7 Risks of Implementing a CRM

Implement a CRM? Impossible mission ? No, and this article will not self-destruct in seconds. You will even share it with your friends, your marketing manager, your DSI and your CFO, but also your sales manager who badly needs to deploy one. If you take into account the various risks that we present today, you should be able to avoid them and try the almost painless implementation of a CRM in your company.


If we ignore the existing


The first risk when implementing a CRM is to want to modernize everything at all costs, take the latest tool acclaimed by the biggest CIOs around the world, and "throw away what exists" because it is often less expensive to leave from scratch, than to audit the existing "technical stack".


Indeed, trying to find alternatives to the existing system developed by retired engineers, in Iceland or Saint-Leu, opening their foodtruck is not necessarily the simplest option, but it is by far the most sustainable. You will also be more likely to be allowed to keep your job.


When we talk about taking into account what already exists, we are not necessarily asking you to scan the invitations to an open house in 1997, but to get closer to your marketing, sales, after-sales departments... to find out what features they use. We are talking about current and desired functional needs.


It's a safe bet that as a CIO who has just arrived and who needs to prove himself, you are not aware of a little tinkering left by the predecessor of the predecessor of the person you are replacing, and which is still used by Jacqueline in accounting, Marie-Mimose in reception, and Firmin in production.


Even if you don't keep the technology in place, at least try to model all the dependencies and workflows with other business tools, processes in place and desired, so as not to blow up your customer file and your history overnight billing.


If not all company entities are involved

The latest CRM tools are complex, comprehensive tools that can meet the different needs of teams aligned with the same objectives. They can be connected to existing applications, sometimes natively, sometimes via API or web services.


If you do not involve the stakeholders and the different departments who are likely to work several hours a day on this gleaming software, none of the employees will adopt it.


You will be back to making appointments on post-its, doing daily commercial follow-up, multiplying excel extractions, using another tool for quotes and commercial reporting, and imagining what your customers might like because you will no longer have data to analyze to make your decisions.


We are not asking you to invite 2,000 employees, and all the unions around two tables of 1,000, but to involve the different departments that will use the CRM: collect their needs ("must have"), desires, wishes ("might have") and try to find the most suitable solution:


The choice of this solution by only one of your teams is indeed not the solution:


  • If it's the IT department who chooses: you risk ending up with a robust technical solution that can be managed locally, according to the technology they have chosen, without really worrying about the functional needs of the other teams.
  • If it's the marketing team: very little consideration for the technology, the bandwidth needed to make the tool work properly. On the other hand, the tool will be chosen for its interfaces, its automation and data analysis capabilities.
  • If it is the sales team: neither technology, nor interfaces, nor the behavioral history of Internet users will be considered: salespeople will favor, among other things, dashboards to follow their reminders, transactions in progress and centralized management of their contacts.
  • If it's customer service: only the ticket pipeline, request management and automated tasks will interest them a priori. Whether this is attached to the client is another story...


Each department has its priorities, and you will have to meet all these wishes (or get as close as possible to them) if you want your super CRM to be used, integrated into the IS, that your teams are aligned according to the same objectives and that the customer final sees their experience with your company improved.


Indeed, if you choose your CRM wisely, your CIO will be able to put the necessary tracking devices on your website, so that your marketing team engages the right prospects, and that they buy from your salespeople, and are then picked up ge by your after-sales service.


This is why we believe that we need a software that brings together all the parties (like the one we are deploying of course!), in a logic of revenue operations, with at least the following functionalities:


  • Contact Management
  • Lead Management
  • Simple interface
  • Mobile-CRM
  • Sales Process Automation
  • Email Marketing
  • Quotation and sales process management
  • Reporting and Dashboards


If the teams are not properly formed

Another important point: there is no point in buying a Ferrari FXX K Evo if you don't know how to drive... It's almost the same for the CRM.


Putting in place the best CRM, but not taking the time to train your different teams will not help you. Worse, you will create frustration, and for the collaborators who are part of the furniture, look like yet another fool who thought he could impose an eighth CRM in 20 years. It's lived.


Before jumping on the first tool, know that 49% of CRM projects fail (Forester Research). More than one in five implementation issues are people-related or related to user adoption (Forrester Research).


In fact, 83% of senior executives concede that their biggest challenge is getting their teams to use the software (Really Simple Systems) as we explained in this article.


If access rights are not clearly defined

Your teams will not have the same use of the CRM: email, access to contacts, transactions, user administration. It is therefore necessary to create different levels of confidentiality, to customize the rights to modify and delete elements.


A word of advice: don't let the trainee who arrived last Tuesday delete your website, or one of your salespeople leave with your database because you refused him his last bonus.


If the CRM is not adapted to the purchase journey

There are dozens of CRMs, more or less suited to your business. If you are in B2B, internationally and have a website, you will not have the same needs as a local company in food distribution.


Beyond the exorbitant cost that some publishers may present to you during the first exploratory telephone meeting, you may not need a Salesforce or an Oracle to edit the invoices for your freshness area, a multitude free CRM software can do the trick, depending on the defined criteria. If, on the other hand, you are a medium-sized or even large company, trying to save a lot of money on this central tool of your business strategy is like shooting all the bullets from a magazine in the same foot!


Larger companies, which sell in several regions, countries, on the internet or not, must be able to interface their CRM with a multitude of other tools: ERP, invoicing, logistics...

If neither objectives nor indicators are defined

We save the best for the end: without objectives or indicators, you will have the best CRM, hire the best consultants, it will be impossible for you to calculate your return on investment.


Your CRM shows you've attracted leads, maybe even sold, but is that enough to pay off the tool or pay your bills?


As with any business activity, you need to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals. What turnover should we achieve this quarter? At the end of this fiscal year? Is it realistic? Which indicators to follow thanks to my CRM? The number of new contacts? The number of current opportunities? The number of lost transactions?


If once the solution has been chosen, there are no framing workshops

The successful implementation of a CRM must necessarily pass through functional and technical framing workshops to know the processes to be put in place or to be developed, but also the various data integrations.


It is also essential to determine the different objects and their links, automated or not, by workshops, for example:


  • Contact: what is a contact, which native/custom properties, which property formats (text, number, calculation...)
  • Company: what is a company, which native/custom properties, which property formats (text, number, calculation...)
  • Deal: what is a deal in the pipeline? when to create a deal? what is the sales process? which native/custom properties, which property formats (text, number, calculation...)

  • Ticket management
  • Integrations: which aps, which tools, bidirectional....or not?


Setting up a CRM is a perilous exercise if you don't take the time to identify what is essential for the growth of your business: do I need to reduce my costs? Improve my processes, my commercial follow-up? Retain my existing customers? The implementation of a CRM must take into account the organization of your company and its methods, your type of activity, your customers. We will never repeat it enough but a CRM should not be seen as a cost, but as an investment. This one cannot be attributable to only one of your departments, because it is all your activity that the CRM is supposed to facilitate.


Providing the best machines to your workshop seems essential to you for your production. It's good. Now also provide your marketing and sales and HR teams with the best tool to carry out their tasks in the best conditions so that your great products are marketed and leave your warehouses!

You want to set up a CRM, we can help you! Do not hesitate to ask for your free demo! If you think you are not yet at this level, you can also consult our article "What is a CRM for a company?"

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