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The Ultimate CRM Guide for Consultants

Casual business lady walking to meeting with tablet in hand to show Pipedrive sales reports

Do you think your consulting firm is on the right track for growth and expansion?

Every day, your organization generates massive amounts of client data that are potentially revenue-generating. Is it recorded on clunky Excel spreadsheets or post-it notes? What you do with this data determines whether you have a chance for a successful close or not.

Say you don't have an effective system for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data about leads, prospects, and customers. In that case, you'll miss out on many conversions and sales opportunities, costing you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution to this mess—a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. 

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how to choose an effective CRM for your consulting firm and how to use it to improve your sales and business development system. 

Why Is CRM Important for Your Consulting Firm?

A survey by Forrester revealed an 89% boost in company revenue after a new CRM was implemented. Another recent Forrester report found that CRM automation alone can increase customer retention by as much as 15%.

A well-implemented CRM boosts revenue through higher sales conversion rates and better data integrity. When salespeople have easier access to recording and accessing details about prospects, they sell more, satisfy more clients, and retain them.

Let’s review some of the key benefits of CRM for your consulting firm in broader detail: 

  1. Sales Process Automation 

Getting customers through the sales funnel can be difficult sometimes. It's also difficult to manage and track multiple prospects at different stages of the funnel. So, it's important to automate as much as you can.

A CRM can help you set the groundwork for a successful sales automation process. It helps you to optimize daily routines and prioritize tasks to ensure that customers are not neglected and key prospects are contacted on time.

  1. Organized Pipeline 

Your sales pipeline will have a specific number of steps depending on your business. For consultants, the sales pipeline can be:

  • New lead
  • Initial contact
  • Solution development and proposal
  • Pitch
  • Negotiation 
  • Contract
  • Close or no close

With a CRM, you can map out each stage of your sales pipeline and have a clear view of where all your new potential clients are in the pipeline. This, in turn, will help you make the right moves to move your prospect from one stage in the pipeline to another. 

Here’s a sample of how that looks with Pipedrive.

Source

With a visual representation like this using CRM software like Pipedrive, you can get a clear vision of the number of prospects you need to reach your revenue goals. 

  1. Email Templates 

When you have multiple leads, you probably send the same email over and over. Rather than writing emails from scratch, a good CRM allows you to store and send templates quickly whenever you need to. 

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As seen in the image above, you can implement personalization, like using the recipient’s first name, to make the content tailor-made for the recipient. This helps to strengthen the client experience. 

  1. Sales Forecasting and Reporting

A good CRM system will include reporting and forecasting functionality, allowing you to create high-level dashboards and detailed reports on how well your sales function is performing.

Here is an example of a Pipedrive revenue forecast.

Source

This high-level view will enable you to assess the state of your consulting firm. Furthermore, it helps you to communicate progress and results to senior management.

5 Common Sales Activities You Can Automate Using an Effective CRM Platform 

Using an effective CRM platform, here are some of the sales processes you can automate:

  1. Creating a Sales Process 

Every firm has its own sales process. These processes are typically represented as a pipeline with stages. The benefit of using a CRM system is that you can map out these stages and track the progress of each lead as they move through the pipeline. 

  1. Conducting Email Outreach and Follow-Up

A good CRM will help you follow up on new leads and reach out to existing clients using saved email templates. You can also automate email activities for these purposes. Here are some of the email activities you can automate: 

  • Initial contact; an email thanking new leads for contacting you and inviting them to book an appointment or discovery call with you.
  • Sending information; this is usually a follow-up email to support the first email and encourage prospects to take action. It usually includes visual representations of your solution. 
  • Follow up— reminders to keep your prospects warm
  • FAQs; gather data on frequently asked questions from the past and automate email responses to these questions for new prospects.

You can also integrate email marketing and automation tools with the right CRM to boost client and lead engagement. 

A marketing automation tool you can use is Campaigns by Pipedrive. This tool integrates with Pipedrive and helps consultants create attention-grabbing email content and engage with clients. 

  1. Keeping Existing Clients Warm 

Your existing clientele is the best source of new business. As you seek solutions for them and begin working on projects, you’ll uncover new problems you can help them address with other products. You can record these opportunities against the client in your CRM software.  

If you play your cards well, you may considerably increase your sales by encouraging customers to buy other goods in addition to their original purchase.

If you know you'll struggle to engage existing clients while attracting new ones, you can ask Motii to assist with planning lead gen support, sales support, renewals and reactivation journeys. Motii works with you to tailor marketing journeys to your industry and your prospect and client base.

  1. Making Time for Cold Calling 

Cold calling can still be effective for many consultants, especially if you've narrowed down your target market and know why they'd want to give you their attention. 

A good CRM can help you automate most of the cold-calling process, increasing efficiency and yielding better results. 

Most CRM platforms will let you integrate with phone solutions to complete the task if they don't have the necessary tools built in. JustCall, for instance, is an industry-leading VoIP telephony and SMS software that integrates seamlessly with Pipedrive. 

You can make phone calls and send SMS all without ever leaving Pipedrive. Your calls and messages are all auto-logged within the system and you build up a record of communication within Pipedrive that helps ensure no sales slip through the cracks.

  1. Verifying that Your Leads Are a Good Fit

You'll be wasting a lot of time and effort if you don't qualify leads before pursuing them. This is frequently a manual process that necessitates perusing the prospect's website and socials. 

If you’re using a CRM, as new leads enter the pipeline, you may utilize data enrichment technology like Prospect.io to fill in any gaps in information such as LinkedIn profile, firm size, and other relevant information. With this information, you can determine whether or not the lead is a good fit.

How to Choose the Best CRM Platform for Your Consulting Firm 

At this point, you must be ready to implement CRM technology in your consulting business. Don’t choose just any CRM vendor. Here are steps you need to take when choosing a CRM vendor for your consulting firm.

  • Step 1 - Identify your goals and requirements. In essence, don’t pick a CRM for its features alone. Ensure it can integrate well with your processes and help you do what you’re already doing more efficiently. 
  • Step 2 - After defining your requirements, you need to allocate a budget to implement CRM.
  • Step 3 - Next, engage shortlisted vendors. Discuss your business goals, set milestones, and request references.

Requesting references is the best approach to gaining an unbiased opinion on the solution you're considering.

  • Step 4 - This is where you make the final decision. To complete this step, you should do the following:
  • Request that representatives walk you through the features of each CRM on your shortlist.
  • Examine case studies to understand how other organizations (particularly consulting firms) benefit from each CRM system. 
  • Finally, you can begin negotiating prices and conclude the deal

If you follow this approach, you’ll have all you need to make a good choice for your consulting firm. Lastly, ensure you seek opinions from your team members and even other departments in your organization. They may be able to point out something you missed.

Conclusion 

CRM technology, when implemented correctly, has the potential to improve your sales process and accelerate your business development efforts.

CRM software provides many opportunities for consulting firms to enhance their sales by providing exceptional visibility, task automation, analytics, and forecasting tools.

If you're searching for a CRM solution to improve the operations of your sales, marketing, or service teams, Motii will prove to be a useful business resource. 

Motii is a Pipedrive Elite partner in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. We offer CRM, project management, marketing automation, and telephone setup and training. Contact us today to begin transforming your consulting firm with industry experts.


Ben Fuller

Co-founder at Motii

Serial successful start-up Founder, and former C-level executive, Ben understands that data and systems are what makes everything tick.

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