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Why CRM Initiatives Fall Short (Part 2)

Why CRM Initiatives Fall Short (Part 2)

Brian Gardner No Comment

This is Part 2 of a two-part series of blogs on the most c­ommon reasons that CRM does not deliver the ROI industrial distributors and manufacturers expect. Read Part 1 here.

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a system for sharing and leveraging your team’s data and knowledge. But many companies don’t get what they want out of CRM. Here are five more reasons companies struggle to get ROI from CRM:

  1. Murky vision – Don’t give off mixed signals when it comes to a CRM initiative. Employees are looking to you – management – to set the level of importance they assign to the project. But in some cases, management is missing in action: They approved the project but disappeared soon after. Or sometimes employees view the project as just another management fad. The team must see managers backing the project, and must understand it is a part of the culture and strategy of the company going forward.
  2. Total Cost of Ownership – It’s critical to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) from the get-go. Most companies underestimate the cost, which can be up to four times that of the software itself. This results in underinvesting in the most critical parts of a CRM project: the training and processes. It’s not just about “how” to use CRM, it’s about “why.”
  3. Handing the project over to IT – Don’t view CRM as a software implementation project. IT needs to be involved, and should be part of the implementation team, but CRM needs to be viewed and managed as a sales solution to increase the chances for success.
  4. Islands of data – Leverage data from all customer-facing touch points in your company. If just outside sales is involved, you’ll miss more than half the value of the system. Unfortunately the data that exists across your organization may not be in synch. These “islands of data” are in different systems and aren’t being shared. Take a team approach, and prioritize bridging these islands before implementation.
  5. Culture – Culture is the single most important contributor to a CRM system’s success or failure. If key players are resistant to change, it can be a cancer to the initiative. Make sure your organization is truly ready for change before moving forward.

This blog post is based on SalesProcess360’s latest whitepaper, 10 Reasons CRM Fails (and How You Can Succeed). Download it today to learn more about how to succeed despite these challenges, and feel free to share with your team!

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