7 Factors To Consider When Choosing a CRM Partner

Our Managing Director, Alastair Jupp, gives his 7 key things to look for when looking for a CRM business partner

Are you looking to start a digital transformation project? Implement a CRM? Automate your processes and optimise your business operations with technology? Well, choosing the right partner to help you do this is essential. Treat it with the same respect and care as you would a friendship, relationship or business partnership.

When it comes to choosing a CRM business partner, it’s vital to work with someone who understands your organisation’s culture, goals, and objectives. Technology can enable any task, but the right partner should prioritise understanding your business, not just selling you a product. Here, we’ll discuss some of the key factors that you should consider when selecting a CRM business partner, from their level of expertise and experience to their commitment to customer support.

1. They look to understand your business

They focus on understanding your organisation and how it ticks. They want to know its culture, goals, operations, customers, competitors, and difficulties. Technology can do anything you ask of it and should be treated as the enabler – not what sets the direction.

Understanding your business and its objectives, critical activities, pain points, wish lists, future goals and aspirations is essential to saving time and budget – but most importantly in creating great user and client experience. Your business should shape the technology, the technology should not shape your business. Consider it more of a merge than system or business taking precedence, do not let your partner shape your system to their limitations in ability with the technology.

2. They ask ‘WHY’ a lot

During the discovery, scoping, building, and support stages, they should always be asking WHY you want to do something. This is not to challenge to your abilities or decision, but to seek to understand ‘why’ will enable them to use their experience to offer top guidance on an approach and budget. You may also find that why something is needed could also be “that’s the way it is”, and “because that’s the way we have always done it”, and now with technology there is a better way or it is no longer needed.

With every step of your process, you need to ensure that something like QGate’s process methodology is applied. Can a step be removed? Can it be automated? Can it be made to be easily repeatable? You can only answer these if you are asked ‘why’ something happens that way. They keep asking you ‘why’ and challenging the reasoning to help change happen.

3. They prioritise their customer support and aftersales

When clients have provided positive feedback regarding the exceptional support they have received long after the completion of their projects, you are on the right track. Implementing a CRM is an investment in the future and it is essential to support, maintain and continually improve it with partner who wants to do the same.

A CRM business partner who emphasises the importance of aftercare is committed to the long term relationship and is determined to make sure that both parties benefit from the partnership, and are not out to make a quick buck in building your system.

Two people sat at a desk and shaking hands.

4. Their own business is in order

It would be unwise to accept guidance and counsel from an organisation that is not managing its own business properly. Currently, the economic world is challenging for SMEs, and its unfortunate that many businesses will not survive the economic and social challenges we are all facing. Ensure your partner will still be around in years to come – financially and culturally.

5. They have expertise and experience in multiple services

What I’m talking about here is that your partner is an expert at building, licensing and supporting systems. Even the biggest partners cannot be an expert in every possible technology and product on offer, but they can be in how they provision that offer, and what their process is when they are unable to deliver or support. The cheapest initial service provider can’t necessarily support you longer term, particularly if they are an individual contractor or similar.

6. They are curious about the latest technology and skills

Technology is moving so fast in every sector, and it’s a huge job to keep up-to-date and aware of what’s coming, as well as the strategic impact of these developments and how that can affect you.

Our QGate Intelligence program is focused on leveraging the cutting-edge concepts in the market and using them to drive our business forward, building a secure economic and cultural foundation to facilitate further growth and expansion.

We offer these cutting-edge concepts to our clients at an affordable cost, tried and tested by us so we can all succeed.

7. Their contracts do not prevent you from using any part of your system development if you were to part company

It happens in the business world, whether it be due to change in leadership, change in direction or simply looking to reduce costs. At some point you may want to depart from the relationship with your provider. Statements of Work and Term and conditions can be challenging to read, let alone understand, but invest the time in finding out who owns what you are building and how that is provisioned if you were to decide to go your separate ways. We have seen this underhand approach catch out potential clients too many times and is a sad reality of the software services world for some.

Selecting a CRM business partner is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your business’s success. A good partner will prioritize understanding your organization’s objectives and work to build a system that aligns with your goals. They will ask ‘why’ and challenge your reasoning to drive positive change, prioritise customer support and after-sales care, and keep their own business in order. When choosing a CRM business partner, it’s crucial to find a partner who has expertise in multiple services, stays up to date with the latest technology and skills, and does not have contracts that prevent you from using any part of your system development if you choose to part ways. By following these guidelines, you can find a CRM business partner that will support your organisation’s success and growth. If QGate sounds like the ideal CRM partner for your company, contact us – we’d love to chat. 

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