CRM for the Common Man
Excerpted with permission from "CRM for the Common Man," by Russ Lombardo, Copyright 2003. Published by Peak Sales Consulting, ISBN 0972826300. For more information about this book and other similar titles, please visit Peak Sales Consulting.
Chapter 4: Why Bother
If we look at why CRM initiatives fail, we can get a sense of why success will require better planning. Perhaps you've read the myriad of articles that state the high failure rate of CRM projects. Typically, survey results say that anywhere from 60% to 80% of CRM projects fail. What exactly do these studies mean when they use the term "failure"? In these cases, failure means, a) the project was late, b) the project was over budget, c) the project delivered less functionality than originally planned, or d) some combination of any of these. Usually, "failure" is a combination of at least two of these situations, which is pretty bad.
The reasons for these failures are varied. From management, you hear them say that they still don't have a sense of their business. Sales people say they don't find the system useful and end up not using it. Senior executives complain about a lack of return on their investment. I recently met an insurance broker for a very large, national insurance provider who said they were given a "contact manager" that none of them used. He complained that they got new senior management who "thought" they knew the business. They decided on a product that fit the needs of management and gave it to the sales reps, who hated it. Thousands of these reps are out there not using a very expensive solution, in whose selection they had no input. How long do you think it will take for the executives to realize they won't get a return on that investment?
Given this definition of "failure," let's now look at some of the reasons why.
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This was first published in March 2007