CRM is a company-wide business strategy designed to improve revenues and profitability, reduce costs and increase customer loyalty.
In fact, we like to think of CRM as Complete Relationship Management. That’s because a great CRM not only serves a company’s external customers, but its internal customers as well - Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and Operations.
That means it has to have all the features and tools everyone needs for their “Jobs To Be Done” as well as a great User Experience and User Interface.
But, there is almost nothing as frustrating as an expensive, time-consuming implementation of a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. Failure is far too common.
"Multiple industry studies cite failure rates between 47% and 63% for new CRMs."
Taking time to invest in serious thought and consideration at the very beginning of a CRM project can not only avoid failure but also build in success.
Essential to success of any CMR implementation are:
Understanding and defining the mission, culture, and goals of an organization.
Communicating those to everyone in the organization.
Getting buy-in by everyone, top down, bottom up, and across and back
Once everyone is on the same page, you are more than halfway to success!
Let’s take a look at some of the most common points of CRM failure and how to fix them.
1. Poor User Adoption
Low user-adoption rates are the root cause of most CRM project failures. When the CRM isn’t well integrated with existing workflows and processes, or the system is just more confusing than it needs to be, people resist using it. This can be avoided by involving end users as early as possible into the design and user-experience testing processes, and by enhancing CRM training.
2. Lacking Specific Goals & Targets
Without a clear vision of what you need your CRM to accomplish, it can be easy to lose focus over the planning and implementation process. The more specific your plans are for what the CRM — including how employees will use it in their daily work, and how it will improve your KPIs — the more likely it is that the implementation will be a success.
3. It's just a technology solution...not!
It is important to remember that software should always be in service of enhancing customer relationships. Technology alone can’t improve those relationships. When CRM technology incorporates the right workflows, operated and managed thoughtfully by knowledgeable people to its full potential, a great CRM can generate powerful results.
4. The customer is not the priority.
A CRM system can boost the efficiency of your business, improve your processes, and provide insights into your sales cycle, but the true focus should always be to enhance your relationships with your customers. A well-designed CRM starts with the customer right at the center.
5. Poor planning
Implementing a CRM system involves a lot of heavy lifting on the front-end. It’s a multi-stage process, refining a general outline into clear workflows, software systems, data curation, user testing, and employee training. Every moment invested in planning serves to prevent later confusion and frustration. What organizations that have made this investment discover that this ultimately benefits the entire organization, not to mention ensures a successful CRM implementation.
6. No plan for evolving needs.
For a variety of reasons, most companies design their CRMs for just their current needs. But businesses change, grow, and evolve over time, create new products and services for its customers, add customers. A good CRM is designed with this growth in mind, allowing for expansion, refinement, and future needs. This includes a process for identifying issues and improvements to include in the next iteration of the CRM.
7. Limited scope.
A CRM project that seeks to improve sales pipeline management should take collaboration and communication across departments into consideration. What may initially be conceived as a relatively small project actually needs to serve the needs of multiple departments, and account for dozens of use cases. Taking this kind of project scope growth into consideration early will avoid the project collapsing under its own weight. Clearly define your project. Once you have that plan, stick to it.
8. Too many initiatives at once.
One way to balance an expanding CRM project is to break up your implementation into manageable pieces. Planning the system is one distinct stage, as is user testing, design revision, and employee training. Combining or skipping these stages usually results in serious problems with the overall implementation. To keep the implementation process moving smoothly, it is essential to set realistic timelines for each stage of implementation.
9. Lack of training.
CRM software can have a steep learning curve, presenting a challenge even for relatively tech-savvy people. Cutting down on training time might seem like a good way to trim the project’s budget, but in practice it usually results in low user adoption rates and increased risk of CRM failure. If you want your team to make the most of the CRM software, don’t skimp on the training.
10. Lack of support
=In an ideal world, your CRM project will have an internal “champion” on staff to act as a software expert, cheerleader, and point person. If you don’t have a CRM champion, it’s absolutely vital to have a high level of support from your CRM vendor. Your team will always have questions about the system, and your software will inevitably need revisions and tweaks as your business grows and changes. Your CRM partners need to be available to help at every step of the way, not just at implementation.
The CRM Philosophy Is Simple.
Put the customer first.
When your business looks at every transaction through the eyes of the customer, you can’t help but deliver a better customer experience, which in turn increases loyalty to your company.
86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience
Customer centric companies are 60% more profitable than those that aren't
1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one negative experience
These are just the first ten tips on how not to hate your CRM.
To get the rest of the tips on how to have a successful CRM implementation that everyone loves and appreciates, just complete that short form below -