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Hire CRM consultants for your best chance at implementation success

Whether your company is planning to implement a CRM system or has already begun using one, you’ve likely realized how enormous an undertaking it is. From choosing which CRM platform best fits your needs to promoting employee adoption, there are a number of aspects that can fail if not handled properly. Hiring CRM consultants can help you get the most from your CRM investment and ensure a smooth implementation.

Selecting the right CRM platform

Since CRM systems support different departments with varying requirements, selecting a platform that satisfies all of them can be challenging. Sam Biardo, CEO of consulting firm Technology Advisors, Inc., explains how consultants can help facilitate the decision-making process.

“We have a process of looking at our customer requirements and matching them to the different top CRM platforms,” he says. “We take the best matches and then factor in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).” According to Biardo, they often recommend SugarCRM because the TCO is so favorable.

CRM consultants provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you decide what features and functionality should be included in a CRM system

“It has all the features of most CRM [platforms], but at half the price. Add that to their cloud environment where the solution is upgraded and managed for the customer, and their rich development environment, and Sugar is the best value,” he says. “We see this being used heavily by distribution, manufacturing, startups, and service companies.”

Getting team members to use the new system

Although CRM selection may be challenging, Biardo says that’s not the most challenging aspect. “Getting people to use the system is the toughest problem in implementing CRM. Our process at Technology Advisors is focused on getting the solution the team wants to gain their buy-in and increase user adoption.”

Consultants will also work with companies to design a training and rollout plan that will make the transition easier. They may even look at a company’s processes and workflows to make suggestions for ways to streamline using the CRM system. “Customers sometimes do not understand that when you start to adopt a new CRM, requirements will shift and new requirements will be added,” he explains. ”Companies that don’t recognize this are the ones that lose adoption and watch their CRM project fail.”

Customizing and optimizing after rollout

Once you have set up and configured your selected CRM application, you’ll want to consider any additional customizations and fine tune to address any challenges. CRM consultants can assist at this stage as well.

“After implementation we interview the customer to find out the key initiatives and issues with the solution. Then we produce a plan and a ROI. We then discuss budget and create a multi-year plan,” Biardo says.

He also notes that many customers initially don’t realize that third-party CRM integrations are available that can enhance their platform’s functionality. Some consultants will also develop custom solutions for their clients. So whether you need to connect back-office systems, add document viewing and signing, or automate manual processes, a CRM consultant can point you in the right direction.

Although many industries have unique hurdles, Biardo says many experience common challenges that integrations can solve. “Anything that helps productivity has an immediate impact,” he says.

Contact Technology Advisors, Inc. to learn more about their products and services. If you’re looking to integrate document tools into your SugarCRM, check out Accusoft’s Document View and Sign module listed in the SugarExchange.