Express Version

  • Implementing CRM systems is rarely a do-it-yourself task, except for very small projects. It's best to get help from a team who has done it many times before and therefore can be much more effective than you can.
  • Start selecting the integrator when you determine that a tool will make it to the short list. The availability of a solid integrator is a part of the tool evaluation. If no experienced integrator is available, you should consider passing on that tool.
  • Most tool vendors offer implementation services, but usually they target only the larger ones, and even for those they may not take on the entire project. Therefore it's very likely that you will work with a third party.
  • Get integrator recommendations from the tool vendor and from your colleagues. Only consider integrators who have worked with the particular tool(s) before. Some tool vendors have certification programs and they are a good start, but do your own check as well.
  • If you need help on the business side, especially with process definition and change management, look for an integrator that offers a complete package of services, not just technical implementation assistance.
  • Check references with ultimate zeal. It's almost impossible to evaluate an integrator properly without checking references.
  • Whenever possible, try to identify the specific individuals who will work on your project before you sign the contract.
  • Integrators can work on a fixed-price basis or on a time-and-materials basis. Although fixed price contracts are attractive, they can become quite rigid so it may be better to go with successive fixed-price steps.