Not all partners are created equal. Field Service Management, Higher Education, Nonprofit – regardless of your industry, finding the right implementation partner can mean the difference between project success and derailment.
While our focus is on experience based end-to-end solutions and Salesforce, we also know a lot about the importance of choosing the right implementation partner. Here are some questions to help ensure you find the right field service technology or CRM implementation partner for your project and your business.
1. What is their experience?
Check into their track record. Specifically, do they:
- Have extensive knowledge of the product?
- Have experience beyond “out-of-the-box” implementations?
- Have a thorough understanding of what your organization is trying to achieve?
Similarly, if they’re not able to walk you through what needs done and how the product works, move on. Even though most partners claim their methodologies and tools are proven, it’s necessary to have a team of highly skilled consultants with extensive knowledge of:
- What is possible.
- How to focus the scope of your project.
- How implementations work in your industry.
- It’s effect on your daily operations.
Furthermore, solutions can span numerous functional areas. They often require integration with multiple operational systems. Your partner must understand not only your chosen solution but also the other platforms and systems your business uses.
2. Have they worked in your industry?
Lots of people can implement technology, but do they know how it will be used? Do they have any first-hand knowledge of your industry?
Business requirements and processes can be unique to your industry. As a result, it’s essential to work with a partner that has specific domain expertise and can relate to you and your employees.
A partner who has knowledge in your sector will have a better understanding of:
- Industry best practices.
- Regulations and requirements.
- How the new system will support your strategic goals.
Don’t opt for a generalized solution. Choose a partner with a track record of successful deployments with other organizations in your market, as well as one that can relate to your industry due to experience.
3. Do they offer services to support your success?
You’ve found a partner that meets the first two criteria, now what?
Look for a partner that can support your leadership and employees through the implementation, no matter what stage you’re at in your business transformation journey. A good partner can help from the start of your project through post implementation services. This includes services such as:
- Business requirements gathering.
- Business case creation.
- Technical support.
- Operational reviews.
- System optimization tuning.
Their services should help you mitigate risks and transfer knowledge to your employees in order to support the solution. Most importantly, their services should ensure that your technology investment meets both your current and future business requirements.
4. Can they adapt solutions to meet your unique needs?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to designing technology solutions. In brief:
- Many partners will build solution architectures to fit what they prefer to sell.
- Exceptional partners will build a solution that’s tailored for yourbusiness requirements.
Do they want to meet your needs or make a sale? Choose a partner who is invested in your success, with the ability to adapt and offer solutions based on your individual organizational needs.
5. What do their client and partner relationships look like?
They should have successful long-term relationships with clients, that’s a given. However, what does their relationship look like with leading solution providers? Are they keeping up with trends and connecting with emerging and complimentary technology companies?
Having an integration and solution partner with an eye of the bigger picture will allow you to stay up-to-date and competitive. Likewise, you can be sure that they’re able to give you a solution that is more likely to future-proof your business.
6. Lastly, are their existing clients happy to provide a reference?
As mentioned in the previous section, successful long-term relationship with clients is a must have. However, it’s important that those clients are happy to back that relationship.
You can tell a lot about a company from their clients. A true business partner will:
- Have their customers’ interests at heart.
- Care about their clients’ success.
- Believe in long-term partnerships rather than short-term sales goals.
The best way to find a partner who is dedicated to understanding your business challenges and focused on delivering long-term benefits is to ask them for references beyond the customer testimonials on their website.
Choose a partner who has long standing, loyal clients who will readily act as ambassadors for them as a trusted advisor.