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Does your CRM Partner Make You Happy?

partnership

OK, this is a bit clichéd. We’ll say it anyway. We really do care about out clients’ businesses.

Maybe it’s because we get so entrenched in them when we’re helping them assess the case for CRM. Maybe it’s because getting to know the people in the business is the biggest part of understanding the existing systems and processes. Maybe it’s because we are so invested in their corporate objectives that we are willing them on from the sidelines every month of every year.

Does it get in the way of us delivering the product? No! It’s the whole point of delivering the product.

If your organisation is currently investigating Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM), you may well be wondering what a CRM partner actually does and do you need one. Maybe you already have a CRM partner but you’re wondering if they are quite so emphatic about the importance of the relationship as we are.

Redspire is a Gold Microsoft Partner and over the many years that we have been working with Dynamics, we have noticed an ongoing expectation that you simply buy a CRM system, set it up and off you go.

Off the shelf CRM are mass-produced, one size fits all systems. They’re really generic and don’t allow for the way your business’ product, people and processes work. Many businesses try to ‘fit’ the CRM system instead of having the system aligned to them. And many partners let them.

Dynamics 365 has made enterprise level tech available to businesses of all sizes in all sectors with less customization needed across the board. Note, we don’t say no customization needed. Even with the FastTrack, there is still a process of due diligence and knowledge sharing that has to happen.

The right choice of partner makes all the difference. When you hear stories of CRM not working for businesses, remember this. It’s not necessarily the platform that’s the problem; it’s the union of the people working on it.

So, if you’re still seeking the right partner, here are some of the qualities you should be looking for:

  • Strategic– A good partner should be asking questions beyond the subject of IT.
  • Collaborative – You’ll experience what level of collaboration you can expect during the system identification stage but it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your potential CRM partner for client references that will reveal their ability to stick with you.
  • Knowledgeable – A good partner will not only know their preferred platform inside out, they’ll know all the compatible tools and have a depth of experience that you won’t find in a user manual.
  • Processes – Your partner should provide you with a clear roadmap for planning, implementation, deployment and ongoing support. Without it, everyone is left feeling vague. Lost control means things will get missed.
  • Project Management – Make sure you find out who the day-to-day contact will be, and ask about ongoing progress visibility.
  • Industry experience – It’s often preferable to have a partner with experience in your particular industry. However, it’s sometimes good to have a partner with experience from other sectors come to the party. We often find that it ensures a ‘take nothing for granted’ ideology that ensures no stone is left unturned in the planning stage. With that comes fresh thinking and often, business changing solutions that becomes a model for others.
  • Service offering – how will your Partner support you after full deployment. It’s important that you discuss those expectations early on. We are often called in to assist companies who have parted company with the original implementation partner and tried to do customisation on their own then watched their user adoption suffer.

You can read more on the subject of selecting the right CRM system on our blog. If you’re in the UK and you’d like to  know more about choosing the right partner, test us out!

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