two coworkers working on laptops on headset
Salesforce's CRM Starter Pack aims to remove the guesswork for small business owners looking to implement a CRM solution by providing quick and customized service. — Getty Images/simonkr

As your business grows and expands, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution can help you stay connected with your existing clients, manage new leads and gain valuable data about your sales cycle.

Many small companies that are new to the world of CRM try to save money by setting up their own system. Unfortunately, the DIY approach isn't always the best one. Depending on the type and complexity of their new CRM, a small business may not know where to start in the setup process or even have solid best practices in place.

"They often don't know what their sales cycles should be or have dedicated support channels set up," said Lisa Siqueira, Small Business Sales Manager at Salesforce.

This is where a third-party implementation partner can come in handy. With the right partner, businesses can get their CRM up and running in a matter of hours, as well as benefit from expert insights on how to best use their new system.

"We live in an age of immediacy and entrepreneurial individuals want to hire someone to do things they don't know how or don't want to do," said Siqueira. "The fact that you can get CRM set up generally in a few hours … is a game-changer if you don’t have the time to spend learning through Trailhead and teaching yourself."

What does a third-party implementation partner do?

Setting up your CRM can be overwhelming, but it's important to get it right the first time around to get the most value out of it. A third-party implementation partner works closely with you to set up your new business product or service and get you and your team acclimated to using it. With a CRM implementation partner, for instance, you’ll get a trusted expert who can help you learn your chosen solution and develop a strategy to maximize your value and use of its features.

The right third-party implementation partner should make the process less intimidating and more seamless. Ideally, they are certified by the specific CRM solution you've chosen and have extensive, up-to-date knowledge of its features and capabilities.

We live in an age of immediacy and entrepreneurial individuals want to hire someone to do things they don't know how or don't want to do.

Lisa Siqueira, Small Business Sales Manager, Salesforce

Finding the right implementation partner: What to look for

There are many certified companies that offer CRM implementation and consulting services, and they're not all created equal. Siqueira advised looking at the following three factors when evaluating and choosing your implementation partner:

1. References

Does your potential partner have proof of past success with other clients? Implementation partners with an excellent track record will be happy to share it and connect you with references who are willing to discuss their experience.

2. Industry-specific experience

Every business needs something different out of its CRM. A restaurant using a CRM to manage its diner loyalty program has vastly different needs than a B2B company looking to upgrade and renew client contracts each year.

That's why it's important to understand whether your potential partner has worked with businesses in your industry before. The more experience they have in your industry, the better your partner can guide you toward the best use of your CRM.

3. Pricing and upfront expectations

Like any good B2B vendor, a good third-party implementation partner should be transparent about their service pricing and set the right expectations about what they'll deliver for that rate. You should understand exactly how they'll help you, how long the process will take and what kind of reporting and support you'll receive at the end of your time together.

Get value fast with the Salesforce CRM Starter Pack

To ensure a smooth implementation, many businesses typically have questions about customizing Salesforce to meet their unique business needs. Siqueira noted that the Salesforce team often gets the question, "I have my license, now what?"

The Salesforce CRM Starter Pack takes the guesswork out of the equation. Users who sign up through this offer get solutions "customized for the opportunities you see in front of you and challenges preventing you from getting there."

This mix-and-match offer includes help with sales, service and marketing solutions plus support/implementation to get new Salesforce users started fast. In addition to a guided setup and onboarding of Salesforce, the CRM Starter Pack ensures you’ll get started fast so you can:

  • Create simpler, more personalized content to reach your target audience.
  • Increase sales productivity with automations & adapt to changing demands.
  • Connect with customers across all channels & meet their needs fast.
  • Receive one-on-one support and best practices from Salesforce experts.

Visit salesforce.com/starterpack to learn more about the CRM Starter Pack.

Published December 03, 2020