Successful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) boosts productivity, streamlines sales cycles, and delivers insights that drive more sales - but not every CRM implementation is successful.
Failed CRM implementations provide valuable lessons. Read this article to learn the most common reasons for CRM failure, and how to avoid them.
1. 'Failing to plan is planning to fail.'
Plan your CRM implementation strategy in advance and clearly articulate your goals. Determine your key reasons for implementing a new CRM - the problems you are trying to solve, or outcomes you want to achieve. This includes clearly defining the essential features versus those that would be 'nice to have.' For example, do you want to make it easier for customers and prospects to direct their enquiries to the right people inside your company; or make it simple to create quotes/offer deals? Do you want to have the ability to run direct marketing campaigns; offer superior levels of customer service; or build relationships with a consistent sales process and communication? When you have a clear picture of what your requirements are, you can review the available CRM products and choose the one that is right for your needs.
2. Ensure your company/the prospective CRM users are on board.
Installing a new CRM is not a small, simple project - like implementing a new, improved web browser on everyone's desk top. It's an implementation that will revolutionise and change the way your company conducts its business. Make sure you've engaged with everyone that will use the system and received their input. You need to be certain that users are aware of and support the changes you're proposing to implement, and that they understand what you hope to achieve by implementing the new CRM system. By asking for input, and listening to ideas and feedback, you are more likely to have users that are engaged and keen to use the system as an effective business tool. Any CRM tool is only as good or as useful as the information it contains.
3. The wrong software at the right price is no bargain.
Don't let price sway you. It is of paramount importance to do your research on the different CRM options available so that you clearly understand the pros and cons of each at various price points. If you require a customised system, ensure this can be done easily and cost-effectively.
4. The CRM system is not a holy grail.
Don't make the mistake of overpromising on what the new CRM system will deliver. It will revolutionise the way you do business with your customers but it is not going to solve every IT problem your company has ever had, or will have. If you have a solid strategy and project plan in place, have set reasonable expectations, answered all questions and gained the support of management and your users, you can set out to exceed everyone's expectations.
5. The CRM system is user unfriendly.
It's no surprise that many CRM systems have failed to fire because they're complex and difficult to use. The CRM system needs to make it easier for staff to do their job and stay or get in touch with customers and prospects. Replace old time-consuming, manual and paper based tasks and workarounds with easy, intuitive processes. You also want to make it easier for customers and prospects to communicate with you - good quality information will help with that. In short, the success of your CRM system implementation will be gauged on how easy and intuitive it is to use. Better quality customer-company engagement is a clear indicator of a successful CRM system.
Enprise's CRM selection covers a huge range of company demographics. It contains products carefully chosen to address the core requirements of most New Zealand small and medium sized businesses. MYOB CRM provides opportunity-based CRM inside Microsoft Outlook; Web Ninja is a web-based 'software as a service' product that offers very strong direct mail and campaign management; while Microsoft CRM is a richly featured product that spans all sales, marketing and service activities.
Perhaps most importantly, Enprise has the skills and experience to help you select and successfully implement the CRM system best suited to your company, avoiding all the mantraps - every time.