T-Ball for Major League Dynamics CRM Partners
The other day I was speaking to one of our RapidStart CRM Partners, who not only has an expert Dynamics CRM team, but is also a big fan of our model. He suggested that RapidStart CRM was like T-Ball for a home-run hitters. So here comes a post littered with baseball analogies…
The Hardest Mile
In the typical CRM deployment project the First Mile is the most difficult. Starting with the Second Mile is where all of the fun happens, and all of the money is made, at least for an established CRM Partner. The First Mile is that bit about getting a new customer off the ground. Ideally this should be quick, inexpensive and effective. The goal is to get that customer through that chute, without having them hate you at the end of it. Why might a customer hate you at that point? The usual reasons customers end up hating partners, over-promising and under-delivering. This is not unique to CRM, but it does seem to be quite acute there. How to avoid it seems obvious enough, and yet it continues to happen. Over-promising is simply the act of agreeing to anything the customer asks you about CRM. No… CRM will not wash their car. Over-promises come in two flavors, you pick which is worse: “I don’t know, so I will just say Yes”, or “I know damn well, but I need this sale, so I will just say Yes”. Over-promisers usually assume that the customer will not remember later… but they always do. I wrote about this in an earlier post here.
A Fuzzy Start, leads to a Sharp End
For the most part, initial CRM deployments are by nature, fuzzy. The client does not really know the platform, and won’t get to really know it until it is in their hands later. So what is to be done between the handshake and Go Live is often vague. Maybe not to the partner, but definitely for the customer. The typical SOW will contain a lot of information that the customer will not really understand fully, and they will definitely be leaning on what they were told before, more than what is written down. The fact that they signed a specific and detailed SOW will be of little value to you if your goal is a happy customer. If you can’t get through this chute with a happy customer at the end, then you don’t get to make the real money after that, your replacement partner does. Of course, the partner who replaces you will feign shock and horror of your treatment of this customer, while thanks to you, they get to start at the lucrative second mile.
Home-run hitters strike out the most
This is a fact, home-run hitters are not interested in singles or doubles, they are swinging for the fences every time they step up to the plate. As a result they strike out a lot. If they do hit a good one, but not good enough to clear the fence, they often get thrown out running the bases. Many CRM Partners view every prospect as an opportunity for a home-run, when in fact, most of them are not. If your entire practice revolves around home-runs only, then you are missing most of the game. If every time you stepped to the plate you were guaranteed a double, you would win every single game.
Hit Consistent Doubles with RapidStart CRM
Okay, I get that doubles are not that exciting, but they add up. Best of all, that customer is happy after that First Mile, and ready to make a serious investment in the second. You already know this, you probably have some kind of a lower cost, getting started package… ours is just way better, for you and your customer. I will also bet you would make more net revenue on the markup of our model, than you do on your own approach, assuming you make any money on it at all. Do we think we are smarter than you? Nope, but I know we went a lot deeper down this rabbit-hole than you have, because it’s our entire business model, not a loss-leader.
My Challenge to CRM Partners
Set up a demo with us of our RapidStart CRM solution for Dynamics CRM Online. If, after seeing what we are doing, you still think your team can provide more value, and a better chance of success for your customers, at twice what RapidStart CRM would cost you… well… I don’t know what the hell I would do. I would not be very happy I can tell you that, and I might just take my ball and go home.