What are implementation consultants and what – exactly – do they do? There are many different types of consulting, which can get confusing when you’re deciding where exactly you want to enter the industry. Today, we’ll help clear up some of the confusion.
With a focus on project management and business analysis, implementation consultants play an important role in seeing projects to completion. Read on to learn more about the different types of implementation consultant jobs, the average implementation consultant salary, and opportunities for certification and career growth.
What Is an Implementation Consultant?
Before discussing the implementation consultant salary and opportunities, it is important to answer the basic question: What is an implementation consultant? They must implement things, right? Well, sort of.
One thing that implementation consultants don’t do is strategy – that is left to strategy and operations consultants. Implementation consultants, at a high level, help companies answer the question “How should we do this?” The major difference between strategy and implementation consulting: strategy consultants help companies decide what to do, and implementation consultants help them do it.
Implementation consulting is also not the same as operations consulting. Operations consulting, when done well, is very similar to strategy consulting. However, operations consultants advise on a different part of the business than strategy consultants.
At the end of the day, implementation consultants are hired to implement an already decided upon strategy, although no strategy adequately forecasts all the needs of a particular project. Thus, implementation consultants use the overall strategy as a guide, and are effective problem-solvers to ensure that the solution can work in the “real world.”
Many firms offer implementation consulting services, including firms like McKinsey, which have been branded “strategy houses.” In the purest sense of the term, they are not, as they offer a full litany of downstream consulting services. Accenture excels in IT implementation work, and the Big 4 generally have well regarded implementation practices.
Our definition of an implementation consultant is that implementation consultants carry out often-complex ideas or initiatives for companies. Implementation consultants are tasked with working across segments of a business as project management specialists to take a project from start to finish, whether it is the launch of a new division or carrying out a cost-cutting initiative. Implementation consultants won’t do all the work, but they will oversee the project.
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Implementation Consultant Salary
When considering your options for becoming an implementation consultant, you’ll want to consider salary. Implementation consultants in management consulting generally make an $80,000/year base salary, which is much less than their strategy and operations counterparts. If comp is your primary motivator for breaking into the industry, implementation consulting might not be for you.
As in most fields, location is an important factor in determining compensation. Here, we’ll compare a U.S.-based McKinsey implementation consultant salary and a London-based implementation consultant salary to see how they stack up.
McKinsey Implementation Consultant Salary
McKinsey & Company is a well-known consulting firm that hires hundreds each year into various functions, including implementation roles. The average McKinsey implementation consultant salary is roughly the same as the industry average of $80K annually. This is the average salary for U.S. based implementation consultants across all firms.
Implementation Consultant Salary London
The average salary for implementation consultants in London is significantly higher than other cities in the country, but 5-10% below what you would earn in the U.S. The average salary for implementation consultants in London is £62,141, which translates to approximately $73,000 a year. This is ~25% more than implementation consultants make in other cities in the U.K., and 40% higher than the average salary in London. So, whether you work in the U.S. or the U.K., implementation consulting pays reasonably well compared to roles in industry.
Implementation Consultant Jobs & Types
The role of implementation consultant is an umbrella term which encompasses multiple types of consulting work. This section outlines various implementation consultant jobs based on specific skills and titles. In general, implementation consultants are:
- Generalists, with a skillset focused on project management.
- Specialists, with a skillset focused on implementation of specific solutions or implementing a particular solution repeatedly in different contexts.
- IT-focused, with a skillset that leans more towards coding and software than project management.
The roles below all fall under the banner of implementation consultant.
Salesforce Implementation Consultant
Salesforce implementation consultants work with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to complete team-based projects. Specifically, salesforce implementation consultants assist clients and companies on optimizing digital platforms and tools through the implementation of Salesforce.
Netsuite Implementation Consultant
Netsuite implementation consultants assist teams with the utilization and implementation of Netsuite’s cloud computing software. Netsuite implementation consultants help organize and manage the information and data of a client or company.
ERP Implementation Consultant
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation consultants assist in streamlining the management of a business through the effective organization of daily tasks and activities.
Software Implementation Consultant
Software implementation consultants specialize in the rollout of new software solutions at enterprise scale.
CRM Implementation Consultant
CRM implementation consultants are tasked with providing clients with the tools needed to manage daily operations and improve customer relations. CRM consultants tend to have strong interpersonal skills and understanding of CRM software, such as Salesforce. If you don’t know, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.
Product Implementation Consultant
Product implementation consultants oversee the development and completion of a product from start to finish. This type of implementation consultant is generally skilled at managing the ideation, prototyping, engineering, and marketing of a specific product for a company.
How To Become An Implementation Consultant
Now that you have some information about what an implementation consultant is and the various implementation consultant jobs that are available, you might be wondering how to become an implementation consultant? Since there are multiple implementation consultant jobs, it is important to decide what type of implementation consultant you want to be and pursue training and experience in the skills that position requires.
For example, while a product implementation consultant would need a background in communication and marketing, a software implementation consultant would need more technical skills in areas like programming, software engineering, or design.
The type of implementation consultant you become will be greatly influenced by your educational background and professional experience – and how you communicate that experience on your resume. In addition, a background in business – be it through entrepreneurial experience or a degree like an MBA – offers the skills necessary for succeeding in implementation consultant roles.
A word of wisdom: don’t neglect effective networking in the recruiting process, and make sure to “consultify” your resume before submitting it in applications. Need expert help? Work with our team on a resume edit.
Implementation consultants serve an important role in the business world. If you’re looking to become one, consider working with our expert team to get ready for implementation consulting interviews. We’ll guide you through the process step-by-step – 60% of folks that work with us land offers at top 10 firms. Get started today!
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