Running your consulting business comes with many challenges and a lot of work. You do so much to acquire clients and then even more to serve those clients. Everything from drafting proposals to screening potential clients to sending out emails and monitoring communications will add hours of tasks to your schedule.

You know that each minute focused on manual tasks and basic business management is a waste of your expertise since it is time not spent on your clients. In the end, the work you perform, the results you deliver, and the experience you create determine whether clients come back for more.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are an answer to many of the challenges facing consulting firms. In this post, you’ll see how you can use a CRM to improve your sales processes and why Insightly is the best CRM for consultants.

  • Why you need a CRM for your consulting business
  • How can you benefit from a consulting CRM?
  • What to look for in a CRM for consulting firms
  • Why Insightly is the best consulting CRM
  • Grow your consulting business with Insightly

Why you need a CRM for your consulting business

A consultant’s business starts with acquiring new clients. You need to convert the opportunities that come from your sales and marketing efforts into paying customers if you are to drive any revenue. Organizing your lead routing, automating your workflows, and sending, tracking and saving emails are critical to closing deals. Getting a dashboard view of your business makes it easy to see the health of your business at a glance. If you are using spreadsheets, you’re missing out on the convenience of automation and the insights from accurate reporting. The right CRM can provide all of this and more. 

Simply winning new customers sounds great but to retain clients, you need to deliver results. You want clients to associate your firm with successful outcomes.

To achieve this, your team must have a comprehensive understanding of your clients’ needs and how to serve them best. 

If you only had one client, this would not be a challenge. But, being a consultant means juggling multiple clients at once. And, the more complex your service offering, the more you need to stay in touch over the course of your engagement. Every action, from interacting with a client to researching potential solutions, ultimately affects the client relationship.

You need to ensure a positive flow of communication with clients to provide the experience they expect. A scattered approach to communication makes it difficult to give clients the attention they seek. The end result is a strained relationship and the strong potential of losing the client to another firm. Unfortunately, many businesses suffer this fate because they rely on standard business tools to manage client relationships.

Many others are run down by manual tasks. This slows everything down and also leads to poor attention paid to clients. To fix this, you need to automate as many processes as possible. Doing so lets you focus on meaningful work while fostering your business growth. As in the client acquisition stage, the right CRM can assist in client management as well.

How can you benefit from a consulting CRM?

Now you know that a CRM can assist your consulting business with both client acquisition and client service. With a better understanding of how a CRM is essential to your consulting firm, let’s examine how you can specifically use the software to improve every aspect of your business:

Visualize sales activities

Your sales process is an essential part of your consulting firm. Processes are unique for every firm, but each relies on a sales process with clearly defined steps. A CRM system helps you visualize the different stages in your sales process. You can then track each client’s journey through your pipeline.

This information allows you to personalize your communications to match each stage of the funnel.  For example, an email introducing your services might be best for top-of-the-funnel prospects, while those further along the sales pipeline are better suited for a phone call. With the help of a CRM, you can ensure the right person connects with prospects in the most appropriate manner.

Faster onboarding

Mundane tasks like drafting proposals and onboarding clients may not seem burdensome in isolation but with numerous client engagements occurring simultaneously, these tasks can quickly become time-consuming.

With a CRM, you don’t need to spend time continually completing these manual tasks. Once you’re ready to send a proposal, you can leverage automation tools to send them out quickly, reducing the time it takes to get it signed by your new client. Processes like intro calls, discovery sessions, and strategic information gathering are rinse-and-repeat with each engagement. Creating workflows for these tasks saves time and ensures that nothing slips through the cracks. 

Better organization

Each client interaction is an opportunity to pick up valuable information. With a consulting CRM, you can take notes and add them to that client’s profile. Project notes, budget updates, and contact details are all stored in a centralized place, allowing everyone on your team to quickly access the information they need.

Cross-sell and upsell existing clients

Existing clients are ideal for upselling and cross-selling additional services. A CRM helps you tap into this opportunity by making all relevant information easily accessible to all team members.

As you work to understand their needs, you will likely discover new pain points that you can help them with. When handled properly,  you can increase revenue significantly by securing additional business to go along with their initial engagement. Selling more into your existing customer base is a significantly less expensive way to grow revenue vs. net new business.

What to look for in a CRM for consulting firms

With a better understanding of how to boost efficiency and automate your business processes, you can begin evaluating CRM options. Let’s examine the crucial functionality to look for when seeking out the best CRM for consulting businesses.

Workflows and automation

A good CRM lets you create complex workflows to automate many of your day-to-day activities. For instance, when you get a new lead, you can automatically notify your sales team and assign the lead to the appropriate sales rep. Or, you can create email templates for common communications so your team won’t have to write out emails for each interaction.

Reporting and analytics

Keeping track of all your business activities, new leads, and results doesn’t have to be time-consuming. CRM software has vital reporting and forecasting capabilities built-in to the platform. This lets you create in-depth reports and customize high-level dashboards to get quick access to valuable data. 

Project management

Consultants need strong project and task management to stay on top of client relationships. The last thing you want is to miss a scheduled meeting or let important tasks fall through the cracks.

A CRM with project management functions gives you the ability to organize and manage all your tasks from a single system. You can book appointments and events and quickly assign tasks to your team members. The best CRMs for consultants offer low-code or no-code integrations with platforms such as Calendly and Google Calendar to bring cohesion across your business.

Why Insightly is the best consulting CRM

An all-in-one CRM like Insightly eliminates the need to rely on a disparate set of tools for communicating with clients and managing your consulting business. The efficiency it provides enables management to make better decisions and equips staff with all the resources they need to foster positive relationships.

Here are some of the key features that make Insightly the best CRM for consultants:

Holistic customer insights

Insightly puts the data you need to foster strong client relationships right at your fingerprints. By using just the Insightly CRM platform, you get a single database for all your accounts. This allows you to build a complete 360-degree view of each of your clients. Your teams then have quick access to all relevant information to proactively attend to client needs before issues arise.

When you bring new leads into your CRM, this single view makes it easy to find the best potential clients. You can segment prospects with tags to identify those that match your desired characteristics and prioritize your time to direct your efforts to the prospects. 

For even greater insight, add Insightly Marketing to harness the power of marketing automation in your consulting business. Attract and engage your ideal customers and grow your business faster with this powerful and easy-to-use marketing engine built on the same platform as Insightly CRM.

Next, add Insightly Service to provide mission-critical customer data to all of your teams, in real-time, empowering them to have more relevant conversations that drive customer satisfaction and success.

Finally, add Insightly AppConnect to build sophisticated integrations and workflows between Insightly and hundreds of applications you use across your entire organization.

Streamlined communication

Insightly centralizes communication. You can engage clients through emails, calls, and texts while managing the communications from your CRM. There are integrations for dozens of telephony providers to log calls and view details in the same place. 

Customizable reports and dashboards

Insightly gives you powerful tools to make data-driven decisions. You can create stunning data visualizations to track your progress and uncover new insights. The drag and drop functionality is simple, allowing anyone on your team to swiftly build the reports they need. These reports are readily available in your CRM to share with important stakeholders.

Ease of Use

Your consulting team shouldn’t struggle with your CRM. It should be simple to navigate and all important information should be easy to find. With Insightly, your opportunities, contacts, projects, and emails, are all accessible in one place. Free from having to click again and again, sales and marketing teams become hyper-efficient, and optimized productivity becomes the norm for your consulting firm.

Grow your consulting business with Insightly

Your clients expect an incredible experience. If you make the effort to understand and serve their individual needs, you will create long-lasting client relationships.

Insightly gives your team the tools to streamline every part of your consulting business so that you can efficiently acquire new clients and then give those clients the attention they deserve. Check out Insightly CRM, Insightly Marketing, Insightly Service and AppConnect today on a demo or free trial to see how aligning your team on a single platform can help your consulting firm grow.