If you had a consultant to help you with your strategy, then work with them or someone they recommend so that there is continuity in the thinking and collaboration between you and the existing consultants and anyone new. If not, and you developed all those other items on the agenda in house and know what they are, bring in a consultant who not only understands features and functions, but has relationships in the industry and understands the companies that are providing the CRM technology. As I've said since day one in CRM, "When you buy the applications, you buy the vendor." Plus, a consultant who can work with you to understand what you're going to need will also be able to work with the companies to get you the best deal possible both in price and in relationship.
Yes, you do know better what you need, but a consultant knows better how to get it and who provides it, so there is a good marriage there. I would stick to a consultant who knows not just the technology, but the players at the companies and how to access them.
This was first published in October 2006