Your customers are looking for ways to understand their customers. With so much information flowing in from social media, IoT, and other sources, they find themselves with a wealth of data, and they’re looking for ways to turn that data into actual wealth. Customer relationship management (CRM), with its ability to transform data into intelligent customer engagement, is one of the next best steps for partners looking to leverage the next big opportunity and add more offerings to their portfolio.
It’s all about relationships these days, and by offering CRM, you’re giving your customers the tools they need to build relationships with their customers. It also helps you strengthen your own customer relationships—a new solution means a whole new conversation you can have with prospects and existing customers. Beyond the solution itself, there’s also the potential for ongoing project and service management. CRM is particularly “sticky” because it allows the partner to become an integral part of customers’ business growth plans.
One great area of opportunity for partners is Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Microsoft is so firmly committed to this solution and this space, it comes with some of the highest incentives we offer, as well as recurring revenue per seat. Dynamics CRM can lead to high-value recurring project work which partners can undertake themselves or with another MPN partner.
Even if you don’t currently have a CRM practice, or if you feel you don’t have the resources for such an undertaking, there are ways to take advantage of the opportunities of CRM with relatively little difficulty or risk.
So how do you do it?

Finding success with CRM

Opportunities don’t always come easily. Building a new practice around a new solution can require substantial time, effort, and money. You need to hire and train a team to manage the solution, and it can take time to get customers up and running comfortably with the new technology. And if deployment is less than ideal, your entire relationship with that customer is at risk.
But the CRM market is different. You can enter this potentially very profitable market quicker and more easily. Offerings such as Forceworks’ RapidStart CRM™ reduce barriers to the CRM marketplace by making it possible for non-CRM partners to offer a simplified CRM solution. RapidStart CRM was designed to make it easy for partners to deploy CRM and for users to adopt and use it.

Well-versed in providing customers with Dynamics CRM, Steve Mordue has determined there are four things partners need to provide both to sell the product and to promote renewals:
  • Easy-to-use technology;
  • Ways to customize the solution according to business needs;
  • Imported data so users can see the value right away; and
  • Initial training.
If you can give your customers those, Steve says, they’ll stick.
A solution like RapidStart CRM gives partners a cost-effective, low-risk way to provide their customers with all of the above. Customers get pre-installed solutions in their environment, a simple form they can fill out to customize CRM for their needs, import of initial data so they can get started right away, and integrated video training installed on their tenant that tells them how to do everything they need to start seeing the value of Dynamics CRM.
For partners interested in building a sustainable CRM practice now: this is a very efficient way to begin onboarding current customers who want the solution. You’re able to generate revenue much more quickly, giving you time and resources to build your expertise.
For partners who aren’t interested in building a CRM practice right now: you’ll still benefit from the revenue from Dynamics CRM seats, license revenue, and incentives, as well as the gross services margin on the RapidStart CRM solution itself. And, of course, you diversify your offerings while taking on little or no additional risk.
For partners concerned about having too much or too-difficult work before your team is ready: don’t forget that you belong to one of the most robust partner networks in the world. If customers want complex work outside your scope, it’s an opportunity to find a complementary CRM partner on Pinpoint. Build relationships within the partner community while still maintaining your position as trusted advisor to your customer.
Building an entirely new practice around a solution you aren’t familiar with can seem overwhelming. But customers are recognizing the value of having a deeper, more informed view into their customers and their market, and they’re increasingly realizing Dynamics CRM can help them get there. Whether you use a rapid deployment tool like RapidStart CRM or build your practice from scratch, find a way to make CRM part of your portfolio.