Get These Right and Your CRM Project Will Fly

The failure rate in CRM projects is high – 6 out of 10 fail within a year

How can you make sure you’re in the 4 out of 10 – the top 4?

The success of your CRM project boils down to 2 areas:

  • How you manage change in your business, and
  • The level of customer focus within your processes

How you manage change and Your Customer Focus

How you manage change in your business

Change can include many things like,

  • new software
  • new ways of working
  • a new product launch
  • a new marketing campaign
  • a revised enquiry form
  • or the acquisition of a competitor.

How do you help staff deal with change ?

Where do you fit on this diagram?

Stages of change

The further to the right you are, the more the change will be accepted by people in your business. This means:

  1. People being involved throughout the change process. People understand why the change is happening, what is changing, how it will affect them, and have confidence that they are being supported
  2. Faster adoption of change so people drop old ways of working faster
  3. People adapting to change quicker which increases productivity
  4. People advocating change and spreading the good word
  5. Less moaning about change
  6. Less resistance to change
  7. Less sabotage of change and spreading negativity!

There’s a massive amount of information, tools and techniques on change management on the web, in books and papers. You get to know which change tools to use in which situations through (sometimes bitter) experience. The sooner you start using them the better.

If you can ensure that every member of your team feels like CRM is relevant to them, is there to help them do their jobs better, and is designed around an improved customer experience, then you’re heading in the right direction…

This should be easy as you started off with this in mind in your CRM project, didn’t you?

How important are customer relationships to you?

I’ll let you into a little secret…every person in your business is responsible for building customer relationships.


This is obvious when talking about marketing, sales and service teams, but this also extends to:

  • Finance staff who deal with invoices, billing and queries
  • Projects staff who produce your service, or manufacturing staff who produce your product
  • “Back end” office staff who take incoming phone calls or deal with customer queries

Are you customer focused?

You’ll hear the corporate word “customer-centricity” banded about. All it means is simply:

Does every action you take provide a better customer experience?

I deliberately say “you”. Not “your business”. Not “your people”. You. Every single minute of every day the actions you take filter down to your team and influence the culture of your business. Over time your business becomes a reflection of your values and actions.

If you’ve built up a high performing team then you already know how important the customer experience is. People buy from people. You spend hours building up and maintaining relationships with people. These relationships must consistently be of value to both sides. They are made up of phone calls, meetings, emails, letters, and social media interactions. You’re always listening out for interesting things about that person which give more depth to the relationship.


You’re driven to make sure that every relationship and experience with your business is the best that it can be.

This knowledge about relationships lives all too often in people’s heads. CRM is about capturing as much of this as possible within a system. A system that anyone can access that tells them:

  • Who is related to who and when did that relationship start?
  • How frequently have we contacted someone?
  • Have they ever expressed interest in our products and services?
  • How many orders has that person placed?
  • Where is their order or project currently up to?
  • When will their order be fulfilled or their project completed?
  • How many times have they raised customer service issues?
  • What’s recently changed in their business and can any of our products or services help them?
  • Who is late paying an invoice, do you need to stop servicing them until it’s been paid?

CRM involves everyone in your business

Getting everyone in your team to capture relationship data within CRM is no small feat. It relies on consistently involving them in improving the customer experience you provide over time.

Once you’re routinely capturing this data you’ll stand a much better chance of getting into the “top 4” and having a successful CRM project.

A couple of examples to demonstrate this:

  1. Finance staff will update the system with overdue invoices so sales staff know whether their customer is a good payee before they approach a new opportunity.
  2. Projects staff will flag successful milestones in the system so that sales staff can promote this to their customers. Support staff or engineers can use this information to know when the project’s success triggers the start of their workload to help with planning.

We strive for 100% success rate in our CRM projects by helping our clients manage change whilst implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 as their CRM system. The good news is that this system is designed around managing relationships, and will help grow your business.

All that’s needed is to manage change.

If you want to learn more then please contact us.

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