Q

Moving from marketing to functional consulting

I have been in Sales, Marketing & Channel marketing for the last 8 years. I want to make a transition to a techno-business consultant and am looking at becoming a SAP functional consultant. I am considering the SD Module and follow it up with CRM. Is this approach ok? I realize landing my first project in current times may be difficult, but I am betting on making this transition happen.
The best thing about your approach is your determination. You're right - this is not going to be an easy transition. I do agree that with your sales and marketing experience, the best role for you within SAP will be some type of SD and/or CRM functional position. I've said before that training is not enough to land you a position right now working with SAP. As long as you understand that your SAP training will not lead to immediate gratification, make the investment. My suggestion would be to take that training, and then see if you can align yourself with the sales team of a vendor that is either selling SAP consulting services or SAP add-on products. The best way for sales and marketing folks to make the transition into consulting is through a pre-sales type of role, where you begin to get acclimated to the technical skills needed to implement SAP, and also continue to draw on your sales background. You may find that this type of role is so perfect for your background that you opt to stay in that capacity. Right now, an effective SAP sales and/or pre-sales person is much more in demand than even a two or three year SD consultant; keep that it mind as you go forward. I always think our most powerful career moves draw on all the diverse strengths of our background. So follow your dreams, but make sure you have both realistic expectations and a practical plan in case training does not immediately open the doors you hope it will.
This was first published in April 2003

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