4 Reasons CRM Implementations Fail

Published: 8 December 2016

All CRM projects are undertaken with good intentions, however a staggering 63% of CRM implementations fail. Before you undertake your project make sure you are aware of the potential points of failure and introduce measures to mitigate the risk. In this blog we explore the top reasons CRM implementations fail and share top tips to avoid them.

CRM is perceived as Software

One of the fundamental reasons CRM projects fail is because they are viewed as an IT project. Although CRM Software is fundamentally an IT application, ‘CRM’ goes beyond that. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is primarily a business strategy and CRM software is merely a tool to facilitate the strategy.

For CRM Software to deliver a real return on investment a business wide cultural shift is required. It has the potential to increase sales revenue, and ultimately profit, because it enables you to get to know your customers better – which in turn enables you to deliver a better customer experience, retain more customers and get more repeat business. The software cannot do this on its own, the people using it need to become more customer-centric to realise the benefits.

The new system becomes the old system

Moving to a new system can often means change, and nobody likes change. It is tempting to adapt your chosen system to reflect your existing processes to aid user adoption. This is dangerous – if you make changes to your new system to reflect old ways of working you will likely replicate the same problems. A new system should be viewed as an opportunity to review your processes and implement new, more efficient methods.

Poor quality data

Unless you are starting afresh, when rolling out a new system you need to bring across your existing data. All too often we see businesses export the data from their existing systems and import it into the new one, bringing across ‘dirty data’ and the challenges it presents – as the old adage suggests, ‘you put in rubbish you get rubbish out’.

Therefore, before importing your data it is important you conduct a thorough cleanse, ensuring only reliable data is brought across into your new system. Depending on the volumes of data you have you may want to outsource this task, so not to impact on your productivity.

Users have not adopted it

If a CRM system is not used as intended, or people continue to work outside of the system, you will not get the expected results. Therefore it is important to provide all users with proper training so they understand the how the system should be used and the processes they need to follow to carry out their day-to-day activities.

Many businesses try and cut costs by removing training, this can jeopardise the success of the project. If budget is an issue there are ways to reduce costs, for instance ‘train the trainer’ could be a more cost effective option.

For more tips on how to ensure your CRM Project is a success, download our free CRM Buyers Guide.

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