5 Essential Tools: The Best Software for Consultants

Software for Consultants

Evaluating Enterprise Technology Vendors Objectively: Your Path to Success as a Consultant

As a consultant working on behalf of clients, one of the most critical aspects of your role is to perform a thorough evaluation of the business’s technology stack and requirements. The goal is to identify the best software solutions that meet the unique needs of your consultancy.  This process is the key to successful digital transformation and should be part of your offering today.

However, evaluating technology vendors is a long, and difficult process, made even more difficult by the permanent changes to our way of working after the pandemic.

However, evaluating technology vendors can be a long and challenging process, especially in the wake of permanent changes to our work patterns after the pandemic. Many consultants face the challenge of adding layers of technology to their trusted software selection process, involving stakeholders across the globe and cross-referencing information in various project management tools and spreadsheets. These inefficiencies can hinder the evaluation process, which is ironic considering that consultants are often engaged to help companies adapt to new ways of working.

Consultants need to assess the current situation, gain insights from key stakeholders on what the needs of the business are, build a list of requirements, determine the validity of each requirement, build out an RFP etc. The process is tedious, and can often be rife with bias and risk, but it’s necessary in order to find the right solution.

Integrating AI-Powered Software for Consultants into your process

Integrating AI into your technology evaluation process can be a game-changer for consultants seeking to enhance efficiency and accuracy. With  Olive, you can streamline and automate various aspects of the evaluation journey, from data gathering to vendor comparison. AI-driven surveys enable seamless collaboration with key stakeholders, ensuring valuable insights are automatically collected and ranked. Additionally, AI algorithms within the platform can analyze and match requirements to the most suitable software solutions, saving hours of manual work and reducing the risk of biased decision-making. By leveraging the cutting-edge capabilities of AI, consultants can optimize their processes, stay ahead of the competition, and deliver more precise and effective recommendations to their clients, ultimately driving successful digital transformations.

5 Essential Tools for Consultants

1. Survey Software to Collaborate with Key Stakeholders and Gather Data

Collaboration with key stakeholders is crucial to understanding what the organization needs from its technology. Knowing the priority requirements from the stakeholders’ perspective helps in finding the most suitable solutions quickly and accurately. Often, consultants turn to survey software solutions to gather data from the organization. This buy-in is invaluable, as the organization is more likely to accept the solution when they have contributed to the decision. Post-implementation surveys can be used to gather feedback and identify gaps that need to be addressed.

Survey Software Examples for Consultants:

  • Olive
  • Google Workspace
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Qualtrics Core XM
  • Google Surveys
  • JotForm
  • Zoho Survey
  • Doodle
  • Typeform
  • SurveySparrow
  • Microsoft Forms

2. Software to Record and Manage Data, Requirements, and Evaluation Criteria

Gathering and managing large amounts of data securely is one of the most tedious aspects of running technology evaluations. During the requirements gathering process, spreadsheets and pre-made templates are often used. This process can lead to sleepless nights of aggregating data and lost information. A misplaced formula in your evaluation criteria scorecard can erase weeks of due diligence. Therefore, it’s essential to choose a secure, efficient, and scalable tool for this purpose.

Examples of Software to Record and Manage Data, Requirements, and Evaluation Criteria:

  • Olive
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Apple Numbers
  • Google Sheets
  • Quip
  • EtherCalc
  • Zoho Sheets
  • LibreOffice
  • Apache OpenOffice Calc
  • Smartsheet
  • Airtable

3. RFP Management Software

RFP management software simplifies and automates the proposal process and the RFP process. Common features include proposal templates, RFP, RFI, and DDQ templates. While helpful for traditional evaluations, consultants often need to export this information into spreadsheets or project management software, creating opportunities for human error.

Examples of RFP Management Software for Consultants:

  • Olive – RFP alternative
  • Proposify

4. Project Management Software for Consultants

Project management software is necessary for keeping your technology evaluations on track. These tools help your team collaborate on multiple projects simultaneously and facilitate stakeholder collaboration. Key features to look for include ease of use, collaboration capabilities, clear reporting, and data aggregation.

Examples of Project Management Software for Consulting Firms:

  • Olive
  • Avaza
  • Zoho
  • Mavenlink
  • Accelo
  • Jira

5. Requirements Management Software

Requirements management software is essential for automating and growing a consulting business. Automation delivers many benefits, such as performing in-depth analysis of your client’s requirements and automated due diligence.

Examples of Requirements Management Software for Consultants:

  • Olive (Software Selection)
  • Jira (Software Engineering)
  • Jama (Software Engineering)

The Best Software for Consultants

The truth is, when it comes to choosing the best solutions for your business, you KNOW you know how to do it.
You must be clear on what you need. Searching for solutions may have brought you here, but it won’t give you a list of vendors matched to your unique needs.

When buying any technology, it’s vital to perform a thorough evaluation of the available solutions to ensure what you buy matches your needs, and doesn’t end up becoming a piece of shelfware.

Starting out with identifying your business needs, building out requirements and using those to inform your choice will help you find opportunities to integrate solutions and use one tool for many parts of your process.

At Olive, we believe you need to begin by looking at the problem you are trying to solve first. Take the time to speak to the stakeholders involved. In their opinion, what would a software solution need to do? What are the priority requirements? Only by collaborating with stakeholders will you get their buy-in when it comes to implementation. Olive’s process helps you do all that you need to do in less time.

Olive Streamlines RFx Processes, Automates Requirements Management, Project Templates, Solution Comparison, Vendor Management and Due Diligence

Our users have project and requirements templates ready to go in the app. Deploying an evaluation is easy, and our users can speak one too many with Olive’s surveys. Responses are automatically gathered in the app, and you can then give them weight by easily ranking the important ones. Automating these activities limits cross-referencing, speeds collaboration, and saves many hours.

Invite relevant vendors into the platform to respond to the evaluation criteria and your clients’ requirements. Olive’s software makes it a breeze for vendors to respond to the opportunity, so you get the results faster than an RFP. Olive’s agility means this work can begin as soon as your stakeholders start responding to surveys, so if you miss a requirement or need to spend time digging into something specific, the project keeps moving. With this work in motion, you can begin to disregard vendors who don’t meet your client’s needs.

Why Olive Stands Out as an Essential Tool for IT Consultants

It is no wonder that many consultants are turning to technology evaluation platforms like Olive, so they too can leverage the benefits of digital transformation in their own realms. Even if the Big 5 consulting agencies are still running the process of technology evaluations in outdated tools (basically, a collection of spreadsheets) it doesn’t mean the entire consulting industry needs to be held back from transforming and automating their processes to help other companies transform faster.

Your expertise, combined with cutting-edge technology like Olive, can help you stand out from the competition, grow your consulting business, and deliver world-class recommendations to your clients.


Consulting, Digital Transformation, RFP, The Software Selection Process
Business Software, Collaboration Software, Consulting, Survey Software

Supercharge RFx, Streamline Processes, and Drive Successful Recommendations Fast for Your Clients

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