Selecting CRM Consulting Services: The Definitive Guide 

The market for customer relationship management (CRM) software and tools is growing quickly. In 2019, the global CRM market revenue was 42,707 million dollars. In 2021, it rose to 52,856 million dollars.  

Now, the global CRM market is expected to reach USD 157.53 billion in value by 2030, up from USD 71.06 billion in 2023, while exhibiting a CAGR of 12.0% between 2023 and 2030. 

This compound annual growth rate (CAGR) proves the wisdom of investing in CRM, yet many businesses struggle to identify which systems are best for their needs and how to ensure they extract maximum return from these investments. Too often, this uncertainty impacts employee productivity, sales efficiency, and customer satisfaction, and that’s where CRM consulting services come in. 

Importance of CRM for Business Success 

Before understanding all the aspects of CRM consulting, you need to understand the many uses of a CRM first. 

Accurate Data

Customer data is crucial for running a business, but it is time-consuming to keep it current. CRM software offers a space to place, organize, and update all data. You can input data from social media, advertising, customer service experiences, and other sources to better understand who your customers are and what they need.  

Updating this data will only take a few minutes compared to the potential hours it takes without CRM software. 

Automation of Daily Tasks 

CRM software can automate various functions by analyzing business data and sourcing the best responses. Such tasks include: 

  • Providing customer service  
  • Recording interactions with customer service team members 
  • Sending email follow-ups and sequences 
  • Managing inventory 
  • Nurturing leads 
  • Creating performance reports 
  • Reporting on sales  
  • Creating sales workflows 

Collaboration  

A surprising benefit of CRM software is that it can improve collaboration among your team. All your data is in one place, allowing different team members to view and update that information. The right system also improves strategy sessions for sales.  

Adaptability 

Every business owner wants their company to grow, and CRM software can make the transition of scaling your business smoother. Not only is adding data quick and easy, but most CRM software has different editions to better suit businesses of all sizes.  

What Are CRM Consulting Services? 

CRM consulting service providers help organizations select (or upgrade) and deploy their CRM systems. Some also provide post-implementation support and ongoing management. The scope of services offered may include conducting an initial review or assessment, drawing up an implementation roadmap, and conducting end-user training. 

The ultimate goal of engaging a CRM consulting service provider is to ensure that your sales, marketing, and customer service teams have the tools they need to build, manage, and retain relationships with your customers and drive greater sales volumes. 

What Is the Role of a CRM Consultant? 

The role of a CRM consultant is to provide a client with one-on-one attention and expertise to determine what platform suits their needs best. Understanding the full scope of a client’s business takes time, and having a dedicated consultant makes finding the ideal software easier.  

A CRM consultant can also assist with integrating the software, training, and troubleshooting technical problems. 

Benefits of Implementing CRM Consulting Services 

Every organization will reap its own rewards by drawing on the expertise of an expert CRM consulting partner. However, here are some of the benefits common to all: 

Platform Selection 

Not every CRM system is suitable for every business. Seasoned CRM consultants will be well-versed in all the options available on the market and will help you select one that aligns with your unique business needs. 

Cost Efficiency 

If you choose the incorrect platform, not only will you find that it fails to deliver the expected outcomes, but you could also find yourself paying for features you don’t need and never use. Even worse, you could end up paying the price in terms of a costly and reputation-crippling data security breach. A CRM consulting partner helps you side-step such issues. 

Integration and Interoperability 

A CRM consultant takes care of testing, deploying, and optimizing your new system, while ensuring that your CRM interoperates effectively with your other enterprise systems.  

End-User Training and Support 

Your investment will go to waste if your employees don’t feel confident nor comfortable using your CRM tools. Your CRM consultant can schedule comprehensive training sessions, whether in-person or virtual, to ensure a smooth onboarding process. This ensures that every team member quickly becomes adept at using and appreciating their new tools, and the consultant can also help with ad hoc support in case of any issues. 

Customization and Custom Software Development 

The best CRM consulting firms will consider your specific circumstances, employees, operations, industry, and many other factors to create a customized CRM platform to serve your needs. This holds true whether you’re creating an entirely new platform or augmenting an existing one. Ideally, they’ll also be well-versed in custom software development relevant to your industry. 

Scalability 

Organizations change over time and many experience periods of rapid growth, contraction, or diversification. When this happens, you need your CRM platform to flex and adjust accordingly. A good CRM consulting partner will work with you to modify your software as your business evolves. Required actions could include adding new employees, interrogating new data sets, or extending the platform’s capabilities. 

Common Challenges Addressed by a CRM Consulting Service 

Still not sure if CRM consulting is necessary for your business? Here are some common problems companies face with using CRM software that a consultant can help you overcome or avoid altogether.  

Choosing the Wrong CRM Software 

Choosing the wrong CRM software will cause a cascade of problems for your business, including potentially damaging its reputation. However, the amount of options can be overwhelming. Working with a CRM consulting professional helps to narrow down your choices.  

WayPath CRM consultants focus on each client’s business needs, focusing on finding the right software rather than the most expensive or feature-packed solution. Your WayPath consultant will take note of your budget, business size, technology expertise level, and other needs. Using a CRM consultant saves time, money, and even your business’s reputation.  

Struggling with Setup or Integration of CRM Software 

Once you’ve selected your CRM system, the process of getting it operational can pose challenges, particularly for those without experience in integrating software into their business operations. If your CRM software lacks seamless connections to other systems within your business, it may not operate at its optimal efficiency, hindering your ability to extract data from various sources. 

Inadequate setup of the software can lead to issues such as the inability to fully leverage its capabilities and useful tools for data organization, report generation, or process automation. This is especially critical for businesses handling sensitive data, as a misstep in the CRM software integration process could potentially result in privacy law violations. 

Improper CRM Use 

What good is CRM software if you don’t know how to use it? Like a poor integration process, improper use of CRM can cut businesses off from tools that will make daily operations smoother. Additionally, not knowing how to use the software will prevent you from customizing it to suit your specific needs.  

A CRM consultant can walk you through inputting data, personalizing workflows, and keeping your message consistent across all platforms. They’ll also show you how to use the dashboard and other tools of the platform. 

Improper CRM Training of Employees 

Teaching others how to use CRM software can be difficult because everyone has different learning styles. Employees not knowing how to use CRM software can lead to mistakes affecting your business. Training multiple employees also takes a lot of time, which can slow down operations.  

A CRM consultant has the skills to teach employees how to use the software in a single training session. Because they’re experts with the software, sharing their experience with others is more effortless. When employees feel confident in their abilities, the transition to new software will go smoothly without frustration from either side.  

Technical Problems  

Problems don’t end after learning how to use the software. Adding different tools, updates, and new software can cause technical issues that may be difficult to solve. Investing in a CRM consultant resolves these problems so operations don’t have to sit on hold indefinitely.   

Who Should Use CRM Consulting Services? 

Anyone unfamiliar with CRM software should use a CRM consulting service—regardless of whether they have a system installed or not. Using this service can save time, money, and stress in choosing, implementing, and using CRM software.  

Additionally, B2B and B2C businesses struggling with customer relations should use a CRM consulting service. CRM software will significantly improve how you interact with customers and improve your business.  

Top 3 Tips on Selecting the Right CRM Consulting Service Provider 

Naturally, demonstrable technical proficiency and a solid track record in CRM engagements are among the qualities you’ll be looking for when selecting your CRM consulting services provider. Here are our top 3 additional attributes to consider: 

1. Ability to Capitalize on Out-of-the-Box Features 

While there’s certainly a place for customization and bespoke functionality, most modern CRM platforms’ out-of-the-box functionality is robust and relevant to most businesses. Seek out partners who are conversant with your selected platform and its inherent capabilities. Beware of providers who propose expensive add-ons that deliver little value or present usability challenges. 

At WayPath, our commitment is to prioritize your best interests as we navigate through CRM software options, aiming for our clients to achieve optimal ROI from their chosen platform. 

2. Industry and Domain Expertise 

The nuances and intricacies of effective CRM will vary from industry to industry. That’s why it’s best to engage a CRM consulting partner with a solid track record in planning, deploying, and managing CRM rollouts in your vertical and for companies similar in size to yours. It’s also a good idea to ask them to share details of any particular challenges they faced in executing such projects and how they overcame them.  

WayPath’s CRM consultants specialize in multiple CRM platforms across a wide range of industries to ensure we can accommodate each client’s unique needs. 

3. A User-First Mindset 

Usability is the single factor that can make or break a CRM deployment. The introduction of a new platform is often met with skepticism or rejection. That means you can’t compromise on exceptional user experience. The price of failing to prioritize usability can be grave and include stubborn resistance, with people simply reverting to their tried-and-trusted (yet inefficient) spreadsheets and manual data entry habits.  

Look for CRM consulting firms like WayPath that place a premium on balancing data quality and user-friendliness. We are platform-agnostic and focus on what you need from CRM software rather than pushing the most expensive option. 

How to Evaluate CRM Consulting Services 

When researching CRM consulting services, create a checklist for your needs. Each checklist will differ between businesses and needs, but here are some common factors a CRM consulting service should offer:  

  • Certifications in various CRM software 
  • A platform-agnostic approach to CRM 
  • Deep knowledge of different CRM software 
  • Experience working with different industries 
  • Privacy-compliant services 
  • The ability to explain complex topics 
  • The ability to solve technical problems 
  • The ability to train your employees on the CRM 
  • Excellent communication skills 

How Much Is a CRM Consultant Fee? 

A CRM consultant fee can vary based on experience, the CRM software of choice, and the time needed to implement the client’s needs, such as training, integration, and other factors.  

For an average WayPath client, basic implementation can be around $20,000, though, if you have a larger, more complex business, this price can rise to six figures.  

Case Studies 

Virginia Department of Transportation 

Being responsible for transportation infrastructure for an entire state requires constant organization and updating of information. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) needed to migrate from an on-premises CRM to the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform and contacted WayPath for their Dynamics skills to assist with the transition.   

WayPath created a roadmap for VDOT that included:  

  • Architecture designs for both systems 
  • Migration evaluations 
  • Explanation of costs 
  • Work timeline 

The transition was successful, and VDOT gave WayPath a 10/10 Net Promoter Score (NPS).  

Northeast Telecommunications Company 

A telecommunications company based in the Northeast with a hundred-year history realized they needed to upgrade their operations because of low efficiency and poor customer service experiences. The problem was that they hadn’t looked into CRM software in over a decade. 

The company contacted WayPath to decide what CRM software would best suit their growing needs. A WayPath CRM consultant worked with the client to understand their business and mapped out areas of improvement in both the company and customer experience. 

The result involved creating a detailed strategy and a three-year roadmap to modernize the client’s entire system. The project is still in progress but has already had positive outcomes.  

Final Thoughts 

Successful CRM deployments require detailed upfront planning, due consideration of all interdependencies and possible roadblocks, and precise execution. 

With the right partner at your side, you’ll be in a position to elevate your customer experience to new heights while ensuring your users are invested in their tools and making use of them to the fullest extent. 

WayPath is proud to be a trusted CRM consulting partner for ambitious, visionary organizations of all sizes and across a range of industries. Whether choosing between Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce, assisting with technical problems due to an update, or employee training, WayPath can expand your CRM software use.  

If you’d like to learn more about how our team of CRM consulting experts can help, get in touch

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