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Best SAP CRM self-training techniques?

I am currently a CRM consultant. I have worked on two major CRM call center implementations (on the business analysis and client-facing side, plus some project management). These have not included SAP as a technology solution, so I have no direct experience/knowledge of SAP CRM.

I now wish to become more aligned with the SAP CRM tool. My plan is to receive certification in SAP CRM 4.0 (Sales and IC) at my own expense. This will give me specific knowledge of an enterprise solution. I aim to be able to move into an SAP CRM implementation soon after as a functional consultant.

What is the best way to train myself, and what are the prospects for me getting a job on an SAP CRM implementation -- considering 4 years general CRM consulting experience, and 9 years in IT?

My hope is that because I am a CRM generalist, and know all about CRM processes, I will not be considered totally 'fresh' and therefore stand a better than average chance of getting onto an SAP project with my certification. Do you agree?

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I do agree. In another question in this month's batch, I talk about the growth of the SAP CRM market, so look for that exchange as well. The bottom line: there are so many opportunities in SAP CRM right now that folks who don't have previous SAP CRM experience are finding their ways onto projects. I can't say for sure what kind of success you're going to have, but I think you have a well-thought out strategy. The combination of CRM know-how and SAP-CRM certification puts you in a pretty good position. Let's put it this way: if you can't break into SAP CRM, then who can? You'll need to write me again so I can let readers know how you fare. When you apply for your first SAP CRM positions, you should apply to both consulting firms and end-users. Even if you have to become a full-time employee to obtain your first SAP CRM experience, it's an option you should consider if the consulting firms don't bite. Remember, however, that CRM is a broad product offering. You're going to need a more focused niche in order to make it happen. If I were you, I would strongly consider the Mobile Sales functionality. Obviously, the growth of wireless infrastructures within corporate environments continues to increase, so that is one area to look at. Based on your background - which I don't have a totally good sense of -- there may be other niches to look into. Just make sure you find one.

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This was first published in December 2004

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