Any requirements that you have that are not included in the CRM require selecting and managing the integration process. If you aren’t experienced with this process, you may find it to be a significant drain on your time and budget. Software developers and companies have a wide range of skills, both in development and management. A conservative rule for budgeting software development is to plan on it
three times the original estimate, both in time and cost.
Picking the right system integrator is just as important as picking the right CRM. Carefully evaluate how you intend to manage the integration between your CRM and any external software you need to connect it with. System integrators must have the same depth of understanding of your requirements and how everyone in your team will use the other software systems. The system integrator has to
know how your team uses the software, the data that is generated, and where that data must go.
Every successful CRM implementation requires an understanding of what is needed and where the information flows. This understanding is needed regardless of whether you’re integrating existing, legacy software or if you’re purchasing new software that must plug into your CRM. Be sure to have these requirements and processes defined before you pick your CRM, as your system integrator must be comfortable working with all the software platforms involved.
Assessing service and support options CRM, like your business, has a lot of moving parts. You don’t want to go through it alone, and fortunately, good CRM companies have people who can help.
The big question is, how easy and expensive is it to find that help?
Help from a CRM vendor should be available in a myriad of channels, so you want to know what is available to you, and what is included in your subscription. Determining your need for outside assistance if you don’t have any experience designing, implementing, or even using a CRM, it may make sense to hire help. If your budget allows it, hiring an expert or two could save you thousands of dollars or hours in the future. On the other hand, if you’re reasonably business savvy and have the time set aside to work on your CRM, you may be able to do everything you need with only the help of the CRM vendor. The likelihood of requiring external help also depends on the CRM platform. A complex platform that requires a lot of external integration demands more expertise, both technical and strategic. The first step in potentially hiring a consultant is to see whether you actually need one in the first place. Assess your team’s experience and desire to work with the CRM vendor to implement your CRM.
The next step is to examine the onboarding process with the CRM software vendor. Depending on how complex your requirements are, how easy it is to set up the CRM, and how much external integration you need, you may not need a consultant. Your staff and the vendor’s training team should have this meaningful conversation.
If you determine you need someone to help you with your CRM, be rigorous about finding a good consultant. This person or team should be able to facilitate discussions with your staff, help you define your processes, and set up all the components of your CRM. You and your team must trust anyone helping you to have the experience and good intentions to guide you through a potentially big change in the way you do business.