Three Areas of Lowering CRM Implementation Cost (2): Saving on External Consultancy

Most of the times external consultants are hired to assist in implementing CRM strategies and software. Obviously, these consultants have a lot of experience and in-depth know-how on best practices and the technology used. At the same time, however, it is not always in their interest to make sure the implementation project runs as efficient and lean as possible. Since they bill their services by the hour it is not in their interest to spend as little hours as possible. And since their next customer very likely is not your but some other organization, it is also not in their interest to make sure all the knowledge gained during the implementation is kept within your organization. It is of greater interest to them to keep this knowledge within their own practice, so as that their colleagues can reuse the knowledge that you paid for.

Because of these reasons a lot of money can be saved in CRM implementation projects by being very critical when spending money on external consultants. It is wise to sit down with the project manager from the consultancy firm that you intend to hire and to ask him to present a so called Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) of all the deliverables needed to complete the project. And then ask him (and yourself) for each and every product listed who is exactly going to do what. And if the project manager of the external consultancy firm for a certain deliverable claims that resources from his firm are needed, simply ask him to explain why your organization should not be capable of delivering the product by itself. Obviously, this conversation should already take place at the Quotation Stage.

And don’t get me wrong here, I hold no brief for not hiring external consultants when implementing CRM. All I am saying is: make sure those external consultants are hired to give you advise based on their knowledge and expertise and that they should not be hired to respond on questions on your behalf. Let them just provide you with these questions and explain how they’re meant, and most of the times you will find that you are perfectly capable of coming up with the right answers yourself!

Finally, you should realize that 20 years of CRM have learnt that implementing CRM is a constant effort. Customers will keep on changing and so will be their demand. This of course means that you will have to adapt your customer centric strategies and processes as well as the supporting IT infrastructure constantly as well. And therefore, you must take full control of the CRM implementation in your organization yourself, and outsource as little responsibility as possible to external consultancy firms.


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