November 24, 2023

The Best CRMs for Consulting Firms & Professionals

Reading time about 10 min

CRMs for consulting services are more important than ever before. This is true whether you work for a bigger consulting company or as an independent consultant.

That’s because clients are the foundation of a successful consulting business. And Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is key to driving sales and creating a great customer experience.

Because without the right CRM tool, it’s hard to keep track of sales processes, manage client interactions, and provide customer support. The best CRM software covers all these functionalities and more.

No need to scatter important info across different tools and Excel spreadsheets — one CRM system can help you streamline tasks and nurture client relationships.

Read on to learn the benefits of CRM for consultants as well as how to choose a CRM system for your consulting business.

Benefits of CRMs for consulting firms

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is more than just a buzzword. It offers concrete benefits for your consulting company. 

Here are a few ways a consulting CRM platform can help you reach clients and boost profitability.

1. Keep track of client interactions

Not only do CRMs help you keep track of important contact information, such as the customer name, email, and company. A CRM database also stores all your client interactions in one place via a single customer view.

That way, you keep track of each time you communicate with a prospect or existing client. This includes prior engagement with marketing campaigns, sales calls, and customer support history.

CRM for consulting example — single customer review in Brevo

Brevo’s single customer view gives users a 360-degree overview of their customer interactions

2. Communicate with potential clients

CRM platforms simplify how you reach out to potential clients. Many tools support multichannel outreach, including:

  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Cloud-based phone calls
  • Virtual meetings and online appointment scheduling

Drag & Drop email editor in Brevo's CRM for consulting

Brevo’s Drag & Drop editor makes it easy to design stunning marketing campaigns and company newsletters

3. Nurture relationships with existing clients

When it comes to consulting, your existing customers are often where you find new business opportunities. And CRM solutions make it easy to nurture these relationships. 

CRMs often provide free email templates that you can use to send monthly newsletters to your client network. You might also want to cross-sell any additional consulting services you offer to current clients. 

No matter your approach, staying in touch with clients will help you get word-of-mouth referrals and win new projects.

4. Map out your sales cycle

CRMs for consulting make it easy to map out your entire sales process. This is usually through pipeline management. Within a CRM system, you’ll first need to determine the stages in your pipeline (e.g. New, Prospecting, Meeting, Proposal, Won/Lost).

From there, you’ll get a high-level overview of where each prospect sits in your sales pipeline. This makes it easier to prioritize tasks and understand where the next opportunity lies.

Sales pipeline management in Brevo's CRM for consulting

Brevo’s customizable sales pipelines help you track prospective clients as they move through the sales funnel

5. Stay on top of sales activities

Most CRMs include a task management system. That way, you never lose track of important sales activities such as followups and meeting reminders. 

This is especially useful when it comes to dividing the work between team members. Simply assign tasks, then keep tabs on their progress directly in the CRM.

6. Save time with automation tools

CRM software also helps with workflow automation. You can automate things like manual data entry, sending marketing campaigns, and logging client interactions. 

With the help of automation tools, you’ll have more time to strengthen customer relationships and grow your business.

More resources To learn more about CRM, check out these resources:

How to choose a CRM for consulting businesses

Before diving in, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right CRM tool for your consulting business. Here are a few factors to consider.

  • Ease of use: Make sure the CRM system is accessible for all team members. It’s cost-effective to avoid CRMs with a steep learning curve.
  • Features: Check the CRM to see if they have all the features you’re looking for. This includes marketing automation, sales pipelines, project management, and more.
  • Customization: Once you decide which features you need, make sure they offer the right level of customization. You might need anything from custom fields to more advanced user access controls.
  • Reporting: Verify whether the CRM can support your reporting needs. This might include dashboards for real-time metrics and sales forecasting tools.
  • Pricing: Note that CRM pricing can vary greatly. So make sure you find one that suits both your budget and business needs.

Further reading: Marketing Automation for Agencies: The Top 10 Tools

The 5 best CRMs for consultants

Need to find the best CRM software solution for your consulting business? We’ve put together this list to help you out.

1. Brevo — best CRM for SMBs and independent consultants

Brevo is one of the most approachable CRMs on the market. With integrated sales and marketing functionalities, it’s a great choice for consulting businesses looking to get all their CRM tools on a single platform.

Here are Brevo’s key features for consulting services:

Brevo streamlines your client communication. Simply use Brevo’s tools to reach out to customers on their preferred channel: WhatsApp, live chat, phone, or email.

Catch leads with signup forms and landing pages. Nurture with newsletters and triggered emails at the right time.

Once you’ve qualified leads, track them as they move through your sales pipeline. Book and host client meetings easily. Then store all interaction history in one place for a seamless customer experience.

Best for: Brevo offers unlimited contacts, easy-to-use tools, and affordable pricing. This makes it ideal for small businesses and independent consultants.

Brevo pricing: Both Brevo’s Marketing Platform and Sales Platform offer generous free plans, which include 300 emails per day, one deal pipeline, and fifty open deals. 

If you want to upgrade, the Sales Pro plan costs $12/month and the Marketing Platform Starter plan costs $25/month.

2. Pipedrive — best CRM for managing the sales cycle

Pipedrive is another good choice of CRM for consultants. It’s best known for its sales software, which lets you track deals as they move down your sales funnel.

Pipedrive’s key features include:

  • Sales pipelines
  • Automation tools for repetitive tasks
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Reporting (pipeline metrics, custom dashboards)

Best for: Pipedrive is great for managing sales teams and sales processes. However, it might not be the best for nurturing client relationships due to its limited marketing tools.

Pipedrive pricing: Pipedrive sales tools are available from $14.90/month. Marketing tools like automation for email campaigns cost an additional $27.90/month.

3. HubSpot — best CRM for contact management

HubSpot is a leading CRM for professional services. It offers an excellent user experience, as well as a vast range of sales and marketing features.

HubSpot’s key features include:

  • Contact management
  • Email tracking and email templates
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Social media scheduling

Best for: Given the hefty price tag, the HubSpot CRM is better suited to larger consulting companies with specific needs. However, it may not be the best fit for small to mid-sized consulting firms. 

HubSpot pricing: You can buy HubSpot’s Marketing Hub or Sales Hub separately. Bundled CRM plans start at $1,580/month. To find alternatives, check out HubSpot competitors.

4. Zoho — best CRM for sales teams

Zoho is another popular CRM. Its intuitive interface makes it accessible to all team members, regardless of skill level.

Zoho’s key features include:

  • Lead management tools
  • Sales and marketing automation
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Mobile app (iOs, Android)

Best for: Like Pipedrive, Zoho is better suited for sales teams. It may take considerable time to customize the Zoho CRM for professional services.

Zoho pricing: Zoho offers a free plan with basic features for up to three users. Paid plans start at $14/month. See Zoho alternatives for more information.

5. Salesforce — best for customization and larger consulting companies

Salesforce is a top CRM provider. Its feature-rich offering helps companies manage both their customer relationships and sales processes.

Salesforce’s key features include:

  • Contact and lead management
  • Sales forecasting and AI-powered analytics
  • Automation tools
  • Mobile app

Best for: Salesforce is highly customizable compared to other CRMs. This makes it easy to tailor to your processes, workflows, and other specific needs. However, Salesforce may be too complex to install for smaller consulting companies with limited resources.

Salesforce pricing: Salesforce offers a range of pricing plans in addition to optional add-ons and customizations. Salesforce’s Sales Cloud starts at $25/month and includes essential features. Check out Salesforce alternatives for more details.

Related: 5 Best CRMs for Real Estate in 2023: Benefits, Tips, & Use Cases

Choose Brevo’s approachable CRM for your consulting needs

Searching for the right CRM suite to grow your consulting business? Try Brevo: the most approachable CRM for consulting services. 

We cover all your consulting needs, from email marketing to lead management. Manage contacts, drive sales, and strengthen customer relationships — all on a single platform. 

Brevo’s easy-to-use CRM tools are suitable for consulting businesses of all sizes. Try Brevo for free, then only pay for what you need.

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