10 Things to Consider When Choosing an Implementation Partner

Creating a new Digital Solution? Choosing the right implementation partner is key. 

Are you considering a website re-design? Perhaps you have challenges with your current solution, want to increase traffic/ revenue, or your current site is giving you heartburn because it’s just not meeting business goals.

The platform and partner you choose are paramount to your website success (and your success!)

This blog talks specifically about picking a partner.

Every digital consultancy has a pretty website and says they can create whatever you want.  However, as you interview them and dig deeper, differences start to appear. Here are 10 things to consider to help you filter through nuances that can make the difference between a successful digital solution project and one that misses the mark:

  1. Do you like them? This may sound overly simple and obvious, but can you see yourself and your team working with them? Relationships are important and we are much more likely to collaborate and work well with people we relate to and like.
  2. How do they respond to your questions? When you ask them, “What makes you different from other partners and why should I work with you?” They should be able to answer any question quickly and to your liking.
  3. Are they responsive? Early communication with your potential partner is like a new dating relationship-it should be easy and maybe even fun! If you see red flags early on, listen to them.
  4. Do they listen to you? Like really listen…to your pain points, issues and requirements. Do you feel like they care about you and your needs?
  5. Will they answer the tough questions honestly? For example, how long will this take and how much will it cost? Although sometimes hard to hear, a forthright answer now helps prevent future misunderstandings.
  6. What is their client relationship history? Are they quick to get a project done and move along? Or do they prefer to have long term, multi-phase relationships with their clients? How does this correlate with your company values? If a proven track record of long term relationships is important to you, ask for it.
  7. Do they have experience in your vertical? Early in your interview process, it’s appropriate to ask for examples of clients they’ve worked with- NDA’s usually permit unique referencing to working relationships. As you gather finalists in the selection process, it’s appropriate to ask for client references.
  8. How large is the company? Does the company have A, B and C teams? Larger firms often do. What team will you be working with? Will you be paying A team prices for C team help?
  9. What is their process? Agile, waterfall or perhaps a combination? Does this fall in line with how you and your team like to work? How do they communicate during this process and is their communication style, and the tools they use, compatible with your company?
  10. Do they have awards and accolades from the technology vendor? What level partner are they and are they a thought leader here?

At the end of the day, many digital firms are technically capable of creating every deliverable in your project.  However, it’s the relationships with the employees in the firm that will ultimately determine the success of your project.  Knowing there will be unexpected road bumps (happens in every single project), if you’re able to relate to your project manager and digital solutions team, it makes those stressful moments easier to navigate, leading to a successful outcome for all.

Amy Macgowan, Director of Business Development

Questions about working with XCentium? Contact me:   612.805.7644

XCentium is a full service digital consultancy, delivering exceptional content and commerce solutions for our clients on the Sitecore, Sitecore Commerce, Sitefinity, InsiteCommerce and CloudCraze platforms. To see what it’s like to work with a firm that combines technical innovation and a team of senior-level employees who passionately care about each client, Why XCentium.