The first step is to define what a consultant is and what he or she does. A CRM consultant is a person who tries, from the first interactions with a customer, to determine the motivations that underpin the need or desire to implement a CRM solution in the organization. Many entrepreneurs or managers rightly or wrongly believe that implementing a CRM will automatically lead to increased revenues or better control of sales activities or increased customer loyalty. It is true that CRM software, whatever the manufacturer (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar CRM, ZohoCRM, etc.) can achieve these objectives, but it is often more the method of implementation than the selection of the solution that will ensure the achievement of the objectives and the best return on investment
Indeed, several studies show that to obtain optimal results, CRM must first integrate with existing systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Email management software (Outlook, Gmail ), Accounting software (Quickbook, Acomba, Advantage, Sage) and other applications. In addition to integration, the CRM consultant will also ensure that the software is well aligned with business processes and assist management in optimizing them. CRM technology automates many of these processes and increases their efficiency. So we must not hesitate to question them. He or she will also advise on the various applications available that will allow a more optimal use of the tool such as those used for Marketing automation (Marketo, Pardot, Act-On). And finally, we must involve as much as possible the users in the process review and in the customization of the modules that will constitute the CRM. The consultant will act as a trainer and coach so that each user appropriates the CRM and considers it as an indispensable tool for its daily work. He will also make knowledge transfer and document processes to avoid any dependency on his client.
The CRM consultant, unlike a software vendor, will not attempt to persuade to buy a particular solution. It will make recommendations based on specific needs in terms of functionality and existing systems. He may act as a project manager and work in collaboration with software providers. It will have priority to defend the interests of the client and to guide the decisions according to the different stages of realization.
In summary, the value of the CRM consultant lies mainly in its ability to accompany managers in the implementation of CRM. He will work closely with sales, marketing, customer service and IT teams to ensure the success of the project and will surely save thousands of dollars to the company by better planning and understanding of the business and its objectives.