CRM Critical Success Factor 4: The Right CRM Partner

If you’re looking outside of your own organisation for help with your CRM, consider these areas to help you make the right choice

Why look for help from a CRM Partner?

Choosing the Right CRM Partner

Implementing CRM is not something companies do many times, therefore it is unlikely they will have CRM implementation expertise in-house.  You may have CRM users and you may have great technical resources in house; however, you are unlikely to have employees who have been through the process of CRM implementation numerous times.  

Some things to consider:

  • Multifunctional Skills – Do you have the right mix of technical, business analysis and project management skills to implement CRM in-house?
  • Time – Can your team allocate sufficient time to achieve an integrated CRM implementation without impacting on other day-to-day activities?
  • Customisation – Do you have skilled developers for more complex customisations?

Likeability Factor

Look for a CRM partner that you feel you will be able to get along with. Obvious? Your overall project and need for support will last over a long time, the life of the system itself.  Whilst you may not need the same level of support during that lifetime, it would be good to know that you can get on with that partner and call on them as and when required.

Industry Focus

You may want to look for a partner with a focus on your particular industry. Somebody who has already put CRM into a similar organisation may have their own intellectual property – products, code or modules – that they can bring to your project and offer significant benefit from their industry experience.

User Adoption

User adoption is not a Critical Success Factor itself, but it should be seen as a measure of success.  If you review discussions about failed CRM implementations, lack of user adoption is often cited as the reason.  However, this is a symptom, not a cause of failure.  This system failed to deliver what the users needed to do their jobs, causing them more work than they had before.  In most cases, the needs of the users were not understood, and the aims of the company were not properly communicated. This is a situation an experienced CRM practitioner will be able to help you avoid.

What Makes a Good CRM Partner?

A good CRM partner should bring value to the project.  Knowing how far it is reasonable to customise the solution, versus looking for a proven, well supported third-party component or add-on to provide the function required.  They may have their own Intellectual Property (IP) in the form of code or an off the shelf module that supports a particular feature or functional requirement.

When looking for a partner, be that a CRM practice or an individual, think about the sort of person you want to work with. Do they have related industry experience, what is their pedigree, what do their current or previous customers say about them?  Finding the right partner will make a real difference to the success of your project.

Be Honest

Be honest with the partner you plan to work with.  Mutual respect and honesty will pay major dividends in the smoothness and overall success of the relationship and, therefore, the project.  Do right by a decent partner, and they will jump through hoops to get you where you need to go.

Next steps

Find out more about the QGate CRM Roadmap– our project framework to guide you and your business successfully through your CRM project.

Take our CRM Readiness Assessment and find out how ready you and your company are to begin your CRM project.

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