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Why CRM Implementations Fail and How to Avoid It

Why CRM Implementations Fail and How to Avoid It

The reality is that CRM implementations fail over 70% of the time due to a number of reasons which I will be going over today. As a CRM consultant I've come across a number of situations that could be completely avoidable and a lot of has to do with the prep work in advance of a CRM deployment. What most organizations forget to understand is that when you implement a robust CRM solution you're not only just purchasing software but you're also changing the way your organization works. 


This is a big change. It impacts everybody across your organization. It can either be the greatest thing you ever do or the greatest disaster you ever encounter. 


Let's go over a few points on why the latter tends to happen to most organizations. 


Lack of Executive Involvement 


The #1 reason that we run into in every organization's that fail in their attempt at CRM, whether you're small or medium or large, is that there is a severe lack of executive involvement. When you implement a CRM product, the typical focus is on the sales teams. This makes sense as you want to be able to track sales effectively. Consider for a moment where the marketing team isn't involved in a CRM deployment. All of sudden you've implemented a CRM product without ANY marketing tools or information tied into the customers and prospects in your database. Your sales people have to access another system. We all know how much sales people like using systems in the first place. 


Executive involvement allows you to start from the top down. You engage your marketing teams, sales teams, operations teams and who ever else to get them all involved to ensure that everybody is able to share information appropriately. Your CRM can be a one-stop shop for all information and if you do that, then people will use it. You need the people at the top to all commit together to working together on bringing a system that works for everybody. 


Documentation of Processes 


I always tell our customers that we will likely spend around 70% - 80% of the time talking process. Business process is the most critical stage to any CRM deployment. How does information flow? What are the steps required to complete a sales order? Who needs to approve contracts? How do we follow up on customer concerns? There are so many questions that need to be answered before moving into deploying a piece of software. 


I am always astounded when a customer tells us they will go ahead without any customization to their CRM system. Products like SugarCRM and have some incredible best practices built into them but by no means are they one size fits all. 


Bring in the Experts 


When I first started our company in 2008 I used to do everything. I incorporated the company with a legal kit. I purchased Quickbooks and did our own accounting. I dealt with our tax agency for all tax related matters. 7 years later I can tell you a lot of those decisions ended up costing me a lot of money. I should have just brought in the experts. 


By bringing in an expert CRM consultant you are not only getting a head start on the pitfalls of an implementation but you're getting someone who's been through these implementations hundreds of times helping other organizations work against the challenges you're facing. 


Not talking to your... Staff 


The biggest stakeholders in the whole CRM deployment is, you guessed it, your staff. The people that will use the system day in and day out. These people are the heartbeat of your organization and the key users of your CRM system. The greatest failure is that organizations simply dump and leave a CRM in place. What does this do? Well, nobody uses the system. If they do, they don't use it right. In fact, they may use it and you as the manager or executive do not get the information that you need or want. 


Those are a few points on failures with CRM implementations. I'm not kidding when I say that over 70% actually fail. I've met very large customers who have had a CRM product purchased and paid for annually on a license without ever actually using it until we came in and consulted with them. 

5 Reasons Why Strong CRM Is Essential for Staffing Firms 


Imagine arriving at the office early one morning and just as you're settling down at your desk, your manager waltzes into your office with a question. 


"Are our customers happy?" 


"Um... I think they are," you reply sheepishly. 


"How do you know?" 


Awkward silence... 


How do you know? According to a survey conducted by Oracle, 80% of CEOs say that their companies deliver a good experience for customers. There's only one problem. When Oracle polled customers, a mere 43% could recall a consistently positive experience with a brand. So there is clearly some major dissonance between how companies perceive their own brand image and how that image is actually regarded by customers. 


What can be done to close the gap between perception and reality? There's actually one incredibly powerful tool that can assist companies: CRM or Customer Relationship Management. CRM is essentially a system to coordinate all aspects of a company's interactions with customers, which provides the ability to measure success. One of the top benefits of a CRM system is that it can answer the question: "How are we doing?" 


If we look specifically at the staffing industry, a well-developed CRM system integrated with staffing software can be a powerful combination for recruiting success. 


Still not convinced? Here are 5 key reasons why having a strong CRM is essential: 


1. Synchronized data throughout the organization. From marketing to sales to operations, having a solid CRM solution can help keep multiple departments in the loop on the latest developments and interactions with customers. One of the most valuable assets any company has is its data, particularly the data related to customer history. This is especially crucial with recruiting. Maintaining a detailed and accurate record of applicants, job orders, and customers within a CRM system is vital. Illegible notes scribbled by an employee in a loose leaf notebook is useless to an organization. On the other hand, maintaining detailed notes on job history or applicant status can be immensely valuable if it is properly recorded and shared within a CRM system. 


2. Enhanced social media marketing. The ability to integrate with sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook is crucial with any modern CRM or staffing software. According to LinkedIn's 2015 US Recruiting Trends report, social professional networks are the #1 source of quality hires in the US. Nearly half (46%) of all US companies name social media networks as their top source for high quality candidates. A good CRM allows you to store social media information and integrates with all of the top sites. The ability to post job orders, pull down candidate resumes, and capture client information directly from social media can take your productivity to the next level. 


3. Reporting. One major advantage of using a CRM system is being able to pull real-time reports. It can help answer questions like: Who are my top billed clients? What did Placement Consultant "A" do last week? How many client follow-ups were completed today? An integrated CRM can answer all of these and much more. You can even create custom reports and track unique metrics specific to your company's activities. 


4. Increase sales opportunities. Savvy companies tap into their CRM system as a way to identify customer patterns, which can help guide sales strategies. Internal data can provide tons of useful business intelligence such as the hot industries to target or the top positions recently filled. CRM can also help with targeted marketing, allowing you to zero in on the right prospects and develop custom sales strategies for them. 


5. Helps keep you organized. A good CRM system improves operational efficiency across the organization and can streamline all major actions of customer interactions. It also makes it easy to create follow-up reminders and notifications, track your tasks and events, and generate follow-up statistics. Furthermore, the best CRM systems are designed with anywhere access in mind, meaning they can be accessed "on the go" with a mobile device. For busy staffing professionals, having CRM access directly from your smartphone or tablet can be a game changer. 


Overall, CRM can be a tremendous tool if utilized to its full potential. A strong CRM system can be a one-stop shop for managing all of your customer activities and allows you to keep a pulse on your clients. In today's competitive recruiting environment, a richly-featured CRM system is no longer a luxury to have, but a necessity. It's about much more than just keeping records of client interactions. A great CRM system can positively impact every department in an organization and can provide great insight into your customers, allowing you to stay ahead of the curve. 

Boost Your Sales Force Productivity With CRM Technology 


Increase Your Sales Force Productivity with CRM Technology 


In today's business environments, CRM implementations have a broad range in both their acceptance and also the reach of their deployments. Some organizations have yet to discover CRM Software, while others could never imagine how they could operate their business without it. CRM Software, at its core, is the technology that brings sales, marketing and customer service departments together to make sure that everyone knows what is transpiring inside of an organization. Let's examine how this technology can be a huge factor in making your sales force is more productive and connected. 


Different Roles, Different Needs 


When we look inside of a typical company's sales department, one sees three major resource groups at play. First, often there is an inside sales department responsible for tasks that range from field sales support to appointment setting or just straight up sales. Next, outside sales professionals are often calling on the largest customers to build relationships and "protect their turf." In addition, while all of this is going on, sales management is trying to monitor this activity and assist the entire department to ensure that sales are coming in the door and that the whole team is functioning as a cohesive unit. 


So, how can CRM Software assist a sales department in increasing productivity and building relationships while providing management with a bird's eye view of the whole operation? To answer this, we need to look inside the CRM Software capabilities and how it functions in each role. 


Inside Sales Rep 


We will start with the inside sales department which has a broad range of tasks and is clearly in need of organization. For this article, we will focus on one of the core functions of any CRM solution - the activity scheduler. It is here where the users will organize activities, record follow-up calls and schedule appointments. All interactions between your sales department and their customers and prospects should be recorded in the system's activities scheduler. Sales representatives should be using this tool to not only record notes and actions, but also to schedule tasks for other members of the team. In this way, everything is in one place and everyone can see what is occurring. Also, by deploying this functionality, one is putting themselves in a position to look educated and prepared when the customer reaches out. 


These benefits are endless for an inside sales department and we have just touched on one capability of the software. It is also important that the CRM Software provide features like, account profiles, email management, query building and document management when looking for tools that will provide productivity gains for the inside sales representative. 


Outside Sales Rep 


Next, consider the outside sales professional. Here, we need a CRM technology that allows one to keep in touch with all activities at the home office while being very portable. This is where web based CRM solutions provide a wealth of knowledge for this environment. As mentioned above, a proper deployment of any activity scheduler will keep everyone in sync. However, the outside sales representative needs access to this data in a mobile, easy to use interface. Web based CRM solutions are easily accessible just by being online. A sales representative can be anywhere they have internet access and not only enter activity data, but also populate sales pipeline information, contact relationship hierarchy, and social CRM roles, just to name a few. Couple all of this into a wireless technology that can be rolled out on a phone or tabular device, and it is easy to see how the outside sales representative can stay connected, informed, and most importantly, productive. 


Sales Management 


Finally, we move on to the sales management point of view and what can be more useful to management then data. Data is crucial in making sure that tasks are being followed, opportunities are being managed and sales objectives are being achieved. This is where a quality CRM tool should have interactive dashboards. Dashboards need to be more than just reports. A manager needs to be able to work inside of the dashboard so that they can easily move to records and opportunities and see firsthand what is transpiring, what assistance is needed and how likely the opportunity is to close. CRM interactive dashboards are really a necessity for any productive sales management team. 




So, after reviewing this technology and how it can be implemented, it is easy to see how effective CRM Software can be in assisting today's sales departments. Productivity gains are quickly seen when the proper CRM tool is implemented. Everyone is connected, in touch and focused on their customers and prospects. The need is clearly there, and it is crucial that the CRM Software you rely on can accomplish these tasks with an intuitive and easy to use interface. 


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