"My current CRM isn’t working. I don’t know if my implementation partner or the software is to blame?"
We hear this a lot. Customers come to our table curious as to why their current Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment isn’t performing as expected. And by curious we mean slightly miffed. We categorize these as “CRM rescue” projects, and Sonoma Partners conducts a LOT of these types of projects.
Technology or Implementation Problem?
When we talk with prospects about their rocky CRM deployment, very rarely is the technology to blame for the problems. Both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM have millions of successful and happy users worldwide...if something is wrong with your CRM deployment you probably need to look into the mirror and dive into the specifics of your implementation process.
The most common issues we hear revolve around the implementation partner, and some companies even question themselves for biting off more than they can chew. Believe it or not, we think that both of these issues have the same root cause...a CRM implementation partner who’s a “yes man”.
CRM implementation partners come in all shapes, sizes, experience levels, and areas of specialty. Almost every CRM implementation partner has certified staff, gold partner status, and good technology skills...so sometimes it’s not easy to tell them apart. With that said, the partners we strongly recommend you avoid are the ones that always tell you what you want to hear. If the project timeline and budget are too good to be true, there’s probably a reason for that. If they constantly respond with, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” without taking a breath...watch out.
“Yes men” partners will always do what the customer asks, even if it might cause problems later. Common problems we see from “yes men” partners are:
Agreeing to an overly aggressive budget or timeline
Doing what the customer asks, instead of challenging to customer to pursue what they really need
Not setting correct expectations regarding system capabilities
Focusing only on the technology, and ignoring the human and change management components of the CRM deployment
- Not providing best practices and recommendations
When it comes to selecting a CRM implementation partner - look for a “no”.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, it might be time for you to find a new CRM implementation partner! (Call us maybe?) When you’re on the hunt for a new partner, try looking for a “no”. If the partner challenges your assumptions or pushes back on some of your ideas, you might have found someone that can really help with your rescue project.
Let’s be clear, we don’t advocate that you select someone that crushes your CRM dreams. Of course you should look for a skilled CRM partner that has the staff and resources to build you a CRM system that works for your business. But just because a partner can do whatever you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should do whatever you ask.
Instead, we recommend that you look for someone that makes recommendations and encourages you to focus on the key functionalities that you need the most instead of answering all of your questions with, “Yes.”