Success with your CRM implementation is a worthy aim, but a lot can be learned from failures too. In fact, some of the best and most robust CRM systems were not developed without a few initial hiccups that revealed innovative solutions for common business challenges. That means if you’re facing trouble right now, it’s time to start looking more closely and learning from it.
Analyzing Unsuccessful CRM Systems
So what are the most important lessons from such failed cases? Here’s a quick look at the precious ones:
- Not prioritizing CRM: Even after proven positive impact on business returns • and organizational efficiency, CRM implementation is not taken seriously at most enterprises. The result is that either they are completely bereft of the advantages, or the implementation put in place is not able to deliver optimum performance.
- Looking at cost only: It’s true that in the short run the total cost of ownership of a CRM system can be high, but taking the short-term view restricts the growth potential of the business. A CRM system should be seen in terms of the value it delivers over time rather than the immediate cost.
- Less focus on integration: It’s a proven fact that a CRM system works best when it becomes the heart of everything. That’s where the true improvement kicks in, without which your CRM solution is little more than another piece of software. Make sure you plan in advance how CRM goes along with everything else.
Don’t be discouraged if your CRM efforts have not produced great results. It’s now time to analyze the missteps and learn from them.
The benefits of CRM extend beyond improvement in business workflows and reduced costs. A particular case in point is surviving recessions, even though the link between the two is not immediately obvious. And yet CRM systems have demonstrated time and again that their effects can be positively deep and far-reaching, helping companies avoid recessions or ride them out much faster. Here’s how it happens:
How CRM Can Help Ride Out Recession
- Larger market: Because of the CRM system, businesses are able to penetrate a wider range of the market, increasing their overall customer base quickly. This rise in business offsets poor market demand during the slump, effectively putting the company on growth track as soon as the recession is over. By contrast, those without a CRM system find that a lot needs to be done.
- Lower costs: Recessions are all about keeping cost low, which is where CRM systems win hands down. With highly efficient workflows and dynamic system design, a CRM tool reduces overall strain on operational budget and improves profitability. As any business knows, this is a huge plus during times of recession.
- Resource optimization: One good way to keep costs low is to make sure all the resources are getting used optimally. In a large organization, this becomes a big challenge as it’s tough to get clear visibility. That’s where you can turn to CRM systems and extract resource optimization reports to take relevant decisions. As a result, your organization is working at full efficiency which helps to increase profits and reduce costs.
Do you agree that CRM systems can have a positive impact during times of economic slowdown? Why or why not? Please tell us in the comments!
Although the advantages of a CRM system are undeniable, many times businesses have to face the bitter reality of failure. The promised advantages and efficiency do not appear, and in some cases the workflows become harder to manage. In this post we look at the issues deeply and examine the most prevalent causes of implementation failure. Hopefully enterprises will find something of value here.
Top Reasons Why CRM Fails at Times
- Not developing a business case: Remember that CRM is not an add-on. It impacts everything you do in a fundamental way, so it’s important to get the business side clear first. How can you do this? Make a strong business case clearly highlighting the advantages and high-level overview, and win the top management over.
- Forgetting a trial run: Note that some tweaking is always necessary, so the best way to test a CRM system is by actually running it and letting your everyday users work on it. It’s only when real people do real work on the system that minor flaws can be detected and annulled.
- Not having clear metrics: It’s a given that you want a CRM implementation to be successful, but how would you measure success? That’s where the importance of having crystal-clear, credible metrics kicks in. Know what parameters are mostly used in the industry, and then set conservative targets for your own implementation.
It’s because of nuances like these that CRM has been termed an art more than science. All the stakeholders need to be involved in the implementation and work out creative ways to deal with possible roadblocks.
What are you doing to ensure zero-failure in your CRM implementation? Let us know in the comments section!
How can the success of a CRM system be determined? Is an improvement in workflows enough of proof of its effectiveness, or is there a more fundamental metric that shows the effectiveness of a CRM system when it comes to optimizing sales solutions? Many industry experts believe that every CRM system will improve workflows, even if by a fraction, so it is not the most correct metric for reflecting the success of an implementation. According to them, there is a more fundamental and intuitive way to look at the whole thing – consumer trust.
The Acid Test for Any CRM System
Communication and trust
When we talk about the effectiveness of a CRM system in building consumer trust, it is not in terms of a blurry idea of trust. Trust is important, no doubt, but the new system needs to demonstrate how it is leading to increased trust. And this is where this metric comes in – personalized communication. The idea is that personalized messages can maximize your marketing returns quickly and at the same time lead to high retention and customer loyalty.
But in a traditional sales management system, the enormous complexity of individual communication finds no place. This is precisely where a CRM should win, with a demonstrable effectiveness of rich email campaigns and other communication items that are personalized according to the history of each customer. As a result, the customer feels relevant and valued, which naturally leads to a stronger bonding than is otherwise possible.
Have you noticed increase in consumer trust after adopting a CRM solution? We’d like to know your experiences in the comments section!