If you are looking to invest in implementing a CRM system think again before spending your well earn cash. According to research organisations like Gartner and Forrester 30-50% of CRM projects ranges fail to deliver the expected outcomes!
After the first CRM hype in the early 2000’s the second wave of CRM hype is well on its way. It is projected that the investment in CRM (USD 23 Billion in 2014) will outstrip the investments made in ERP in the next couple of years (source: Gartner).
Why do we keep wasting our money on these projects if that are likely to fail?
As with many things the attraction of the promise is pulling companies or rather the individuals in to take the plunge and really just take a leap of faith. The number of companies that start investing in CRM without a proper business case or clear objective is staggering.
Often business leader know that they need to make an investment but don’t have a clear objective in mind from a business outcome perspective. Often the promise of vendors that it will increase sales or customer engagement is enough for business leaders to dump thousands or even millions of dollars into a CRM project.
This is where it often goes wrong. CRM is not a project. It is not just a piece of software you install.
CRM is a strategy and has to be treated as such.
Would you invest in a tool if you don’t know what you want to build?
A CRM system is merely a tool to support your Customer Relationship or Engagement Strategy and it is not the silver bullet that will fix everything. Installing a tool alone will not get you there. However in many cases implementing a CRM system is a requirement to ensure the Customer Engagement Strategy can be executed in the most effective way.
Apart from the adventurers among us would you go on a trip without know what your destination is? I guess the answer is most often no. Most enjoyable holidays start with planning. You work out why want go on a holiday (objective) and what type of holiday you need (e.g. relax or family visit). A next step could be what type of transport is most suited to this trip based on the time and the budget you have available.
After that you work out who can provide this service to you (vendor/partner).
Without planning you can still be successful but you will not know what will come on your way and where you might end up. As the old saying goes: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will lead you there”.
Creating a Strategy is only the first step
So if you want to reduce the risk of your CRM initiative becoming a failure and waste your hard earned money ensure that your first step is to work on your Customer Engagement/Relationship Management Strategy that supports your business objectives and ensure it isn’t a standalone CRM implementation project.
After you have created a Customer Engagement Strategy you are not there yet and there are plenty of pitfalls on the way to a successful CRM initiative but you will be on the path of success.
If you are interested in finding more about the pitfalls of CRM initiatives join us on the 22th of July at the “Why you are wasting your money on CRM!” webinar:
This blog post is part of a series of articles that addresses the pitfalls of CRM initiatives.
By Peter Dijkema, Client Success Manager, Organon Consulting
A 20-year veteran in the business solutions industry with over 15 years of experience in customer relationship management, Peter Dijkema has worked in numerous sales and marketing roles with major and small technology companies in Europe and Australia. Peter Dijkema is co-founder of Organon Consulting with a focus on helping small and medium businesses to serve their customers better, fix the ‘leaky funnel’ and increase revenue and Not-For-Profit organisation improve stakeholder relationships, increase constituent engagement and increase funding. He also act as an adviser around CRM technology decisions and strategies for small and medium sized organisations.