How do CRM implementations fail?
There are many reasons why CRM projects can fail. Implementing CRM for the first time, or doing a CRM migration, are important jobs and ones that come with many different considerations to make.
In our experience CRM project failure typically falls into one of these 6 categories. They are as follows:
1. Doing it alone
2. Picking the wrong platform
3. Poor user adoption
4. Poor training
5. Poor planning and goal setting
6. Lack of customer focus
Let’s take a closer look at these 6 reasons for CRM project failure
Doing it alone
Making all the decisions related to CRM selection and rolling out a CRM implementation can be overwhelming. It does not have to be though. Working with a skilled consultant, who understands CRM and has done multiple projects, helps significantly increase the odds of success. A good consultant can help you identify what is most important up front and help you select the right platform. A good consultant will help you develop a solid CRM implementation plan. They can also help you identify what modules or functions you may want to tie to your CRM. Outside experts will also be able to solicit feedback, goals, and objectives impartially from an entire organization. Selecting a consultant, rather than going with a vendor, is also an excellent idea. A vendor will usually find the answer to any question or requirement as part of their own offering.
Picking the wrong platform
Different CRM platforms have different strengths. HubSpot for marketing, or ServiceNow for customer support are good examples of CRMs having a focus. Other CRMs are well rounded and even extend into ERP for enterprise or SMB, … Salesforce and Zoho are examples here. The main point however is that there is a best platform or two for your specific business and needs. If you select the wrong platform up front it can be a big reason for CRM project failure.
Poor user adoption
Poor user adoption is another of the huge reasons for CRM failure. If you do not take the time at the start of a project to solicit user feedback you will likely come up with a poor CRM implementation plan. If you do not take the time to get users on board in the planning stages, they will also not be motivated to use a new CRM. A new CRM implementation can have tremendous positive impacts on the customers and the employees of a business. Users should be involved every step of the way and have a vested interest in deployment success. If users are invested, the adoption will be excellent for any CRM implementation.
Another of the common reasons for CRM project failure is poor training. Even if users are onboard with making a CRM change if they are not adequately trained on how to use a new tool the project will fail. Bringing in outside help can assist here. A business can gain the perspective of outside counsel and build their own competency on a new tool with expert support. If a good training process is not part of the initial plan, and if people doing the training are not highly skilled, CRM projects risk a high failure rate.
Poor planning and goal setting
This reason for CRM project failure, … poor planning and goal setting, is obvious. Yet, it is still amazing how many times this is badly done. Sitting down and whiteboarding at the start of a project is essential. Imagining what a business would do with a blank slate is extremely beneficial. Starting with the end goal in mind and then working backwards and setting goals is the right and essential approach with business altering projects like a CRM implementation. Outside experts and consultants help dramatically with this critical step.
Lack of customer focus
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. If a business is not doing a CRM implementation to have a better customer engagement and customer experience, what is the point. It still surprises us how many businesses will approach a CRM project with an emphasis on what is easiest for the business … and not what is the best customer experience while achieving business objectives. Maintaining a customer focus and keeping an eye on the customer experience is one more area outside guidance can really help.
Want to talk about CRM?
We hope these 6 reasons for CRM project failure will help you as you consider a CRM implementation or CRM implementation plan. At Valenta we offer consulting, integration, and can outsource system administrators once a CRM platform is rolled out. We have many projects completed with Salesforce, Zoho and other CRM. We are exclusively focused on providing services to SMB clients. If you are an SMB wanting to discuss CRM, we are here for you.
If you would like to learn more about what is CRM, this blog is a great place to start:
If you would like to get in touch with us related to CRM, or anything else, please Reach out to us.