You know that CRM is a powerful tool, which will increase productivity for your organisation. Now you face the challenge of implementing it. The problem is, the implementation requires a deep knowledge of the software, as well as knowledge of your own company’s particular needs.
You can set everything up yourself. But you will need to take employees (both technical and business) away from other duties to do so. And some of them will have a steep learning curve, so it may take a long time to deliver a well-thought out project. Partnering with a reputable and experienced CRM expert can make the whole process much less painful. It is often the missing piece in the puzzle.
Let’s look at the key benefits a CRM expert brings when first setting up your CRM.
CRM software, Microsoft Dynamics CRM included, is designed to be user-friendly. Yet it still takes time to learn the ins and outs of the product, and to understand its full capability. Learning CRM is like chess - it takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. When you hire professionals who have spent years working with a particular piece of software, you can be sure that they have already put in that time. So they go about things much more efficiently and find solutions that an inexperienced user would miss.
Using a CRM expert minimises the risk of expensive, unnecessary customisation.
Not only do companies that offer CRM solutions know their way around the software, but they have also been around the block, and have worked with people from many industries. This across-the-board experience provides such professionals with unique insights. From work in your industry, they bring an understanding of common challenges and business models, maybe even regulatory requirements. Their projects in other industries mean they have wider exposure than your own team. They’re able to cross-fertilise ideas and introduce best practice from other sectors, so you can leapfrog your competition.
This broad range of experience equips a specialist CRM partner to develop the best approach for your particular circumstances.
Even with a CRM expert on board, your team need to be involved in specifying your CRM requirements. They, and only they, know your goals, your processes, your roadblocks. Without that input, without feedback on proposed forms, workflows and reports, your CRM is unlikely to deliver.
This is already a sizeable investment of time. Unless you have huge resources to backfill their positions, your team need time to do their regular work. Don’t overload them.
An expert CRM consultant takes the input from your team and uses his or her knowledge of the technology platform to develop a robust and suitable solution. Without an expert, that task falls to your staff. Inevitably, since they have limited experience with the software, it takes longer. And as people fall behind, one of two things happens.
An expert CRM partner is, by definition, experienced in project management. It’s not just expertise in the software, they also have a set of standard processes and checklists to keep projects on track. They know the commonest bottlenecks and plan for them. So your project is managed much more proactively and effectively.
Be honest. You know CRM can help. You know the issues that you want fixed. But do you know all the other issues your chosen CRM could help you with?
It can be difficult to step out of the day-to-day management of your business and look at the big picture with completely fresh eyes. It’s often the case that business leaders are not completely aware of all the options open to them. Some expert guidance can help figure things out.
As many of our clients acknowledge, a little bit of tough love can often save the day. (Read what Jack Fraenkel says at the bottom of this page!)
Experience with both the platform and its application in a range of sectors can give the CRM expert an edge when it comes to devising the right course of action.
We all know the saying ‘Two heads are better than one’. That’s the case for your CRM project as well. And while you may think you’re getting open and honest feedback from all your team, are you sure? Many people are nervous about publicly disagreeing with direct managers, or even more senior staff. Others may doubt their own judgement.
An external CRM expert doesn’t feel these constraints.
Firstly, it’s easier for an outsider to see a sacred cow. Your own people are used to a certain way of doing things and may not even question the status quo.
Secondly, when you bring in an expert CRM partner to improve results, you’re almost inviting them to challenge you. Just by hiring them, you recognise they have an expertise which you don’t. So they won’t hesitate to suggest sweeping changes if they feel it is necessary, going against the established order to provide better overall solutions.
The best CRM implementations are tailored. They align the specific needs and processes of the organisation involved with thecapabilities of the CRM technology . That process requires knowledge of the organisation and knowledge of the CRM technical solution. In most cases, to access all that knowledge, you need a team, with members from both your organisation and a CRM expert partner.
Consider world class athletes. They’re committed to winning. They’re motivated. They train hard. They study everything they can to make themselves better. Yet they all have coaches.
Your CRM partner is like an athlete's coach. It’s much easier to achieve results with a partner. As long as you choose the right partner.
Opsis is an expert CRM consulting company. We are not an IT company, nor a management consultancy, although we often work with both of these. Our focus is wholly CRM, and particularly Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are based in Sydney, NSW, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia. Our range of CRM services include CRM strategy, CRM scoping, CRM implementation, technical support and CRM training.