This is part 1 of a series of blogs on user adoption with Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365… the Achilles heel of CRM. I will examine real-world causes of CRM user adoption failure and how to avoid or recover from the top issues that cause user adoption issues.
I founded Strava Technology Group with a very clear mission… to help businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM & Dynamics 365. Our entire go-to-market strategy is built to avoid & overcome the common challenges that plague CRM projects, many caused or exasperated by the implementation partner. For more information on our strategy see our home page.
CRM implementation projects are complex and riddled with landmines that can cause significant user adoption issues or even failure. In 2001 Gartner published one of the first studies examining failure rates of CRM initiatives, they found that 47% of projects failed or failed to meet expectations.
Over the last decade and a half failure rates have not decreased substantially. We have discovered and most industry analysts agree that there are a limited number of core reasons for CRM project failure. The reasons do change a bit from enterprise to SMB and slightly by industry but in most cases all stem from the same high-level reasons.
Let’s first define failure and failure to meet expectations. I define failure as a project where the outcomes were so far from meeting expectations that the project was abandoned. Unfortunately in many cases the CRM product is blamed and the company moves on to another solution without addressing the real root issues that caused the failure. Hint… it’s rarely the product that causes failure.
Failure to meet expectations – This outcome is unfortunately very common, in fact I would argue that a significant number of CRM projects fail to meet expectations. Stay tuned for an examination of what causes this outcome.
In this part-one I will define the list of main reasons for CRM failure and ask you to help fill out the list. Below is my personal top list of reasons for failure in CRM projects. This list is based on my 18 years of experience helping businesses implement CRM solutions (14+ years with Microsoft CRM). I also base this information on experiences in the SMB market (5 employees to 1000 employees) as things change a bit in the enterprise space.
- Lack of proper Requirements Analysis before implementing
- Not spending the required time to fully plan the project
- Trying to achieve too much in phase 1
- Project Management responsibility not defined
- No clear definition of success/successful outcomes
- Not defining use cases across the entire user base
- Lack of cooperation between IT and the business
- Not engaging representative end users in the solution design
- No specific study of executive/management needs & requirements
- Making a product selection on product features vs. business requirements
- Lack of necessary funding for the project
- Selecting the wrong implementation partner
- Adequate system testing not performed before go-live
- Improper training for end users
- “Scope Creep” & Cost Overruns
- Data migration/integration issues
- Inadequate ongoing support for end users, management & executives
- Executive/Management teams not enforcing the use of the system
- Not making CRM a part of the business processes and culture of the company
- No ongoing coaching & training for users
- Inadequate ongoing support for users
- Not properly maintaining the CRM system causing technical & usability issues
- Allowing the solution to become stagnant
- Not staying current on versions of the CRM system
- No ongoing program to measure, monitor and improve user adoption
- Not performing regular road mapping of the solution
That’s quite a list huh? Do you have any to add? Help build a master list of failure points so we can discuss & address them together in future posts.
Comment below and add any items that you feel were left out. In future posts we will examine each of these and how to make sure they don’t cause issues in your project and how to recover if you are experiencing any of the above issues.
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Total Solution Management – For a fixed predictable monthly cost, we can either augment your internal CRM resources or become your CRM team. Total Solution Management includes four pillars of ongoing services that will increase user adoption and your success with CRM – Support, Preventative Maintenance & System Administration, Enhancements/Customizations and Training/Consultative Guidance. We fully support, administer and maintain your CRM system end-to-end.
CRM Project Reboot – Is your CRM solution meeting expectations? If not we can help! We begin with a no-cost review of your CRM implementation. During this collaborative session, we revisit the goals and objectives of the project, determine what’s working and not, do a technical level review of your Microsoft CRM/365 system and educate your team on how to get more out of your investment. The outcome of this session is a written report summarizing the current state of the system, desired future state, a road-map on how to achieve future state and any technical level issues we identify.
For more information on how we can help your business achieve success with Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 connect with us – [email protected] or call us at 844.8.STRAVA (844.878.7282).
About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David spent 20 years as VP/Partner for a leading Microsoft CRM partner where he founded the Microsoft CRM practice. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is 100% focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365.