Gartner Research

Competitive Differentiation in Consulting Services: When Does It Matter (and When Does It Not)?

Published: 12 March 2020

ID: G00465081

Analyst(s): Brendan Williams , Chrissy Healey


Consulting buyers focus on relative differences between providers later in the buying process than many providers assume. Early in the process, product managers need to focus less on the competition and more on increasing brand awareness and developing a compelling value proposition for clients.

Table Of Contents


  • How Important Is Differentiation to Consulting Buyers?
  • What Does the Consulting Sales (Buying) Process Look Like From the Buyer’s Perspective?
  • When During the Consulting Buying Process Does Differentiation Become Most Relevant?
    • Phase 4, Market Scan
    • Phase 5, Initial Evaluation
    • Phase 6, Detailed Evaluation
  • Conclusion

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