At a high level, organizations experiencing low CRM adoption typically aren’t working with a system that truly fits their needs. It may sound simple, but if your users don’t see value in their participation, either with increased sales, or more efficiency in their day, they won’t use it. Similarly, if your executive team doesn’t get the right reports they need to make effective business decisions, the system will fall to the wayside. Finally, if you don’t conduct a proper discovery, you may be using the wrong system altogether.
1. Incomplete or no discovery during pre-implementation
In the software world, the term “discovery” has long been used to assess user needs, define the current vs. desired state, and identify the business and technical goals and challenges. The idea is to get to the root of business inefficiencies that are limiting revenue growth. This enables developers to create solutions that solve underlying problems and produce real business results.
Before implementing CRM, it’s vital that all business systems are assessed and analyzed – not just the CRM or marketing solution you’re replacing. Big problems can often result when the strengths and limitations with other systems aren’t identified upfront, especially with integration.
You will also find that other departments can benefit greatly from integrated customer data or cool apps that integrate with your core solution such as those found on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange.
2. No long-term strategic plan (Roadmap)
You wouldn’t execute an ERP system without a controller or gameplan, right? You need to consider the same Roadmap and support plan with the system managing all your customers, leads, revenue and customer satisfaction information.
Many CRM customers implement their systems and work on optimization projects in a piecemeal fashion, without looking at the big picture. A strong Roadmap starts with a proper Discovery and identifies the long-term strategic plan for that solution. For Salesforce customers, that means implementing apps that streamline processes such as pricing, contract management, marketing automation and more.
3. System doesn’t match your user needs
All roads lead back to the Discovery, right? When you don’t conduct a thorough Discovery, you’re not identifying what your users really need from their system.
You must involve key stakeholders from the very beginning of your implementation. Make sure there is strong value for them in using the system. For example, can they clearly see new sales opportunities? Can they quickly log calls and emails? Can they configure quotes and generate orders from their mobile device?
You also need to consider your executive team, which needs the right reports to make the most effective business decisions. You need adoption and accountability at all levels, otherwise if users at the lowest level see adoption isn’t done at the top or the system isn’t used to manage the business, they will stop using it.
And don’t forget other business units. They may very well be dealing with clunky processes that could be improved with a robust platform such as Salesforce and integrated easily with your CRM.
3. Inadequate training
You wouldn’t put someone into a expensive piece of equipment without training. Many users will pick things up quickly (Early Adopters) but people who need more training (Laggards) must get that from your core team. You can also pair Laggards with Early Adopters so their success can be mentored.
Whatever CRM you choose, you must ensure that there are resources available to help users, admins and executives get trained. For Salesforce customers, certification can be an invaluable weapon for your admins who learn new tricks and better ways to support your sales and executive teams. See Salesforce End User Training Best Practices for more information.
4. Limited visibility or transparency with reporting
Your users need to understand how the data they’re logging and maintaining is being used for the greater good. Many companies use mutli-media walls and monitors to display sales performance. Or, involve them in forecasting and planning discussions so they can understand the importance of strong data quality.
5. No executive enforcement
CRM adoption is driven from the top down. Your executive team needs to set the expectation that it isn’t optional. They must also set a strong example by using it themselves.
6. No Steering Committee
We recommend a “Center of Excellence” – a group of individual stakeholders from various departments who guide the ROI and vision of your solution. Members of this team can be Sales, Service, Market, Operations, HR or Admin.
7. Poor data quality
If you have poor data quality, your users won’t trust the information, and will likely resort to old methods. In most cases, poor data quality results from incomplete data. Either that data is stranded in a separate system or missing altogether. Data migration and integration is extremely critical in ensuring your teams have a complete 360-degree view of their customers and prospects.
Data Stewardship and management of the data is huge. In other systems such as your ERP, the data has to be accurate all the time because financials need to close and payroll needs to be paid. The same principles apply to CRM. If the data is in an ad hoc system such as Excel, Outlook, or even handwritten notes, and it’s related to Sales, Marketing or Service, it doesn’t exist.
8. Using a Standalone CRM
Most businesses struggle with ineffective and inefficient business software systems in operations, accounting, HR and customer service. Employees in these businesses often still use ad hoc systems such as spreadsheets and email to manage their work. Lack of shared data and effective reporting systems puts businesses at risk of losing data, which jeopardizes deals.
Salesforce is well recognized as the leading CRM. But, it has rapidly become a powerful platform that enables customers to build a complete, fully integrated business software suite. The challenge is rethinking your business for total transformation. Businesses running on Salesforce are using radical new approaches to engage customers and ensure the complete process from prospecting to long-term customer retention is streamlined and customer centric.
9. Limited or no ongoing system support
Your CRM is not a set it and forget it software solution. Your CRM will likely have new features that are released on a cyclical basis, and your organizational needs and challenges will change. You must continue promoting adoption and process improvement after the initial push. Especially when you want to take CRM along a more robust Roadmap, you must gain buy-in from your executive team and users.