Do you struggle with being a great SAP consultant?
What if you wanted to master the art of consulting? This is where the real value comes from.
It’s not just learning to fix bugs, write code, and present. It’s also learning how to present yourself as a consultant.
This is why I created the “SAP Consulting Mastery” guide. I will teach you everything you need to know to become a world-class SAP Consultant.
I won’t try to cram everything into one day. Instead, I will break down each topic into bite-sized chunks you can consume over weeks.
Let’s jump right in.
Step 1. The Art of Communication
As a consultant, communication is vital to your success. As an SAP consultant, you must learn how to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, and managers.
Here are some tips to improve your ability to communicate effectively:
- Be clear about what you want from clients.
- Know your audience.
- Practice speaking and listening skills.
- Use visual aids such as charts, graphs, diagrams, and tables.
- Write down ideas and questions before talking to someone.
- Don’t overuse acronyms.
- Avoid buzzwords.
- Keep your messages short and sweet.
- Ask open-ended questions instead of yes/no questions.
- Focus on the benefits of your services rather than the features.
- Create a positive first impression.
- Always thank your clients.
- Follow up after meetings.
- Send follow-up correspondence promptly.
- Stay organized.
- Get feedback from clients.
- Build trust.
- Learn to say ‘No’.
- Remember that you are always representing your firm.
Following these tips will improve your ability to communicate effectively as an SAP consultant!
Step 2. Continually Learn
As an SAP Consultant, you need to continuously improve your skills. This means developing a personal development plan and learning new skills each year.
Try to add at least one skill you didn’t master last year.
For example, if you were an SAP BI Consultant last year, you’d want to learn something else this year. Maybe you’d like to understand Machine Learning (ML) or Blockchain. Or perhaps you’d like to learn Internet of Things (IoT).
Whatever your goals, set them down in writing. Then follow through on them.
When you first begin working as an SAP Consultant, you’ll probably only have a few areas where you lack expertise. Over time, however, you’ll gain experience in other areas. So you’ll need to continually learn new skills.
You should set aside time to review your progress each year and decide what skills to acquire over the coming 12 months.
Then you should create a list of those skills and prioritize them based on importance. Finally, it would be best if you committed to acquiring those skills.
Step 3. Identify a Mentor
Finding a mentor is key to becoming a world-class SAP consultant. Find someone ahead of you to guide you through the learning curve.
Your mentor can be anyone who works in the same organization as you. They can be a senior consultant, a product specialist, or migration or implementation specialist.
There are several places you can turn to for mentorship. The first place I’d recommend is LinkedIn.
Another option is to join local user groups. These groups often have members willing to share their knowledge and experience with newcomers.
Finally, you can always reach out to your clients. Many companies offer mentoring programs to help their consultants develop their careers.
Find a senior consultant experienced in SAP consulting who can help you develop your skills. Ask them to be your SAP consultant mentor.
Ask them to teach you about the SAP consultant responsibilities you will be expected to assume as a sap consultant.
They can help you understand the nuances of SAP, such as the SAP landscape, the SAP architecture, and the SAP system.
They can also give you insight into the data management processes used in SAP. This knowledge will help you better manage data in SAP.
Once you’ve identified a mentor, you can begin working together. Follow his or her advice. Ask questions and listen closely. Your mentor will be able to see things you can’t and will be able to help you improve your consulting skills.
Step 4. Be a Good Team Member and a Lead
Becoming a world-class SAP consultant means being able to work as part of a team. This means working together with other people to complete projects.
Working as part of a team takes dedication and commitment. You have to be prepared to put in long hours and work through challenges.
Most SAP consultants, especially entry-level consultants, must acquire several years of experience before they are considered true experts.
So, while you’re learning, you’ll probably spend a lot of time doing grunt work. But once you’ve acquired enough knowledge, you’ll be able to move up the ladder and begin performing as a leader.
This means leading your peers and helping them succeed. You’ll be responsible for setting goals and getting everyone else involved.
Leadership skills aren’t easy to develop overnight. So, you’ll need to practice those leadership skills now.
When you lead, you’ll need to set expectations and communicate clearly. That means communicating effectively with both your colleagues and clients.
Communication is essential to building trust within your organization. Trust is key to having a successful relationship.
Trust is something that develops over time. So, you’ll have to earn it by demonstrating your ability to listen and empathize.
In addition to communication skills, you’ll need strong interpersonal skills. These are the soft skills that allow you to build relationships with your coworkers and clients.
These skills include listening, empathy, problem-solving, conflict resolution, negotiation, and decision-making.
Practice these skills now so that you can demonstrate them later.
Many clients use Agile SAP implementation projects
Each team may typically have the following roles
- SAP Project Manager or Scrum Master
- SAP Solution Architect
- Product Owner
- Cross-functional Team Members
Each team is expected to be self-directed from start to finish. You will participate in daily stand-ups to answer three critical questions:
- What did you accomplish yesterday?
- What is your plan today?
- Do you have any challenges to overcome?
Clients prefer to hire a strong team player. So, be prepared and train yourself to be a team person.
Step 5. Practical SAP Project Experience
There are two types of SAP consultants: those who only understand the theory behind SAP and those who practice the approach.
Those who only understand the theory are often called “theory guys.” They can explain the SAP concept but cannot apply it to real-world situations.
On the other hand, those who practice the SAP concepts are called “practitioners.” They can show you how to use SAP software to solve real-world problems.
To become a true SAP practitioner, you need practical experience working on SAP implementations. This means getting hands-on experience implementing SAP solutions.
This type of experience is precious. Clients hire SAP consultants to implement SAP solutions to solve their business problems. So, you need to understand the entire process of implementation.
You probably won’t have any client work when you first begin consulting. But over time, you’ll gain experience and build a portfolio of successful projects.
As you gain experience, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise to prospective clients. That’s why getting practical experience working on SAP implementations is crucial.
Gain Experience in 7 SAP Implementation Stages
There are seven key stages in this SAP implementation process.
- Project Preparation/Planning
- Business Blueprint
- Integration Tests
- Final Preparation
- Production/ GO Live Support
If you have experience in these seven steps, you will be one of the most sought-after SAP consultants in the market.
Step 6. Get SAP Certification
Read the SAP infographic below, reproduced from SAP’s certification website.
Do you need any further proof?
If you wish to become a top-notch SAP Consultant, get certified by SAP.
A list of available SAP Certifications is on their website.
Visit the SAP Learning Hub to learn more.
Step 7. Keep Up With the Latest Technology Trends
SAP has evolved significantly over the past two to three decades. I recommend the following methods to keep up with the technological evolution of SAP.
SAP Community network containing blogs, news, bulletins, forums, and wikis about SAP.
Read SAP books.
Subscribe to Top SAP Blogs.
Step 8. Become a Thought Leader in Your Area of Specialization in SAP
Consistency is key to becoming a thought leader in SAP, especially since you are competing against others who may be more experienced in the field.
You’ll become a thought leader in SAP faster as you learn new things. This means focusing on learning new technologies, processes, and concepts.
Build relationships with colleagues, customers, vendors, partners, and industry experts. As you build these relationships, you’ll be able to provide valuable insights and advice to others.
Share your knowledge with others. Don’t hoard it. Let others benefit from your experiences.
Create value for others. Helping others succeed is a surefire way to become a thought leader in the field.
Check out the Open SAP Thought Leaders Portal.
Step 9. Share Valuable Content
Start sharing content in SAP forums.
Forums are groups of people who discuss topics related to a particular topic. For instance, if you were interested in learning about SAP, you could join a forum dedicated to SAP. I recommend you start with the following forums:
FAQ on SAP Consulting Mastery
What Knowledge and Experience Do you Require in SAP ERP?
SAP ERP Component
Business Process Knowledge, Educational Background or Professional Experience
Procurement, logistics or supply chain management (SCM)
Sales and marketing
Production and operations management, Engineering degree in any discipline
Maintenance management, an Engineering degree in any discipline
Logistics or supply chain management (SCM)
Project management, including PMP certification
Human resources management
Computer science or computer engineering
Computer science or computer engineering
How to stay current with your SAP Certification?
The SAP Certified Application Associate (SAPACA®) certification is one of the most sought-after credentials in the IT industry today. If you want to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge of SAP solutions, there are many ways to achieve them. In addition to earning your SAPACA®, you can take advantage of SAP Learning Services programs offered online, including free self-paced courses, live training sessions, and certifications.
For those looking to earn their SAPACA®, there are three paths to choose from. You can enrol in a live classroom course, complete a self-paced course online, or pass the exam via eLearning. Each option offers something unique for different types of learners.
In addition to earning your SAP ACA credential, you can also make additional certifications such as the SAP HANA Developer (HADO), SAP BusinessObjects BI Developer (BIDA), SAP NetWeaver Developer (NWD), SAP Mobile Platform Developer (MPD), SAP Certified Java SE 8 Programmer (JCSE8), and others.
What SAP Career Paths Exist For you?
Original: Pinterest Image
In conclusion, SAP consulting has become increasingly competitive over the past decade. It means you must constantly stay ahead of the curve to succeed.
I have put together the SAP Consultant Mastery Guide for you. With the guide, you’ll gain access to the latest technology and techniques, which will help you stand out from the crowd.
I hope I’ve provided you with the tools to achieve SAP Consultant Mastery easily and quickly.
Let me know if I have missed any steps.
Contact us if you like us to manage your SAP Consulting career. With over two decades of SAP consultancy experience, we can help you succeed.
Don’t wait another day to begin your journey toward mastery!