The days are gone when CRM meant massive and costly software that needed a whole army of experts to take care of its installation, management, and maintenance. With the arrival of cloud technology and SaaS (Software as a Service), CRM has received a complete makeover.
Cloud computing has changed the IT terrain drastically. With several enterprises leaning towards cloud technology, CRM systems are technically cutting-edge and user-friendly. They provide a plethora of opportunities for innovation and are designed to meet the requirements of kinds of businesses or industries.
The rapid growth of CRM products like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 in today’s day and age has created an avenue for a lot of professionals. CRM concentrates on building solutions which apply the principles of innovation, best practices, and seamless approach. The need for latest CRM systems has led to rising demand for expert consultants in the domain.
Implementing a new CRM system like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 is perhaps one of the most significant and nerve-wracking projects an organization can undertake. It takes several months and is hard on the pocket, it’s filled with opportunities for mistakes, and if those mistakes are visible to prospects and customers, it often takes a colossal effort on the parts of both the company and its consultant to lead all the stakeholders and contributors to a definite terminus. There are so many tangents that one has to consider. Let’s discuss a few.
Know your niche
One of the main things to focus on, as a CRM consultant, is knowing the niche of your consulting business-who is your audience, the industry, size of the company, projects, duration and so on. The expediency of the SaaS model has aided many more small businesses to move to CRM software such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 in recent years. A detailed analysis can be carried out to understand your industry-specific objectives. It will not only help you identify gaps in the market where you may find your niche audience.
For CRM consultants, industry knowledge is more important than technical expertise. During the initial stages of your consulting business, your clients may come from a range of industries and business models. As you grow, you’ll discover the area you excel in and want to specialize in. Embrace that opportunity.
Certification is the key
Once you have the required industry know-how, it’s time to get your consulting business up and running. However, before you start, it is important to know more about the CRM software you’re going to represent. In today’s times, certifications build your trustworthiness. Becoming certified gives consultants, the product competency they need to work with clients expertly. It also boosts your client’s confidence in your team’s proficiencies.
Get acquainted with the business process
Usually consulting projects can be slightly unstructured – the consulting business model can still be made in a structured manner. Right from beginning, it’s important to focus on creating strong internal processes. Consulting is a people-oriented business and the quality of consulting can change from one consultant to another.
Cloud technology has helped the requirement for easily customizable business solutions. Businesses want applications that integrate well with their existing processes and suit their unique requirements. Focusing on the business process will help you with a more comprehensive picture of their overall objectives, structure, and operations.
Analyzing every aspect of your clients’ businesses will help you identify loopholes and find out opportunities to provide exceptional customer service. You will be able to custom make the CRM software such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365, to fit their goals and match against their specific business methods.
Not all clients are the same and that’s why understanding the business process of a particular client will enable to showcase your talent. It will be convenient for you to make modifications and implement a CRM software such as Salesforce or Dynamics 365 making it a seamless affair.
Train and implement
Training and implementation will bring in the desired results. Your planning and efforts won’t create much of a ripple if these two factors aren’t involved. While the implementation of new CRM software, it is important to understand the changes that an enterprise may face. Change is always followed by uncertainty. The fear of the unknown can push people into believing that the system is unfriendly and has been implemented for policing purposes.
This risk can be mitigated by effective communication with the end-users at the beginning of the implementation stage. It is also useful to speak with a few users to understand their perspective and incorporate their feedback or ideas into the design of the software. Providing them with role-based training to ease their fear can help them understand the utility of the CRM software. It is a good practice to set the right expectations with the clients about the uses and the scalability of the CRM software. An implementation process is beneficial when it is comprised of different stages.
Create a project plan with the relevant dates and the steps involved in each stage. Share the plan with the client and take their feedback on what else can be incorporated. Remember, the next set of functions should be introduced after the users get accustomed to the initial phases.
All about the bond
You’ve probably always have understood that people and the relationships that you harbor with them form a major chunk of your objective. And if you’re serious about making your consulting practice a success, then you must be implementing it already. Your project calendar and your daily work depends a lot on maintaining positive relationships with clients, partners, freelancers, and other consultants.
Needless to say, it’s important to stay connected with clients even post-implementation. Gathering feedback and suggestions for changes in the system will allow continuous improvement. The success of any consulting business depends entirely upon the relationships you build with your clients and how you maintain them over the long term.
We have been in the CRM consulting& staffing field for over a decade now. And coming from experience, we can say that it is so important to maintain an honest, trustworthy and an open line of communication with your clients. Most businesses run on the trust factor. The clients invest their time, money and their trust for getting the best possible solution out of the CRM software implementation. Since, CRM consulting is a specialized field and not too many firms are involved, it is still very important to make your mark.
We have been doing so for a substantial amount of years now. We have provided our clients with the best solutions when it comes to CRM consulting & staffing time and time again. Our premium staffing & CRM consultation services are designed around client’s requirements to deliver the best transforming their business with successful integrated solutions. Connect with us to know more!
Author: Mohona Dutta
LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/mohonadutta
Mohona is a Content Writer for the Marketing team in AhaApps since 2019. When she is not busy attending to her creative, technical side, she likes to binge on sitcoms on Netflix. She loves writing poems and reading short stories when she wants to break away from the humdrum of life.