5 ways to have a successful CRM project!

Did you know that 39% of CRM Projects fail?* 

5 simple tips can help you successfully integrate a CRM system in your organization!


What I would consider as the most important thing, would be to filter everything the CRM implementation team is proposing, just with one simple question: 

"How the CRM data are going to help our Management Team take a decision?" 

Creating nice forms which should be filled in with masses of data, actually, have no value for our top management. What everyone needs, is to design a CRM system based on the reporting that is interested to obtain. 

So, what one would need is to decide on the reports that would help him/ her take strategic decisions and then make sure that all necessary data for these reports will be available for process in CRM. For example, we occasionally need to evaluate our marketing department and at the same time identify the different personas of our salesforce. What we need, is a report which helps us report the number of leads that resulted from our marketing activities, during the last months, and their conversion rate compared with the performance of our salesmen. Interesting conclusions could be drawn concerning the performance of the marketing department and the sales team which could also help us decide whether we need to empower marketing or hire a new salesman.

Another thing we should make sure is that the type of CRM system we have selected and the way we have designed it actually fits the structure of our sales department while at the same time satisfies its needs. For example, a retail business needs its salesmen collect orders while being on the move and at the same time have access in products’ availability and other info through a CRM system. On the other hand a B2B company, providing services, will need a software to monitor and manage its sales cycle (e.g. phone calls, tasks, appointments, quotes) which usually is a very long procedure. So, what I would advise is to make sure that we have identified our company needs and selected the system that actually fits us before start designing our CRM system.

Then it is important not to try copy the business model of other companies, even the ones that are presented as success cases! We need to get our own CRM system! Lots of companies believe that in order to successfully implement a CRM, what they need is simply copy the best practices presented by other companies, especially multinationals, such as Microsoft. But this is not true! Each company needs to develop a tailor-made CRM implementation based on its needs. For example, if a company has a sales team consisted by 4 salesmen, it probably doesn’t worth to design lots of forms to fill in with data about their customers. A simple form to collect necessary data would be enough especially when an established sales meeting will allow people update each other.

My fourth advice would be to avoid structured data for all kinds of information. It doesn’t always work! Information that could not contribute in taking a decision or could not be part of reporting, should probably be considered on whether it should be recorded in a CRM system. Often the described practice has led to the well know GiGo (Garbage In - Garbage Out). There are lots of other tools more suitable where colleagues could share such information, such as Yammer or OneNote.

Finally, do not forget that by combining different tools and systems we can increase our team’s productivity and ability of collaboration. Try to combine CRM and OneNote –a program that helps you easily take down unstructured notes and at the same time enables you sharing with your colleagues – and watch your teams’ productivity significantly increase.


*accorinding to Success Accelerators 2014