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Why CRM Implementations Fail

A study suggests that only 69% of all CRM implementations succeed. Why do CRM implementations fail in such massive proportion? Most obvious and easiest culprit seems to be Technology, But surprising it’s not the technology. 85% of CRM fail due to other reasons.

Companies everywhere spend an enormous amount of money on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Have you ever thought why CRM implementation fails in the organisation? It’s very easy to blame technology. But it is because there is no predefined goal and the result. CRM Implementation is more than just the installation of software. 

If words like Tracking, Reporting, Control & Data Entry come to your mind when you think of CRM. Its bound to fail.

8 Reasons leading CRM implementation failure

  • Misaligned goal leads to CRM implementation failure
    One of the most common reasons for CRM failure is starting a project without first establishing a clear definition of success. It is necessary to know what will you achieve after completion of a project. The project outcomes should be measurable and time-bound. First of all, figure out what are the problems that the organisation is facing and how CRM implementation will help. For example, are you trying to make it easier for your customer to find out right person inside the company to make enquiries, placing order or customer service?
    Then know your strategy and be sure that your CRM software system fulfils all your “must have” item in your requirement list. Make sure to view each CRM software features set that will support your business process.

CRM is supposed to resonate with words like Enabler, Automation, Integration, Coordination.

  • Choosing the wrong software or provider
    In buying any software for your business, it is important to do research and run tests. It enables to select the CRM software provider that fits best with your company and its goal. No one will be happy if you have to wait for the developing team for doing simple changes in your CRM like adding a drop down, change in text format, etc.

Buying CRM is like buying a Car. You only know after using it that you bought wrong one.

  • Change in any form is not acceptable
    User adoption is one of the major factors leading to CRM implementation failure. The employee is used to a predefined working structure. Any new change in the working style is not easy to accept. So to avoid CRM implementation failure, at the start of the project itself, select users from a different group to get involved in CRM implementation process. This will not only boosts employee confidence but also give them a feeling of being part of the organisation. This exercise also helps the employees know the benefits of the CRM program before resisting the change.

You cannot ignore HR while planning CRM. Its not an IT Job its a HR (Change Management Job).

  • CRM does not solve all organisation problem
    CRM is a tool; it will not solve all your organisational problem. It is an enterprise-wide effort to improve the customer-facing business process to achieve company goal. It will only make your life simple in helping you how you can schedule your daily task, measure results and know your customer.
  • Not getting a BUY-IN from employee
    Get users adopt the new CRM system by focussing on WIFM (What’s In It For Me) factor. They should know the benefits of the CRM system and feel the difference in its absence. Also, management should mandate the software implementation with proper support. This mandate will compel them to use the system, but slowly and steadily they will understand the importance.
  • Avoid incomplete data entry
    If the employee doesn’t trust the data, then they won’t use CRM. This is most often caused by the user who fails to do their job by not entering the requested information. The employee may think that it takes much time or it’s not their job. But they may not be aware that others in the company are dependent on all of that information they enter. Whenever such error happens in the quality of data, it is essential to communicate with them and make them understand the importance.

If your CRM is increasing data for everybody (permenantly) then something is wrong. It should actually reduce work.

  • Overly complicated system
    In many organisation, people who use CRM system the most are not technical people. If you choose a program which your user doesn’t find simple to use, they will find ways to avoid it. Make limited fields to enter otherwise, you may lose valuable data, and your business will suffer.

If you are a small team and implementing CRM for first time, always take small steps (but firmly)

  • Insufficient employee training
    The implementation process should start with training of the employees by the HR team. No employee has time and energy to learn on its own. The time, money, and effort that go into proper training are usually deferred in favour of maintaining common sales goals. The sales team are not proficient with software and therefore does not reap benefits.

Biggest problem found with Indian SME companies is that they dont value Employee Training. CRM without Employee Training is criminal Mistake.

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