When CRM implementations fail, it’s often because the product and its setup process are too complicated, time-consuming, and difficult for users to buy in.
Did you know that anywhere between 50% and 70% of customer relationship management (CRM) implementations fail? That’s the conclusion of CIO.com research. One of the main reasons they fail is that they are too complex and don’t have a clear focus.
This is hardly surprising. Many CRM applications are highly complex. Migrating data to a new CRM and getting everyone to use that CRM is an involved task at the best of times. The way many CRMs are built, and the way they require users to interact with them, means that implementation really isn’t the best of times.
The problem with piecemeal
Many CRMs consist of various applications that have been bolted together through a process of mergers and acquisitions. This can make the initial implementation complicated: technical and line-of-business staff who will need to interact with different elements of the system in different ways may wind up training for skills and knowledge superfluous to their responsibilities. That makes the learning curve steeper than necessary.
Using multiple applications can also lead to duplication of effort, and asking employees to repeat time-consuming tasks is sure to cause frustration and discourage them from using the system. A CRM implementation relies on engaging with and convincing users, from the C-suite to the data-entry workforce.
The more difficult that process is, the less likely users are to complete it. And even if they do complete the initial data migration and setup, users who find the CRM complex, disjointed, and time-consuming won’t keep it up to date. This is possibly the main reason why CRM implementations fail: employees simply refuse to use the new platform. As a result, the data it contains soon becomes outdated and incomplete.
What’s the best way to avoid this dilemma and ensure your investment in a new CRM pays off?
For a start, the CRM you choose should consist of applications and functions designed from the ground up to work together. Migrating data should be easy, and wherever possible, users should have to do that task only once to get their data populated into all relevant apps with the right permissions.
Organizations should ensure the CRM partnership will be based on trust from the start. A CRM vendor that wants to charge a lot to help your organization overcome the complexity of the integration process may be a sign foretelling a difficult working relationship.
Users should find the CRM easy to understand and use. Entering data should be an intuitive process that fits organically into each workflow. It should also be quick to do. Only in this way will it become second nature to your colleagues, so that the data in the CRM is kept constantly up to date, making it relevant and usable.
Designed for success
To make these benefits a reality, implementation usually works best if your CRM partner has developed its technology as an integrated and seamless whole. All the features and functions of your CRM suite should be built by one coordinated set of development teams rather than assembled from various CRM partners, and should be designed from the concept stage onwards to work seamlessly together.
This level of integration results in a smoother implementation process. We calculate that the average implementation of Zoho CRM takes 50% less time than it would to implement the CRMs of our closest competitors. Over the past two years alone, we have helped users implement our CRM 30,000 times.
With the right technology, the right approach to implementation, and the right partner, your CRM implementation will offer the agility your company needs to respond faster to changing customer trends and preferences, in a market that evolves more rapidly with every passing day.
Learn more about how implementing an effective CRM can help your organization succeed and grow, and try a free 30-day trial of Zoho CRM here.