CRM software is used by consulting companies to increase effectiveness of their services through more accurate planning of activities, more optimal allocation of resources and better control of projects in process.
We offer to familiarize yourself with the best CRM products for consulting firms, most of which highly appraised the capabilities of the solutions.
Bpm’online offers a powerful software suite capable of satisfying needs of every consulting company.
First of all, bpm’online is outlined among other cloud-based solutions by its robust BPM tools, with the help of which you can build new processes or utilize already available preset ones.
Using project and time management tools, you can organize any activities, manage your team’s workload, assign tasks, calculate costs of your services, control your expenses, monitor fulfillment of tasks by the team’s members and get a whole picture of the current results through consolidated dashboards and analytical reports, which will help you make the right operational and strategic decisions.
With HR management tools, you can monitor consultants’ list of activities, set up employee rates, check employees’ involvement in projects and track their professional growth.
The solution’s enquiry management tools will help you get in touch with processing clients’ enquiries from their registration to resolution. Once registered, enquiries can be assigned to a relevant consultant and incorporated with reminders set for time-sensitive tasks. So all tasks that remain for you is just to monitor enquiries’ progress and check their results.
Basically, bpm’online’s users provide a very positive feedback on the capabilities of the software, although some users admitted that at first they were at a loss with regard to the multiple features and configuration options the system offers.
RationalPlan offers a powerful CRM solution for managing projects in such areas as services, consulting, engineering, construction and software development. The program suite includes a number of tools to assist you in planning activities, managing workforce, budgeting projects, monitoring project progress and analyzing workload.
Buyers are provided with two versions of the software: Single Project and Multi Project editions. The latter one will be useful if there are several projects with interrelated tasks or overlapping resources involved. Consultants can take advantage of the solution’s collaboration environment, which allows sharing tasks, providing comments on them and using email notifications for any critical aspects. Project managers can track costs using regular or overtime employee rates, estimate budgets and monitor project performance with the Earned Value Management tool. The software supports MS Project files.
RationalPlan’s users mainly point out the following shortcomings of the solution:
- not user-friendly interface;
- occasional bugs and lags of the software;
- limited customization opportunities (e.g. with respect to the layout);
- lack of some necessary features for analytics, such as PERT charts.
BillQuick solution makes it possible to increase profitability of your business. With it, you can organize all the information and automate your activities to focus on your clients rather than on business processes management routine. The software was developed with involvement of CPA professionals.
The application is most suitable for management consulting firms, accountants, engineers, architects, attorneys and other firms delivering professional services, since it provides the following functionality:
- time and costs tracking;
- vendors and employees’ profiles management tools;
- project management tools;
- billing tools with more than 150 invoice templates;
- accounting tools, including payments, accounts payable/receivalble, revenue forecasting;
- reports and analytics with over 400 report templates.
Due to the official cooperation with such software market leaders as Microsoft, Intuit, MYOB and Sage, BillQuick can utilize data from the applications of the mentioned vendors or export files for further use.
BillQuick’s users find the solution too complicated, considering a large number of report templates and variations for customization, which were anticipated by the developers ‘for all occassions’. So, it can take some time to master and figure out what reports you really would like to see.
№4 Replicon Client Billing
Replicon is a cloud-based CRM for management consulting firms and other professional service providers, which assists in project billing, resource management and planning activities for future projects.
Using the software, you can:
- keep track of employee absences;
- control remote workforce and manage employees’ self-service tasks with an iOS device;
- monitor project progress;
- calculate labor costs and bill clients accordingly;
- manage compliance issues;
- streamline your payroll system.
Replicon can be integrated with other third-party applications with the purpose of sharing data between the systems.
The solution’s users claim that its interface is not so intuitive. In addition, there are no dashboards, and, for example, to see the remaining holidays, you need to generate a report.
№5 ShoreTel Connect Cloud
The last CRM in our list, which can be useful for consultants, is ShoreTel, a cloud-based contact center, allowing you to increase efficiency of your consulting services by focusing on clients, not on technical aspects of interactions with them.
You can amplify your team performance with a great number of tools the solution offers to make your communications more effective regardless of their means (voice, email, chat, instant messaging). The functionality of the software includes:
- automated call distribution;
- interactive voice response;
- intelligent call routing;
- call recording;
- agent monitoring tools;
- IP PBX telephony capabilities, including voicemail, workgroup features and auto attendant.
Remote workers can use a convenient mobile application available for Android and iOS devices.
ShoreTel’s users revealed the following weaknesses of the solution:
- dependency on the quality of the Internet and the vendor’s server stability;
- eventual errors in assigning calls, call duration logs and call recordings;
- no recording of chats;
- limited integration capabilities via API.