Five Tell-Tale Signs That Your Consulting Business Needs a CRM System


Bain’s latest Management Tools & Trends 2015 survey states that CRM software is the consulting industry’s most frequently used tool – and, that satisfaction with these systems is among the highest they’ve ever recorded. Yet only a minority (46 per cent) of consulting firms are actually using CRM software. If you are among the 54 (per cent) that aren’t, then here are five pain points that might indicate how a CRM system can make your life easier, and your agencies work more profitable.

1. High staff turnover is causing you headaches

Like death and taxes, the departure of key staff is inevitable – but how well do you cope with these events? Do your teams struggle to pick up the thread of various projects that outgoing staff members are working on? Are you concerned that their exit is going to mean key client details are going to leave with them? If so, you may find that a CRM system can capture key project data to minimise these problems.

2. A complex IT infrastructure makes it difficult to create a central store of key information

IT systems and tools tend to be added on an ad hoc basis as needs arise – a new business database here, a contact management system there. Before you know it, your organisation has a very fragmented IT landscape where relevant information is scattered across a variety of different servers. If that is the case at your agency, then a CRM system may well provide the centralised repository of information that you crave.

3. You are suffering from email overload

Email has become the default mechanism for exchanging information with clients, but that means much business-critical information is buried within your inbox and email folders. If you and your teams are spending too much time sifting through your email accounts to uncover key information, then the automated data capture of today’s CRM systems could save you time and money.

4. You feel a serious need for greater new business automation  

Prospects need to be nurtured over a period of weeks and months if they are going to become paying client, and that means getting the right input from around the company and finding regular opportunities to re-engage. If different team members are tripping over each other to reach out to the same prospect, or if opportunities go begging because no one bothers to stay in touch, the business automation features of a sophisticated CRM system may be just what you are looking for.  

5. Client churn rates are unacceptably high

As the old saying goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and a certain amount of client churn is probably factored into your business planning. However, the earlier you can surface discontent within your client base, the better your chances of keeping clients on board. In an ideal world, you’d have visibility into how often your teams are in contact with key client contacts, and sentiment analysis would tell you how well disposed they are to your firm. This is not “Minority Report” style science fiction – it’s precisely what the right CRM system can provide for you today. 

These are the most common symptoms that Bullhorn has recorded of a consulting firm in dire need of a CRM system. If you are experiencing one of more of these symptoms, then we prescribe an urgent conversation with a member of our sales team. You can also reach me at


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