Do you have an under-used and over-rated CRM system? Chances are the software system is adequate but implementation failed……
So you have a legacy CRM system, accounting pays the monthly subscription or you own it in perpetuity, you don’t really use it. A former VP Sales implemented it, with the promise of happier customer’s and increased revenue. A couple of well-organized sales people use it for scheduling, the rest ignore it. Perhaps every now again you attempt to resurrect it with a management sponsored push – everyone knows it will last a month or two then go away again. You couldn’t forecast anything using it, no pipeline visibility, sales and customers are managed by email, excel and frantic phone calls. Sound familiar?????
This was exactly the situation at a recent client of mine….I sat through a presentation from the sales department head – here are the key takeaways from that meeting.
“We have over $8m in the pipeline”
“Our average sales cycle is 12 weeks”
“We win 80% of what we quote”
“Our turnover is $500k/Month”
My “consultant” ears prick up with these well intentioned tidbits, while the Sales Director runs his presentation through I smell a rat – a dead smelly rat. It simply doesn’t add up and there is something very wrong with the company’s view of sales and growth opportunities. Senior management nod approvingly through the presentation – they are being sold to (intentionally or not” obviously. So where do we go to unknot this? The fountain of all knowledge – the CRM system of course……
- Senior management believe the CRM system is working and being used
- Only half the sales team uses the system to any degree
- Sales team members make monthly reports and forecasts from excel sheets with a sanity check phone call
- Half the opportunities in the system are over 12 months’ old
- Almost all the quotes are expired after 3 months’ validity
- Marketing uses it – but has serious frustration. More than 600 exhibition leads are not followed up – from international trade shows over 18 months
Turns out the real pipeline was less than $1m – and sustained turnover but no prospect of growing from this. Time for a CTRL ALT DEL of this, either kill the system and find another way, or buckle up and fix it……re-implement.
There are only a few reasons CRM implementations fail like this
- Lack of senior management buy in leading to:
- Lack of employee buy in
- Lack of understanding/clarity in business processes
- Inadequate CRM system not adaptable enough
CRM does work and works great, given organizational buy in, an understanding of your business and an adaptable system then you will see the benefits, right through to the bottom line.
It may be time to replace the system and have a ground up restart, or it may be possible just to start over with the system you have. Either way you will need the following:
An implementation plan with timelines and expected outcomes
Full buy in and commitment to use the system
An adaptable and flexible CRM solution, ideally with modules for other functional areas – customer service, marketing, order processing, shipping etc. for example
An internal CRM champion
Cross functional involvement in implementation
Common processes mapped out
An external CRM implementation advisor may be very helpful, especially where the system or your processes may need tweaking to align together.
Give me a call if you recognize any of this in your business, isn’t it time to shoot that white elephant and start getting the good stuff????
Terry Woolford is a Dallas based Coach and Consultant – Empowering High Performance
P: +1 865 2302702