How to choose your CRM Partner
We are often asked about how we work and what does it mean to have the right CRM partner.
A business partnership of any size is a bit like a marriage, it takes commitment and ongoing communication, in order
to establish trust and understanding.
After all, in order to effectively identify CRM challenges and suggest improvements, partners need to understand the business
inside and out. And you (the client) need to have complete trust in the guidance you receive from your CRM partner. Making the wrong
decision at any point can cost your business thousands of pounds.
Here we explain why you need to choose your CRM partners wisely and how to avoid the common pitfalls.
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management, or CRM, was traditionally created for sales. More recently, however, CRM systems are closer
to business application platforms or business solutions. This means CRM doesn’t only cater to sales alone any more. What used to be
a simple sales tool now intertwines with marketing, customer service, operations, service delivery and other business functions.
This multi-departmental integration means CRM systems have become more complex than just keeping track of your customer addresses,
emails, and phone numbers – and are therefore more complicated to set up.
Choosing a Partner
Not all CRM experts and consultants create things with equal quality. Some have been working with certain programs
for a long time, while others are fairly new. There are also those who only focus on getting you set up, before moving on to the next
client – leaving you to your own devices. The ideal type of CRM partner is one who will get you set up, train you and your team,
keep you updated about possible changes to the system, and make sure it continues to meet your needs on an ongoing basis.
Having been on a CRM journey together means that over time, your CRM partner will learn more about your organisation. At a certain
level of understanding, changes in the business will be easier to follow, which means that adapting the CRM platform or bringing in
updates can be carried out faster and more seamlessly. However, like with any other partnership - good communication is key at this stage.
"Solutions Shared has supported us for the last two years. What's important to us is the personal service we receive.
The team make the effort to understand our business before implementing a solution to ensure it's the correct fit."
Toby Beevers, Head of systems at PSL Procurement Services
What if change is inevitable?
Although we advise you to avoid switching CRM partners, the causes for such an action are sometimes out of your hands. A new CRM
expert will have to get acquainted with the current state of the business platform, your business processes and needs.
Unscrambling how a predecessor customised the system and continuing to build on it will often take longer than starting from scratch.
In some cases, not all parts of the system are even accessible without the predecessor’s permission. CRM can enable businesses to
execute processes more efficiently, leading to profitability. Through a good relationship, experts, like us, can get you up to speed
with the digital transformation that every business is facing today. Whether it’s taking over from predecessors or getting a CRM system
up and running from scratch – your business is in safe hands with CRM experts such as Solutions Shared.
Deciding your next steps
You have a choice of implementation options. You can either set up a CRM alone, without any external help, or you can receive
help for the set up from an external CRM specialist or consultant. Trying to run a business with an out-of-the-box CRM system is
possible but can be limiting.
Finding a CRM partner can be more than useful to make sure the solution fits your business and is not
restraining its growth and development. A specialist knows the system inside out and how to make it meet your business needs. These
specialists will stay up to date with licensing, apps, and new features, so you can spend your time focusing on your business processes.
Through a good relationship, experts, like us, can get you up to speed with the digital transformation that every business is
facing today. Whether it’s taking over from predecessors or getting a CRM system up and running from scratch – your business is in
safe hands with CRM experts such as Solutions Shared.
Got a question? Get in touch.
About the Author
Founder | Business Solution Consultant, Solutions Shared Ltd