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Why Salesforce projects went badly?

According to Innotas and Gartner about 50% of IT software projects are a failure and delivered results have not met stakeholders’ expectations! It is quite a bad result and the trend does not seem to be changing. Is your glass half empty or half full? Which half do you belong to?

This is a must read if:

  • You plan to implement Salesforce soon
  • You already use Salesforce but are not fully happy with it
  • You use another CRM – yes, read it too!

On the other hand, the remaining half of respondents stated that CRM contributed to double-digit percentage growth in revenue, improved productivity, and increased customer satisfaction.

Source: SKUId

So why do CRM projects fail?

1. CRM is a strategic topic in any company and having a proper CRM strategy in place is a first step before taking on such initiative. Saying simply that “we are going to have a new CRM this year” is just not enough. In your strategy make sure to define clearly how you will manage all touch points with your customers and how you plan to achieve this.

2. And even if you developed a CRM strategy there is a risk that it is not consistent with overall company strategy. Hence there is no surprise that your customers are not at the core of your business strategic direction. CRM cannot be viewed as a project or solution separate from your overall business plan. Customer relationships is the lifeblood of your company.

3. CRM does not cover all enterprise and customer interfaces so how you can expect that the overall customer experience is positive if your solution addresses only some steps in the entire process. Make sure every touch point you have with the customer provides consistent, knowledgeable, and high-quality service.

4. CRM launched without customer proper input is a recipe for a failure. It is not only about people inside your business even though their input is extremely important. Do not forget your customers and their needs. Talk to them 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.

5. CRM is considered a strictly IT project hence what we highlighted in points 3 and 4 will likely be ignored or not paid enough attention to. Customers get in contact with you through people, electronic media, transactions and indirect relationships. They do not care about the language that the application was written in or capability, quality and reliability. These are very crucial but make sure that system is designed to support the best customer processes you can provide.

6. There is no metrics and objectives so how you could measure the success or control the performance. If you don’t expect performance to improve, don’t measure it, or manage it. Consequently, you won’t see improvement. Even if you achieve it. Set expectations. Measure performance improvement. Provide feedback. Reinforce successes. Look for ways to continue the improving trends.

7. Garbage data in the system will destroy the trust of its users very quickly and impact the adoption after the roll-out. Make sure that you cleanse your data before moving it from the old CRM and other system to the new one. The goal of implementing a new CRM is to be able to build a unique view of your customer. That cannot work if you have the wrong data.

8. Try to implement everything at one time will only cause chaos, impact badly adoption and make things difficult to manage. CRM is a strategic change in the company and even smaller businesses cannot change themselves within days or weeks. People have habits and need time to learn new tools and ways of working. Release features and functional blocks step by step and once you achieved first success only then continue system expansion.

9. Lack of executive commitment and employee buy-in for CRM. Every employee will be affected by fundamental changes in CRM. Appoint an executive sponsor. Communicate vertically and horizontally through the organization. Get employees on board. Get them excited about doing a better job for your customers and making your company more successful. Provide training so employees know their role and the rationale for change.

Support from the top of the organization is critical to success of any significant initiative.

Decide to succeed with your customers and then lead your company there.


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