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Do I need prior SD experience to succeed as a CRM consultant?

Career expert Jon Reed offers his advice for an experienced SAP professional looking to break into CRM consulting.

Dear Jon,

I have a bachelor's degree in engineering and an M.B.A in marketing. I have seven years of functional experience in marketing at a Fortune 500 company. In the same company I was a core team member when they implemented SAP and was a power user for three years. I am presently working as a marketing consultant for an instrumentation company for the past year, but I want to move into SAP consulting.

Initially I planned to consult on the sales and distribution (SD) module, but as I went through your suggestions, I found that investing in mySAP CRM would be beneficial. I have good analytical as well as good communication skills. I have done some reading in the SAP SD module and I am conversant (30%) with the principles. Do I need to have SAP SD implementation experience or can I do a course in mySAP CRM (marketing module)? Before recruiting a mySAP CRM fresher, do companies insist that the candidate have prior SAP SD implementation experience?

You do *not* have to have prior SD experience to succeed as a CRM consultant. I suppose in the ideal scenario, it's nice to understand the SD module, but if I were breaking into CRM now, I would skip SD and focus on heading right into SAP CRM. The CRM market is one of the hottest areas of SAP, and you won't be up against folks with seven years of SD as you would in the SD module. So, I agree with your plan to try to push right into mySAP CRM. SD can always be a fallback for you, but I'd do your best to get right into CRM.

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