ProSapient was founded in 2018 as an expert network that is machine-driven. ProSapient is headquartered in London, Barcelona, and Raleigh, with a technical development team in Ukraine. One of the co-founders was previously employed at Coleman Research. ProSapient is one of many up-and-coming expert networks that capitalise on innovative technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automatisation.
Sophie Fischer – Our Expert Network Specialist: Sophie is from Hamburg, Germany and is our specialist on Expert Networks. After several years of working as a top executive, Sophie is now an independent consultant and is signed up as a council member of several networks. When she is not helping HuginX write Expert Network reviews, she can often be found enjoying thrilling Nordic noir crime series.
“Leverage insights from the smartest people around the world and make great decisions. Whether you need to speak to five experts or five hundred, our platform helps you scale your projects without the stress.” proSapient
London-based proSapient offers the typical product mix, such as surveys and 1:1 expert consultations and a multi-vendor platform for clients in its bid to be a software-as-a-service (SaaS) for expert networks. ProSapient recently raised $10M in Series B funding after achieving 100% year-over-year revenue growth. The funds will be used to expand into the United States. ProSapient is attempting to offer a more tech-driven approach to the industry than the industry veterans GLG and Guidepoint.
How do Expert Networks operate?
New to expert networks? Here is a quick guide to 10 key steps networks take when matching experts with clients for ad-hoc phone consultations.
What is ProSapient?
You may have been doubtful if you have ever received an expert request from a network such as ProSapient. They offer hundreds of dollars for an hour to impart your expertise over a one-hour call with their clients. It might sound like a fraud; However, professional networks are in high demand and pay handsomely for those with valuable information about their industry. The invitation to join the ProSapient network could be the key to getting a well-paid extra income and spending a minimum of time.
ProSapient and other expert networks make money using your subject matter skills. They are well-paid middlemen and connect businesses with consultants in their own “community,” aka “expert network.” Why do businesses engage consultants? Because a single crucial decision can cost companies millions of dollars, and the cost of a few thousand dollars in consulting fees is nothing compared to the cost of hiring consultants.
For what is my information being used?
proSapient runs projects on behalf of management consulting firms and private equity companies. They are trying to get smart about an industry they haven’t previously done much work on and find calls with people like you to be an efficient way of finding the information they need. Your contributions are completely anonymous and are used to form the basis of studies, including market mapping and market sizing.
What can you expect to be asked during a ProSapient consultation call?
Many clients pay more than 1,000 dollars per hour to gain information from experts like you. So, what can an expert contribute to an hour-long client call? In essence, three things:
- Company deep dive: Into a specific topic or company
- Industry overview: A high-level overview of an industry segment
- Recent event analysis: Focus on recent events, such as the effect of a big merger.
Company Deep Dive
There are many use cases for clients wanting a company deep dive. A typical example is an investor who wants to know more about a company before making decisions. During the company deep-dive, the consultant might be asked to give information such as:
- Management information
- Views on customers’ opinions about a service or product
- Other information that isn’t available in reports
The industry overview can be very comprehensive. In most cases, a business speaks with various consultants to create an overall picture of the industry, its clients, and its future. This type of call is often from investors at an early evaluation stage. Subjects discussed during the industry overview call might include:
- Expected industry growth-rates
- The impact of the latest trends
- Segmentation of verticals
- Movers & shakers within the industry
Recent Event Analysis
The third type of call is from firms that consult to understand the impact of recent events such as the pandemic, a recent war, or a big merger. This information can be important for investors looking to understand how the competitive landscape changes over time. Typical subjects you’ll be asked about include:
- The impact on specific products and services
- Changes in consumer demand
- Increased competition and price compression
- Short- and long-term changes in industry growth rates
A key advantage of working for an expert network is that you’re done once a consultancy call has ended, and you hang up the phone. The firm has received what they’re looking for, and you have no more obligations in terms of follow-ups. You’ll get your consultancy fee paid, and everyone will be happy. It can’t get much simpler than this.
Am I qualified to work for ProSapient?
After discovering that expert networks are legitimate well-paying opportunities, many are hesitant to accept the value of their expertise. This is the crucial question: “Why would someone spend so much money talking to me?” Many experts experience a fleeting feeling of self-doubt or a feeling of “imposter syndrome”, but it fades fast. When new consultants receive positive feedback from clients who have benefited from the consultation, they realise the value they offer to their clients.
How do you determine whether you are eligible? Review the primary type of calls: 1) Company deep-dive, 2) Industry overview, and 3) Recent events analysis. Has a large firm employed you? or in a specific sector for an extended period? Have you trained or mentored someone in the past? If yes, you will be qualified to share your knowledge as a ProSapient consultant!
Remember that most firms are soaring into an entirely new field and are eager to understand how things operate. Often, the routine decisions you have been making for years are the ones they’re most eager to know more about. How you allocate your budget, the factors contributing to pricing decisions, and which items you plan to spend less or more on will benefit clients. An excellent rule of thumb is that if you can offer an opportunity to give a 30-minute presentation on an issue, then you are likely a good candidate for consulting on this subject matter for ProSapient.
What should be my ProSapient hourly consulting rate?
Networks can pay quite a bit, and you are not likely to undervalue or overvalue your service! The initial stages of your expert career can be charged between $75 and $150 per hour, whereas senior professionals typically make between $200 and $300 per hour. Some experts have been reported to demand $5,000 per hour, but it needs to be clarified what percentage of them are booked at that price.
ProSapient pays per minute, which means that the hourly rate you pay is just an average; you’ll receive half the hourly rate for a 30-minute call. However, if you go over one hour, the meter will continue to tick. Unlike many survey sites, expert networks like ProSapient pay very quickly after the consultation ends. Always through a cash transfer to your bank account or a prepaid visa- or master card.
Beware, ProSapient associates might try to negotiate your rates lower. Research the rates other network members charge for similar services. Then, look at other networks’ rates. For instance, a ProSapient consulting fee of $300 per hour could be charged at $500 by another company meeting with the same client. You will typically recognise the same jobs if you’re a member of several expert networks.
Are any negatives consulting with ProSapient?
Working as an advisor for ProSapient can be challenging. More highly qualified candidates get their eyes up for expert networks, meaning more experts compete for the same job. Each company has their own set of guidelines, but if you’re positioned well, ProSapient may send you a few project invitations every week.
You’re likely only invited for about a quarter or a third of invites. Responding to invitations takes between 5 and 10 minutes. And expect periods where you get a lot more “no thank you” responses than “yes, Please!” This could be slightly demotivating for those starting their work as an advisor.
Actual time spent consulting.
While the hourly rate consulting with ProSapient can seem high, keep in mind the extra time spent on “administrative” tasks that you don’t get paid for. This includes:
- Pre-screening questions: Answering these questions can often be quite detailed and take around 10 minutes. And there’s no guarantee you’ll qualify.
- Compliance: Conducting compliance training and -questions can be tedious.
- Providing professional experience: Keeping your resume up to date can take time.
- Payment: Setting up your payment options and submitting your invoice is streamlined but not fully automated.
- Preparing for the call: Finding a quiet spot, logging on a couple of minutes beforehand and creating a buffer in your calendar take time and effort.
Your billable hourly rate will be lower, considering the time spent on all the admin tasks. You should use a time-tracking app to check how much time you spend calculating your actual earnings per hour working with an expert network.
While this intricate process might seem daunting, it’s essential to remember that ProSapient is one of the companies that have streamlined their processes the most.
Also, remember that participating in an expert network call can be exhausting. While the tone of the conversation is friendly, you’ll have to tackle open-ended questions on complex subjects. The call will feel much more intense than an average company conference call. The client is paying north of $1000 per hour for your time and wants maximum value from the interaction.
From an expert perspective, it would be best to have a regular stream of project invitations, but invitations will fluctuate wildly. Especially during significant industry changes, such as when a large company is up for sale or in the aftermath of a significant merger, you will see a surge of invitations from expert networks.
How can I get more ProSapient consultation projects?
Making your profile more attractive is a great starting point for getting more traction with expert networks. Despite the current fierce competition in the market, there are some strategic actions you can adopt to improve your chances of winning more jobs. First, you must be visible, so study the keywords you would like to rank for to create a keyword-dense profile. One of the best ways to get more work is to arrive first. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to act swiftly and answer quickly. Being the first to respond may not get you the job, but it makes your name stand out.
Build confidence quickly by staying truthful and objective. First impressions count! The most dangerous thing you could do is exaggerate your experience or skills. Apply only to jobs you’re qualified to take on, and be honest when you are asked questions. Never make promises you cannot keep, or you’ll lose your credibility quickly.
Present yourself confidently as an expert, and be specific in your answers. Give enough detail on the things you’ve completed about the project. Include the facts, figures, and impacts. Demonstrate how you contributed value to earlier projects and show how valuable you could be to a potential new client. Make them believe they’re worthy of the investment!
The 1:1 Expert Call
ProSapient recruiters often reach new consultants through LinkedIn. Firms will book hourly slots to discuss operational and strategic challenges, get market feedback, and test concepts. This is a massive benefit for you as a consultant! They want to know your thoughts and solutions that could be suggested, so they’re seeking you out. This means that you can make appointments at times that are suitable for you. You do not need to prepare anything, and there’s no follow-up.
Most calls are enjoyable conversations, and both parties learn something from the conversation, which is an added benefit. Another benefit is being recognised and regarded as an expert in your field. It’s a position you’ve put in a lot of effort and time to attain. Now is the perfect time to reap the benefits.
Compliance training and sensitive information
Be aware of how to manage sensitive information. Consultants cannot share trade secrets or confidential information obtained through current or former employers. The information discussed on the call must be authorised to be released to the public. All participants in a ProSapient phone call must agree to be aware of and follow all ethical and legal rules and limitations. As part of becoming an approved network member, you’ll go through compliance training, and you can always reach out to ProSapient’s member service if you are in doubt about what can be shared.
Beyond that, there are no guidelines on how a conversation should proceed. You’re the expert; however, the client is the one who sets the tone by sharing their situation or asking them questions. Your task is to listen and respond for the duration of the conversation. Most calls are an hour long; technically speaking, ProSapient pays you per minute. You’ll be compensated for that extra time when a call is extended beyond an hour (which is often the case when you continue the conversation by adding more information).
Other earning opportunities and ProSapient surveys
ProSapient employs network members to take part in paid B2B surveys (which could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes for between $40 and $75) and attend events or meetings in small groups or teams with other people to tackle complex, small projects. Consultants can choose on which projects they will work. Some are only interested in calls, while others prefer to conduct surveys, leave the house for events, or collaborate with other consultants. If you’re looking for extra work, ProSapient provides its customers with temporary and long-term assignments.
Is ProSapient legit?
ProSapient is a legitimate global business with over 1 million paid advisors acting as network members. They rigorously vet all consultants within their network to ensure that their customers receive top-quality service for the premium fees they pay. ProSapient is among the longest-running and most certainly the biggest firms in the networks sector. ProSapient has physical locations in major cities worldwide, thousands of employees, and nearly 1 million consultants in the pipeline.
How is my data shared?
As a provider of insights, ProSapient is in the business of reselling your knowledge and information. It is important to remember that much of the information you provide as a network expert will be shared with ProSapient’s clients. This includes information such as your professional history, your answers to pre-screening questions, and your answers in surveys and during consulting calls.
What about my personal data?
Also, note that your personal should never be shared or sold for marketing purposes by 3rd parties. However, you may be contacted by ProSapient if there’s a specific consulting opportunity which requires contact details to be shared. In this case, you’ll be asked to opt-in to share your data for each opportunity in line with regional privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
What is a “single-blinded basis” consultancy call?
The advisor will need to find out whom they are consulting. On the other hand, the client will have access to information about the advisor provided by the facilitator – in this case, the expert network ProSapient. This setup’s main benefit is protecting the client regarding sensitive situations, such as M&A activities. Also, it makes it difficult for the advisor and client to “cut the middleman” and follow up without the expert network continuing to facilitate the contact. Most expert networks, including ProSapient, will, as a rule, conduct their 1:1 consultation calls on a single-blinded basis.
The advantages of being a ProSapient consultant
ProSapient is one of many companies that pay for one-to-one phone calls or surveys as well as projects; however, network members benefit professionally by being exposed to many business executives and consultants. This is extremely valuable; taking advantage of it is a learning experience. Another benefit is having access to ProSapient’s top-quality research papers, which will aid your interactions with clients and possibly your full-time work.
Network members can occasionally author these articles, which adds credibility to your brand (which is why it’s always helpful to justify a rate increase!). Some companies offer a variety of free research to publish as a reward for their staff. It’s of good quality (and sometimes, you may be able to publish your research to gain exposure.)
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