JoeCRM here from PowerObjects – just a quick blog on something that has been sticking in my craw for awhile. Being with PowerObjects, a company that just implements CRM, I notice time and again that people are still buying software like they always have….show me this feature….how does your product do this and that….what is the price….blah blah blah.
I think companies have been conditioned by the large software publishers to look at software solely from a features/benefit standpoint – and guess what - they all pretty much do the same thing nowadays - surprise! But if you think about it, the publishers are the ones writing the software and the ones putting the features in, so does it shock you that they try to differentiate one system over the other based on features….no, but that doesn’t mean that’s the best way to evaluate when you go to implement CRM.
So this begs the question – ‘well then Joe, what should one consider when trying to decide?’ My answer for this is the implementation partner. The group implementing your system will be one of the main keys to your success…and don’t think just because they claim to be IT consultants they know a sales process from a hole in the ground. This would be like me getting into a trademark infringement suit and saying – ‘gee the guy was a lawyer; I thought he could do a good job’ even though he practices family law!! No you would look for someone with a focus (let me say that again FOCUS) on trademark infringement and hire him. Will he cost more than a family practice guy? – probably – will he know what he is doing? – you’d hope so – don’t get me going on lawyers. I think you get my point.
So dig into the partner not the platform. If you are up in the air between two different products – then go out and find a group that focuses 100% of their effort on each of the products (note this should not be the same company – you can’t be the best at both platforms) and dig in. Here are some questions to ask and things look for:
What is their implementation process
Ask them to model your company in the product
Talk to the publisher about the partner not the product to get their opinion
Research the company - look at their website and see what they really do (this flushes out the wannabe CRM companies)
Read their blogs – are they active in the product forums
Experience - ask them how many projects they’ve completed and how many they have going on
Basically dig until you are convinced they live and breathe the product you want to consider!
If you do this and find a group with Focus you will be successful, and guess what – the platform doesn’t matter – just the ability to make it work! You might be wondering, ‘Joe – what CRM system do you guys implement?’…. well, Microsoft Dynamics CRM….’why do you do Microsoft Dynamics CRM and not Salesforce.com?’….because we put the publisher through the same type of questioning when we wanted to go with the best.