9 typical mistakes made when implementing CRM

19May
Author: Heidi Ojamaa

Deploying any new software is a painful process. Especially when it comes to software that needs to be deployed in multiple departments at once, such as customer management software. What are the common mistakes when implementing software and how to avoid them?

The right software helps a company achieve its growth potential and provide customers with better and higher quality service. However, most major platform upgrades will stall in the first year of implementation.

A good customer management tool simplifies, standardizes, automates and integrates processes in different departments of organizations, such as sales, marketing, customer management. This is also the reason why implementation is a difficult task. The solution will affect different areas of the company and the contribution of all parties is already crucial in the analysis, but often people are busy with their daily activities and it is difficult to find the necessary resources. The result is a solution that does not meet needs and is not aimed at achieving business goals. 

Incompletely or incorrectly implemented software wastes money and human resources, but it does the most damage to people’s morals. It will take  a long time to restore people’s belief that technology can make their life better. 

However, the sad fact is that implementation errors are common. On average, the implementation of any major software without a partner fails in 75 percent of cases. One of the most important roles for an implementation partner is to steer the company through obstacles, explain why and what needs to be done, and how this affects the end result.

When going on a long trip to the mountains in a foreign country, you take a guide who knows all the dangers and knows how to get the most out of this experience. You don’t climb a mountain with two hands in the pocket.  

If a company fails to deploy new software, it happens for one or more of the following reasons:

1. Wrong premise

The correct premise of work is the most important document in creating CRM solutions. It needs to answer the question of why and what we do. It mainly consists of three parts, a description of the existing solution, future expectations and technical conditions. Expectations within the company vary greatly from one party to another and from one level of management to another. There is a clear business expectation at the management level, middle managers have challenges in managing people and processes, and professionals want CRM to be helpful in their work. It is difficult to define and bring these views together.

What to do: Salesforce is designed to automate and streamline processes. Potential users should determine why they want to deploy CRM before deploying the platform. What are the expectations for these software at very different levels. The best method to do this is a plain and simple conversation. The project manager interviews all parties and brings all the expectations into one picture.

2. Exclusion of users from decision making

In particular, the transition to new software or the introduction of new software requires changes in the mindset of employees. In addition, the introduction of software generally changes the company’s business processes and also affects the internal culture.

What to do: Changes take time, so all parties need to be part of it from the start. Once the initial mapping has been done, the results must be presented so that all parties can understand how CRM affects their work. 

3. Lack of training

In order to get the most out of a client management platform, all employees must be able to use it. There are different ways to train employees: order training from a software provider, hire a team of experts on site or conduct training with your team in an e-environment.

What to do? Start training as soon as you implement CRM. The best way to make an employee comfortable using new software is to take small steps. Choose a partner for the implementation who considers the teaching of employees important and is able to involve them from the beginning.

4. Insufficient IT department budget

Successful implementation requires resources and limited implementation budgets can lead to project failure. Large implementation projects are time consuming and may also require a product owner to involve people and be responsible for coordinating the project.

What to do? Management, together with other participants in the process, should prepare implementation budgets commensurate with the size of the objectives.

5. Haste

Given the complexity of the processes, implementation of the customer management platform cannot be done all at once. Successful organizations will take a slower and more efficient approach, involving gradual implementation.

What to do? Deploy the platform step by step. Every step of the implementation process is important.


6. Underestimating change management

Deploying any client management platform should include a change management element. All stakeholders need to be able to meet the challenges of change.

What to do: Simply focusing on technology is not enough to improve processes; Human resources and strategic planning should also be considered.

7. Excessive focus on tool functions

Of course, the importance of the platform’s resources should never be overlooked, but the platform’s history, flexibility and ability to integrate with other systems must also be taken into account.

What to do? Before making a decision, take the time to evaluate the potential of each potential platform.

8. Data Transfer

Entering and / or transferring information to a new platform is an important step in deploying a CRM. At this stage, it is worth paying attention to the availability of data in the system or software already in use. It needs to be clarified whether and under what conditions it is possible to export data.

Helpful Hint: Before transferring information, you should review it. The more accurate the source data, the more accurate and complete the new platform will be.

9. Lack of preliminary work

If the company has decided to get a customer management platform, the first step should be to consult an expert in the field, who will be able to provide answers to the questions during the initial consultation and indicate the next steps that need to be taken. 

It is worth noting that implementation is a continuous process that will most likely never end.  The needs for new functionalities will never end. 

Helpful Hint: Choose a partner who can provide fast maintenance and flexible development according to the needs of the company.

 

In conclusion, software implementation is a process that takes time, planning, and resources, but if done correctly, it will definitely pay off.

 

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