A Beginner’s Guide to CRM Consulting
No matter what type of business you can think of, CRM is the heart of its client management process. These days, its become a necessity for quality service no matter the size of the company.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in CRM consulting, then this guide will help you get started. We’ll take you through what the role involves and what you can expect to earn.
Table of contents
What Is CRM?
Before we get into your career paths, it’s crucial to understand what a CRM is. To begin with, CRM stands for customer relations management. For almost any business, the most vital asset is its customers.
In the past, information about a company’s clientele was spread around its workforce. With the implementation of technology, we can bring a customer’s details into one convenient place using CRM software such as Salesforce.
A CRM program will typically keep and organise everything relating to a particular lead or customer. A salesperson can quickly get up to speed with who that customer is, previous communications, outstanding issues, and their wants.
If a company wants to maintain a good relationship with its biggest asset, then a CRM system is imperative. Not only can businesses improve their sales with CRM, but they can also get valuable insight into their current processes.
What Is a CRM Consultant?
Just like the definition of consulting is to give expert advice, the term CRM consultant doesn’t specify a particular job but rather describes a collection of different roles. To help you figure out which path you should pursue, we’ll explain the main careers that fall under a CRM consultant.
To begin with, you could become a CRM developer. Here, you’ll be responsible for developing a particular CRM software. This involves writing coding using different types of language like java, essentially building the brains of the software. Many developers work for vendors while others freelance or even start their own company.
Next is a project manager or CRM analyst. This category refers to people who analyse customer behaviour and requirements to develop the software. They would typically work with a developer in designing the architecture of the program and ensure it gets implemented correctly.
Another type of CRM consultant is a salesperson. Anyone involved in sales is a crucial part of getting a product out there. A good salesperson brings valuable information to the table about customers as they’re always in contact with them. They would also use the CRM’s information to their advantage, helping them convert more leads.
Strategists also fall under the CRM consultant umbrella. Their role involves helping customers develop improved strategies to optimise a company’s efficiency. They would also help put together plans to help retain and increase customers. Strategists generally work for a consultancy company rather than a CRM software vendor.
Finally, you get independent CRM consultants. People that fall under this role work independently of software vendors. They offer advice and strategies to companies without favouring a specific vendor, giving unbiased advice. You can think of this role as the middleman or architect between a builder and a client.
As you can see, there are many different career paths you can pursue that fall under the term CRM consulting. Furthermore, a business would need most, if not all, of these roles to ensure every aspect receives attention. You’ll find all of these positions working with one another on projects as each has a part to play.
Is CRM Consulting a Good Career?
There’s no wrong answer to this question. A CRM role that’s good for one person might not be an option for another. To figure out whether this career is good for you or not involves taking a look at the skills required for each position.
If you want to explore the world of software development, you’ll need to learn how to code using a programming language. You’ll also need to work alongside other members taking an idea and turning it into a product feature. Teamwork and communication skill are, therefore, paramount as a CRM developer.
Salespeople have an entirely separate set of skills. The position is a stressful one as you’re constantly chasing a target and your work is never done. On the other hand, you can find a lot of fulfillment and a sense of achievement when closing a big deal. The position is best suited to those with listening skills, as listening to a customer is the most crucial part of any sale.
If you enjoy problem-solving and figuring out the most efficient way to do something, then a strategist is a good option. You’ll need a strong understanding of how a business operates. What’s more, you’ll need a firm grasp of how a customer thinks and behaves. You can then come up with ways to improve the connection between client and service.
The trick to finding a good job in CRM consulting or any position for that matter is figuring out if you will enjoy what the role entails. Consider your set of skills and what area you can potentially offer the most to. That way, you’ll enter a career that you can enjoy and find a sense of achievement in.
What Can You Earn in CRM Consulting?
The salary you can earn as a CRM consultant depends entirely on your experience, education, and which position you choose to go for. However, in an attempt to give you an idea of what you can potentially earn, we’ll look at the average salary for each role.
In the United Kingdom, a CRM developer can expect an average annual salary of £44K. This amount can differ depending on the area where your company is based and ranges between £34K and £61K.
The average salary of a salesperson in the UK is around £28K a year. However, this can go up to £75K depending on your commission structure and how much you manage to sell. Most sales positions offer a small basic salary with the main focus on commission, so your salary can differ every month.
A CRM analyst or strategist generally earns an average of £34K a year. Again this depends entirely on your credentials with an entry salary of around £22K annually. Furthermore, if you manage to find a position in a more upmarket area, you can potentially earn up to £72K.
Finally, an independent CRM consultant earns roughly £50K per year in the United Kingdom. However, like all job titles, your potential salary depends on who you work for and what you bring to the table.
On top of that, you may decide to forego working for someone else and instead build a business of your own. If this is the case, there’s no saying what you can potentially earn, as you’re only limited by dedication and persistence.
What Is a CRM Request?
A CRM request is a way for vendors to understand what a business needs from its software. The idea is to acquire as much information as possible from the client and then use it to develop a strategy.
Therefore a request will provide the following data:
- A general overview of the client’s company.
- The customer’s basic requirements, such as whether they need social media integration.
- What issue the client needs a solution to.
- A deadline in which the customer expects a strategy or plan from the vendor.
- What features work natively with the software and if it requires third-party plugins.
What Is CRM Called Now?
As we’ve already mentioned, the term CRM means customer relationship management. There’s no new name for this process, but some confuse it with public relations (PR). The difference is that PR concentrates on a business’s image. In comparison, CRM consulting looks at sustaining and building a relationship with a company’s clients.