If you’re spending time and money implementing new CRM software in your business, then you will want to make sure that you get it right first time.
Here we go through four ways that your CRM implementation can fail. If you know which pitfalls to avoid, then you will have a better chance of making your CRM project a success.
1. Not assembling the right project team
Before going ahead with your CRM implementation (and preferably before starting your CRM project), you must ensure that you have the right people on board:
- You need to have executive buy-in, so ensure someone at senior level is involved from the very beginning.
- Selecting a good project leader is extremely important as they will act as a champion for the new system, keep the project moving and help to ensure that deadlines are met.
- It’s also important to involve the people who are going to be using the CRM software the most and have an understanding of how each part of the business works, so these are your business process owners.
- Other members of the team should include key employees that will provide you with the help you need, whilst acting as advocates of the system.
A lack of leadership
Failing to assign a project manager for your CRM implementation can cause a lot of problems. You need someone to lead the project and the team, and keep it moving. It’s vital that everyone involved in the implementation is motivated and knows exactly what their role is, and this is something that the project lead should be managing.
2. Not cleansing your data
One of the biggest pitfalls we see is companies not allowing enough time to cleanse their data ready for migration into the new CRM system. If your data is in the wrong fields (e.g. text in a phone number field), then the migration will not work and can slow down the implementation significantly.
Your software can work wonders for your customer management, but if the data is incorrect, out of date, or duplicated, then you simply won’t be able to use it to its full potential. You must ensure the data in your existing system is cleansed to ensure it adheres to the business logic and field restrictions in the new system.
Tip: Make sure you start this data preparation early and allow plenty of time.
See our related article The do’s and don’ts of data migration.
3. Failure to get staff on board
This is a very common mistake when implementing CRM software. If your staff don’t understand the benefits that using a CRM system will provide and how it will help them and the business, then they’re not going to be fully behind the implementation.
Your staff are a big asset and can help ensure that the implementation of your CRM system is a success. You should get key members of your staff on board early – this way they’ll not only be able to offer advice to other members of staff on how to use the new software, they’ll also act as advocates for it.
It’s important to ensure that all of your employees understand why you are making this transition and that they don’t just see CRM as a sales tool.
Managing different personalities within the workplace can be a challenge. You may come across those employees that will be resistant to change and prefer the way things have been done in the past, and those that prefer more traditional methods such as manual processes and the use of paper forms.
The key here is to make sure they understand how it can help them not only in their own roles, but also why it is important for the business as a whole.
Here are five of the best ways to achieve employee buy-in:
- Provide high quality training
- Make sure you fully explain the benefits
- Assign a good project manager that will motivate the whole team
- Involve key staff members in the decision making process, who will then act as advocates
- Listen to employee feedback and adapt accordingly
We go into more detail about how to achieve employee buy-in for your new CRM software in our related article here.
4. A lack of training
As mentioned above, good quality training is one of the best ways to achieve employee buy-in for your new CRM software. When people have been doing something the same way for a long time, they can be resistant to change, particularly if they find the new system difficult to use.
If they haven’t been adequately trained and are struggling to use it, then they are unlikely to be using it properly and you won’t get the results you are looking for from your new implementation.
With CRM software there shouldn’t be a need to rely on separate software programs or spreadsheets. But sometimes it’s hard to break old habits and when an employee doesn’t know how to use the new CRM, they may return to old software.
That’s why high quality training is important not only following the initial implementation, but also on an ongoing basis.
I hope you find this article useful when you’re engaging in your own CRM implementation project. Please go ahead and share your own experiences in the comments box below.