Top 10 Reasons CRM Fails and How to Successfully Implement
If you are implementing a new CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, it is important that you plan ahead and do it right. The main reason that a CRM fails is related to how it was adopted or implemented.
Below, we explore the top ten reasons that CRM implementation fails and discuss successful CRM implementations.
- Top 10 Reasons CRM Fails and How to Successfully Implement
- Poor Goals
- Poor CRM Strategy
- Lack of User Adoption
- Addition of Unrelated Tasks
- Lack of Planning
- Thinking of CRM as Only a Tech Solution
- Lack of Training or Support
- Choosing the Wrong CRM Vendor
- No Proof of Concept
- Lack of Team Organization and Responsibility
One of the top reasons that CRM software fails a company is that the company has not set any clear goals for the software. Goals need to be explicitly set so that your team knows what they are striving for and how to use the software to achieve these goals. Goals should be straightforward, measurable, and actionable.
Without these goals, your team is left confused, and you are left with uncertain completion and CRM fails. Some of the goals you could use for your CRM implementation are to provide your customers with a seamless and detailed experience or to increase your team’s productivity by automating certain client communication tasks.
Poor CRM Strategy
This is similar to the above, where we explored how poor goal setting can cause CRM failure. A lack of preparation is one of the biggest reasons that a CRM will fail, and it is crucial that you have a well-designed strategy and a systematic approach to your CRM implementation. You should be aware, first and foremost, that CRM is not simply a software application. No, it is a sales and marketing practice, which seeks to build mutually satisfying and successful customer relationships. In order to begin establishing your implementation strategy, take a look at one of your leads and track it as it moves from contact to qualified lead, and then to the customer. You should define stakeholders by tracking and mapping each stage of the customer process to its owner.
Of course, it is possible to set up a CRM program without having a plan, but it is not necessarily recommended. When you do this, you may find that your outcomes fall far from any strategic objectives to tactical goals. For example, you may end up using the CRM to do small tasks like tracking staff activities, which do not help to strengthen any customer relations.
Lack of User Adoption
User adoption is crucial to successfully introduce a new CRM to your company. With any change, some sort of resistance is common, but when your team is not on board with a new addition, you run a great risk of not being able to integrate it successfully. However, user adoption can systematically move communities, organizations, and people from the current state to a desired future state.
During this time, user adoption reduces potential productivity loss during the transition from the old to new systems, and during the ensuing learning curve. User adoption tasks that are used in the implementation of CRM software include learning and training tools, communication plans, and change readiness evaluations.
Addition of Unrelated Tasks
Another issue that you may run into when implementing a new CRM system is the addition of unrelated tasks to a project by the client. This is also called scope creep. It is when the client adds new provisions or deliverables that are outside the scope of work of the project that you are working on.
Unexpected changes like this can lead to missed deadlines, client dissatisfaction, and even financial losses. Scope creep must be handled in a controlled manner, but it can also show you that certain scope items have been overlooked or missed during the planning and estimating process. In this case, you should be sure to account for these types of items in the future so that you can avoid the potential for scope creep.
Lack of Planning
As has been mentioned previously, planning and preparation are key to the successful implementation of a CRM system. When it comes to delivery approaches, the waterfall delivery approach has been replaced by systems like Agile and Scrum, becoming the most popular CRM development approaches.
By planning for the features that your team will need in advance, you can accelerate the development timetable and begin generating value through the CRM quicker.
Thinking of CRM as Only a Tech Solution
CRM is not simply a technology for customer data organization, and should not be thought of as such. Thinking this way will limit your team in their work and with their performance and usage of your new CRM technology. If you only approach CRM as a software solution, you may find that your team does not understand its competitive benefits. CRM is, in fact, an ongoing process that keeps an organization focused on its customers, as well as keeping the focus on their mutual and beneficial needs.
Your approach to CRM should be a company-wide initiative and should begin with customer approaches, which are then automated with different applications. It is key that you do not just focus on the software and ignore everything else. To successfully implement your CRM, you should also work to improve or re-engineer customer-centric business operations. These can then be integrated with the software program to make them both efficient and consistent.
Lack of Training or Support
It is important to equip your team properly when you are bringing change into the workplace. You will lose productivity and will also foster discontent if you do not train or support your team properly when introducing a new CRM system. After all, it is expected that with a new system come unique learning curves and stumbling blocks.
As with most of the other items on this list, you should plan accordingly in order to sidestep this pitfall. Find out how much training your new program requires, and how much of that is offered by the service provider. Additionally, how is this training delivered? You can then make sure that your employees and users get enough training before and after the CRM implementation to train them up properly and to get the most out of your investment.
Some of the questions you should be asking yourself when researching the particular CRM you are interested in are whether or not support is available 24/7, how support is delivered, and how difficult it is to reach a real, live person at the other end of the support line or chat function. You should ensure that you know the kind of resources that you have access to before you are troubleshooting the program and actually need to use them.
Research accordingly so that you can find a vendor whose support functions suit your– and your team’s– individual needs.
Choosing the Wrong CRM Vendor
It’s crucial to your company that you choose the right CRM vendor for your business needs. Be sure to do the proper research in order to ensure that you pick a CRM vendor whose functions, support features, and more can properly support the needs of your team and your industry. You do not want to simply choose a CRM vendor based on whether they are the least expensive option or the most popular software. If this vendor cannot suit your needs, its price and popularity are a moot point.
When you are doing this research, you should be sure that you know what it is that you need. You should also know what features and different offerings are offered by each of your CRM options, and then you should try to do a demo before making any final decisions. You shouldn’t need to change your business processes or procedures to suit a new CRM, so if a CRM vendor is trying to push you to do so, this may show that they are not a good fit for you.
No Proof of Concept
When implementing a CRM, you should have a proof of concept. Do not try and do it all at once, but instead, focus on one of your business units. You should take the time to install the CRM with this one business unit and get it right, CRM failures can often be because of too much too fast. You can then use your value chain as a roadmap for this– for example, begin with marketing, and then work your way through to customer support.
If you have many different client databases and need to consolidate these, it is especially important for you to have a proof of concept or utilize the proof of concept approach to your CRM introduction.
You could also create some CRM projects that are not live projects, but set up to help with team implementation.
Lack of Team Organization and Responsibility
It is probably pretty clear, as you have reached the end of the list, that a lack of organization in many different areas affects the successful implementation of a new CRM software. If there are no team members spearheading this new effort and giving it the attention it deserves, you can bet that your CRM implementation will leave much to be desired.
It is important that you assign committed members of your team to different areas of the project to give it the proper attention and thought. You should have team members in charge of each business unit champion accordingly.
To read more about CRM productivity, check out our blog on CRM Productivity and 2 simple tricks to jump-start your sales practices
What Does a CRM System Do?
A CRM system is a customer relationship management software that helps you manage and organize your customer data. It can help you track customer interactions and communications, as well as store contact information, purchase histories, and more. The goal of a CRM system is to improve customer relationships by helping you keep better track of customer data.
How Much Does a CRM System Cost?
This really depends on the features and capabilities of the CRM system, as well as the size of your company. Generally speaking, most CRM systems cost around $25 per user per month. However, some systems may be more or less expensive, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.
Can I Try a CRM System Before Buying It?
Yes, many CRM systems offer free trials so you can test out the CRM software before making a purchase. This is a great way to see if the system is a good fit for your company and your needs.
One of the great benefits when it comes to CRM implementation is the exploration of features, tools and ideas provided by the CRM. Successful CRM implementation will require your key people to take a look at these and see them fitting into your business and culture.
You will need to take the time to manage your CRM implementations, although simple enough, a CRM is at its highest value when the whole team is completely on board. Evolved Metrics is committed to helping with this process, whether it is learning the system, or working with your people.
Do I Need to Change My Business Processes to Use a CRM System?
No, most CRM systems are designed to be user-friendly and easy to adapt to your business processes. However, it’s important to do a trial run of the system before making a purchase to make sure it will work well with your company.
Remember that the end goal is a happy team and customer retention. All of the work you put in is to create a tool your team can use to drive sales and build happy customer relationships.