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Five more factors that can doom a CRM project

Steve Roch //October 23, 2012//

Five more factors that can doom a CRM project

Steve Roch //October 23, 2012//

Here are the last five most common factors that can doom a CRM project. (Read the first five.)

6. Inability to Find the Killer App for your Organization

Have you really examined your business and thought about the killer app that your business can’t live without? It could be something that your boss wants everyone to use, or it could be as simple as a Sales professional needing a mobile app to take your CRM on the road. Finding that killer app usually takes someone actively listening to the voice of the CRM end-users. Your CRM is not just a database, it’s a business tool!

7. Culture of Tolerance for Bad Software

Our name has “Culture” in it, and part of the reason for this has to do with the fact that we believe that CRM adoption requires a shift in the culture of an organization. If users are not encouraged to lend their ideas and voice to issues with the CRM, the CRM will ultimately fail. If user suggestions and comments are treated as whining or as annoyances, the CRM will not evolve to be a great CRM. Shifting this culture of tolerance to a more proactive and engaged community of users is critical to the success if your CRM.

8. Belief that Training is Automatic

You can’t expect users to attend one training session on how to use the CRM and assume that they have learned everything they need to know about the CRM. Training must be re-enforced – especially during the first month after the implementation. If users continue to perform actions that negatively impact the CRM, the CRM champion needs to intervene – this is to benefit both the trainer and user. There are many different types of learning styles, so the assumption that all users will learn what they need to be successful with the CRM is false. A business that invests in frequent training opportunities is much more successful at implementing and maintaining a great CRM.

9. Not Challenging the Status Quo

A CRM evolves over time to adapt to business processes. CRM strategy is hard work but delivers big rewards. A CRM is really what you make it! Developing a great CRM involves challenging the user to develop quality solutions. Users must feel empowered to provide feedback on what is and isn’t working with the CRM. A great CRM has a culture of empowered users that not only accept change – they embrace change and work to make the CRM better. Users need to be able to ask “why” to make the CRM better. Executives and managers can’t answer the “why” with “because I need it” – this is not going to foster a culture or user empowerment. If someone is empowered to challenge the status quo – a better solution will be delivered.

10. Development is Agile, but End-Users are still using Waterfall

Software iterations need to be agile for the CRM project to be successful. Being agile, contrary to popular belief, is actually a conservative methodology for developing your CRM and allows you to easily roll-back changes if necessary. However, a situation can develop where end-users are still following a waterfall method but development is agile. This can create a riff between end-users and developers, causing confusion and frustration. End-users may be waiting for the “big bang” of the CRM, while the developers are working through a project via small steps. A great CRM project involves a symbiotic relationship between developers and end-users both working in agile sprints to ensure the success and continued health of the project. Again, we return to the concept of “small wins, small losses” to create a great CRM.

Small wins over time leads to big financial rewards for your business down the road!

As you have read, a great CRM implementation goes beyond the Go Live date and requires a cultural shift in your organization in order to be successful. There is no CRM that you can implement that will be perfectly customized to your organization’s business processes from day one. One of the biggest misnomers in our industry is the belief that the CRM will work like a “magic pill” for your organization. CRM is not just software…a successful CRM requires a strategy and hard work. However, the hard work put into creating a CRM can be hugely rewarding and profitable for your business if you mitigate and confront the warning signs I’ve outlined.