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CRM projects fail. How can you avoid failing again?
Switch CRM-Change in the corporate world isn’t always easy. When you think of big transformation projects, new leadership or restructuring, you tend to think of disruption and upheaval. But usually change – when it is done properly – is good. There may be teething problems and you might encounter resistance, but the end result will benefit everybody.
In our recent research we found that more than half of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK have changed customer relationship management (CRM) supplier and the main reason for changing supplier was a poor fit in terms of the business requirements. So how should businesses approach switching CRM and avoid another failure?
It’s important to understand why the implementation failed, so the same mistakes aren’t repeated next time. Draw up a list of the best and worst attributes in the old vendor and its implementation team – what they did right and what they did wrong. What is it about the solution that you like? What don’t you like? Is it too complex for your organisation’s needs? Too expensive? If you have outgrown your current solution, you need to comprehend the reasons why and what you want the new solution to do for you. You don’t want to have to repeat that process again in a year or two so look ahead and think long term and strategically.
The right leadership
Some organisations are happy to hand over the CRM switching process to the technical team – after all, they have been looking after the old solution so they can get on with making the switch themselves, right? Wrong. Switching CRM needs to be a collaborative process. CRM is a business enabler, so the executive team, the sales and marketing teams and your technical people all have to be involved. You need to think about CRM from a strategic business perspective – how do you want your new CRM to transform the organisation? By how much should it improve the productivity of the salesforce? If you leave it to the technical team alone, the risk is the approach will be too operational. It needs to be a holistic approach comprising all stakeholders if you are to get the right outcome.