Same, same but different.
How do you spot a CRM Partner superstar?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all CRMs and professional services firms are the same.
We all say the same reassuring things, have slick PowerPoint presentations, tout the new and amazing features of the CRM application we are selling, and can save the world and your business from certain destruction. Right?
But if you’re taking a first look, how do you choose the right partner? What really counts when you’re making your decision? And what questions should you be asking to help you sort out the superstars from the snowflakes?
We took a long, hard look at ourselves, and the things our customers – both happy and unhappy – told us made the difference for them. We’re happy to share the benefit of our experience to help you make the right decision for your business.
A great partner doesn’t love and leave you. They have a well-developed customer care programme which provides day-to-day break-fix support to keep you running smoothly, development resources for ongoing projects, and ongoing educational events, training and networking. And through regular account meetings, they maintain a tight focus on ‘where to from here’ so you are staying at the top of your game.
"I just wanted to let you know about our recent experience with one of your specialists. We were recently put onto Linda for our CRM support and changes, and I have to let you know that the experience has been excellent. We find her to be proactive, with an excellent manner – and has pretty much completed all that we asked for and researched everything else! Keep up the good work - and give her a pat on the back!"
MIKE TARJOMI, GROUP OPERATIONS MANAGER, REDPATHS LTD
“Ian knows our system inside out and gets on to requests very quickly. Ian explains everything very well and clearly knows his stuff! We think the sun shines out of Ian and that NZ Spinal Trust is very well cared for when he is involved."
HANS WOUTERS, CEO, NZ SPINAL TRUST
An all-round investment in amazing people, not just an A team.
“Michael has been fantastic. He really understands the business process and has been really good to work with.”
GAVIN MARTIN, APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, KORDIA
“Linda has been fantastic and very, very patient.”
WYNAND GOOSEN, GROUP IS MANAGER, NAYLOR LOVE
“Life Care Consultants have a high level of confidence in Amelia and Fusion5 to deliver their latest IT project. Amelia’s common-sense approach and respectful way of breaking down knowledge silos and barriers has meant that LCC really feel that the project belongs to them and represents the business. Life Care Consultants employees are excited to implement the new systems in October.”
JO PENNELL, ADMINISTRATION MANAGER, LIFE CARE CONSULTANTS
“Life Care Consultants have had mixed results from IT implementations in the past. The professionalism around the way the project is being run by Tom has demonstrated how a project can be successfully project managed and provide the business with a steady stream of information on milestones and deliverables. The level of confidence in this project is very high.”
JO PENNELL, ADMINISTRATION MANAGER, LIFE CARE CONSULTANTS
Collaboration and culture
Cultural alignment is all about attitude and behaviour. It’s the difference between having an issue and together working out a positive, equitable solution, or reaching an embittered impasse which requires senior intervention. One builds rewarding relationships, the other draws rigid lines between ‘you’ and ‘them’. Your partner needs to listen, not lecture. Offer leadership, not a dictatorship. Work collaboratively, not combatively. And if you do want to talk to the ‘boss’, you need to know she or he will pick up the phone and be an impartial arbitrator.
“Fusion5 has delivered the goods,” says Iles. “Understanding our business, working with us, being part of our team and staying relevant to our team is really important. Fusion5 scored well.”
JONATHAN ILES, CIO, CARTERS
“We have more than just a relationship with Fusion5,” says Van der Lith. “It may be an overused term, but it’s more like a partnership. This was a well-managed and executed project with great collaboration between Barnardos and Fusion5. It was a great team effort, with the business clearly top of mind. Fusion5’s high-quality work and commitment to understanding the detail of what we do was instrumental in making this project a success.”
JACO VAN DER LITH, BARNARDOS
A leading solution will have a well-defined roadmap, a committed schedule of upcoming releases, and a generous R&D budget. It will support, if not accelerate your Information System Strategic Plan (ISSP), enable you to automate processes, democratise data and improve customer end employee relationships. You won’t be left in the lurch if it’s retired, and as it reflects best practice, you won’t be locked into expensive customisations to achieve your business objectives. And it will rank well in the annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM. If you check out the link, you’ll see the only concerns are about vendor competence and resources, not the solution – in which case see questions 1-4.
We all like to think that we stand out from the crowd. That we’re not just another (somewhat faceless) professional services organisation. If we go by our own internal hype, then yes, we are all unique. But what makes an organisation like Fusion5 stand out from the crowd is what our customers and peers say about us.
Yes, we are a multi-award-winning Microsoft partner. These awards recognise our commitment to be the best in our field, and helping our customers achieve genuinely value-adding business outcomes. So, you know that we know what we’re doing. We have the skills and competencies to deliver great projects.
But best of all is what our customers say about us. Warm, heart-felt comments that show we’re trusted long-term partners.