Over the past decade many studies have highlighted CRM implementation failures. Depending on whom you've asked, and when you've asked them, CRM implementation failure rates have ranged between 18-70%.

In most studies, failure simply means falling short of expectations.

Michael Krigsman, CEO of Asuret, and expert on IT system failures, highlights three big reasons CRM implementations go wrong on his popular ZDNet blog.

Failure #1: Installing technology without a business strategy.

Building a comprehensive strategy is difficult and challenging. Taking into consideration the full context of any CRM implementation, the technology is often the easiest part. Formulating a strategy that takes into consideration the customer's needs and the company's capabilities, including people and processes, is a critical component of CRM success.

Failure #2: Paying insufficient attention to user needs and benefits.

What's in it for me? This is a key question you should be asking all stakeholder groups. Too many implementations have focused solely on the great information you're going to get out of the system without considering that users actually have to use the system for any valuable information to be captured.

Failure #3: Using ambiguous (or non-existent) measures of project completion and success.

Like any change initiative or project, establishing clear success metrics at the outset is critical to evaluating how you did after you cross the finish line. Are you simply trying to gain visibility into key interactions with your customers? Are you trying to increase revenue? Increase profit margins? Reduce administration time?

You must know what you are trying to measure and achieve before something can fail or succeed.

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