Selecting the Right CRM Implementation Partner: A Comprehensive Plan

Updated 22 Aug 2023

12 Min




Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is becoming an integral component of the success of modern organizations. CRM helps companies effectively manage their customer base, increase service levels and improve business processes. However, implementing such software successfully depends on choosing a reliable CRM implementation partner.

In this article, we offer a comprehensive plan for selecting the right CRM implementation partner and explain why the success of your enterprise depends on this choice.

What is a CRM Implementation Partner and Why Do You Need One?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Implementation partner, or CRM partner, refers to a company or organization that specializes in assisting businesses with implementing, customizing, and optimizing CRM software solutions. They are experts in CRM technologies and provide guidance, support, and services throughout the entire CRM implementation process.

A CRM implementation partner plays a crucial role in helping businesses leverage CRM systems to enhance their customer relationship management processes. They possess the knowledge and experience required to successfully deploy CRM software and align it with the unique needs and goals of the organization.

Why do you need a CRM implementation partner?

  • Specialization and experience in deploying CRM solutions across various industries. Having qualified assistants who understand the best practices, challenges, and potential pitfalls associated with CRM implementation, you will have your business guided through the process efficiently and effectively.
  • Customization and integration to fit in the unique processes, workflows, and requirements. With a CRM implementation partner, you can efficiently tailor the CRM software to align with your specific needs. They can customize the system, integrate it with other software applications (such as marketing automation or ERP systems), and ensure seamless data flow between different systems.
  • Project management of CRM system implementation and coordination among different teams. A CRM implementation partner can act as a project manager, overseeing the entire implementation process. They ensure timelines are met, resources are allocated properly, and potential issues are promptly addressed.
  • Training and ongoing support aside from the initial implementation. CRM experts can train your staff on how to use the CRM system effectively and maximize its benefits. Additionally, they offer support services to troubleshoot issues, provide updates, and assist with system maintenance.
  • Strategic guidance to help you align your CRM implementation with your broader business goals. Such partners can provide insights on CRM best practices, industry trends, and potential opportunities for growth. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions that drive customer satisfaction, sales, and overall business success.

Thus, when implementing high-quality CRM software with a CRM implementation partner, you can cover a wide range of your business processes. These certainly vary from business to business, but if you summarize, they might automate the following procedures within your business:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Service
  • Sustainability

Your product can also be enhanced with additional features specific to your domain and cross-platform integrations. CRM opportunities are borderless for companies of diverse scales so that every business can adapt such software to particular requirements. The key obstacle comprises the choice of the right solution with the relevant configurations and integrations that best fit your goals.

What sectors can be enhanced with CRM?

What sectors can be enhanced with CRM?

Implementing a highly customizable CRM solution can pose challenges for internal teams or employees lacking prior CRM experience. The task of considering various variables and ensuring a successful implementation can quickly become intricate. Moreover, the cost of hiring a dedicated full-time employee to oversee the implementation process can be significant. That’s where it is wise to get an assistance of a CRM implementation partner.

How To Choose A Partner CRM Implementation Consultant To Succeed

Selecting the appropriate CRM implementation partner is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your CRM project. Here, we’ll explain the recommendations that will help you select a CRM implementation partner that not only meets your technical requirements but also aligns with your organization's goals, values, and long-term vision.

Define your business requirements

Start with an accurate articulation of your organization's pain points, challenges, and goals for implementing a CRM system. Identify the key activities or processes you want to address, such as improving customer engagement or streamlining sales processes. This will help you communicate your requirements effectively to potential CRM implementation partners.

Search for partners

Consider outsourcing the CRM implementation to a specialized vendor with extensive experience in CRM development. Look for partners who possess knowledge in your industry and have a proven track record of successful CRM implementations. You can seek recommendations from domain peers, conduct online research, or attend relevant industry events to identify experienced vendors.

Assess experience and knowledge

Evaluate the experience and knowledge of the potential CRM implementation partners. Look for vendors that have a solid understanding of CRM best practices, methodologies, and technologies. Assess their expertise in handling projects similar to yours and their ability to adapt CRM solutions to meet specific business needs. It's also essential to ensure that the partner is up-to-date with the latest CRM trends and technologies.

Evaluate partner capabilities

Think over the size and composition of the partner's team, as well as their skill sets. Evaluate whether they have the necessary resources and technical expertise to support your CRM implementation project. Determine if they have experience working with organizations of similar size and complexity to yours. Additionally, assess their ability to provide ongoing support and maintenance after the implementation is complete.

Review portfolio and references

Request the partner's portfolio of past CRM projects. Review case studies, success stories, or client testimonials to gauge their track record and client satisfaction. Contact their references to gain insights into their performance, project management capabilities, and overall customer experience. For example, at Cleveroad, we offer full-cycle CRM development services and are ready to help you design and build a custom CRM system.

Interface of a CRM for a shipping company by Cleveroad

Interface of a CRM for a shipping company built by Cleveroad

Seek consultation and pricing proposals

Engage in detailed discussions with shortlisted partners to share your business requirements and objectives. Seek their input and advice on how they would approach your CRM implementation. Request pricing proposals that outline the scope of work, project timelines, deliverables, and associated costs. Compare the proposed solutions and pricing models o each partner CRM implementation consultant to determine the best fit for your organization.

Analyze return on investment (ROI)

Consider the potential return on investment and benefits that each partner can deliver. Evaluate how their proposed solution aligns with your business goals and objectives. Assess the value they can bring to your organization in terms of improved efficiency, increased sales, enhanced customer satisfaction, and long-term scalability.

Sign a partnership contract

Once you have selected the right CRM implementation partner, finalize the partnership by signing a comprehensive contract. The contract should clearly outline the scope of work, project timelines, deliverables, pricing terms, responsibilities, and any other relevant terms and conditions. Ensure that the contract also includes provisions for ongoing support, maintenance, and future scalability of the CRM system.

Looking for a reliable CRM partner?

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Where To Find CRM Implementation Partners

When it comes to finding CRM implementation partners, there are several reliable resources and places you can explore. By leveraging industry resources and conducting thorough research, you can identify competent partners who can effectively meet your CRM needs. Let’s disclose how to do it:

Professional platforms

Platforms such as Clutch, provide comprehensive listings of companies offering CRM services. By filtering the search results to focus on CRM-specific services, you can review the profiles, ratings, and client reviews of various companies. Visiting their websites and exploring their CRM development service offerings and expertise will give you a better understanding of each potential partner CRM implementation company capabilities.

Industry networks and professional forums

Engaging with industry networks and participating in professional forums can help you connect with experienced CRM implementation partners. These platforms provide opportunities to interact with professionals who have firsthand experience with CRM solutions. You can seek recommendations, ask for referrals, and gain insights from experts in the field.

Referrals and recommendations

Tap into your professional network and seek referrals or recommendations from colleagues, partners, or contacts who have previously implemented CRM systems. Their firsthand experiences can provide valuable insights and guide you toward reliable CRM implementation partners.

Online Research

Conducting thorough online research is essential to gather information about CRM implementation partners. Visit the websites of companies offering CRM services and evaluate their expertise, experience, and case studies. Pay attention to client testimonials and success stories to gauge their track record in delivering effective CRM solutions.

Applying the combination of these approaches, you can create a shortlist of potential CRM implementation partners. It is advisable to evaluate each partner based on their industry experience, technical expertise, track record, and alignment with your business objectives.

Discover the step-by-step guide on the custom CRM development process

Tips to Successfully Integrate a CRM into Your Organization: Our Advice

Let’s list some tips, following which you can ensure a successful CRM integration that aligns with your business goals and drives visible output. The implementation process may require ongoing adjustments and refinements as your organization evolves and customer needs change, which is also important to keep in mind.

Budget planning

Allocate a realistic budget that covers not only the CRM implementation partners costs but also ongoing maintenance and support. Consider factors such as licensing fees, customization requirements, data migration, and training expenses.

Choosing the right CRM team

We’ve already described the importance of choosing a proper dedicated CRM implementation and support team with expertise in CRM solutions. Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable in guiding you through the integration process.

Evaluate your goals

Before implementing a CRM, assess your objectives using the SMART goal-setting framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Define clear and specific goals such as increasing sales by a certain percentage, improving customer satisfaction scores, or streamlining lead management.

Organizational change management plan

Recognize that CRM implementation involves changes in workflows, processes, and, potentially, the organizational culture. Develop a change management plan that includes communication strategies, training programs, and stakeholder engagement to ensure smooth adoption and minimize resistance.

Integration with other business systems

Together with a partner CRM implementation consultant, you should consider how the CRM will integrate with your existing business systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Seamless integration allows for efficient data sharing and eliminates silos, providing a holistic view of your customers and enhancing decision-making capabilities.

Staff training

Invest in comprehensive training programs to educate employees on CRM functionality and best practices. Ensure they understand the system's features, how to input and extract data, and how to leverage CRM tools to improve their daily tasks and customer interactions.

Measurement of results and KPIs

Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your CRM implementation. Examples of KPIs may include customer acquisition rates, conversion rates, customer retention rates, average response time, and overall revenue growth. Regularly track and analyze these metrics to assess the effectiveness of your CRM strategy and make data-driven improvements. Some examples of KPIs for a CRM incorporate:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score
  • Customer Engagement
  • Average Response Time

Your CRM implementation partner can help you determine the appropriate KPIs for your specific case.

Cleveroad Experience in CRM Development and Implementation

Cleveroad is an experienced software development vendor possessing solid 11+ years of experience in a broad spectrum of the most demanded market domains. Our key mission is to deliver unique, individual solutions to our clients to address their business challenges and help companies of diverse scales achieve their core objectives.

We have comprehensive experience in CRM implementation which can unlock the full capacity of your business. You can order the following range of services:

  • Custom CRM implementation
  • CRM modules implementation
  • Legacy CRM update

The CRMs we design and deliver are built to renovate business efficiency and provide easier management. Having our deep tech specialization in CRM development, we are experts in developing a personalized product that’ll meet your requirements.

Our company has extensive experience in creating complex software systems like CRM, and we want to share with you one of our cases to demonstrate our skills and capabilities.

Our clients are Prime Path Medtech™, a company that provides its customers with services via a legacy Quality Management System (QMS). Being based on Quickbase, it was already obsolete, unadjustable, unproductive, and didn't reflect the B2B business model sets. A customer required a fully automated QMS which would cover all workflows and documentation of the business’s customers. Thus, the client needed a tech partner to:

  • Change the out-of-date Quickbase-powered QMS with an automated system delivering transparency to internal processes, as well as a clear and intuitive interface design
  • Interconnect the innovative QMS with the Quality control services, keeping and supporting all flows, features, and responsibilities needed for medical devices’ certification
  • Scale the company, boost revenue indicators and client engagement rate fitting in the right budget

The team of tech professionals at Cleveroad has accomplished the from-scratch implementation of a scalable and advanced QMS sticking to the B2B SaaS business model. Our in-house specialists have developed and delivered the new robust platform, leaving Quickbase behind.

We’ve ensured the customer with end-to-end services, covering full-cycle software development, consulting, business analysis, and project management. Our indispensable and significant goal was to design the QMS architecture and modules, taking into account the entire business context, workflow, and compatibility with FDA 21 CFR 820 and 21 CFR 11 and the ISO 13485 requirements.

The fully automated software has enabled our client to decrease manual activities and delegate responsibilities to the system. The straightforward system’s workflow has resulted in skyrocketed user satisfaction.

CRM software from Cleveroad

Quality management system (QMS) designed by Cleveroad

You can get a huge list of benefits by cooperating with us:

  • IT consulting. Professional assistance to help you determine the best approach to develop and implement complex systems such as CRM, QMS, ERP, etc.
  • Full-cycle development. Delivering a full cycle of software development from requirements analysis and design to system development, testing, and implementation.
  • IT managed services. Technology management expertise to ensure your CRM system runs stably and reliably throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Cooperation models. Flexible partnership conditions, including outsourcing, outstaffing, and combined approaches to meet your unique needs and budget.
  • On-demand services. A flexible approach to services like IT consulting, legacy software modernization, and more to provide you with the resources and support you need on demand.
  • Custom software development. If your project requires a customized approach, we are ready to design and implement a custom solution that fully meets your requirements and business processes.

Ready to build your own CRM?

Contact us. Our tech experts will consult you and estimate your CRM project in the shortest time

Frequently Asked Questions
Who implements CRM in a company?

The CRM implementation in a company is typically carried out by either internal teams with CRM expertise or by external CRM implementation partners. While the first approach might cause some challenges related to the team assembly, budget, and resources, the second one enables you to delegate your responsibilities and get assistance from a credible tech team.

What is an implementation partner?

An implementation partner is a third-party organization or consultant that specializes in CRM implementation. They provide expertise, guidance, and support throughout the CRM implementation process, working closely with the company to ensure a successful deployment of the CRM system.

Why is CRM implementation important?

CRM implementation is crucial for organizations aiming to enhance their customer relationships, improve sales and marketing effectiveness, and streamline business operations. It provides a centralized platform to manage customer data, track interactions, and gain valuable insights for better decision-making.

What is CRM implementation?

CRM implementation refers to the process of integrating a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system into an organization's existing operations. It involves configuring the CRM software, migrating data, training employees, and aligning business processes with the CRM system.

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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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