Why CRM Implementations Fail: The Top Six Reasons

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a potential segment. Proper and smart utilization of CRM will help an organization to equip everyone who deals with the customer. Companies make a big investment of time and money to build this field so it needs to be utilized in the best possible way. 

Here are the top 6 reasons that can derail a CRM system implementation:

  1. Lack of Clarity on Requirements

To utilize the full potential of CRM for the benefit of the organization one needs to define the requirement before the deployment. If this is not done then there is a huge loss and the desired result is not obtained. The key takeaways here is to know your needs upfront and build your solution in increments.

  1. Setting Expectation Too Soon

Trying to do too much too quickly will have a reverse effect. Start with some general features and keep on adding advanced functionality as you proceed. This kind of approach will give you an adequate amount of time to build user loyalty and will help you to avoid alienating customers.

  1. Lack of Proper Accountability

It is important to choose the right person who can be made accountable for the flow of CRM. A less experienced person will not be able to judge and oversee the total flow and not be able to utilize the features for the benefit of the organization.

  1. Obscure Business Processes

The features of CRM are varied and useful. This makes it very alluring to use the CRM. But one has to be careful that if there is any flaw in the business process then it can affect the automation process. So it is advisable to choose a CRM solution that will actually help end-users perform better.

  1. No Proper Integration Processes

CRM system needs to be integrated with other systems and processes across your organization. This is crucial for the proper flow of work. Lack of such integration will be a failure. 

  1. Mobile Unfriendliness

Mobile is gaining rapid momentum given its reach across a broad spectrum of market. Mobile is becoming a vibrant mode leveraging what candidates access, search and engage online. A CRM system that isn’t mobile friendly or optimized for tablets, notebooks and smartphones are destined to get ramified.  


  1. Your points are all valid, and I guess there are more. Having undertaken quite a few CRM implementations I have found that the biggest obstacle to successful CRM take-on is what I refer to as ‘cultural adoption’. That is, the move from isolated working within an organisation (personal email, lack of corporate visibility of phone content, unshared meeting data, etc). The organisation often fails to press home the need for a change from an isolated operating culture to a shared one. Many staff do not make this transition willingly, despite this being a core business requirement.

    Many organisations have business teams who may not be active CRM ‘doers’ (the creators and owners of the business data in CRM and the users who hold the key roles of managing the client relationships, these are the ‘viewers’, those people who need to know what is going on but have no active role in creating or managing activity data. The lack of take-on for CRM leads these ‘viewers’ to question what benefit CRM brings when their colleagues elect to not create CRM activities but elect to maintain them within their own email boxes, and appointment calendars. This is exacerbated when CRM is integrated with a document repository and the same culture persists where documentation is not made available to the organisation.

    This ‘cultural’ change is not a security issue. The CRM security model is flexible and can be adapted to most data sharing scenarios to suit the business. The issue boils down to a lack of management direction to staff at requirements sign off. Once the system has gone live, and a culture of sharing has not been adopted, then it doesn’t take long for a wholesale switch-off by the business teams who had seen CRM as the answer to their lack of visibility of key relationship management. Once this happens, and the ‘360 degree view of the data’ has not been established, cultural positions get taken. The most successful adoptions are where the business sponsor is clear in their view of what is wanted and ensures that those messages are sent out to all impacted CRM users.

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