CRM Implementation Failure: Is the Software to Blame?

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CRM Implementation Failure: Is the Software to Blame?

From its offset CRM, technology has been perceived as a universal remedy for most customer-facing business process issues. However, with the flow of time, it became clear that CRM implementation is a difficult, costly and time-consuming process. Simply buying the software won’t bring the desired result. So what needs to be done to ensure the successful CRM adoption? There is a compelling theory, suggesting that CRM success follows a 60-30-10 rule. According to the concept, the desired outcome of CRM implementation depends on 3 key elements: sixty percent - on people, thirty percent  - on the process, and only ten percent - on the software itself. Let’s look at each of the factors in more detail.

Key #1 - The People

It is a known fact that people are mostly reluctant to change the way they do things. Precisely this aspect is one of the main reasons for CRM project failure. The statistic shows that the sales teams are not using their CRM platforms effectively. In average,  less than 80% of sales reps use the technology correctly.    Despite the efforts of the senior management to get their staff excited about the new systems, the CRM often remains unused, resulting in huge losses of time and money. There are a few things you can do to encourage your sales team to work with the system properly:

  • Identify and involve all of the stakeholders;
  • Convey all the benefits of adopting the CRM and make sure there is somebody in charge of the process;
  • Include users and those, affected by the CRM adoption, into requirements definition and decision-making processes;
  • Conduct the necessary staff training on the proper CRM usage;
  • Adjust the compensation and penalty structure to encourage the use of the new system.

Key #2 - The Process

Many company leaders refuse to see flaws in their business processes, and thus, in the case of CRM failure, blame the technology. More often it is not the bad software causing the setback, but the bad process. Therefore, it is highly advised to review and improve the sales process before the CRM implementation, adjusting it to the needs of the system. This way you will be sure that you are not automating the lousy process. Here is a couple of advice on adjusting your business processes:

  • Analyze and evaluate the existing operations;
  • Define the areas for improvement and start outlining the selection criteria for a CRM system.
  • Establish the transparent process of opportunities moving through the sales cycle.  Educate your team and reinforce the change of behavior;
  • Make sure that the sales managers and senior staff don't get disconnected. Let them get personally involved in some important opportunities and use the CRM to review them.  
  • Perform the post-mortem analysis of the missed deals from time to time. Identify the gaps and work together with your team to close those holes.

Key #3 - The Software

Even though the particular technology chosen is often considered to be the least important part of the overall CRM implementation process, the choice of the proper tool still shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are 3 major aspects you need to take into account when choosing a CRM. Those are:

  • Quality. This factor includes such critical elements as ease of use, platform's security, mobility and customization options. All this determines how easy it will be to implement the system and how effectively it will serve.
  • Functionality. The feature set can differ greatly between the platforms. It is important to determine which functions are critical for your company and choose the solution that provides them.
  • Cost. The cost of the CRM implementation is not limited to the price of the chosen solution. Consider the expenses on the staff training, CRM consultants, and platform maintenance.  

All in all, the right CRM solution should meet your individual business requirements and fit your budget. Evidently, CRM implementation is a complex process that consists of multiple factors. Therefore, in case it fails, don’t rush to blame everything on the software solution. However, if you are confident that you have a well-organized sales process and that your staff is using the chosen solution properly, but you still miss your sales goals, it may be worth considering the CRM switch. Trujay, an online migration service, can help you avoid all the hidden data transfer pitfalls and handle the process quickly and securely. Set up the free Demo Migration and see the service in action.  

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