If we haven’t met, perhaps I should introduce myself.
I’m Steve Tennant, Managing Director of Tennant Consulting, a management consulting firm located in San Francisco. We provide business strategy and Customer Experience (CX) consulting services to grow B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) and technology companies. Most clients are located in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with others in other parts of the US. We work with our clients’ teams globally.
My passion is working with leaders and their teams to transform my clients’ customer experience and bring new solutions to market — and make the planet a little better. In 2022, Tennant Consulting celebrates twenty-one years of joint success with our clients. I’m proud of the trust, great relationships, and accomplishments we’ve achieved together.
Since its founding in 2001, Tennant Consulting has focused on Internet, SaaS, Cloud, and high-tech startups. We have:
- Worked with over 30 Tech companies, including SaaS, enterprise software, storage, networking, and security solutions.
- Led transformational initiatives to improve customer experiences, facilitated cross-functional workshops, created or enhanced customer success operations, built premium service portfolios, and created recurring revenue streams at companies like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Aruba Networks, and Zendesk.
- Driven clients’ strategy, marketing, product management, services, support, customer success, and alliance operations, avoiding common pitfalls and delivering top-line results.
- Sold products to, built solutions for, and serviced multiple industries, including utilities, insurance, capital markets, retail, government, high-tech, manufacturing, and banking.
- Conducted win/loss and competitive intelligence projects.
- Developed companies’ strategies, positioning and messaging.
- Led efforts to take companies and business units in completely new strategic directions.
- Lectured at UC Berkeley, Stanford Continuing Studies, Technology Ventures, and the Silicon Valley Forum.
I have spent my career understanding how to develop, market, sell, service, and support technology solutions that help my clients address their customers’ most pressing business challenges. While I don’t yet know your situation, chances are, I’ve seen something close to it.
How Tennant Consulting Is Different
We view your business holistically. While many consultants are specialists for a particular function — a sales methodology guru, branding expert, demand generation whiz, customer success expert, leadership coach, etc. who know their domain — we are familiar with all functions and examine the entirety of your business. We start with a clear identification of your target customer and the problem or challenge they have. We talk to your customers about their goals, desired outcomes, pain points and how satisfied they are with existing solutions today. We assess how all your functions — sales, marketing, product/engineering, services, customer success, and technical support, plus support functions in HR, IT, and Finance, and your partner ecosystem — align to address the customer’s problem. We identify the changes needed across all functions to deliver customer business outcomes, including aligning all the necessary stakeholders.
Our strategies are grounded in reality. When there’s not a pandemic, we go to your workplace, or ideally your customers’ sites, to get a first-hand understanding of how people are working, their needs, and existing solutions. With a pandemic, we do as much of this as we can virtually. We grab a shovel, put the headset on, join sales calls, or observe what those “doing the work” are doing. We interview your customers and partners. We see far too many companies and consultants drawing conclusions and developing strategies without talking to employees, customers, and partners. With us, you get strategies grounded in your customers’ reality, where the rubber meets the road.
We only engage if we can deliver a strong ROI for you. We set the bar unusually high and turn away more projects than we accept. I have learned A LOT working with and for a myriad of consulting firms, and have my own philosophy and passionate beliefs about how consultants should and should not operate to create client value. Along the way, I have observed good and bad consulting business models. Leaders of large consulting firms are promoted based on generating tens of millions in revenue by putting huge teams of consultants to work. We haven’t found a large consulting firm yet whose leaders’ compensation is directly based on delivering value to customers. In our work, we jointly focus on the value you’ll receive from us working together, from our initial conversations. Together, we ensure at least a 5-10X ROI, or we don’t start. When appropriate, we’ll share the risk with you. This approach reduces your risk and increases the likelihood of your success. I’m not completely altruistic: when we do this together, you will likely want to use Tennant Consulting again and refer us to others.
We use a unique collaborative methodology that increases project success rates. Our collaborative problem-solving methodology increases your team’s ownership and alignment for a solution and approach to implement it. Tennant Consulting is the only tech industry consulting firm using this methodology. After using it, clients have said things like, “We’re finally talking about the things we need to talk about around here to move forward,” “Wow, how did you do that!” and “So, can I learn how to do that?” This collaborative approach is radically different from most other consulting firms. In my experience, large consulting firms focus on pushing pre-defined solutions, work more with their staff than your teams, and frequently “steamroll” the client on the problem, approach, and solution. The net effect is low buy-in from your team because this is the consulting firm’s solution, not your team’s solution. Lower buy-in means these consulting firms deliver less solution adoption and poorer results.
We’re interested in delivering exceptional value to you. We don’t win by keeping our consulting “bench” busy. We don’t play the labor rate arbitrage game by shifting workloads to lower-cost countries. My vision for Tennant Consulting is to be a premier tech industry consulting firm based on the Hollywood model. In Hollywood, people come together to work on a movie or TV series, and when the production is over, they disband and go on to the next project. People have a strong network and work together because they are known for their craft. We have no sales and marketing team to pay. You don’t have to subsidize groovy consultant workspaces in a hip office building, fund boondoggle offsites, pay for our receptionists, or sponsor our “wall of snacks.” We don’t have those! We deliver value to clients, and this model works. Having done this since 2001, with multiple years of repeat clients, you can be the judge as to whether it is working.
You benefit from a pretty darn good network. When you need more assistance than I can provide, I collaborate with my network of experts. That means you get the needed expertise without hiring full-time employees. Sometimes, folks in my network bring me in to solve client problems. Other times, I bring them in. To help my clients more, I founded the 5,800+ member PeopleSoft Alumni Network, a corporate alumni association of former PeopleSoft employees. Most have migrated in the last 20 years to leadership roles in software and tech companies across the San Francisco Bay Area and worldwide. My software and technology industry clients benefit from the alumni network and my network for quick advice and specialty consultants.
Continue the tour by learning about the clients we serve.