What is a CRM Consultant?


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What is a CRM Consultant? OK, first let’s talk about what most people believe is a CRM Consultant. They may believe, in the early stages, that the guy trying to sell the CRM Software is a consultant. Then, the confusion begins when they approve the deal and begin working with a kid who’s going to be doing the customizations. Since this is where all that wonderful value is supposedly being created, he gets to call himself a consultant too.

In fact, neither of these people, at least in the mainstream sense, are what I would call a CRM consultant; but I don’t make the rules. I would call the first a sale person and the latter a contractor. A contractor is someone who’s focus is squarely on the input side of the equation: Tasks, Deliverables, Activities, and Methodology. This isn’t where the results live, therefore it’s not where the value lives. It’s also nearly impossible to estimate the level of inputs required to satisfy a result you and your client have never discussed – which can lead to relationship friction.

“Wait a minute,” you say, “isn’t successfully installing software a result?”

A consultant, on the other hand, is someone who builds a client relationship around results. Things that have a positive impact on the company’s situation. Improvements in things that can be measured and also have some relationship with value – whether it’s traditional bottom line stuff, or simply improving collaboration across teams (which has bottom line value too).

In the perfect world, a CRM consultant really falls into the management consulting side of things – with a focus on the customer’s experience. They shouldn’t be selling software but they need to understand what it can do. They should be assisting a company in the identification of issues that, when resolved, will make the company more competitive, more profitable, or some other type of positive, and dramatic, result. And these should be achieved by maximizing the value delivered to their customers. It really doesn’t matter what the input side of the equation needs to be to accomplish this. The input will always be a commodity if it’s not associated with a measurable, and valuable result.

If you do the job right, sure, you may very well add even more value assisting your client in the selection of tools that support new, innovative, customer-centric, workflows and processes. But now, your focus is tighter. Your client only needs what they need, and they know what they need thanks to your consulting.

Next post: What is a Social Management Consultant? Please send me emails to help me figure this one out

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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