From CRM

3 main reasons why CRM implementation fails

“60% of CRM implementations fail.” Yes, I read that at many places too, and chose to ignore it until the same failure hit me, twice. So I decide to share with you the lessons that I’ve learned in a hard way.

Reason 1: Implementing CRM before knowing why

Because without knowing the problem that you are dealing with, the solution is meaningless.

Rushing into the solution research is dangerous. With so much information about CRM, you easily get distracted by the product pitches, and start to imagine the needs that don’t really exist.

On the contrary, knowing the reason first can help you to think logically about what you really need. Many problems can’t be solved with CRM, or at least can’t be solved with CRM alone. Here are some examples:

“We don’t make enough sales” – You need better salesmen, not CRM

“Sales reps don’t fill correctly the spreadsheet” – Salesmen hate to fill CRM forms as much as they hate to fill spreadsheets

“I want to standardize sales process” – Not working. If even you can’t make people work in the same way, how can a dead tool do that for you? It will just become annoying extra that distracts salesmen from their own routines.

“I can get more insightful data from CRM” – Sounds tempting. You can indeed get much more data, but until salesmen decide to use it in sales, it’s just another colorful graph in the report.

Do you get the idea? Many problems that people want to solve with CRM are actually organizational problems that they need to solve by themselves. Until these problems get taken care of, bringing in CRM will just aggravate the chaos.

Make sure you have a valid reason and get everything ready to welcome the CRM.

Reason 2: Implementing CRM because your manager wants it

Having managers stand by your side is the easiest way to get things done, but it won’t guarantee the outcome. People can comply with the idea in front of managers and procrastinate the action, especially when the responsibility isn’t on any particular person.

Of course, managers love CRM. They can leverage the tool to manage both the team and the data with no extra effort. Unfortunately, salesmen hate CRM for the same reason. Doing the chores of data input only to get spied on sounds such a dumb idea that they forget all the benefit they can get from it.

If you want the team to use and benefit from CRM, not just purchase it and put it in the corner, you need to get real support from salesmen.

A good way to get support is to convince some early adopters first. Choose the ones who lead ideas and give them VIP experience. Ask them what the challenges are and what they care the most. Listen carefully and really try to help. After seeing some of their nastiest problems solved with CRM, they will become your advocators and help you buy in more people. Support from the bottom is the key to the success of CRM implementation.

Reason 3: Trying to change salesmen’s habits

Don’t ask one to start logging his sales calls to CRM if he hasn’t been noting them down somewhere else.

Don’t expect a salesman to make use of the web visit data if he didn’t consider this information as beneficial and tried to get it somehow.

The idea is simple here. If he didn’t do it or at least try, it just means he doesn’t really need it. He may find this new concept intriguing or even tell you in person that he loves the idea. But don’t be fooled by his words. Without feeling the real need, he won’t take any action.

A tool is implemented to better fulfill one’s needs, not to create the needs.