How to Rescue a Failed CRM Implementation

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.

Taking CRM to the Next Level

Congrats! Your sales team is successfully leveraging your CRM system to manage their leads, develop their pipeline and increase sales. But what happens after the sale?

What happens when the order is placed?
When the order is shipped?
When the services are delivered?
When the invoice is sent?
When the money is collected (or sometimes when it isn't)?

What happens when the customer has an issue?
When they want a different product or more services?

All these customer actions/interactions happen, yet often they aren't captured in any system. Or perhaps, they're captured in multiple systems, databases, or spreadsheets that aren't tied together, or "integrated".

User Adoption - The Key Is What's In It For Me?

If you are like many companies, you likely have multiple system stakeholders -- executives, management, and front-line employees (main end users) that have some level of interest and ownership in your CRM system. Each of these system stakeholders has one primary question in mind: "What's in it for me?"

Important keys to maximizing user adoption are gaining a clear understanding of each stakeholder group's needs, maximizing the benefit for each of them in the CRM system's design, and then training them how to most effectively leverage the system. Actively practicing these important keys will help you achieve the return on investment goals you have put in place for your CRM initiative.

Getting stakeholders involved early helps achieve the "buy in" they need to feel how important their part in the CRM process is, making them more likely to "adopt", and use, the system.

Capturing Attention at Mass Scale

The attention of our prospects and customers has become the scarcest resource of all. Regardless of the content or technology being used, you have only a few seconds to capture the attention of your buyers, or they quickly move on.

The Social Process

A couple weeks ago I blogged about The Pillars of Social CRM after listening to a discussion led by Matt Keenan, Microsoft® Dynamics CRM Director. I recently got into a discussion with some colleagues about how the process of the social world works for businesses and why patience is easily your biggest virtue, but more importantly, how patience plays a huge role in social success.

The Pillars of Social CRM

I recently sat in on one of Microsoft’s “Meet the Experts” live webcasts about Social CRM. Microsoft® Dynamics CRM Director, Matt Keenan, led the discussion and explained to us the pillars that compile Social CRM.

Social CRM Pillars

  1. Search
  2. Connect
  3. Collaboration
  4. Understand

The first component, search, must be executed for Social CRM to be effective in any capacity. We must make ourselves easily found. With so much so readily available to us, people are not going to go out of their way to find us. We have to make ourselves searchable in a way that integrates with their daily life.

We need to be able to engage quickly, seamlessly and intuitively. We must allow others an easy way to connect, as well as disconnect, with us at their leisure. The can “like” or “dislike” us. They can “follow” or “unfollow” us.

How to Compare CRM Reviews

There are many people and websites trying to do CRM reviews to compare different CRM applications. The problem with relying on CRM reviews from other sources is that reviews are about CRM systems in general. The fact is, 80% of CRM's have the same feature set. What I mean is that all of the major players, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, Sage SalesLogix, Sage CRM and even ACT!, do most of the same things. The real question is, how do they accomplish the same thing? For instance, if you are going to review the top CRM's in regards to activity tracking, a CRM review of activity tracking will only tell you if the feature is included in the product.

Who should use dashboards in CRM?

We all should! Seriously, regardless of your role in your organization, dashboards are an excellent, quick view of the information contained in your CRM system. We take the time to put the information into our CRM system, why not allow it to present the information we want to see most, back to us, in a clear, concise manner.

I’m a Marketing user and I have a plethora of dashboards I view on a daily basis, but my top choices are:

  • Leads by Lead Source
  • Opportunities by Lead Source 
  • Actual Revenue by Lead Source

For me, it’s important to see that: