There are certain attributes that are key to any consulting engagement.
There are also certain attributes that we believe are key to specifically hiring effective Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultants. Here are three.
Learning to Have Empathy in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consulting Engagements
Barbara Kingsolver, an American novelist, essayist and poet noted, “empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness, it’s the capacity to understand that every war is won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own”.
Empathy's (definition) different then sympathy. While sympathy understands that their other individual is going through pain – empathy feels the other person’s pain.
It’s in many ways a tribal understanding - knowing I've been in your shoes before.
Empathy is often associated with good communication skills.
Empathy is often associated with artists, musicians and or can be experienced by an audience when they feel what the performer is feeling in his performance (whether in acting or music or otherwise).
“Empathy takes effort” notes Seth Godin. It’s not for the lazy.
Empathy gives off trust signals. Signals you can’t fake. Signals that you actually care.
Empathy's important in consulting because empathy leads to deeper understanding of the current circumstances.
A deep desire to help. A deep desire to be creative. A deep desire to find a solution.
To go out of your way and work overtime at the end of the day when you know you’re day is technically over in order to find a solution.
We believe effective Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultants (or any consultants for that matter) have a sense of empathy for what their client is facing.
It's what drives them to go the extra mile for their clients.
An Understanding of Key Microsoft Dynamics CRM Technologies
Like any IT consultant would - an understanding of the technologies involved in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations are key.
The deeper the understanding of any of these technologies the more creative the individual can be in their approach.
The more you know your craft - the more you are inspired to creativity.
Hard creative work isn't done by the beginner - it’s done by the seasoned individual.
Beethoven, the famous composer of Symphony No.9, was a crucial figure of transitioning the Classical and Romantic musical eras with his creative compositions of music.
He composed his first piece published composition, in 1783, at a relatively early age of 21.
While many point to his creativity - his creativity only started after deep ingrained musical training from his father as well as studying together with composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josephy Haydn.
While it was at a young age when he started composing his creative pieces - he had long trained with the best of the best.
His knowledge drove this creativity. He first learned all the rules - then he went ahead and broke them.
The same goes for individuals with a deep knowledge of programming / IT etc.
The better consultants know their craft - the better they know “how to break the rules” to come up with creative solutions.
Have a Deep Understanding of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service
I remember a client asking us to create a quote from an order.
This customer was convinced that they only needed to enter orders but they still wanted to track quotes (for various reasons). They asked us if we could create a quote automatically when they entered an order.
It might have been simpler to say yes but after some persistent discussions to convince them that the process would make for some interesting situations - it was avoided.
While the process of “quote to order” (see Experlogix for an easy to use quote configurator) might be somewhat of an elementary process - Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultants need to have a good understanding of sales, marketing and customer service business processes.
Along side of this, they also understand what type of sales, marketing and customer service metrics customers should be looking for and how to help them drive their business.
Here are some metrics that important to understand for the different roles that use CRM:
An understanding of pipeline / funnel steps
What criteria to filter leads by
Reports that measure activities like appointments set, sales calls, phone calls, emails
Reports that show product growth performance
Reports that show which areas of business / demographics are growing
Reports that show quote to close ratios
There are many marketing metrics you could choose to look at and Hubspot has some great insights around marketing metrics. Here are a few a marketing manager might like to see:
Sales by channel
Leads by channel
Average amount of email nurture touches
Lead acquisition costs / opportunity acquisition
Marketing costs as % of acquisition
Customer lifetime value versus acquisition costs
Time to payback on closed opportunities
% of opportunities driven by marketing
Customer Service Metrics
Walt Disney famously said “do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends”.
Customer service drives marketing which drives sales which in return drives customer service. The better you do the third (customer service) - the better you'll do the other two.