It’s true that Vertical IQ was originally created by bankers, for bankers, but the value and benefits of our Industry Intelligence extend well beyond just banks. We recently hosted the latest installment of our popular webinar series “How Experienced Financial Pros Use Vertical IQ,” which features a panel of users sharing their real-world applications. In 2024, we updated the series to offer a banker and non-banker rotation. Our esteemed guests on the latest panel included a diverse group of non-banker financial professionals:

      • Bryan Acuto, Equity Partner and Director of Operations for Cunningham & Associates, a specialty tax consulting firm
      • Melina Naidu, Manager on the transfer pricing team at Marcum LLP, a public accounting firm that provides tech services, audit, and advisory services
      • Ray Skaug, President of Rainier Business Intelligence, which has developed innovative software for small and lower mid-market businesses for their purchase/sale and mergers/acquisitions
      • Mike Viney, Research and Innovation Strategist at Nymbus, a digital banking and core technology provider

These experienced professionals offered some sage guidance on how they and their teams are leveraging Industry Intelligence. Here are three of the key takeaways shared.

1. The primary business case for using Vertical IQ is about gaining a better understanding of the client or prospect.

Our panel began by sharing their unique use cases. For example, Melina and her team at Marcum LLP are leaning on Vertical IQ to do their pre-call functional analysis of a client. Prior to a call, “I will go on Vertical IQ … and I print out the Industry Profile to help me prepare for the questions that I would be asking,” says Melina.

Bryan with Cunningham & Associates also uses Industry Intelligence to prepare for initial conversations. He explains, “Maybe it’s an industry I haven’t particularly worked in … and we’re strategizing on how we’re going to hold that initial pitch. … I can go through and really understand how the firms in a space are operating.” He also incorporates Vertical IQ’s Business Valuation data into reports.

Ray notes that Rainier Business Intelligence heavily relies on Industry Intelligence “to help people speak a language that a bank will understand.” Leaning on content like the Call Prep Questions, How Firms Operate, and Credit Underwriting & Risk, Ray and his team help businesses share their narratives in a thorough, accurate manner that will address bank underwriters’ questions about potential risks.

Mike says that Nymbus uses Industry Intelligence to “build a picture of a specific small business vertical and understand what the addressable market opportunity looks like.” Additionally, he and his team use it to strategize by understanding the specific challenges the business owners may face.

2. Vertical IQ is valuable not only for preparation but also as a shareable resource.

Our panelists agree that Industry Intelligence is a helpful, time-saving tool for preparing for conversations with prospects and existing clients. It allows them to understand how an industry operates, trends, potential risks, common terminology, and much more. But also mentioned taking advantage of the easy-to-share nature of the content.

Melina says she prints the customer-friendly version of the Industry Profile to share with business owners and as an appendix on their transfer pricing documentation reports. She observes: “Those [Industry Profile] reports look beautiful; it’s so well done. It’s easy to follow. … This is a great value for us to show our client.” Additionally, Melina says, “For any tax authority that was to audit this client … they will see that we pull this industry analysis and that we did our research.”

Bryan emphasizes that for him and his team, “everything needs to be analysis-based, documentation-based, and data-based.” Therefore, it’s important to share industry-specific financial benchmarks and other quantifiable data to back up their analysis and recommendations.

Mike notes the value of being able to export data from Vertical IQ. “If you’re looking to do any sort of sector analysis or present data to a client in a more detailed way, being able to export it into an Excel spreadsheet, create your own analysis, and then send that [to the client] … has been really valuable for us.”

3. Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence positions the entire team as trusted advisors.

When you understand a business owner’s industry, you can tailor your conversations and solutions to better meet their unique needs. You can also position yourself as a knowledgeable resource to them and their business, differentiating you from the competition.

Bryan underscores that using Industry Intelligence helps establish everyone in their firm as a trusted advisor. He notes important data he finds within Vertical IQ within the client file so that other members of his team are also aware of it. In client conversations, “it’s going to make our whole team sound more professional and really inspire more confidence with the client.”

Melina stresses the importance of showing a client that you have taken the time to learn about their business. She even notes that having industry knowledge can be the deciding factor in whether a client chooses to work with [Marcum] versus another transfer pricing services advisor.

Mike says that Vertical IQ enables them to have strategic conversations that align with the prospective client’s goals. “We don’t go into an initial conversation saying, ‘This is what we should do.’ We walk into it saying, ‘Here’s the data. Here’s what it’s telling us. Here’s our recommendation.’

Ray also found that incorporating Industry Intelligence bolsters his firm’s standing with clients. “We are presenting ourselves as industry experts and trusted advisors. That doesn’t come from our inherent ability but from our acquired ability — from our partners like Vertical IQ.”

Adding value across the business spectrum with Industry Intelligence.

Whether you are in accounting, tech, financial services, business consulting, or just about any field that works with business owners, you can benefit from incorporating Industry Intelligence into your sales and client management processes. As this panel of experts has demonstrated, there are numerous ways to use Vertical IQ to save time, prepare more effectively, win more deals, and elevate your team to trusted advisor status.

Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more or to get a demo!

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