For a profession that majorly focuses on client communication, client performance and client value, digitization is an obvious next step in the growth journey. Here’s where business consulting software comes into play. This digital aid is no longer a good-to-have, but rather a must to achieve higher efficiency, productivity, as well as client outcomes.
Here are 8 such consulting software that can help you run your consulting firm seamlessly:
1. CRM software
CRM software is a must have piece of the consulting software puzzle for any consulting business looking to systematically manage their sales and growth. A CRM will help you promptly nurture and service any leads that come your way and increase the chances of turning them into clients.
Examples: Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Monday
2. Project management software
Project management software is instrumental in streamlining the overall collaboration within the organization. It helps a business consulting firm organize tasks and allocate resources weighing in both the project requirement and the available skillsets and capacity. With this software, you can manage tasks, finances, and employee work duration all at once.
Examples: Asana, C4C+, Gantt Charts, Mavenlink, Cmap
3. Communication software
Communication is the bedrock of consulting services. Transparent, positive, and seamless communication is essential within the team as well as for effective client management. This helps you conduct the daily operations more efficiently and creates a long-lasting collaboration and relationship between the client and the consultancy.
Whether it’s chat messages, emails or video/audio calls, communication software can do it all. Real-time communication in the form of group chats, conferencing and file-sharing ups the value of communication tools. Similarly, a host of add-on features like scheduling, delivery management capabilities, etc. make collaboration easier, faster, and fun.
Examples: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google
4. Accounting/ invoicing software
Working with multiple clients on multiple projects can make it tedious to keep a close track of all invoices and payment statuses. Accounting/invoicing software can help you easily create bills, track payments, send out reminders, update statuses against each client and more. Apart from helping businesses get paid on time by various stakeholders, the use of accounting software also creates brand value for consulting businesses in the market.
Examples: Quickbooks, Xero, Freshbooks
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5. Proposal software
The first step to rope in a client is – you guessed it right – a solid proposal. To make that good first impression to prospects, consulting businesses need to draft present a compelling proposal. Usually, as the first step in a consultancy-client relationship, a proposal documents ways in which a client’s challenges can be solved. Since these documents are long and detailed, manual efforts towards building them are generally time consuming and invite errors.
Proposal software not only helps you automate the process and build proposals (you can choose among a host of templates) but also design them, integrate with tools related to invoicing, accounting, digital signatures, and so on, and fetch analytical insights that can help your business grow further.
Examples: Proposify, Qwilr, Pandadoc, BidSketch
6. Time-tracking & scheduling software
The core idea of incorporating several software to your consulting business is to save time on multiple tasks that do not require regular human interference. Where time is the most important asset in any business, one does need software that helps track time spent on both billable and non-billable services.
It becomes more complicated with a big consulting business, where one must juggle between multiple projects with different clients at a time with dedicated resources for each one of them. That’s when you need time-tracking and scheduling software. Such software automatically monitors employee work hours, number of leaves, duration spent on different activities, productivity, etc.
Examples: Calendly, Toggl, TimeCamp
7. Marketing software
According to a 2017 email marketing census, 54% of organizations surveyed saw an upswing in their campaigns using marketing software whereas 37% organizations experienced a boost in their sales after using marketing software. The study also revealed that companies experienced an increase in lead generation conversions after using such software. Like any other organization, consulting firms can make the most out of their marketing efforts using such marketing software.
So, what is marketing software? Marketing software includes tools that help organizations scale their businesses by carrying out successful campaigns, generating leads, and converting a fairly large number of those leads into paying clients. For instance, the email integration feature offered by Simply.Coach lets you schedule promotional emails and send them out in bulk via MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc. to your potential and existing clients.
Examples: Canva, Hootsuite, ConvertKit, Buffer, Figma, MeetEdgar
8. Talent optimization software
In a resource-heavy service such as consulting, talent optimization is key. Talent optimization leverages data, analytics and insights to ensure that businesses identify and define the right role, identify and attract the right prospects, build the right goals and inspire employees to accomplish them and lead them towards optimal results. Such software also fulfils the important task of identifying various workforce challenges and solving them to optimize talent and improve business results.
Example: The Predictive Index
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As you can see, a consulting firm requires multiple tools to take the business digital and scale it. Using too many software and tools, however, can make it difficult to run a cohesive organization.
Simply.Coach is one platform that brings all the essential consulting software to you. It ensures highest security (it’s SOC2, HIPAA, GDPR-compliant), and it offers a variety of tools to take your existing consulting methodologies online and standardize them. And if you think you need some help to get going, don’t worry – the platform isn’t rated #1 for customer centricity and support for nothing.
Sources: Olive, Predictiveindex, Taimer, Paperbell
1. What software do I need as a consultant?
There are at least 7 basic types of software that a consultant needs to run the business online. These are:
- CRM Software
- Project management software
- Communication software
- Accounting/ Invoicing software
- Proposal software
- Time-tracking & scheduling software
- Marketing software
- Talent optimization software
2. What should a consultant know?
If you want to carve a niche as a successful consultant, consider mastering the following few skills in addition to consulting:
- Financial understanding
- Grasp on technology
- Industry specific knowledge
- Thought leadership in consulting
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