7 Habits of Highly Effective CRM Consultants
CRM consultants are not exactly a welcome lot in the industry. In fact, as a rule, consultants are usually looked upon with distrust. Given the high rate of failure with deployments, CRM consultants are often required to put up with unsatisfied customers who want their money back.
The success of a CRM deployment depends to a very large extent on the capabilities of the team of CRM consultants overseeing the project. Here are seven habits that ideally, all CRM consultants should possess.
- Be the right consultant.
Companies looking to deploy a CRM solution are not in the best position to decide upon a CRM consultant; they have already spent too much energy trying to select CRM software. As a consultant, you should clarify your capabilities at the very beginning – it benefits everybody involved. Your chances of adding a successful CRM deployment to your roster increase and the company can hope to start achieving an ROI swiftly.
- Understand the significance of an integrated approach.
CRM consultants, whether they operate at a strategic level or at the implementation level, need to recognize the importance of an integrated approach, which stresses both the technological as well as strategic aspects of CRM.
- Understand what CRM means for your client.
CRM is a broad subject; as a consultant you are expected to be an independent voice on what’s best for your client. However, do take your client’s expectations into consideration. After all, it is his requirements from an SFA or an e-commerce module that you are expected to fulfill.
- Leverage your experience.
This is a basic rule in consulting. Some issues are industry-specific and some are not. Wear your thinking hat at all times. Refer to previous projects, and you will not have to reinvent the wheel. As a result, you save valuable resources for your customer.
- Remember that CRM modifies employee behavior.
CRM tools modify employee behavior. They bring about changes in business processes that employees may have to get used to. An effective CRM consultant always has room for the human angle in his CRM deployment plan.
- Be there for the company.
CRM deployments usually overshoot their timeframe. CRM consultants who spare time for their clients even after their contractual obligations are fulfilled are sincerely appreciated for their gesture.
- Maintain your integrity.
A consultant’s integrity is key to his work. It’s not uncommon for vendors to court CRM consultants, expecting them to suggest their products/services to a company. However, as a consultant, your client’s agenda is paramount in building a career in CRM consultancy. Integrity is also paramount.
CRM consultants who remember that their job involves customer relations are likely to do well. People skills are important. A CRM deployment touches every department in an organization and as a consultant, you have to sometimes deal with conflicting interests within a company. To achieve a successful CRM deployment, keep in mind the seven habits mentioned above.