Top 3 Best CRM for Independent Consultants in 2021

By Henri Gisclard-Biondi
Published: 24/06/2021
software backgroundTop 3 Best CRM for Independent Consultants in 2021

As an independent consultant, managing your clients and making sure you deliver the best service to each and every one of them can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But what if you could gain time while also improving your relationship with your customers?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions exist for you to turn into a one-person army and always stay on top of your client portfolio. Using the best CRM for independent consultants can make a world of difference and ensure you are a trusted advisor with great availability and relevance.

Learn more about what CRM solutions can do for independents like you and browse our selection of the best CRM software for consultants to take your consultancy services to the next level!

Why do consultants need a CRM?

Benefits of CRM for independents

You know it best: the most important part of your livelihood is building lasting, trusting relationships with your customers. You must be available to solve their problems and even be proactive and anticipate their needs to be the best at your job. But as your portfolio keeps growing, you may need to free up time for other tasks and start getting the right tools.

Using an adapted CRM to manage your base of existing customers and prospects can truly help you make the most of your precious time. This allows you to:

  • Focus on the most important leads to boost your business development strategy,
  • Nurture your existing clients thanks to timely reminders and suggestions,
  • Aggregate all the relevant information about your customers and leads (contact details, past work done with them and important files).

This makes it easy to juggle between different projects and keep track of the work done with such or such clients. A good CRM ensures you always have everything at hand to deliver the best customer service.

What to look out for

There are plenty of CRMs to choose from. To make the best decision, be sure to define your requirements in advance: what would you like to accomplish with this solution? How much money could you afford to put into the software? Thinking of these beforehand ensures you don’t get lost in the plethoric offer.

To help you choose the best CRM for your consulting business, here are some of the best features provided by these products to support your small company:

  • Contact management: efficient CRMs are built on a solid contact management system. At their core, they are supercharged address books designed to help you store and find the most relevant information on your prospects and clients. Make sure they allow you to access all kinds of details through a user-friendly interface.
  • Sales pipeline management: modern CRMs provide tools to visualise your sales funnel via interactive Kanban boards and other tools. Some enable you to define custom steps on your customer journey and assign a score to your leads to sort and manage them (lead scoring).
  • Sales automation: strong automation features can add a lot of value to a CRM solution. Defining scenarios and automatic steps can help you save time and streamline your processes. You can also use email templates to keep in touch with clients effortlessly.
  • Reminders and advice: CRMs can help small teams and independents stay on top of their portfolio by sending intelligent reminders and notifications. Some use AI to provide advice and tell you when it would be best to contact a lead or how often you should send out emails.
  • Integrations and call management: integrations to third-party solutions ensure you have access to a complete history of your interactions with a client in one place. Some CRMs allow you to make and receive calls directly from their interface: that way, you have instant access to the caller’s enriched information.

💡 Some advanced CRMs come complete with lead generation solutions, often in the form of lead databases, or can fill out information for you directly via data scraping to save time on data entry.

What is the best CRM for consultants?

Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM is focused on making CRMs simpler. This intuitive solution offers all the functionality needed to keep track of sales opportunities and prospects in an intuitive, user-friendly package. Use its segmentation and lead scoring features to prioritise your efforts and boost your ROI.

This online platform makes it easy for independent consultants and SMBs to organise, manage and analyse all their contact information in one place. Its useful task management features and reminders allow you to never miss an opportunity and make the most out of your time.

Built with mobility and flexibility in mind, you can log in to your dashboard from anywhere and on any device via an internet browser or the dedicated mobile app. The free plan offers a wide range of features, including integrations and automation to save time and two-factor authentication to keep your data secure.

Pros

  • An affordable solution with a comprehensive free plan that allows you to get started immediately.
  • Built for independents and SMBs who want an intuitive solution to focus on customers, not software.
  • A wide range of 3rd-party integrations and advanced security features.

Cons

  • Only 250 contacts are included in the free version.
  • No marketing functionalities.
  • Limited support except for the Enterprise version.

Covve

Covve is the most useful tool for networking and advanced contact management. This simple yet powerful application is designed to help you keep in touch with your valuable professional relationships with smart reminders, contextual information and more.

This solution will let you know when you’re losing touch with one of your clients and suggest the most effective time to reach out. Create detailed notes after a call and store them right into your interaction history to always make the most of your conversations. The latest news regarding your contacts is automatically curated and shown to you before a call based on the company they work for, their position and other relevant data.

The free plan offers most features, and the Pro plan is affordable at less than $10 per month, billed each year. This makes it the best solution for consultants looking to maintain their network of contacts and clients in an organic yet effective way.

Pros

  • The most intuitive way to manage your network and maintain relationships organically.
  • A proactive approach to networking with auto-reminders and curated news.
  • Unified interaction history and notes make it easy to keep all information at hand.

Cons

  • The useful business card scanner is limited in the free version.
  • Contact backup and export requires the Pro edition.
  • No integrations to 3rd party applications or email providers.

Less Annoying CRM

Just as its name suggests, Less Annoying CRM simplifies the CRM experience. It allows independents to take full advantage of an advanced customer management platform without the need to go through a lengthy learning process.

This streamlined CRM solution allows entrepreneurs and consultants to improve customer experience and boost productivity by making contact management, sales pipelines and task scheduling a breeze. All your precious data can be stored in one place for easier access. Calendars and tasks make it easy to organise your work and can be shared if you ever need to collaborate on specific projects.

This software strikes the right balance between high customisation and ease of use: custom fields can be created in a few clicks to store information the way you need, without any IT skills. This SaaS solution can be accessed from any device connected to the Internet while a dedicated mobile app makes it a good companion for your business on the go.

Pros

  • Unified contacts and shared calendars to manage your activity in one place.
  • Custom sales pipelines and fields to adapt to your specific needs.
  • Online and mobile access to work anywhere, anytime.

Cons

  • No free plan, only a 30-day free trial.
  • No email scheduling or marketing functionalities.
  • Simple pricing, but only one tier.

Recap: Comparison table

Software Free Version USP Price
Capsule CRM 2 users

250 contacts

50MB storage

  • Advanced features (API access, automation…) for free.
  • Focus on ease of use.
Pro plan from £12/user per month
Covve 1 user

Unlimited contacts

  • Proactive features to help you network.
  • Intuitive, affordable & familiar.
About £7 per month
Less Annoying CRM Only 30-day free trial available
  • Simple interface and pricing.
  • Customisation and backup features.
About £11/user per month

Have you found the CRM your consultancy needed?

No matter what industry you’re in, the digital revolution has transformed the needs and expectations of clients. Professionals should adapt to these changes to stay relevant and competitive. Your independent consulting firm could leverage technology to deliver the best customer experience without resorting to recruiting a dedicated team.

We hope you’ve found the right solution for your business in our list of the best CRM for independent consultants. For a more comprehensive overview, feel free to browse our repertoire of the best CRM software.

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