A surprisingly high number of companies are not satisfied with the results related to the implementation of a new CRM system. Very often, the successful implementation is hindered by employees who are afraid of change and refuse to work with a new software. How can the project managers, who are responsible for the selection of a software, encourage the employees to work with it? And how does eWay-CRM deal with these concerns?
The reason for the high number of unsuccessful implementations of a new CRM system is usually a disagreement between the ideas of managers who would like to work with the software, and the real needs of their company which are the main reason for planned changes. According to various surveys, CRM system did not meet the expectations in about half the cases.
Results showing satisfaction with the implementation of CRM systems between the years 2001 and 2014.
Source: LinkedIn presentation created by the company C5 Insight
In 2013, the company Merkle Group surveyed more than three hundred and fifty US companies. The results have shown that CRM initiatives have a 63% fail rate.
How successful is the implementation of a CRM software?
The specialized web ZDnet.com compiled a summary of CRM failure stats for the period 2001-2009. The rate of unfulfilled expectations fluctuated from the surprising 18% in 2005 to horrific 70%, as shown by two statistics carried out in 2002.
Many articles focused on the high number of unsuccessful CRM projects make reference to the findings published by the research and advisory company Gartner in 2001. Gartner surveyed more than five hundred companies from Europe and the United States to find out, besides other issues, if the implementation of a CRM system met their expectations.
How did the negative reputation of CRM systems come to light?
In an interview for the web CustomerThink.com , the authors of a research recalled that 55% of the surveyed companies were not satisfied with the implementation of a CRM system as it failed to meet their expectations. "When the results were published, it was quoted by the press that 55 percent of companies stated that it “failed to meet their expectations,” and they chopped the “meet expectations” off it and just said, “failure.” So, we were quoted by the press as saying 55 percent of projects are failing", said Ed Thompson from Gartner’s U.K. office.
Thompson also stressed that the research was focused on large organizations and that smaller and mid-size companies haven’t had as much of a problem with the implementation.
How to choose an appropriate CRM software?
The consultant Erik Tavenner summed up in his article for CustomerThink.com several principles that may encourage the successful implementation of a new CRM system in your company. The first recommendation deals with the composition of the software selection committee.
This selection committee is, logically, composed of managers and representatives of individual departments whose employees will work with the selected CRM. Moreover, the committee should include the below mentioned members representing specific types of employees and future CRM system users.
How to involve employees in the selection process?
The first is the so-called early adopter. This person always looks for the latest trends and is interested in technology news. They can help a team think outside the box and look for an innovative, future-oriented solution that breaks new ground.
The second type of employee is the complainer. This person may be hard to like, but you want them in the room during the evaluation process, because their comments capture the essence of a problem. If you can make the CRM system do what this person wants, you get more than just a happy future CRM user, you get an ambassador who is able to persuade their colleagues to use the system.
The last person needed in the evaluation process is the strategist. This person evaluates the pros and cons of all suggested CRM systems and makes sure that the project stays focused on business goals, and not simply on the needs of the loudest voice in the room.
How to convince your employees that CRM works?
The weakness of each CRM solution is the amount of data the users are willing to enter into the system. How to convince your employees that a new CRM system is not a Big Brother’s way of monitoring and controlling their daily to-do list?
Emphasize the benefits of the new program thanks to which the users understand the key role of entered data:
- They can access the data they need, when they need it
- All entered data can be accessed by their colleagues who will bother them less
- The reporting process will be easier
- The cooperation with the marketing department will be faster as it will be easier to understand the business needs of the company’s customers
- They will get an overview of the activities carried out by colleagues working with the same client
How can you inform your employees about the planned changes?
Companies that encourage the adoption of a CRM system need to minimize the fear of change. The potential resistance of their employees is the most common reason for the failure of a CRM project. It is crucial to inform the employees about the benefits of a new system and introduce the ideas the company has about its implementation. During the implementation process, it is very important to report the results achieved.
Users will appreciate practical tutorials and videos describing the work with the new system. If you publish them before launching the software, you surely increase employees' interest. Without any doubt, the best way to announce the official launch is at a company party!
Organize a corporate party to announce the launch of new software!
A great way to familiarize employees with new software is to use their competitive drive. Hold contests to see who logs the most calls into the system each week. Buy lunch each month for the employee who resolves most customers’ requests. Not only you improve the business performance, but also increase the incentive to work with the new system.
How can CRM help your customers?
Systems for customer relationship management are not just for sales and marketing employees. The data in a CRM system are as a collective corporate memory that enables to deliver a more compelling customer experience. Moreover, CRM enhances the cross-channel interaction and personalization. It is also a great tool for clear differentiation of customer groups and identification of their specific needs.
Successful implementation of a CRM system requires a thorough acquaintance of individual users with its advantages and features. It is also essential to show how the results of using CRM become part of the normal workflow and how CRM supports organizational reporting. Put all of this together and you have a CRM strategy that cannot lose.
How to minimize employees’ resistance?
The biggest risk that could derail the entire implementation process of any information system is user's resistance to change. This can lead to a complete boycott of the new system and its circumvention. As describes Tomas Zdvorily in his thesis, this risk is even higher when it comes to the implementation of a CRM software. The main reason is the fact that the users of a CRM software are mostly traders, who are used to freedom and liberty. They can see the new system as a limitation of their freedom.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century British courts prosecuted smashing of machines by harsh punishment or death penalty.
Resistance usually grows during the implementation of a new system, which is based on a deeper understanding of the consequences related to the implementation of the software. The server SystemOnline summarizes various methods how to prevent problems which may occur.
In addition to the aforementioned participation of key users in the selection process of a new system, it is also important to be aware not only of their requirements, but also of functions they use on daily basis. You can motivate your employees to participate in the project through a financial bonus or by strengthening their position in the company.
How to control the implementation process?
A good way to introduce a new system is to use the old one and the new one simultaneously for a certain period of time. It also very important to monitor how employees use the system. Moreover, it is necessary to check the amount and type of data entered.
As quoted in the above-mentioned thesis, it is essential to introduce a reasonable degree of control of your employees. They should not have the feeling that you have a total control over their working process. Of course, the managers can say that what is not entered in the system does not exist and will not be included into the financial reward of a user. However, according to Zdvorily, this highly strict approach should be the last option.
How does eWay-CRM support a successful implementation?
Our eWay-CRM implements advanced customization options. In other words, the system can be literally tailored to the needs of individual companies. Therefore, our system offers the possibility to customize not only the appearance of various types of forms, but also of items monitored within the workflow. It also carefully distinguishes the rights of individual user groups. The client can be sure that their employees can only approach such data, which are necessary for their work.
Moreover, the company eWay System offers the possibility to transfer the necessary data and export databases between various eWay-CRM systems which our client used in the past. Our client service includes the design of special custom functions according to the wishes of our customers. Customization and SQL triggers for customers who wish to design special functions are developed by our team of specialists .
How would you describe the implementation process?
According to the project manager David Pejšek, the successful implementation of a new CRM system depends mainly on a detailed implementation analysis . "I've experienced that the implementation of a CRM system was carried out by a person who had no idea about IT, or by a temporary employee who had no respect. Therefore, it was impossible to make a change”, explains Pejšek.
The team of experts from the company eWay System prepared a basic diagram depicting various stages of the implementation process:
Implementation analysis prepared by eWay-CRM project managers.
How can we evaluate a successful implementation?
According to the project manager Miriam Semjanová , the most important aspect of a successful implementation is the consideration of the end results, which is to say that if the software meets the demands of a client and if the continuously implemented changes follow the needs of system users the possibility of success is pretty high.
The second important factor are the costs incurred. "If the implementation exceeded the budget, it is important to know the reason why this happened. Sometimes the original task does not include the amount of changes which were additionally required during the implementation process”, says Semjanová.
"Companies implement CRM systems in order to help its clients to increase their efficiency. Therefore, each client should define their requirements in advance”, recommends Mrs. Semjanová.
What tools can be used to evaluate the implementation process?
There are various methods enabling a qualitative assessment of the implementation of a new CRM solution, such as the Project CRMBodyCheck . In her thesis, the economist Lucie Vomlelová explains that this model was developed by a 24-member team of the company GreaterChinaCRM.
CRMBodyCheck Measurement Metrics
Source: GCCRM Research Institute
The principle of this method is based on data collection. According to Tomáš Zdvorily, CRMBodyCheck has become "a standard for the evaluation of the implementation effectiveness”.
How to set our own assessment criteria?
As a manager responsible for the implementation of CRM-eWay to various companies, Mrs. Semjanová prefers the implementation of the software carried out according to the criteria determined by the client as it is then easier to monitor the success of the entire process.
"Based on my experience, I can say that eWay-CRM is suitable for almost any type of business, both in terms of size or line of business”, summarizes Semjanová. The system is not only versatile, but also enables to use various modules respecting the specific needs of a customer.
"The module Projects can be used either to work with easy processes, such as purchasing and sales, or to manage a vehicle fleet, including the technical conditions and information about traffic”, adds Semjanová. The possibility of individual customization is a great feature that enables an easy implementation into any business environment.
Reasons for unsuccessful CRM implementation: