How to Defy the Odds and Achieve Implementation Success

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Blogs

As a company, there are many options when choosing an enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) platform, such as Salesforce, Oracle, ServiceNow, or ZenDesk. All of these are excellent platforms that could fundamentally change customer and employee interactions, plus provide you with better customer data and the ability to offer satisfying customer experiences.

When customers are the lifeblood of your business, implementing a CRM platform can transform customer relationships into engagements that drive long-term revenue and growth for your business. However, research shows that approximately 20%-70% of CRM implementation projects fail. This is an eye-opening statistic considering the time and resources put into CRM implementation.

Which leads to the question: Where do companies go wrong with CRM implementations?

Companies struggle to understand how to attract and keep customers. What are their needs and expectations? How can a business attract them to a product or service? How can the customer experience process be easier for both the customer and employees?

CRM implementation offers you the opportunity to align business goals with the customer experience process. CRM creates efficiencies, increases productivity, and with data centralized in one system, provides the tools for understanding customers and optimizing customer engagement strategies.

When CRM implementations fail, the reasons can vary, but Forrester Research listed four key factors for why failure happens:

Lack of Coherent CRM Strategy

A coherent customer experience (CX) strategy touches every part of an organization. Meaningfully identifying the role of these parts in a company’s CX strategy can be a challenge and compiling the answers can create an overwhelming amount of information to process. Instead of boiling the ocean try journey mapping.

Journey mapping takes into account each customer action to create a timeline of their “journey” with your business. With a multitude of journeys, the process can be time-consuming, but laying out these customer journeys side by side will allow you to identify common actions that result in common pain points for customers. Each journey should also have related KPIs and outcomes to measure success.

CRM enables your CX strategy and provides the capabilities for optimizing experiences at every touchpoint of the customer’s journey.

Lack of Attention to the Process

Planning for CRM implementation affects everyone from CEOs, to stakeholders, employees, and even customers. Every person involved should understand what the common goal is for adopting CRM. A collective understanding of what processes, workflows, systems, and data the new platform will improve, as well as the support CRM can provide to long-term growth plans, will greatly improve the success of an implementation.

Planning and involving key stakeholders from the beginning of the process is crucial for avoiding future frustrations. Stakeholders can educate the implementation project team about the daily challenges they face that CRM can solve or the business processes CRM can enhance.

Building a successful process can be time-consuming but keeping every person engaged and involved in the process is important. Holding regular meetings with stakeholders before and during the planning and implementation stages can prevent the lack of user adoption that commonly results in CRM implementation failure.

Focusing on Technology Rather Than the People

CRM implementation will have a significant impact on existing business processes, work practices, and even employee roles and responsibilities. A change management plan shifts the focus from technology to people. By understanding how people work, what motivates them, and what obstacles may prevent them from adopting CRM, your business will increase the success of CRM implementation.

Companies should have a change management plan that introduces new business processes, provides training, and champions employees who are successfully using the CRM platform.

Failure to Adopt, Once Implemented

CRM implementations fail for a number of reasons: employees aren’t using all of the CRM features, employees haven’t been trained to properly use CRM, or employees simply don’t see the value in using the new solution. Adopting a new system isn’t cut and dry. It’s easy to fall back into using old systems because users are more comfortable with what’s familiar.

Lack of CRM user adoption puts company productivity at risk but CRMs are complex and challenging to use without proper support. Planning and communicating with stakeholders throughout the process, user testing, and training can increase user adoption. Employees need to understand the benefits of CRM and how CRM can transform how they work and collaborate with others.

Achieve CRM Implementation Success with Speridian


Adopting CRM helps companies align business goals with customer experience strategies, as well as optimize touchpoints at every point of the customer journey. CRM enables your CX strategy so that your business can create customer engagements that drive long-term revenue and growth for your business.

CRM implementations fail for different reasons, but four key factors have been identified, including a lack of a coherent CX strategy, a lack of attention to process, a focus only on the technology instead of people, and a failure to adopt CRM by employees.

The high percentage of CRM project failures should be an incentive for your business to thoroughly plan for implementation and beyond by including all key stakeholders from the beginning of the project.

Defy the odds and work with the experts at Speridian on your CRM implementation project. We work with our clients every step of the way to help them build a CX roadmap and achieve CRM implementation success.