The Catch 22 of Recruiting Technically Focused CRM Consultants

The labor market for CRM experts and consultants still is very tense. Especially consultancy firms specializing in CRM implementations seem to have trouble finding the right candidates. But are the profiles they are looking for in candidates actually what they need?

When you do some web research and you browse through the job descriptions of vacant positions for CRM consultants you will find that most consultancy organizations are looking for technically skilled people, with experience in tailoring mainly Microsoft Dynamics or Especially as a software developer it must be pretty easy to find a job these days.

It is remarkable, however, how little times you see consultancies looking for skills like ‘financially literate’, ‘business savvy’, ‘understanding of online marketing’, ‘knowledge of statistics and analytical models to be able to translate customer data into customer insight’ as requirements for candidates.

This obviously shows that the focus of most consultancies still is on using technology to support the business processes of organizations, resulting on the delivery of tailor made solutions and delivering customizations. And if you look at the business model of most consultancy firms this makes perfect sense. Because since they actually sell hours and not result, it is better for them to directly fulfill any demand coming from their customers, rather than to challenge it.

However, to really help organizations to be more successful, the focus of CRM consultancies should be on transformation and change; on really putting the customer in the center of the business of CRM implementing organizations. And if this is true, it is completely legitimate to ask whether consultancies should continue to staff their project teams with technology skilled consultants, rather than with business savvy CRM expert.

Obviously, this is a catch 22: as long as the consultancies will stick to their traditional ‘billing-by-the-hour’ business models, they will continue recruiting technical savvy green beans, rather than true CRM business experts and change managers. And unfortunately this will also mean that many technology focused CRM implementation projects will continue to fail.

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