Top Reasons CRM Implementations Continue to Fail & what to do about it Take 1
It was shocking to me when I started researching this article just how bad the situation was. Not only was the failure rate high, between 30% – 70% over the past 15 years, it continues to be high and in some cases there were multiple failures. ( source https://www.skuid.com/blog/top-5-reasons-crm-projects-fail/) Why the failure rate ranged between 30% to 70% it is not clear, some of it depends on how failure was defined. Was the failure: technical, lack of user adoption, ROI was not realized, partial adoption etc. According to work done by Forrester Research lack of user adoption was the caused 70% of failed CRM projects.
I was reading an article in Harvard Business Review “Why CRM Projects Fail and how to make them more successful By Scott Edinger His top 3 are:
1. “Re-think your CRM as a tool to increase revenue. Period……
The CRM is a tool to help them sell more, access support resources during sales cycles, and manage their territory or “book of business.” If the sales team recognizes the value of this tool, you’ll get all the metric and forecast information you desire.”
My observation: is that Sales People want to sell not sit at a keyboard typing. They are more valuable selling than typing. Keep the amount of data they have to enter to a minimum, just the key info about the people and the opportunity. Do as much heavy lifting for them as possible, at an Salesforce Admins we have plenty of tools to upload their account – contact lists.
2. “Integrate your marketing efforts with sales activity. Historically, these two functions collaborate on CRM implementation so poorly it’s almost a cliché. …… Early in the sales cycle, marketing and sales have roles to play in identifying and qualifying opportunities to actively pursue. As sales cycles develop, they should have a shared understanding of what constitutes a qualified lead, as well your ideal customer profile — both in terms of the company and level of buyer. This helps filter out business you shouldn’t pursue. Later in the sales cycle, marketing works with sales to create materials that can be customized to client objectives and case studies, instead of the generic collateral sales teams often see as low value. Finally, working together on win/loss analysis provides an active feedback loop for joint planning and addressing future needs. This kind of integration, using your CRM as the glue, will improve marketing’s efforts to create gravity with prospects, and sales’ ability to accelerate sales cycles. It’s an advantage for the business if you can use at least some of the same metrics to evaluate the success of both departments.”
My observation: No self-respecting Sales Person ever gives credit to Marketing for getting the deal done, it was all their sales prowess that won the deal. Honestly I have been on both sides of this one. Sales is the sharp tip of the sword and a very hard job. No person does it all it is truly a team effort. With e-marketing tools like Pardot we know where the good leads came from cradle to close won. Both sides need to drop their pretenses and have open and honest conversation on what a good lead is and how to close them. Marketing has to look for feedback on what a bad lead is and weed them out. Our markets ever change so Sales need to keep Marketing up to date on what to filter in and out.
3. “Managers provide coaching to improve, not reporting to inspect. The pivotal role in driving CRM success is not individual sales people. It’s sales management. They will determine how the sales team uses and experiences the CRM. If they use it solely to check on the amount of activity, call volume, or other measures of efficiency, it’s of low value to the sales team and likely be rejected or filled with fictional data. Instead use it as a tool to jointly create strategies for major opportunities, and help the sales team to maximize opportunities by coaching them throughout the sales process. I’ve written in the past about the high value of coaching and the fact that it’s rarely done well. But CRM can be a powerful mechanism to support coaching for individual sales calls, as well as opportunity, account, and territory management.”
My observations: No one likes to be tracked and held accountable. The types of personality’s that are good at sales according to folks at Sandler Sales are not the personalities that are good at the detail work like CRM. Coaching and Managing the Team using the CRM works well for enterprise selling and major opportunities I agree. Where I disagree with the Author is on the Accountability side. The only part of the sales process we fully control is “Our Activities” so I feel using the CRM to track sales activities like dials, walk in’s, cold calls, networking is the way to go. “Selling is a Contact Sport” if a sales person is Not tracking these basic activities they don’t even have a foundation and coaching someone without the fundamentals of the game won’t help much. A good sales person will not like it but will accept that failing at accountability is going to hold them back. They must be part of the goal setting to buy into what they will be held accountable for.
This is also where I feel the Executive Sponsor has to weigh in and walk the talk and hold the Team Accountable. Several ways come to mind: It’s part of their Annual Goals, All Reporting is done out of the CRM, Commissions are paid based on what is in the CRM. Align the whole teams’ goals towards success.