First five factors that can doom a CRM project

You have probably read many articles on what it takes to make a CRM successful. But what about the other side?

In my 17 years of working in the CRM world, I have seen firsthand the most common factors that can doom a CRM project. Here are the first five of my top 10:

1. No CRM Champion

Every CRM needs a CRM Champion. This person drives operational excellence by filtering down the vision and strategy of the CRM to all others in the organization. If no one steps up to the challenge to evangelize the CRM, your project may be doomed. A great CRM Champion works hand in hand with the executive sponsor, developers, and end-users to create a fantastic CRM. A management consultant may be an option for you if your company does not have the resources to fill this role.

2. Lack of Executive Sponsorship

Do managers and/or key stakeholders have trouble making time for the meetings? Are they too busy to meet, and not engaged with your CRM project? These behaviors are red flags that your CRM may be headed down the wrong path.

Executive leaders, the CRM Champion, developers and end-users must all be actively engaged to make the CRM successful. It is critical to have a leader that can actively perpetuate the view and engage the business in improving the quality of the CRM.

3. Not Budgeting for Post Implementation

You wouldn’t buy a high performance sports car with the assumption that you wouldn’t have to maintain it, right? A car needs gas and oil changes as part of its regular maintenance. The same goes for your CRM – it needs TLC just like your car does. A great CRM strategy involves budgeting up front for the service and maintenance of your CRM. Stay up to date with your CRM or you might miss out on cool features and plug-ins! Your CRM is dynamic and pliable – and it can make your business money! Your CRM needs nurturing to provide your business with continued success.

4. Thinking of CRM as a Software and not a Strategy

CRM is more than just software. Its success is directly affected by the culture that surrounds it. A great CRM will continue to evolve over time to adjust to business processes and the workflow of its users. A bad mindset to be in is insisting on perfect, not better for your CRM. Perfection

can be achieved down the road, but focusing on making your CRM better one step at a time in small increments is much more achievable. One way to think of this is to achieve “small wins, small losses” as opposed to “huge wins, huge losses”. In other words, your organization can be more creative in focusing on the small wins rather than risking a huge loss. This mode of thinking can also help mitigate the risk in your organization implementing decisions to improve the CRM.                                                       

5. Thinking of Go Live as the End of Work

A common misperception is the belief that the implementation date is the end of work. On the contrary…your Go Live date is just the beginning! CRM is not static software – it cannot be implemented one day and be expected to adapt to the changing needs of your business the next day. Just as an organization continues to grow and refine business workflow processes, so does a CRM. You can’t just turn on the CRM and expect it to fit your business needs – your CRM needs care and service, and above all…a strategy for its continued success.

As an example, accounting software may be relatively static – there’s even a chance that you could implement accounting software and not have to worry about developing a strategy, but a CRM is different. CRM is dynamic, pliable and must evolve to fit the needs of the business.

Categories: Management & Leadership