISO

You'll carry out your role in accordance with the requirements of ISO9001 and ISO27001 as reflected in the Company's policies and procedures and the ISO9001 and ISO27001 organisational structure charts.