In our industry, when a developer and consultant, such as Resolv, works with an existing software publisher (like Sage for example), our relationship is called that of a “Business Partner”. Angela, one of our company’s Principals, and I were talking about the relationship between us and our customer. We were discussing whether or not our relationship with our customers is appropriately described when using “vendor/client” terminology. Really, it is not. We are without a doubt, “Business Partners” with our customers as well.
Our sales process begins by educating the customer on the process of successfully selecting and implementing CRM software. You will quickly learn by reading the many blogs and the verbiage on our webpage that we believe the most important decision you will make regarding your CRM software implementation is your Business Partner.
The reason for this is because in order for a CRM implementation to be successful your organization’s culture and processes need to be in alignment with your business strategy. It’s an evolution. It is not about downloading software on to your computers and telling everyone to use it. It’s about understanding what you want to accomplish and when. It’s about having measurable or quantifiable goals with a realistic timeline. It’s about knowing what you want to ACCOMPLISH by implementing CRM software and being able to measure that result after the implementation.
A Business Partner is someone who works with you to define those goals prior to an implementation and holds everyone involved accountable to those predetermined results after the implementation. A Business Partner is someone who will advise a phase plan approach that makes the implementation manageable and executable at a tactical level. A Business Partner will make sure that it doesn’t just sound like a good plan, but that it IS achievable based on prior experience and expertise. A Business Partner will look to the future with you, to begin to visualize those next plan phases and begin to work with you to incorporate them within a realistic plan.
A Business Partner is someone that you will be working with for years to come. When you begin the CRM implementation investigation process, don’t ask yourself, “Which software?” Ask yourself which partner you want to be working with a decade from now. Because, if you do it right, the consultant you hire to implement and develop your CRM is someone you will know for many many years to come.