Awards case study: How PwC drove £250,000 revenue in just six months through its CFO Quest programme

Discover how PwC's programme with the London Business School to prepare the CFOs of the future unlocked new revenue and drove advocacy and loyalty

Summary

PwC teamed up with the London Business School to provide a comprehensive, structured programme, combining the power of academic knowledge with practical business experience to prepare future finance professionals as they progress towards CFO roles.

The CFO Quest programme is aimed at finance directors, financial controllers and divisional CFOs who are preparing to take on CFO roles in the future. The programme takes 25 participants from across the sectors on a journey to understand how the role of the CFO is evolving – through the disruptive and technologically advanced times in which we are living in today.

The aim is to provide support and guidance to its clients every step of the way along their individual career journey by offering them a ‘best-in-class’ programme. This approach will create better client experience throughout the client journey by understanding our clients’ needs at a deeper level, and being able to respond to the key moments that matter - increasing retention, creating loyalty, advocacy and long-term client engagement.

PwC's CFO Quest Programme

About PwC

PwC is a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London and ranks as the second largest professional services firm in the world.

Its purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. It's a network of firms in 158 countries with over 250,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services.

Strategy

The biggest challenge at PwC is differentiating from its competitors and remaining relevant in a complex and changing world. This programme creates a unique and innovative experience that brings to life the core purpose of ‘building trust in society and solving important problems’.

Aligned to its strategic priorities;

  • Delivering exceptional client value by offering a unique and innovative experience to clients through the partnership with the London Business School.
  • Empowering its people by providing a platform for them to share their expertise and knowledge with clients, leveraging their networks with external speakers sharing their experiences.
  • Leading by example by sharing examples of how PwC tackles external business issues through storytelling and sharing innovative solutions.
  • Contributing to sustainable and profitable growth by enabling people to build relationships and unlock revenue opportunities.
  • Positioning itself as the leading technology-enabled firm through its tech savvy, Intelligent Digital approach. The business is reliant on the ability to deliver an exceptional client experience, built on meaningful and trusted relationships.

It does this through listening to its clients, gathering these insights and connecting these across the firm to inform our proposition and thought leadership development and move our clients to stronger advocates and influencers

Objectives of the campaign

This programme offers structured learning and development to equip future leaders with the skills and knowledge to transition to more senior roles.

The overall programme ambition is to help clients:

  • Build leadership knowledge, skills and competence
  • Develop greater self-awareness and self-regulation
  • Build greater emotional intelligence needed for effective leadership provide space and time to explore leadership in context with internal and external experts, peers and executive coaches
  • Connect clients with peers who are experiencing similar challenges, establishing networks for life.

To help PwC:

  • Increase the strength of relationships with current and future CFOs
  • Offer an exceptional client experience to drive loyalty and advocacy
  • Reinforce our expertise and create platforms to position our subject matter experts
  • Unlock new revenue opportunities and build trust in the market
  • Raise internal and external awareness about CFO Quest, increase engagement, nominations to the programme and client referrals.

Client experience = connected, convenient, relevant

  • Easy access to the best the firm has to offer – tech enabled high quality personalised content, insights and contacts
  • Tailored personal and professional development opportunities relevant to each stage of the career lifecycle
  • High quality connections with exclusive peer group, x-industry to easily build relevant networks
  • Personal and professional brand enhancing opportunities through the exchange of ideas, insights, knowledge and connections.

The target audience

  • Financial controllers, finance directors or deputy CFO one to two years away from their first CFO role
  • FTSE 100-FTSE 250 companies within priority accounts
  • Individuals cross-industry
  • Located within the UK.

Issues associated to appealing to this audience

  • Being able to offer them powerful enough reasons why they should attend the event, given seniority level and numerous other events available to them.
  • A well-established competitor programme already in existence.

Media, channels or techniques used

The aim was to provide a bespoke and personal experience for priority clients, so it used an internal communications plan as the primary driver leveraging our internal networks. Lead relationship partners of priority accounts were asked to nominate their clients, creating an exclusive ‘by invitation only’, not mass market approach.

Internal awareness campaign

  • @PwC news (firmwide PwC internal news channel)
  • UK partner bulletin board (electronic channel for partners) Internal plasma screens (video content)
  • Internal posters
  • Regional newsletter
  • UK account drivers forum.

Assets used for campaign

  • Personal video welcome pack
  • Jam Boards at launch event
  • Creation of event app for all content, including further library of relevant insights Internal video to drive nominations
  • Event banner stands
  • Launch event images.

Timescales of the campaign

Pre-programme activity: September 2017-January 2018

  • External market research into CFO programmes
  • London Business School discussions about partnership
  • Discussion with PwC experts on relevant topics
  • Survey to current CFOs to understand their issues.

Internal awareness/nomination campaign: January 2018-April 2018

  • @PwC news (firmwide PwC internal news channel)
  • UK Partner Bulletin Board (PwC electronic channel)
  • Internal plasma screens (video content)
  • Internal posters
  • Regional newsletter
  • UK account drivers’ forum

External communications to delegates: June 2018-September 2018

  • Personal video welcome pack
  • 1:1 onboarding and objective calls
  • Reminder email to download app
  • Reminder launch event email
  • Launch event – 6 September 2018
  • Module 1, Day 1 and 2 – 26 and 27 September 2018
  • Module 2, Day 1 and 2 – 27 and 28 November 2018

Follow-up activity: December 2018-May 2019

  • Post-event engagement analysis
  • Debrief session with PwC lead relationship partners/account teams, insights to inform future content
  • Debrief with London Business School and PwC partner sponsor
  • Success stories shared to demonstrate value of programme
  • Reflections event for delegates

Results

Client satisfaction survey:

  • 96% of delegates rated the overall programme as ‘exceeded expectations’
  • 100% advocacy score (clients who would recommend the programme)
  • 100% app engagement (both cohorts continuing to use it even now: Cohort 1 - March/May 2018, Cohort 2 - Sept/Nov 2018)

Relationship building with priority clients:

  • 50 priority clients have been through two cohorts of the programme
  • Three delegates have moved in CFO role
  • Delegates suggesting future nominations for the programme within their team

Lead opportunities:

  • £250,000 revenue obtained in the first six months with strong current pipeline.

"As sponsor of CFO Quest, I was incredibly impressed with the way that all of the sessions were run - you really did show the best of PwC! The verbal feedback has been really positive, and all sessions had great engagement by the participants which is feedback in itself."

Sally Cosgrove, partner sponsor, PwC

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