Every business is really a machine, and the machine that is every business must be fed, or it will die. In this respect, Non-CRM Partners and CRM Partners are identical. I guess I should back up a little and define these two types of partners.
CRM Partners are those partners who specialize in CRM. There are a relatively small number of them and most have a fairly specific focus on CRM. They may be very good at CRM, but typically they are not particularly good at other things. They are Specialists as opposed to Generalists. Non-CRM Partners on the other hand tend to be Generalists, and they are typically good a quite a few things, but usually not CRM, also there are a lot more of these Partners. I would place most Managed Services/Office 365 Partners in this latter camp. Microsoft wants to grow their CRM business, and they have been reaching out for some time now to these Non-CRM Partners. Why, because they do not have enough CRM Partners to meet their goals. So, let me now get back to my point.
CRM Partners feed their machines with CRM projects and customers. While the more successful ones can be choosier, they still have to take on projects that they know at the outset will be a pain in the ass. Non-CRM Partners also take on Office 365 or Managed Services projects that they too know are going to be a pain in the ass. You know what I mean, those customers that you can tell on the initial call, are going to beat you up throughout the entire project. I asked a CRM Partner a while ago why she takes on CRM Projects that she knows will be barely profitable, and she said “I am a CRM Partner”. I thought about that and it occurred to me that any business ends up taking on less than desirable work in their field… the machine must be fed, even if indigestion is probable.
For a Non-CRM Partner, therein lies their advantage in CRM. Since CRM is not core to their business, and their machine is getting fed in other ways, they are in the unique position of being able to “Cherry-Pick” only those CRM opportunities where success is an almost certainty. Since RapidStart CRM gives the Non-CRM partner the ability to easily deploy CRM successfully; they could do a little bit of marketing and have the luxury of telling 80% of the resulting prospects “No Thanks”. CRM Partners should be envious. Ironically, for the Non-CRM partner, CRM could well be the easiest, most hassle-free revenue you make.
BTW, I am taking the advice of an expert and trying to break up my thoughts into shorter posts… okay, it was my wife (and business partner), she said I blather on too long and even she gets bored :-(.
[info type=”info”]Non-Confidential Information Notice. This post was written by Steve Mordue who is a member of multiple Partner Advisory Councils and is therefore subject to an Enhanced Microsoft Non-Disclosure Agreement regarding information conveyed to PAC Members. All opinions expressed are solely those of Steve Mordue, and no information provided herein is subject to the NDA. Basically, Steve knows a lot more than he let’s on; He’d tell ya, but then he’d have to kill ya.[/info]