Easy methods to Automate the Consulting Course of in 7 Steps

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Easy methods to Automate the Consulting Course of in 7 Steps

As a advisor, you need to stand out by offering each shopper with personalised recommendation at each step within the course of. Giving skilled recommendation at a private stage comes with many challenges like a scarcity of time and assets, resulting in an inefficiency drawback.

Constructing and sustaining a private relationship together with your shopper all through all the venture takes time. The extra time you spend on one shopper, the less initiatives you may tackle.  

So the massive query is: Can personalization and automation go hand in hand? 

Let’s discover out.

What’s an automatic consulting course of?

Automation has helped many industries streamline their processes, grow to be extra environment friendly, and generate extra income. The consulting trade should not be any completely different.

Automating the consulting course of refers to leveraging know-how to take over repetitive and mundane duties. Decreasing human intervention helps cut back errors, improve pace, and allow you to scale your consulting enterprise. 

One of the important benefits of automation is that it helps pace up the info assortment course of. And as a advisor, information is the spine of what you are promoting.

To get began automating the consulting course of, it’s essential to analyze your shopper’s enterprise processes and observe these steps:

Perceive the present processes

Audit your shopper’s current enterprise processes. Doing this may help you see inefficiencies within the course of you could enhance with automation. 

Outline the maturity of your shopper’s enterprise

Utilizing a maturity assessment, gauge the maturity of your shopper’s enterprise in numerous areas. This provides you with a greater understanding of the place they’re and the steps wanted to take their enterprise to the following stage.

online presence maturity assessment

Supply: Survey Anyplace

Determine ache factors and challenges

To finest serve your purchasers, it’s good to perceive their ache factors and challenges clearly. You need to use a wants evaluation or survey software to collect this info — a step you could simply automate.

Counsel enhancements inside their particular framework

After you have the knowledge from the primary three steps, you may generate a report together with your findings and proposals. 

marketing assessment report survey anyplace

Supply: Survey Anyplace

You may automate your reporting actions, too.

Implementing your recommendation

Now, it is time to implement your recommendation. Relying on the complexity of the trade, you may anticipate to be hands-on in some facets of the implementation. Outline the steps you need to take collectively together with your shopper. This half will largely be a handbook course of.

Following up

As soon as your shopper has carried out your recommendation, observe up on the results. Your follow-up should embody evaluating the brand new course of and the outcomes achieved. It additionally entails gauging whether or not the shopper (or their group) finds the brand new course of simpler or extra difficult.

Constantly enhancing the method

As a residing entity, your shopper’s enterprise will frequently be evolving. If you happen to’re doing a great job, you may want to guage and enhance the processes constantly. 

Many of the steps above will be automated, serving to you get rid of handbook work. 

Why automate the consulting course of?

I feel you already get my level. Automating your consulting course of is feasible in several phases of your initiatives. Let’s check out it from a enterprise perspective. You need to stand out from the opposite consultants, proper?

Consulting is without doubt one of the industries that thrive on one-on-one interactions with purchasers. 

So does not that imply automation will do extra hurt than good? Received’t you lose purchasers since you’ll have much less private contact with every shopper?

By no means. Let’s take a look at a couple of the reason why automating the consulting course of is important.  

Observe digital transformation tendency

The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is in full swing, and each trade and enterprise has already undergone or is present process digital transformation. As a advisor, it’s good to remodel digitally to enhance what you are promoting and perceive your purchasers higher.

Be a pioneer

Regardless of being the sector that advises different companies to enhance, the consulting trade remains to be lagging within the space of automation. Implementing automation in your business will put you forward of the competitors as you may be one of many first to take action.

Secondly, you’ll set a great instance on your purchasers as properly.

Save money and time

One of the important benefits of automation is that it saves you time spent doing handbook work. In consequence, it frees up your time to do extra strategic work, be extra inventive, and tackle extra purchasers. In consequence, you get to economize and, in the end, improve your income.

Restrict headcount

Staffing overheads are one of the vital important bills companies undertake. Decreasing them results in a rise in earnings. And that is precisely what automation lets you do — cut back your headcount. 

Enhance shopper expertise

Your consultancy enterprise wants one major ingredient for it to succeed — purchasers. And one of the best ways to retain purchasers is by giving them an distinctive expertise. Buyer expertise (CX) has grow to be a major a part of the success equation for each enterprise.

top priority for business customer experience

Supply: SuperOffice 

A optimistic expertise can also be important to getting new purchasers because it encourages referrals out of your present clients. Automating your consulting course of is a wonderful method of guaranteeing that you simply present top-notch shopper experiences.

Higher course of transparency

Automation makes your outcomes extra quantifiable. It permits you and your purchasers to grasp your processes and measure outcomes higher. That is because of analytics engines that assist with measuring and reporting your important KPIs.

Standardize deliverables

Standardizing your consulting deliverables is a vital a part of streamlining what you are promoting and rising your effectivity. Automation lets you package deal your providers higher and create standardized deliverables. Each will assist reduce the handbook work that often goes into tailoring packages and deliverables. It additionally helps pace up your course of.

Scale what you are promoting

Due to the time saved and the handbook work lowered by automation, scaling turns into simpler. Not solely does automation help you scale by taking up extra purchasers, it additionally lets you improve the packages and providers you provide.

Leverage your information to determine your self as a thought chief

The info assortment and evaluation that comes with automation is a game-changer for consultants. That is as a result of it means that you can:

  • Set trade benchmarks
  • Share aggregated information within the type of trade experiences 

You may leverage these (and extra) information assortment benefits to determine your self as a thought chief in your vertical.

As you may see, there are innumerable the reason why you must embrace automation in your consultancy enterprise. Failure to automate will put you at a aggressive drawback.

7 steps to successfully automate consulting

Now that you understand the significance of automating the consulting course of, let’s begin with an instance, after which check out the seven steps that will help you accomplish that.

So let’s get you ready and try the seven steps to beginning your individual digital transformation.

1. Assess your want for automation and determine alternatives

Step one in digitally remodeling your consulting enterprise is to evaluate your want for automation. This begins with analyzing each step of your consulting course of, together with:

  • Analyzing what you are at present working
  • Analyzing the period of time you spend on completely different duties
  • Analyzing which areas will be improved

To finest determine processes you could automate, test for these which might be rule-based. These are processes that observe a strict logical order and do not require human judgment. Additionally, guarantee these processes are well-defined and do not change. 

By analyzing your whole processes on this gentle, it turns into simpler to determine automation processes and alternatives. 

Now, let’s check out how one can arrange an automation plan for what you are promoting.

2. Work out an automation plan based mostly in your experience

Now that you have assessed what you are promoting course of and recognized automation alternatives, it’s good to resolve how you may implement automation.

It is advisable to work out an automation plan based mostly in your information and experience.

Listed below are a couple of pointers that will help you with this step:

Create an outline of which elements of your course of will be automated

To raised plan on your automation, it’s essential to first create an outline of the elements of your course of that may be automated. It might assist when you additionally thought-about how:

  • They’re related
  • They relate to one another
  • They affect and affect the shopper’s expertise

Doing this ensures that your automated sequences are environment friendly and lead to a great buyer journey.

Make a plan for every step you need to automate

After getting an outline of the elements of the method you need to automate, it’s good to plan the best way to automate them. Just a few pointers right here embody: 

  • Calculate automation potential. Simply because you may automate a specific step of the method doesn’t suggest you must. Weigh the advantages of automating it and contemplate if automation could have sufficient momentum to be value it.
  • Resolve in your price range. Automation instruments come at a value. Think about if in case you have the price range to automate each facet that may be automated. If not, prioritize those who provides you with one of the best return on funding (ROI).
  • Outline the functionalities you want (methodology). Defining the functionalities you want will assist you to map a blueprint of how you may implement automation for every step.

3. Determine one of the best automation instruments or programs to make use of

With an automation plan in place, you now know what you may be automating and the way. Now it is time to determine the instruments that can assist you to pull it off. To do that, analyze a set of appropriate instruments that suit your price range. As soon as you have shortlisted the absolute best candidates:

  • Take a look at number of know-how. Join free trials of the instruments you are interested by and take a look at them totally. This can assist you to determine those who fit your scenario finest. If you happen to’re unsure, schedule a demo name with one of the best software program candidates, as a way to ask extra in-depth questions.
  • Choose remaining automation instrument(s). As soon as your exams are full, choose your remaining number of instruments. Be sure they work properly collectively and combine together with your present instruments.
  • Implement instrument(s) into your course of. Implement your new instruments into what you are promoting course of and monitor their efficiency. 

Bear in mind, not all automation instruments are constructed the identical. The success of your automation program depends upon discovering the best instruments for what you are promoting.

4. Set up an automation workflow

Automation is not computerized. To work successfully, it’s essential to set up an automation workflow that ensures all of the items of your course of effortlessly work in sync. To do this, it’s essential to begin by defining the actions that might be automated and people that can keep handbook. Subsequent: 

Combine automated and handbook duties to optimize your workflow

Be sure there is a clean continuation the place your automated and handbook duties meet. When these are in sync, it leads to an optimized workflow. 

Arrange an accessible process that you simply (and your group) can fall again on

Create a document that outlines how you may use the brand new automation course of. Be sure that everybody in your group is aware of the best way to use the automation instruments you may be utilizing. If crucial, put money into coaching to assist them get to hurry rapidly. 

As a result of instruments can typically fail, you additionally have to outline the process to maintain thighs flowing when that occurs. Once more, make this simply accessible so everybody in your group is aware of what to do.

5. Implement the automation course of

With the right basis now laid, it is time to implement the automation process. All of the laborious work has been finished within the planning phases, and all it’s good to do now’s deploy your automation instruments. As soon as you have finished that:

Observe up on the implementation intently

Monitor the modifications automation has introduced into your course of.

Does it meet your expectations?

If it does, nice job. If not, you may want to find out the automated elements at fault and why they don’t seem to be enhancing your course of. Then, consider whether or not that half actually requires automation or altering it again to handbook. You can too think about using a unique automation instrument.

Talk the change in workflow internally and externally

An important facet of efficiently implementing your automation course of is speaking the workflow change with all stakeholders. This implies speaking together with your workers (internally) and your purchasers (externally). Everybody ought to know what to anticipate to make sure a clean transition.

6. Measure modifications and efficiency

As soon as your automated system has been working for a while, it’s good to measure and see if it has improved your efficiency or not. 

measure automation performance

Supply: SweetProcess

It is advisable to have information out of your absolutely handbook course of to make use of as a benchmark to do that. That is the place you may uncover one of many beauties of automation — automated monitoring and reporting. Most automating instruments include a built-in analytics dashboard that will help you maintain monitor of your most necessary metrics. In consequence, information assortment and evaluation grow to be a lot simpler.

To successfully measure the affect of automation in your consulting enterprise, as the next questions:

  • Analyze pre-automation and post-automation efficiency. Has automation helped improve efficiency and the variety of deliverables you may produce? 
  • Survey your purchasers. Are they joyful together with your new method of doing issues?
  • Examine your ROI. Is there a rise as a result of automation?

If you happen to reply sure to the questions above, your automation has achieved its goal.

7. Consider and mitigate dangers

Simply since you’ve pulled off a profitable digital transformation technique doesn’t suggest you may sit in your laurels and anticipate one of the best. Nice as know-how is, it is also susceptible to error.

That is why it’s essential to consider your automated course of and determine any potential dangers. Doing so will assist you to mitigate these dangers and put contingency plans in place. Just a few recommendations on doing this embody:

  • Take sufficient time earlier than you consider. The outcomes of automation could not present instantly. Give it sufficient time earlier than you begin evaluating outcomes. You may have to train a little bit of persistence on this regard.
  • Think about the outcomes. When you consider the outcomes, contemplate whether or not they’re what you anticipated. Did automation enhance effectivity? Has it given you alternatives to scale what you are promoting?
  • Doable lack of personalization. One factor individuals worth in session is the private contact. Think about if shifting to an automatic course of has led to a loss in personalization. 

As you understand, moving into new frontiers all the time carries some danger. That is why it’s essential to all the time consider your automation course of and search for danger components. Doing so will assist mitigate them and guarantee a clean circulate of what you are promoting.

Instance of automation

With a view to make this extra tangible, let’s take a look at an instance. 

One of many first and most necessary phases within the consulting enterprise is getting purchasers. With a view to obtain this, it’s good to persuade prospects that you simply’re the only option. 

Step 1: Assess your want for automation

In your first name with a brand new prospect, you all the time ask roughly the identical collection of questions, proper? These conversations will be fairly time-consuming. 

Step 2: Understanding an automation plan based mostly in your experience

You have got sufficient expertise to know what inquiries to ask, and which replies chances are you’ll anticipate. So, you may provide your purchasers a web based questionnaire (automation #1) that routinely generates a shopper evaluation report for you (automation #2), and a report for the prospect (automation #3). 

example client report advisor report

Supply: Survey Anyplace

You’ll have an instantaneous overview of what your prospect is searching for, and the prospect will get a abstract and first suggestions tailor-made to their drawback, which can show your experience and persuade them to pick you for his or her venture. 

Step 3: Determine one of the best automation instruments

You’ll need to put appreciable effort and time into creating a great questionnaire and linking a custom-made report back to it. Discover the best assessment software on your automation plan. 

Step 4: Set up an automation workflow

Not each exercise on this part must be coated by the evaluation or the report. Be sure to outline the place you like human contact over automation to create a balanced dialog with the prospect or shopper. 

Step 5: Implement the automation course of

If you happen to discovered an evaluation software program to create a shopper wants evaluation and a custom-made report in a single app, you can begin with the implementation. Talk your strategies clearly to your prospects, in order that they know what to anticipate.

Step 6: Measure modifications and efficiency

Are you getting extra purchasers at a sooner tempo, now that you simply’ve automated this a part of the method? Are purchasers providing you with optimistic suggestions about your personalised experiences? Is there an effectivity win: do you’ve extra time for strategic work?

Step 7: Consider and mitigate dangers

Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate in case your outcomes aren’t as anticipated. Are there any dangers you haven’t taken into consideration? Ask your group and purchasers for suggestions. Flip again to handbook processes the place automation has not confirmed to be efficient.

Stipulations of automating consulting

When contemplating the best way to automate consulting, it is easy to suppose you may automate each course of. It is also tempting to suppose each sort of consulting enterprise can profit from any form of automation.

Each situations aren’t true.

It is advisable to rigorously contemplate your sort of consulting enterprise and the stipulations required for automation. After all, the principle one is that it’s good to be prepared for automation. Listed below are a couple of questions that will help you know if you’re:

  • Are your processes clearly outlined and standardized?
  • Do you’ve the assets (time, monetary and human) to implement such invasive modifications?
  • Is what you are promoting secure sufficient to hold a digital transformation?
  • Are your purchasers prepared for automation?

If you happen to reply sure to the above, you are undoubtedly able to shift to automated processes.

Advantages and challenges of automating the consulting course of 

We have regarded on the significance of automating your consultancy enterprise and the best way to know when you’re prepared for the shift. Earlier than we wrap up, let’s rapidly take a look at the advantages and challenges of automating the consulting course of. 

Advantages of automating consulting

Let’s begin with the advantages of automation. Listed below are our high three:

  • Scaling with out rising headcount. That is most likely the most important profit you get from automation. With so many handbook duties taken care of effectively and speedily, you may have extra bandwidth for development while not having so as to add on any new group members.
  • Proving your digital maturity. Being within the digital age, your purchasers have most likely already embraced 4IR. So once they search for a advisor to assist with their enterprise, they will belief one who has moved with the occasions. That is why proving your digital maturity is a vital facet of gaining your prospects’ belief.
  • Standardized workflows. Standardizing your workflow lets you set clear expectations on your purchasers. It makes it simpler so that you can paint an image of the outcomes your shopper will obtain. It additionally helps you leverage shopper testimonials to market your self as you may confidently pitch the identical outcomes to your prospects.

Challenges of automating consulting

Whereas automation has its many advantages, it additionally has some challenges. Listed below are probably the most important ones:

  • Sustaining a private relationship with purchasers. Interacting with purchasers 1-on-1 is a vital facet of working a profitable consulting enterprise. To make sure you do not lose this important ingredient, be deliberate in planning for moments that can assist you to keep private relationships together with your purchasers.
  • Lack of human contact. One hazard of automating the consulting course of is the lack of the human contact. Nevertheless, that is often the results of implementing automation flawed. You may lose the human contact when you fail to personalize your automated interactions with purchasers. 
  • Advanced processes could require superior automation. Whenever you’re in a fancy discipline, your processes are certain to be extra difficult. This can require superior automation, which can lead to the price of automation being larger.

Your automation session is full

If you happen to’ve been questioning the best way to automate the consulting course of, we hope this text has helped. Bear in mind, automating the consulting course of has a number of advantages, with the principle ones being: streamlining your processes and rising effectivity, enabling you to scale simply with out rising your headcount, standardizing your workflows and deliverables.

That is why, if you have not but, it’s essential to consider your processes and contemplate automating a few of your repetitive duties. Automation will lead to extra purchasers and increase your income. So, sure. Automating the consulting course of is unquestionably well worth the funding.

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