Dynamics CRM 2011 – Partner vs Vendor: Let’s Play Together

Jaime Smith, 21 March 2013

There is the old adage “no one cares what or how much you know, until they know how much you care”, it seems like a fluffy statement but it is pertinent to all human engagement - in my experience, it underpins any successful partnership!

I am not talking about us being recognised as their Dynamics CRM Partner on Record but rather about mind-sets and intentions of all parties involved.  The projects which achieve the greatest level of success are the ones where we have worked alongside our customers to implement CRM.

What defines a successful partnership?


I believe this is a defining characteristic - are you fully committed to seeing your clients become totally successful in their endeavours? 

Provocation and Innovation

We always need to be willing to share information, thinking two, three even ten steps ahead of the current game to ensure that our customers are not going to be caught out or left with a feeling that they are behind the eight ball. We need to promote critical thought and assist in fostering innovative ideas within our customers.  Draw their attention to new functions, features, upcoming releases….all of these add value to the solution we are providing and add value to our customers.  One of the most limiting factors to forging a partnership is only thinking of what has previously or currently been documented.


We need to understand that our customers can have a completely different set of business processes to us. This will mean keeping an open mind and trying new things on behalf of you customer.  A willingness to move with agility to their changing needs is important.  In saying this, any move needs to be tempered with honest advice and recommendations, especially if it looks like the customer are heading in the wrong direction.  But, Hey! This is ok when you have proved your commitment to their success!


Are you fully aware of your customer’s strategic objectives? We need to ensure that we go deeper than just having knowledge of the objectives; we must seek to understand them and what the motivators are behind those objectives.  This will enable us to continue to provide insights and options in order to provide full value.  We must get ourselves across the business objectives to ensure that we continually offer solutions that edge the customer closer and closer to achieving their goals. 


These are just some of my reflections and undoubtedly there are many more factors involved in creating dynamic partnerships based on trust and unified vision.  These ones are a good place to start….reflect on what you are trying to accomplish…remember helping your customers succeed will ultimately bring success your way too!