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Why CRM Implementations Fail (Hint: It's Not the Software)


April 3, 2023


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Why CRM Implementations Fail (Hint: It's Not the Software)

A CRM is one of the most powerful tools a business can utilize to organize its marketing activity. However, the number of CRM implementation failures can range from 18% to 69%. What, exactly, is it that causes it to fail, and how can you prevent your business from becoming one of the statistics? 

The top reason for CRM failure isn't the software itself. Most CRM platforms are well-designed, filled with the tools you need to manage customer relationships and guide them through the buyers' journey. Rather, CRM platforms fail for one key reason: the way the software is implemented at the business level. 

Defining Your Goals

If you want your CRM to succeed, the first step is ensuring that you have clearly-defined goals. You need to lay out what you're planning to accomplish with your CRM, both so that you can be sure that you've chosen the right one for your needs and so that you can keep everyone on the same page as you implement your new solution. Are you trying to:

  • Improve customer retention rates?
  • Increase overall sales?
  • Decrease customer acquisition cost?

With clear performance metrics in place, you can also more easily measure the success of your CRM once you implement it. 

Managing Training

In order for your CRM to work for your business, your employees have to know how to use it. Without clear training and guidelines, employees may find themselves scrambling to figure out how to use the platform. That, in turn, can cause them to make mistakes, to not realize what tools or options they have at their disposal, or even to struggle with basic functionality on the platform. Ideally, you should have several steps to your training process. 

Training a Pilot Team

Before you launch a new CRM across your business, consider the benefits of training a small pilot team to use the platform. That pilot team may offer a number of advantages. First, they can figure out how well the platform really works for your business, and get a feel for the features that your employees are most likely to use. Second, they can obtain a deeper overall understanding of the platform and become experts in it so that they can answer future questions asked by other members of the team.

Implementing Larger-Scale Training

Your large-scale training may depend on your company, the number of employees you have in your business, and how your employees best learn. Training may take place via:

  • Large group training sessions
  • Video sessions
  • Small group training sessions

By choosing the training method that works best for your group, you can ensure that your employees have the right tools at their disposal when they're ready to launch the CRM. 

User Manuals

As part of your training process, make sure you have the right tools on hand to enable users to look up the answers to their most common questions. You may have user manuals or FAQs that come with your CRM solution.

If you're using a custom solution, or if your users are likely to have unique problems, you may want to make sure that you have a specific manual created directly for your users. Make sure the manual is accessible to all users. You may, for example, want to make sure that you have a digital option available so that employees can easily access it. 

Refresher Training

Once you have offered your employees the initial training they need to get started with your CRM platform, don't just assume that your training is over. Employees may need refresher training for a number of reasons. First, they may need training if they do not use that specific platform on a regular basis. Second, they may need refresher training to:

  • Update them on the system's new features
  • Provide them with more information about lesser-known features that can benefit them
  • Offer information about things the team might not be doing correctly as they use the software

Ensuring that your team goes through regular refresher training on your CRM platform can put each member of the team in a better position to use that platform effectively, creating better overall customer relationships.

Ongoing Support

While adequate training can provide employees with a better foundation for how to use your new CRM platform, it's important to ensure that they have the ability to get support and ask questions when they need it. 

  • Issues can crop up with even the best-designed system. Sometimes, you just need tech support to step in and get things fixed. It's important to make sure that your employees have access to that vital support.
  • Employees are human, which means that errors can happen. Sometimes, those can be entirely unexpected errors that no one could have predicted--and they may create unexpectedly large problems within your software. Having support on hand can help employees fix the problem and get things moving smoothly again.
  • Having support on hand can allow employees to ask vital questions for themselves, which can help them come up with the right answers to keep using the platform effectively. 

If your employees do not have access to the support they need to use your system effectively, they may quickly abandon it or look for other solutions. Worse, they may find the software ineffective, due to the fact that errors may keep getting in their way. By ensuring that employees have support as they use the system, you'll find that you're in a better position to see the success you're looking for.

Are You Prepared to Make the Most of Your CRM?

Implementing a new CRM is a big step for your company. Effective customer relationship management can go a long way toward improving customer satisfaction and improving the overall return on your investment. However, if employees don't have the right tools and information to implement that system, you may not see the high level of success you're hoping for. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your CRM implementation, guide you through the process, and provide more of the resources you need.