According to Gartner, 63% of CRM implementation projects fail to deliver on their investment.
Many people report that CRM solutions need to be re-implemented three times or more just to get it right!
Given our experience rescuing CRM implementations, we’re surprised it’s not higher…
Why do so many businesses implement CRM so badly?
We’ve identified 6 key reasons why CRM projects fail none of which are 'choosing the wrong technology'. We see these again and again.
This exchange from Alice in Wonderland sums it up nicely!
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Sometimes the business has only the vaguest idea of what it wants to achieve from the project. All too often, the expectation is that ‘everything will be better once CRM is in’, but no one defines what ‘better’ actually looks like. So when things are not perfect (and they never are!), the CRM takes the blame for every issue.
Good scoping turns vague improvement ideas into SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) goals.
If you automate inefficient processes, they’re still inefficient. If you automate broken processes, they’re still broken. It is far better to review and improve them before you automate.
Often managers ‘know’ what the standard process is, but 4 out of 5 people in the team are doing things their own way. Implementing the documented processes which no one actually uses doesn’t help.
Make sure you spend time finding out what processes are in use, review them with input from the users and the CRM experts, and then implement these reviewed processes.
The data in your CRM system will make or break your implementation.
Carefully analyse your data, clean it up and format it for import into your new system.
This is especially important if you’re combining data from more than one data source.
Remember, a stich in time saves nine. Going back and trying to correct data is a major cause of headache and a leads to users not trusting the system (or using it).
Testing is there to identify issues with process and bugs. User testing is especially important. It’s about how your users will use the system in real life, rather than what a developer thinks users do. But if your users are testing in a hurry one afternoon while their ‘real job’ piles up into a backlog, how thorough are they going to be?
Plus, you need to test not just the ‘standard’ process, but also the exceptions – the weird and wonderful variations that your own clients and prospects come up with. (For example, your credit card process needs to handle invalid cards, potential fraud, insufficient funds, negative transactions and more.) These may only be a small proportion of total transactions, but you have to test them to ensure a robust system and confident users.
‘My team are smart, they’ve used a CRM before. They’ll work out how to do it on the job.’
Yes, they will.
But each of them will work out a different way to do things. And some (most) of those ways will not match the process your CRM was configured to support. So vital data may be missing from reports. Or automation may not trigger when expected. And when a new person starts, two different users will train them ‘on the job’ in two different ways.
CRM is a combination of technology and “business process”.
Successful CRM hinges on getting the “business processes” right. In many ways the technology is immaterial. You could use any of the leading technologies and still get it wrong. (See point 3 – Garbage In, Garbage Out.)
Your IT team may be experts in your own systems, but are they experts in 3rd party CRM? Or even in your own sales and marketing business processes? Leaving CRM implementation to in-house IT is one of the major reasons why CRM projects fail.
When you engage a 3rd party expert organisation, they note only document and implement your processes, work scheduling and reporting analytics, they also contribute ideas and improvements based on their experience in previous projects.
And when selecting a partner,
Learn more about how to choose a CRM partner.
At Opsis over the last 12 years we’ve helped hundreds of organisations ranging in size from two to many hundred people implement CRM projects successfully. Many times, we’ve been called in to “rescue” a project that’s already been implemented.
Don’t let this happen to you.
For a no-obligation discussion about how Opsis can help with scoping, planning and implementing a successful CRM, or with CRM Project Rescue,contact us today.
Opsis is an expert CRM consulting company. We are not an IT company, nor a management consultancy, although we often work with both of these. Our focus is wholly CRM, and particularly Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are based in Sydney, NSW, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia. Our range of CRM services include CRM strategy, CRM scoping, CRM implementation, technical support and CRM training.