PICK THE RIGHT PARTNER
Finding a CRM solution that ﬁts your needs is more than just a checklist of features and technical requirements. Implementing and supporting a CRM system is an important and sizeable project, and the factors in its success extend beyond the system itself, to the CRM partner company and the kinds of supporting services they offer.
When selecting a CRM solution, it’s common for companies to focus on the initial implementation, but it’s also essential to think about your post-implementation needs. Every company encounters new needs or challenges at some point during or following software implementation. Whether they’re minor support incidents, resource constraints, or a need to modify, extend or upgrade their CRM solution.
When selecting a CRM system, consider the kinds of services you will need to achieve your project goals. These can range from assisting in developing your initial CRM evaluation criteria through implementation and customization services to post-implementation maintenance and support. If you do not have the in-house resources to maintain or customize the CRM system after implementation—or would prefer to leave it to the experts—ﬁnd out whether the CRM vendors you are considering offer remote system management services. Utilizing Managed Services enables you to outsource all your CRM and marketing automation application and database administration tasks which can help keep your specialized stafﬁng costs down.
Having a good sense of your internal resources and capabilities will help you leverage the right internal resources while also taking advantage of specialized resources and skill sets from your CRM vendor or service provider.
FINDING PARTNERS WITH KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE PAY DIVIDENDS
Working with service providers with experience in your industry can provide a tremendous advantage. Companies with demonstrable knowledge and experience in your industry will require less time and education to familiarize themselves with your business processes and needs. Furthermore, they will often be able to add value by applying best practices and benchmarks gained from experience in your industry. By examining a CRM vendor’s credentials, references, and successes in your industry, you will gain more conﬁdence in your vendor selection—you may also ﬁnd inspiration and ideas to enhance your own CRM project.
Manufacturing electrical products and solutions for all aspects of engineering and automation, Phoenix Contact’s diversity of offerings has demanding implications for the company’s CRM system. Subsequently, their CRM needed to be tightly integrated with their backend RP system to ensure opportunities flow into orders and then to the factory floor to become deliveries. Thus, Phoenix Contact needed a CRM to support a wide range of products and clients easily.
When Phoenix Contact sought to replace its legacy CRM system, the company was unsure that any system on the market could meet its complex, industry-speciﬁc needs and desire for ﬂexibility. However, with the help of Tokara Solutions’ knowledge of Manufacturing as their CRM partner, Phoenix Contact achieved its goals and has a customizable CRM fit for their every need.
Ultimately, Phoenix Contact implemented the right CRM because of its partner’s focus on the manufacturing industry and its reputation for success earned with many peer companies. For many companies looking to integrate a new CRM, it is imperative to remember that research does not end with finding the right system. Having the right partner that understands your industry is crucial in integrating a system that truly works for you. Do not settle for the first CRM you come across; determine whether a CRM solution could effectively support your industry requirements and can be tailored to match your unique business practices.
If you find that your company would spend too much time teaching a potential partner about your business, that is valuable time and money wasted. A supportive partner can make all the difference. When you select a CRM system, you’re choosing more than just software: you’re selecting a partner. How well that partner supports your needs, not just during your initial purchase and implementation but through your company’s evolution, growth, and changing conditions can significantly impact your CRM project’s long-term value and viability.
The right CRM partner can help you ensure you set your system up correctly, consider all your options from the outset, and deploy it effectively. Accordingly, you need to ensure your CRM solution provider can supply you with supporting tools, services, and training programs that ﬁt your needs. This can vary from hands-on, weeks-long on-site support to remote support on an ad-hoc basis. Remember that your needs may change—the greatest range of options and services is probably the most likely to meet unforeseen changes in your requirements.
In addition to implementing a CRM, your vendor must help your company roll the system out to your users, train the sales, service, and marketing teams, and create quick reference cards and other materials that make getting to know the system easier. Finally, a CRM vendor should help quickly, without hesitation, to support your organization whenever a malfunction or bug is reported. If your current partner cannot provide that level of commitment, it may be time to find a partner that can keep your CRM afloat.
It’s important to assess business objectives, technology strategy, IT budgets, opportunity costs, customization requirements, and industry-sector requirements before selecting a CRM solution. But beyond that, it’s essential to ensure that you’re picking a solid partner you can work with now and in the future. Without a partner who knows your industry inside and out and can quickly fix any issue that arises, implementing a CRM may not be enough to succeed.
HOW TOKARA SOLUTIONS IS READY TO HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CRM:
The business landscape is anything but static. Having a fully integrated, end-to-end CRM for every step in the customer journey is essential for any business looking to achieve the most while maintaining an ease of mind! Tokara Solutions offers help in providing the best CRM for you and your company! With an average of over 18 years of CRM consulting, Tokara’s wealth of knowledge in integrating and maintaining CRM systems is rooted in our devotion to supporting small, medium and large size enterprises.