Over half of all CRM Systems fail
to meet expectations and here’s why…

A survey by Forrester found that 72% of enterprises reported CRM projects failing to meet expectations1.

So why are so many CRM projects so disappointing?

In our experience, the process from order to fulfilment is much more for most businesses than just what a CRM typically provides.

The actual CRM is just the tip of the iceberg: below the surface are many other systems essential for the fast completion of the order.

A recent client of ours, a local telecoms equipment vendor, was experiencing this pain. Their CRM did not handle processes essential for fulfilling an order, such as producing a contract for the customer to sign, ordering equipment from their supplier, ordering the circuits for the new phone system project management, and their customer-facing tracking systems. Each of these separate processes were handled manually or in disconnected systems which prevented them from delivering a fast and efficient service to their customers.

We built our client a system that coupled their CRM with their back-office systems and processes, so when a customer placed an order, the agreement was automatically generated using contact information from the CRM. The system also handled equipment and circuit provisioning, approval workflow, and project management.

The ultimate goal of a system like this is to support the entire sales cycle – from lead to order to fulfilment – in one system. Most CRM systems fail because they don’t handle the entire sales process.

Disconnected systems will bring your sales to a screeching halt

Businesses with multiple disconnected systems have 83% inaccurate data and 78% redundant data2, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group. The disconnection between a CRM and other systems costs time and increases the chances of errors being made because employees are forced to enter the same information into multiple different systems.

A single input error, such as a typo in the customer’s address, or missing required information can cascade into downstream processes that delay an order for weeks. In a connected system, this would never happen, because customer information would be pulled directly from your CRM system.

A manufacturing company we worked with had this exact problem. When they took an order, they had to input customer data manually into their legacy accounting system from the paper order form. This same form would then be reorganized to create an order for the shop floor. There was no easy way of finding information about a specific order or even keep track of who they were doing business with.

We built them a system that interfaced a new CRM system with their accounting and operations systems, so data was entered only once. The new system reduced cost, and improved cycle time.

When your sales team focuses on the system, they’re not making sales

The average sales rep spent just a third of their time selling in 20153. A third isn’t much – and if your team is having to contend with multiple systems and poor processes, it could be even lower. When your sales people focus on non-selling activities, the dollars go down the drain.

The sales staff of a recent client of ours, a concierge business, were spending most of their time managing data and the process when they should have been selling. When an order came in it would be recorded on a spreadsheet, then a quote would be created manually and sent out, and any amendments or special instructions were then recorded.

During high-profile events, the Excel sheet would hold and manage data for hundreds of individuals visiting hundreds of different events. It was completely unmanageable.

We built a custom CRM that handled all the information they needed in one system, tracking information such as their ticket and seat numbers and the mobile phone number of their limo driver. With one input of data handling all their information, including their accounts, their sales staff had more time to do what they do best – make sales.

1. Forrester – Answers to Five Frequently Asked Questions About CRM Projects – www.forrester.com/report/Answers+To+Five+Frequently+Asked+Questions+About+CRM+Projects/-/E-RES46432
2. Aberdeen Group – Simplify Life at Work with a Single System to Manage Your Business – www.culex.co.uk/media/Make-Life-Easier-with-ERP.pdf
3. Docurated, published Salesforce Blog – The State of Sales Productivity in 2015 –
www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/01/state-sales-productivity-infographic-gp.htm