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5 reasons you should leverage a CRM Implementation Partner

It’s a well known fact that quality Customer Relationship Management Platforms (CRMs) are not cheap, due to the imperative role they play in business operations. Gone are the days that CRMs were a luxury, or solely for the tech-fangled; now CRMs are impactful to the extent that it can boost or bust your bottom line. However, many organizations invest in a CRM but do not fully leverage the possibilities available to them - only scraping the surface of what these powerful platforms can deliver. A CRM should fit your unique business needs, not the other way around. This is why it is crucial to seek technical expertise to ensure implementation is done right in order to maximise your CRM investment and business processes.

When acquiring a CRM in a business, firstly the CRM vendor itself has to be evaluated, followed secondly by the selection of an Implementation Partner. Typically, these are two separate decisions that have to be made, and how long the evaluation period lasts depends on the prospective customer.

Seen as an added expense on top of pricey license costs, many make a case to avoid bringing in an Implementation Partner. However, in this post, we put forward 5 compelling reasons to bring in an Implementation Partner - mainly to leverage the knowledge, experience and nuanced CRM-wisdom of professionals that has a wider, lasting impact to the optimization and adoption of the CRM.

1. Innovation

With the CRM market constantly evolving, it’s hard to keep up as an outsider. Relentless innovation means that new trends spring up often; for instance, currently the integration of AI power within CRM is the hot topic of conversation. However, it is not just the ground-moving trends that need to be followed, but also the frequent new features releases and updates to existing ones.

Why do I need an Implementation Partner?

CRM vendors regard their partner network as an ideal way to disperse knowledge on new developments. Their partner network, each System Implementation firm with its own connections and expertise, will be able to integrate this innovation into the CRMs of their clients, bespoke to their current setup and future needs. Certified Implementation Partners have special access to the nuts-and-bolts training conducted by the vendors. This is especially true when taking the Salesforce partner ecosystem as an example, who internally have a whole organizational arm dedicated to partner enablement to ensure their technical resource is the best equipped possible, as fast as possible.

Key Takeaway

If you don’t know about the frequent CRM innovations, you may be missing out on a new piece of game-changing technology for your business, which is why you need contact with an Implementation Partner who knows both your current setup and development best practice.

2. Experience

Winning business is important for System Implementation firms not only for the revenue; successfully completed projects build up client portfolios, and their credibility as a result. However, it’s not all blind shooting, as many are particularly strategic about what projects they pursue according to industry. Eventually, an Implementation Partner will be able to claim ‘expert’ status, having covered a wide variety of industry-specific use cases.

Why do I need an Implementation Partner?

Recruiting a partner rich with industry-specific experience is an effective way to gain insight into how other organizations in the same space are automating their revenue-generating processes. As a bonus, they will be able to incorporate their learnings from similar past projects in order to significantly reduce the risk of CRM downfall for your business.

Perhaps there is a process unique to your industry that isn’t built into CRM as standard? The partner will be able to deploy an optimal solution quicker than an inexperienced implementation firm, with many owning prized industry-specific frameworks that fulfil a need in your industry.

Key Takeaway

Leverage Implementation Partners’ industry-specific experience to level-up on competitors, avoid commonplace implementation pain points, and take advantage of ready-made industry-specific frameworks.

3. Training

End user training is advocated as one of the keys to effective system adoption. Adoption is a success metric commonly used to evaluate CRM implementations, but is often overlooked by many businesses who look to cut costs after a long (and pricey) CRM implementation.

Why do I need an Implementation Partner?

It cannot be denied that training has an important role in project wrap-up and system hand-over, but many question the need for an implementation partner to administer the training. Firstly, CRM professionals who work with the majority of CRM industries are qualified through a scrupulous examination process that thoroughly tests their technical expertise and knowledge application. Secondly, these professionals are passionate about what they do, and this passion engages participants. It will make all the difference if your employees are more responsive to a professional’s session as opposed to an internal employee carrying out the training. Thirdly, often questions are raised that can’t be solved by consulting a search engine, particularly if the CRM has been developed beyond standard functionality, custom to your business.

Key Takeaway

The training that Implementation Partners offer will have an impact on the adoption of the CRM by end users, a key success metric of the project. Training done by the CRM professionals that implemented the system brings value in the form of knowledge transfer, participant engagement and the ability to answer the questions specific to your development. End users getting the low-down on tricks & tips is a bonus, too!

4. Support

With linkages to both points raised on ‘Innovation’ and ‘Training’, Support is another important component of CRM Implementation and its ongoing development. Many System Implementation firms have a ‘for life’ mentality towards their customers, that is, once the are a client, they are client ‘for life’, with a keen interest in their CRM evolution and always welcome to access their services.

Why do I need an Implementation Partner?

At risk of repeating ourselves, support can be delivered by those with the knowledge to both troubleshoot immediate term issues, and to advise as qualified consultants. Sensibly so, most partners will only provide support on CRMs they, themselves, were responsible for building in the first place. This is a precaution that means the professionals will be aware of what they are getting themselves into, as the original implementation is likely to have been discussed and documented. In some cases of CRM self-implementation, some find that they are turned away by CRM consultancies that are not willing to take on the risk an unfamiliar CRM instances can potentially subject them to.

Key Takeaway

Once you have forged a partnership with an Implementation Partner, you effectively safeguard your CRM against the future. Being able to revert back to the very professionals that worked on the CRM saves time and unnecessary stress - a tremendous plus if business continuity is crucial to your organization. Moreover, should something go wrong, the accountability can be passed back to the people responsible. The opportunity for support can be perceived as a type of insurance, and certainly something that would be ill-advised to overlook.

5. Do it right, first time.

To the dismay of many business, CRM development has a rule that should be taken sincerly: CRM is easy to build up, harder to take down. Unlike a tower of blocks which can be deconstructed brick by brick without much planning, dismantling a CRM is far more complex. Consider that a CRM is an interconnected web of relational data points, we can see that the deconstruction becomes trickier and more fragile.

Why do I need an Implementation Partner?

In the planning phase of an implementation, an expert can easily add value when it comes to the data model of the CRM, that is, the way that static data points in a CRM relate to one another. Constructing an integral data model, fully operational for both present and potential future needs, is not a straightforward task.

On top of the data model contained within the CRM, once the business requires integrations with external systems, having an existing congruent data model will, yet again, save time and unnecessary stress. The extra time required to correct past mistakes in the data model will quickly extrapolate the implementation expense far beyond the original allotted CRM budget - a bleak prospect for business owners.

Key Takeaway

Simply, do it right, first time.

Summary

The CRM consulting industry has boomed from demand, due to the evident value that having an Implementation Partner onboard brings. The 5 points that we have raised have hopefully reaffirmed the need for the partnership you have with your technical resource, or even has deterred you from cutting out the invaluable source of knowledge.

In an age where the CRM is no longer a luxury but a business-critical platform, it’s important to take implementation seriously and seek the knowledge and expertise of an Implementation Partner. Next, we will outline what qualities to look for when selecting your CRM Implementation Partner, coming soon in a future post.


About Enxoo

We are a Salesforce® Alliance Partner providing consulting, industry-specific solutions and implementation services to our clients. Our mission is to partner with our clients to solve business challenges by delivering meaningful Salesforce services. At Enxoo, we can fuel your business! Go to enxoo.com for more information on our solutions and customer stories.