In a recent white paper we went over 11 guidelines for CRM success from implementation to adaptation and usage. But before you can get to all of that you need to choose the right SugarCRM Partner. Choosing the wrong partner can be devastating to your project, cost you a ton of time and money, kill your strategy, and cause you to lose confidence in the system itself. Choosing a partner is more than just making sure implementation goes as planned, it is about finding a solid relationship that you can lean on for future updates, trainings, support, and everything else. So how do you choose?
1. Make a shortlist of potential partners.
Keep in mind that working off of referrals is one of the best ways to go when possible, so be sure to ask your business contacts if they know of anyone you should add to the list. Then move on to check each partners credit ratings, length of time they have been in business, number of staff members, technical qualifications, accreditations, terms and conditions, and anything else that is important to you. Document all of this information so you can compare and contrast them to help you make your decision.
2. Check references.
Follow up with their references to make sure the partners are actually following through after they make the sale. If they will not give you references take them off the list.
3. Analyze their processes.
Even the smallest thing is important when it gets down to their overall plan for getting you set up. They should already have a CRM plan to work off of as a well established partner, ask for it. it can always be changed to fit your specific needs (if you choose a flexible partner- which you should) but it is a good starting point and reduces the risk and costs associated with the project.
4. Do they know your business – do they have experience in your industry?
The goal of CRM is to optimize your business processes so you can maximize your productivity which is why it is extremely important that your SugarCRM partner understands your business, goals, culture, processes, and your industry. Not only does your partner need a firm grasp on all of that, they need to be able to work that information into creating effective workflow in your CRM system.
5. Think about the future-Support.
The work does not end after the implementation is over, so choose a SugarCRM partner that will stick it out with you and offer you support options that fit your business. Think about the way your office works, the IT skills you have in the office, and your budget. It is also important to evaluate the partners support setup. Things to consider include:
- support structure
- number of staff
- Types of support they have available (phone, internet, on-site, etc.)
- service levels available
- response time
- resolution time
What other imporant guidelines can you think of for choosing the right SugarCRM partner? we’d love to hear your thoughts- leave a comment or send us a tweet!
by Jeanne Lee