Should I Use a Consulting-Specific CRM? Find the Right CRM for Your Consultancy

When you’re running a consulting services business, a good CRM is a must to streamline your client acquisition process and keep a good balance between landing clients and delivering services. But should you use a consulting-specific CRM or a general-purpose CRM? 

In this post, we’ll explain the difference between a consulting services-specific CRM and a general-purpose CRM, plus how you can choose between the two.

Why you need a CRM as a consultant

Should I Use a Consulting-Specific CRM?

You may believe that CRMs are only good for large companies with hundreds of employees.

However, CRM is a helpful tool for businesses of all sizes. If you make sales, whether you sell products or services, an efficient sales pipeline will help you stay on track and manage your time and resources effectively. 

CRMs are great for consultants because:

  • They give you a visual overview of all your leads and clients and where they are in the buyer’s journey so that you can prioritize sales team actions.
  • You can create a customized sales pipeline that works for your business model, including custom tasks, so your team always knows what to do at every sales cycle stage.
  • You can save and template that pipeline so that you can onboard new team members with ease.

With those benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why a CRM can help you sustainably scale your consulting business. 

However, the question remains: Should you get a general-purpose CRM or one made specifically for consultants?


Which CRM has the features you need?

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What is a consulting-specific CRM?

Consulting services-specific CRMs were built to help consulting firms create and optimize their sales process. The features, integrations, and add-ons are specific to solving the sales issues of consulting firms.

So, should you use a consulting-specific CRM for your consultancy? Let’s take a look at the benefits.

Advantages of a consulting-specific CRM

CRMs for consulting firms are valuable to users because they are specifically catered to your business model. 

Advantages of consulting services-specific CRMs include:

  • An interface designed with consulting professionals in mind
  • Features and tools made specifically for consultants
  • Faster setup process

Let’s look at those features in depth below.

An interface designed with consulting professionals in mind

A significant benefit of a consulting-specific CRM is that it has an interface that consultants will resonate with. 

That means that features that consultants will likely find more critical for their sales process will be put to the forefront. 

Industry-specific language may also be used, so, as a consultant, you’ll probably feel right at home using a consulting services-specific CRM.

Nutshell dashboard

Consulting-specific features and tools

Consulting services-specific CRMs will be equipped with features that are helpful to consulting firms, such as sound follow-up systems and automated workflows. 

Including these specific features may be at the expense of additional features you could find helpful for your sales process.

A general-purpose CRM has the capabilities of a consulting-specific CRM, but these features may not be as highlighted as they would with an industry-specific CRM.

Faster setup process

Since consulting-specific CRMs host a minimal interface with only the features applicable to the industry, they often take a shorter time to set up. Conversely, general-purpose CRMs can take some time to install and get running.

However, the fast setup time does not apply to all consulting-specific CRMs. And some general CRMs can be set up faster than their industry-specific counterparts.

What is a general-purpose CRM?

General-purpose CRMs are built with a broad range of businesses in mind, instead of being created for a specific industry. 

These CRMs typically come equipped with universal tools and features that any business can easily use.

Advantages of a general-purpose CRM

Should I Use a Consulting-Specific CRM?

General-purpose CRMs offer significant benefits over industry-specific CRMs, and it pays to consider this when choosing a CRM for your consulting business. 

Benefits include:

  • A user-friendly interface
  • A wide range of integration options
  • Affordable cost

Let’s look at these benefits in detail.

A user-friendly interface

General CRMs are built to appeal to a larger customer base, so the interface is designed with the general audience in mind. 

Since these CRMs have a significant number of users sending feedback, it’s more likely that their software is consistently upgraded to be more user-friendly and meet demands. 

An industry-specific CRM might not be as user-friendly or regularly updated as those catering to a broad audience.

More integration options

Because general-purpose CRM software is made for a wide range of users in various industries, they have a more comprehensive range of integration options than their consulting-specific counterparts. 

General CRMs are more likely to integrate well with most sales, marketing, and productivity software. 

A general-purpose CRM may be a better choice if you’re already using software for your time-tracking, marketing, or invoicing.

Fill in the missing pieces of your tech stack with Nutshell integrations

Explore our current integrations and upcoming tools that will help you get even more out of Nutshell.

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And get the inside scoop on Nutshell’s security policies here:

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Lower cost compared to consulting-specific CRMs

Finally, general-purpose CRMs tend to cost less than consulting services-specific CRMs. Since they target a diverse audience, they can scale their pricing as necessary, with multiple pricing tiers. 

Industry-specific CRMs, on the other hand, attract a smaller audience, and their pricing is more rigid. 

This is not always the case, as some consulting-specific CRMs are more affordable than popular general-purpose CRMs.

Should I use a consulting-specific or general-purpose CRM?

After you’ve assessed the benefits of consulting-specific and general-purpose CRMs, it can still be challenging to decide on the right one. 

Which should you choose? That answer depends on your goals for your software and how you want it to help your consulting business grow. 

Generally speaking, if: 

  • you’re confident that you want only industry-specific features, 
  • you have a larger budget to spend on software, 
  • and you don’t yet have a tech stack that you want to integrate into your CRM, 

then consulting services-specific CRM software could be a good choice for you.

Otherwise, a general-purpose CRM may be a better choice for your consulting business if: 

  • You’re working with a lower budget
  • You aren’t picky about only having specific features
  • You would prefer more integration options

Choose Nutshell CRM for your consulting business

If you’re looking for an affordable and user-friendly CRM solution for your consulting firm, consider Nutshell, an all-in-one CRM trusted by all industries – including consulting and professional services companies.

Nutshell is a general-purpose CRM made to help you close more deals and get more clients. 

With sales automation, contact management, personalization, and more, Nutshell has features that will make you feel like it was created specifically for your industry!

Sign up – no credit card required – for our 14-day free trial of Nutshell to see what all the hype is about, or contact us today to learn more.

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