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Failed CRM implementation is a funny thing to try | YouDigital Blog

It’s no secret that CRM implementation projects fail on a regular basis. Successfully failing a CRM implementation is a tricky thing to pull off. So it’s important to get a few things straight before you set out on your project. To help, we've put together this guide on how to plan for a successful CRM implementation failure.

9.5 ways to successfully fail your CRM implementation project

1. Having no strategy is a strategy

If you want to transform your business by implementing a CRM system, there is no point in writing down a “plan” for implementing it. It won’t help you one bit. Just get started, and don’t worry about anything else. If strategic business changes have a way of figuring themselves out, then surely the small details of an implementation project will, too! 
“We are going to have a new CRM this year” is pretty much all you need to get started.

2. Forget about your customers

Making sure your CRM solutions are inconsistent with the overall business strategy and not at the core of it is an important task to accomplish. Another important aspect is customers. Make sure that customers are not at the center of the business model. They are not at all important for your company. With that in mind, it goes without saying that you should not prioritize the needs of your customers in your CRM.  

3. Don’t listen to your customers

Under any circumstances, do not talk to your customers to find out how they want to be serviced, how you can better meet their needs, and how other suppliers are trying to satisfy them. Customers don't like being talked to, so don't try to find out what they want. It is much wiser to base the launch of your CRM on random suggestions from Twitter-following friends.


4. Ignore customer process

Designing any solution shouldn’t involve making touchpoints of your solution look consistent, informed, and high-quality. Customers hate that! Your solution should only address a small portion of the customer journey, and it should not be based on what you know about your customers. You can just pick the touchpoints you like and are easy to deal with.

5. Make it difficult

CRM is an IT project, not PEOPLE project, hence anybody dealing with it should be ignored. Unless you want to show off the impressive technology behind it. People with no technical background will highly appreciate it if they are informed about the language behind, rather than how they should use the system. There is a high chance that they will not understand much, but that is not the point. 

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6. Don’t have metrics. KPIs are useless.

There is no need to set up metrics and objectives. You probably don’t expect the performance to improve, so why measure or manage it. You cannot be upset by something you do not know about, so better let it be. Therefore, do not set expectations, measure performance improvement, nor provide any feedback.

7. Use old data

Old data in the system is the best way to ensure distrust of its users very quickly and impact the adoption after the roll-out. The best practice is not to clear your data before moving it from the old CRM (or another system) to the new one. With this old and most likely outdated data, you will be able to build a unique and inaccurate view of your customer. That would not be possible if you had the correct data, to begin with.


8. Quantity over quality

Try to implement everything at once to cause chaos, impact adoption, and make things difficult to manage. CRM implementation is a strategic change for your company and those should be rolled out as fast as possible. People have habits that need to be changed quickly, so give them no time to learn the new tools and ways of working. Release features and functional blocks at once and let them get lost in it. 

9. Let them figure it out

Every employee will be affected by the fundamental changes in CRM, so they do not need somebody who will communicate it to them (they will have to work it out either way). Furthermore, do not provide any training so employees can be proactive and figure out the system on their own. Lastly, the support from the top of the organization is completely unnecessary since the managers will likely never use the system, so they better do something else.

9.5 Get creative

Be creative and figure out a new way how to best fail your CRM project. In order to succeed at failing, you need to try a lot of different things and experiment with a lot of different approaches. However, if you pick up at least a few of our own tips, you should be heading to fail fast. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and by the way…Happy April Fools' Day!

business meeting

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