CRM implementation projects are complex and riddled with potential obstacles that can cause significant issues or even failure. What to look out for and be careful of can greatly assist in steering clear of a CRM initiative failure. CRM experts have discovered, and most industry analysts agree, that there are a limited number of core reasons for CRM project failure. The reasons change a bit from enterprise to SMB and slightly by industry but all stem from the same high-level reasons.
Inadequate Project Planning and Requirements Analysis: This is a top reason for CRM project failures. Remember, CRM systems and projects are complex; there any many moving parts of an organization. CRM manages multiple areas of a company from leads, opportunities, follow up, sales processes, cases/customer support, marketing, and reporting. Before just selecting CRM Software, careful thought should be given to what are the long-term objectives that you want to solve for your Company? How do you measure success with CRM? What are the desired results? Careful project planning will create the framework for your new CRM initiative.
Taking on Too Much in Phase 1: Many times, there is a pent-up need for marketing, sales & customer service tools causing the desire to take on too much in the critical first phase of the project. Phase 1 should cover only the "Top" business objectives while lower priority items or those deemed too complex should be moved to a future phase. The CRM planning, selection, and implementation process should not be rushed, however, methodically mapped out over a timeline, while tackling the most important goals first.
Not Incorporating "Best" Business Processes into CRM: Many companies and specifically salespeople, think that CRM alone is a “magic bullet” to solve challenges in Sales. While technology is important, the sales process needs to go hand-in-hand to achieve success. For example, in the CRM system you are considering, are they any “built-in”
Not Getting the Buy-In from your Organization/User Adoption: User adoption is another key area for successful Implementation and can actually be a “make or break” situation. By user adoption, we are talking about how much an organization can get its employees to adopt and use a new CRM system. Although this sounds like a simple and obvious concept; it a very much overlooked area. Does management mandate employee use their new CRM system? That simply does not work. To gain user adoption many things have to cumulate leading up to providing the users an easy-to-use, powerful tool that provides them value and helps them do their job better. Carefully working with an experienced CRM partner to manage expectations along with thorough training will lead your team on the path of success with a new CRM System.
Support is Critical: Some businesses hire a “consultant” to help implement their CRM system. The consultant is heavily engaged during the implementation but following go-live, they typically fall back to a reactive support mode usually on a time and materials basis. The problem is that in most cases the business is not ready to fully take over management of the CRM solution at go-live. There are typically issues being discovered just after go-live and some items that were missed during planning. There is typically no more budget for additional consultant services so unfortunately, the CRM solution becomes stagnant. It is, therefore, best advised to work with an experienced technology CRM partner that offers on-going support options to make that you are fully using your CRM system and getting the most out of it. Also, partnering with a seasoned technology company that can advise additional products (such as
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