If it’s time to replace or upgrade your CRM or other business software, you already know the importance of choosing the right solution. No doubt your search has led you to industry leader
Why is your choice of implementation partner so important? Can’t just anyone help you “plug in” the system and be on call to handle your questions? The short answer is No. There are factors that differentiate technology firms, and giving attention to them will make the difference between success and failure, between satisfaction and disappointment. Don’t assume anything; be as careful with your choice of partner as you are with choosing your technology.
So, how do you make the right decision? By being educated on what to look for in a partner, what to ask, and what to avoid. To help you make an informed decision, here are some important questions:
Is their experience industry specific?
Don’t be influenced by a partner's long list of impressive clients. Not all industries have the same processes, regulations, and challenges. Be sure that the technology partner you’re considering has extensive experience not only with the software but working with businesses in your field. You’d expect that they also work with other industries, but be sure they have a team that specializes in your unique needs.
Are they big enough, but not too big?
Big implies resources and stability, but there is such a thing as being too big for your needs. With a big firm, your project may get bogged down in bureaucracy. Ironically, with more people involved in decisions, they may take longer to make. Every little request or change must go through channels.
Big firms with lots of clients will naturally have to prioritize, and it only makes sense that they would put more resources toward their bigger clients. This may leave you somewhere down the list relying on their less senior consultants. Look for a partner that treats you like you are their biggest client, even if you aren’t. When it comes to size, you need an organization that’s large enough to support you, but nimble enough to meet your unique needs efficiently and expertly.
Can they think “outside the box?”
Big companies often have set protocols that make it difficult to be creative. If your project doesn’t fit their mold, they may try to force it, leaving you with a product you don’t want, or they may charge you excessively for a customized solution. A more flexible company will work with you to ensure that your solution is a good fit for your business. Look for a partner that embraces your needs and thinks creatively to give you the exact right solution and can meet your budget.
Are they a good match for you?
Have you ever had to work closely with someone with whom you just didn’t click, someone who didn’t “get” you or your firm’s personality? Don’t let that person be your implementation partner. Stressful work relationships can create misunderstandings, complications, and ultimately a failed project. Your team needs to be able to work well with your partner’s team. Look for a partner that communicates well with your people. Ask for references and follow up on them. Don’t assume you know the partner because you’ve met the sales team. Insist on meeting the people who will actually work on your project.
When you’re working with a technology partner, it’s critical that they know their tools and trade inside and out – and yours, too. AKA is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner in Cloud, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and we have proven industry and business expertise.
Select your implementation partner with the same care you take in selecting your software.
Are you ready to find the right partner?