Ever wonder why 49% of CRM projects fail (forester research)? A few reasons include a lack of executive support, inadequate internal training, and insufficient functionality in the software. But, the biggest culprit for a CRM project to fail, is when companies do not incorporate their current business processes into the CRM.
Let’s take a step back and look at how most companies operate, regardless of their size or industry. In every organization, you have key roles and positions. The people that fill those roles have various steps and processes to get their jobs done. These processes can involve many people (and sometimes other departments). Over time, the company will standardize the procedures. These processes (performed by humans) are the connective tissue for the flow of the business. The speed, integrity and accuracy of the processes are only as good as the weakest link in your organization.
Adding Processes to your CRM
When core business processes are integrated into a CRM, it minimizes human error, while streamlining the business flow. As an example, through the use of workflows, the CRM system can automatically:
- schedule follow-up appointments
- escalate critical items to management
- assign leads by territory
- move opportunities to the next stage triggered by a specific action.
Standard, Out-of-the-box CRM Solutions
Often, after a quick ‘free trial’ companies will buy CRM software directly off the vendor’s website. They load their data into the system, change a few fields and begin using their “out of the box” solution. If the software is not flexible enough or it doesn’t have the functionality they need …The Project Will Fail. The main reason most companies buy CRM is to make their business more efficient. But if they are unable to automate their current business processes, they will not get any value out of the system.
Flexible, Out-of-the-box CRM Solutions
If the out of the box solution meets most of their business needs, has the flexibility and workflows, they may still be able to use the system with success. This is usually the case when a CRM vendor has a focus on a specific industry.
Integrations & Customized Processes
You can find good CRM solutions that are flexible and fit most of your business needs. But you may need a few custom modifications or integrations to outside systems (ERP, Websites, etc.). -That vendor should be able to assist for a nominal fee. A good CRM vendor will scope out your business model so the software is configured correctly using your business processes. They should also recommend more efficient and optimal methods (using best practices). This results from the vendor’s experience with other customer deployments and the power of their CRM.
CRM systems that work the best are the ones that closely mirror a company’s business model. Although industry verticals incorporate more processes than horizontal solutions, they still are not company-specific and will not have a high success rate. Companies should use a qualified implementation team to understand their business and optimize the CRM for them.