You’ve managed to successfully set up your consulting business.
You may even have a few clients.
But you know that the work doesn’t stop there.
As a consultant, there are two crucial elements of your business that will determine whether your business will be a success or not.
Keeping your current clients happy and sourcing new ones.
That’s where the right CRM tool can be your most important hire.
Here, we will discuss CRM in more detail, how to pick the perfect one for your consulting business and a few options for you to check out.
What Is a CRM?
Before we dive into how to pick a CRM solution and which one to choose, we should probably address what a CRM is.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is a form of software that consultant businesses use to manage interactions and relationships with clients.
The right CRM tool will help you automate payments from clients, gather data about your clients (with their consent, of course), and allow you to make decisions based on that data.
Knowing more about your client base not only helps provide them with a better service but it also allows you to gather more leads, use your existing client data as a selling point, and also to create mirror target audiences.
How to Pick a CRM: What to Look Out For
- Assess your needs: To begin, it’s important to identify your consulting business requirements. Each consultancy business is different, and therefore your priorities in a CRM software will differ from the next person.
- Ease of use: After a long day of consulting the hell out of your clients, the last thing you need is a CRM software that feels like it is written in hieroglyphs.
- Scalability: Make sure you pick a CRM software that has the propensity to grow as your business does.
- Security: As you will be implementing client and potential client information into it, it’s crucial to pick a CRM software that prioritizes data security and compliance.
- Integration capabilities: Try to pick a CRM that can easily integrate other tools and software you use into one place. We want to make your CRM as efficient as possible to free up more of your time for sourcing and working with new clients.
The Best CRMs for Consultants
With all that in mind, let’s look at some of the best CRM options for consultants to help take your business to the next level.
Salesflare – great for client relationships
- Plenty of automation tools to save time
- Detailed insights
- Excellent customer support
- Not the easiest tool for beginners
- No free trial to test
- Minimal third-party integrations
First on this list is Salesflare, a CRM designed for small to medium-sized consultancy businesses. The tool focuses primarily on supporting your current client relationships rather than using data to source new clients, so if that matches your CRM tool requirements, you’re onto a winner!
Unfortunately, there is no free trial to check out, but the entry price is relatively low.
Hubspot – great for scalability
- You can test out the tool for free
- The perfect multi-purpose CRM platform
- Easy-to-use and plenty of integrations and features
- As you scale, the prices can rise significantly
- You are tied in by a longer-term contract
- Technical support doesn’t come for free
When it comes to a CRM platform that has all the bells and whistles you could possibly imagine, Hubspot has got you covered.
Plus, unlike Salesflare, there is a free trial for you to use, although the features are understandably much more limited in this version.
However, while the entry price is very fair, it’s important to be aware that the pricing begins to rise steeply as you request more features and services. So while the tool can grow with your brand, it will come at a cost. But that’s better than trying to import a gargantuan Excel sheet five years down the road.
Keap – great for marketing and sales
- As with Hubspot, it’s packed with features
- Ideal for automating your marketing and sales processes
- Great for reporting and analytics
- Not the most user-friendly
- Loads slowly
- Not the cheapest option
If you are in need of a CRM tool that has plenty of marketing, sales, and analytics features, Keap is a great option to consider.
While certainly not the cheapest option, it’s probably a better option for larger consultancy businesses, but the tool is packed with sales and marketing features for you to take advantage of.
How to Set up a CRM Within Your Consulting Pipeline
Step 1: What are your objectives?
Start by identifying how you plan to use your CRM as part of your service. Will you use it primarily to identify new business or to support your existing clients?
Step 2: Pick your favorite tool
Next, select your favorite CRM tool from the list above (or one from your own research) that aligns with your objectives, checking it has all the features and plugin capabilities you need.
Step 3: Tinker with your new tool
Have a play around! Get familiar with the CRM you have invested in, ensuring you know how to use it properly and you are maximizing its capabilities.
Step 4: Get organized
Once you are comfortable with your CRM, import any data you need into the tool, categorizing your clients in a format that is clear and concise. You need to be consistent with your data entry, especially when you scale. Sloppy data leads to sloppy customer relationships.
Step 5: Continuous improvement
Once you’ve set up your CRM, your work is not done. You should always be searching for ways to tinker with your offering based on your consulting business changing or feedback from clients.
Frequently Asked Questions About CRM Software
How can CRM software benefit consultants?
CRM software helps consultants track client interactions, manage leads, and streamline communication, ultimately improving client relationships and project management.
What features should consultants look for in CRM software?
Consultants should seek CRM software with contact management, task scheduling, lead tracking, and reporting capabilities tailored to their consulting needs.
Can CRM software help consultants generate leads?
CRM software can assist consultants in lead generation by organizing and tracking potential client information, making it easier to nurture and convert leads.
Is CRM software suitable for solo consultants and small consulting firms?
Yes, CRM software is adaptable for both solo consultants and small consulting firms, offering scalable solutions that cater to their specific client management requirements.
Keep Learning: How to Generate Consulting Reports
Generate More Leads for Your New CRM Software
Once you’ve got your new CRM software in place, it’s time to start pushing more potential leads through your marketing funnel! Watch our free B2B lead generation guide today to help grow your consultancy business.