Five reasons for CRM implementation failure

Many of you will know from experience that all CRM implementations start off well but can often fall short, not saving you the money you thought you would accrue nor improving efficiency and productivity.

The idea is that your new CRM will improve processes and systems, making everything more streamlined but in reality, it doesn’t always go as it should.  You cannot always blame this on the CRM system; the buck usually stops with the way that it has been implemented and the amount of planning and research (or lack of it) carried out prior.

Here is our take on the reasons why your CRM implementation may fail and how to avoid it happening to you (how to fix it):

1. Not setting goals correctly

You need to be exacting when setting goals.  Decide on exactly what you need the CRM to do and then stick to it.  Look at the problems that the CRM can resolve and then match your chosen system to the brief. Don’t let vendors distract you with clever sales tactics; if necessary ask them to prove that their system can do what they say by running a test trial.

2. Not involving business executives

If you don’t involve the company’s executives from day one, how do you know they will be on board to support the new system? If they are pulling one way and you the other, how can you ever expect to modify business processes successfully? They need to review your plan and sign it off so that if challenges do arise later, they will not question the decision.  All users need to embrace and accept the proposed changes so listen to their feedback and take notes from their input.

Avoid CRM implementation failure with this easy-to-follow CRM implementation guide

3. Buying from the wrong vendor

So you got a good deal on the price, but did you end up with the software that you really needed? Be objective when selecting your new system; talk to other customers who have the CRM in place and ask plenty of questions. Find out what is good and bad about the system.  If responses are vague from the vendor, walk away. Get service level agreements, uptime and performance guarantees and warranties all in place.  Check out software as a service (SaaS) CRM solutions for a lower risk investment; if deployment fails, then at least you have sunk less money into expensive hardware.  Ask for assurances from vendors from day one, not when you are signing on the dotted line.

4. Promising the world then under-delivering

The new CRM will not be the answer to everyone’s prayers so don’t say that it is; problems will still crop up in the business and so expectations should be reasonable. Set goals and then works towards them, reporting on the successes.

5. Offering too many complex features at the start

Don’t buy features that will never get used or make it too complex for your user base. Keep it simple and easy to use and understand so that when it is rolled out across the board, everyone is happy. Get rid of some mundane and routine tasks by letting the new CRM take care of them; this will make it a winner. Put yourself in the place of the users and remove your IT hat.

The more successful your CRM implementation is, the better it will be for all concerned and most of all, the company will benefit from its success.

author image
Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

author image
Jane Tareen