Why do CRM implementations fail to deliver for the sales team?


When we engage with new clients, we hear the same story time and again about their CRM. "It's not really working for the business, the sales team don't use it enough, the pipeline doesn't provide us with any certainty of future revenues." Does this sound familiar?

Further investigation uncovers the reasons that most CRM implementations fail to deliver value to the business and the sales team. CRM implementations tend to commence by running a series of workshops with a selection of people across the business including people from the sales team. Whilst this seems like a sensible approach, the big issue is the people in those workshops are generally not well equipped to determine the key attributes required in the CRM such as:

  • Sales process

  • Account management process

  • Segmentation

  • Critical insights required at company, contact and opportunity levels

  • Workflows

  • How forecasting should work

  • The data required to provide greater insight

  • The appropriate phases for implementation

After the workshops, the project tends to be run by the IT department and is very data focused. Data is a critical element of the CRM implementation, however if the sales team don't buy-in early, the implementation will fail to deliver value to the business.

Of the small number of successful CRM implementations we have seen, the key to success is to flesh out and test the sales and account management processes prior to the CRM implementation. It is also critical to determine the key insights the sales people will require to deliver value to their customers and how your forecasting should be approached.

Once you have these in place your implementation partner just has to configure the CRM to your spec. The processes and data fields will be familiar to your sales team as soon as your new CRM is switched on. The other benefit is the implementation will be faster, cheaper and will be embraced more readily by the sales team.

If your sales team use the CRM effectively it will be a success and will deliver value to the business quickly. It is also important to consider how the senior managers in the business use the CRM to provide better support to the sales team.

If you are about to embark in the process of implementing a CRM and would like to know more about how you can make it a success, just drop me a line; tony.hall@beyond19.com.au and I would be happy to have a no obligation chat with you.

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