More often than not, software implementations tend to fail not because of technical difficulties, but because teams simply don’t want to use the system. And sales teams, in particular, are notorious for problems in customer relationship management (CRM) adoption.
A review from CIO.com found that around one-third of all CRM projects fail. In this case, failure covered issues like the project coming in over-budget, data integrity issues, technology limitations etc.
Too often CRM’s are used for inspection, used to report on progress, improve forecast accuracy, provide visibility and provide a range of other business intelligence — rather than helping to iterate or improve sales processes.
Where to begin
Ideally, when a company decides to implement a new CRM, they would aim to remove all ambiguity in their needs and expectations before implementation, or even before settling on a CRM provider.
You may want a CRM for something as straightforward as needing to consolidate and organize your contact database, bringing it onto the cloud. Or it may be something more complex, like streamlining your sales and marketing funnels or automating tasks and workflows.
Whatever the reason, it’s vital to establish a clear business case and to be able to define specific and measurable goals against the cost of implementation. For example, by streamlining and automating parts of your workflow you can help increase productivity and save time on administrative tasks, in turn freeing up sales reps to spend more time doing what they do best – sell.
A CRM that can meet the majority of your business requirements and is not a chore for your team to use, will likely mean a greater user adoption and ultimately, a better ROI.
In terms of features & functionality for CRM’s, it’s good practice to think of or prepare a list of:
- Must Haves – core features & functions that you’ve identified as essential.
- Nice to Have’s – features/functions that would be a nice addition but that you can live without.
- a Wish List – features that if you could wave a magic wand would make you and your teams’ job that much easier.
Answers to the above will enable you to select the best platform for you. But whichever platform you choose, it should be flexible enough to mould around your business processes and needs - not the other way around.
It’s also worth checking whether the CRM platform you choose can scale with you as your business grows? Or will it suddenly become that much more expensive as you add more users or features? Free options may be great to get you started but may suddenly become that much more expensive as you & your business grows – so be sure to ask.