His expertise lies in pricing, sales and marketing, strategy, as well as restructuring and turnaround. “No matter if a company is owned by a financial investor or held privately, the need to constantly work on the overall bottom-line by tackling revenues as well as costs is a permanently increasing challenge,” says Henning.
“I personally believe that the full upside potential of maximizing revenues and gross margins is not fully exploited yet by many companies. When it comes to going to the next level, e.g. in pricing, sales, and marketing, gut instinct is no longer enough, and you can nowadays benefit from really taking advantage of all the data you collect. You need to adopt a dual approach: data-driven on one hand, and pragmatic and user-focused on the other.”
I always had a taste for the more quantitative and analytically rigorous subjects in my school, which has allowed me to tackle commercial or profitability issues facing clients
Given the range of his work across multiple industries and sectors, Henning finds that the challenges and opportunities facing each industry are specific to each one. What they share in common, however, is that management increasingly faces numerous initiatives, ideas, and approaches when confronted with a new challenge.
“The business environment—and life itself—is becoming much more complex. Focusing on the right topics and priorities is key,” he says. “E.g. with regard to pricing, sales, and marketing, I believe that we will continue to see that shift to more data-driven insights. In previous times, a good sales manager might have been someone that understands the customers’ concerns really well and knows how to motivate his teams. This is still important, but I believe you need to pair these capabilities with a strong skillset on analytics and digital marketing.”
Henning finds that many young people who enter consulting do so with the objective of working around the world and learning a lot, e.g. with regard to strong analytics and a certain toolkit. This is good and is certainly an aspect of the journey.
But if you want to stay in the consulting business for the longer run, you need to be driven by a hunger to change things and design solutions that are sustainable.