Recent research reveals some interesting trends for organisations struggling to fix their failing CRM projects. The most common CRM issues that the research found can be grouped into four main areas:
- Employees don’t use it
- The technology is failing employees
- Changes in management
- The CRM system does not deliver all of the functions the business require
There are no simple answers to these CRM issues; however there are some basic pointers that may help implementers of new CRM systems reinvigorate a failing system.
1. Employees Don’t Use It
Most employees do not come to work to fight the system. If users are rejecting the CRM system then the business needs to understand what the problem is and reasons are. In most cases this can be traced to a lack of management buy-in for the CRM system. If users feel they are wasting time updating a system is not used then they will stop using it. However nowadays, examples of managers refusing to use the CRM system, requesting reports in Word or Excel format and enjoying a successful CRM implementation are becoming non-existent. The simple fact is that leaders need to lead – that means that everyone from the very top down must use the CRM system.
2. The Technology Is Failing Employees
CRM software developers do not set out to create software that doesn’t work. The most common reasons for technology failing are tied to speed or ease of access. If your users cannot access the CRM system whenever or wherever they want then they will drift away.
3. Changes In Management
All too often changes in management herald changes in the CRM system. For instance, users who were previously happily using the CRM system, struggle to adopt changes and users who were struggling with the system, legitimise their behaviour with reference to changes that may, or may not be coming.
In either case the conclusion we highlighted in CRM Issue 1 applies. Leaders need to lead. If you are a new sales/marketing manager and don’t understand the current CRM system, or prefer another software provider, then consider the following:
Return on Investment
CRM replacement projects frequently cost more than the original implementation. Data migration and retraining combine to extend timescales. This disruption needs to be balanced against the need to be seen to ‘do something’. You should be guided by the need to demonstrate a return on any investment. Whilst this may not change the decision to replace a system – it often assists in the development of a precise scope for the project.
It is also worth identifying the ‘driving force’ for any CRM system. This may not be a senior manager and frequently you will find committed sales/CRM administrators and marketing assistants whose hard work on data quality drives CRM success.
4. The CRM System Does Not Deliver All of the Functions the Business Requires
This might be the result of changes in the business, or changes in the management or reporting requirements. Typically this is first visible as a potential Business Intelligence (BI) requirement. The need is to integrate all of the systems that surround the CRM system. From quote creation, to web store integration, systems proliferate to surround the CRM system. Requirements, not anticipated in the initial CRM project create additional customer data silos. Left unchecked these will ultimately undermine the 360 degree view of the customer CRM seeks to deliver.
Eureka Solutions approach to addressing CRM Issues in this category has led to some interesting CRM development projects.
There may be no simple answers to addressing the common CRM issues in business that the research has identified. Perhaps it is worth remembering that prevention is better than cure.
To find out how to get the key criteria for CRM projects please download the essential guide to CRM.
The 4 Most Common CRM Issues