Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Top Reasons CRM Projects Fail

April 10, 2018 by in Uncategorized

Top Reasons CRM Projects Fail

By understanding the top reasons CRM projects fail you can take steps to mitigate these issues.

CRM implementation projects are complex and riddled with landmines that can cause significant 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 change a bit from enterprise to SMB and slightly by industry but all stem from the same high-level reasons.

Top Reasons CRM Projects Fail

  • Inadequate project planning & requirements analysis – this is a top reason for CRM project failure. We offer expert planning and requirements analysis services led by 17+ year veterans of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM partner channel.
  • Taking on too much in phase 1 – many times there is a pent up need for marketing, sales & customer service tools causing the desire to take on too much in the critical first phase of the project. Phase 1 should cover the top business objectives while lower priority items or those deemed too complex should be moved to a future phase. We offer FastTrack implementation services for Marketing, Sales & Customer Service. FastTrack implementations are fixed cost, fixed scope and rapid covering the most important foundational phase 1 CRM items.
  • Not incorporating business process into CRM – many think that CRM alone is a “magic bullet” to solve challenges in Sales. While the technology is important, sales process needs to go hand-in-hand to achieve success. Dynamics 365 CRM does not have any pre-built sales process and to build custom processes is cost-prohibitive in many cases. To solve this significant challenge our team worked with several top national sales experts to build Sales Accelerators for Dynamics 365 CRM. Our Sales Accelerators are pre-built, configurable, best-practice sales process for Lead, Opportunity, and Account Management. Our Accelerators also include automated alerts, management and sales rep. views and a complete 9-page Sales Analysis dashboard to analyze sales performance. 
  • Support is critical – most businesses hire a “consultant” to help implement their CRM system. The consultant is heavily engaged during the implementation but following go-live they typically fall back to a reactive support mode usually on a time & materials basis. The problem is that in most cases the business is not ready to fully take over management of the CRM solution at go-live. There are typically issues being discovered just after go-live and some items that were missed during planning. There is typically no more budget for additional consultant services so unfortunately the CRM solution becomes stagnant. We offer LevelUP, a full managed service for Dynamics CRM/365. With LevelUP, you are gaining an entire team of highly experienced professionals in all areas of Dynamics CRM/365 to support and maintain your solution at a fixed monthly cost. 

Typical lifecycle of a CRM project

Many businesses retain a Microsoft partner or consultant to help with the implementation. A budget is set for the project but often it does not reflect the true effort needed to successfully implement a complex solution like CRM. It is also common that the Microsoft partner/consultant basis their estimate on a time & materials basis, this creates a significant risk to the company as it bears the cost for any inaccurate estimates or “scope creep”.

Implementation begins and often times, very quickly, necessary items are discovered that are not accounted for in the estimate. The choices are to increase the budget to cover the additional necessary items or to forego these items (and the associated value).

At the end of the implementation, the Microsoft partner/consultants role is typically scaled back to a reactive support role. The most common support models offered by partners/consultants are hourly time & materials based support or a fixed-cost support agreement for “break/fix” support. Many businesses that implement a CRM solution do not have the internal resources or bandwidth to adequately support & maintain the solution. The business may not at this point be realizing the expected value of the solution (in some cases because those additional items discussed above were left out) and will not provide additional funding to enhance the solution.

Unless you have a dedicated CRM administrator and champion on staff, a “break/fix” type support contract will not provide the necessary level of service to maintain the solution. During design/planning for the implementation, it is impossible to capture all the necessary configuration/customizations that will be necessary to achieve success. Most often these items are discovered after testing and/or go-live. The problem is at this point there is no budget to further enhance the solution.

Even if the company does have a dedicated CRM administrator and champion on staff they most often cannot cover the entire solution. There are many layers of technology to a CRM solution, it is virtually impossible for a single resource to possess all the necessary skill sets to support the entire solution.

This is a “rock and hard-place” situation. The company will not provide any more funding for the CRM project as they are not realizing the expected value. The CRM solution will become static and not be enhanced thus the expected value may never be achieved.

Finally, critical items needed for success never make the radar. These items include ongoing user adoption monitoring/management, ongoing solution road mapping, management & executive engagement etc.

With collectively over 60 years of experience helping businesses achieve success, we wanted to develop a service that reduces risk, mitigates the failure points and helps assure success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365. LevelUP is a managed service specifically for Dynamics CRM/365. It is designed to solve the typical challenges that lead to failure in CRM projects. Our service is fixed cost providing a predictable budgeted expense, includes unlimited “break/fix” support, provides ongoing enhancement services, user adoption monitoring & management, training, ongoing road mapping and more. With Total Solution Management, you are gaining an entire team of highly experienced professionals in all areas of Dynamics CRM/365 to support and maintain your solution. No on-staff CRM resources are required however if you do have a CRM administrator/champion on staff we work closely with them and become their team.


We offer 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.

We are so confident that our Total Solution Management service will provide great value to your organization that we require NO upfront term commitment. We welcome the opportunity to discuss our service with you.

Contact Us for more information or to schedule your no-cost system review.

About David Buggy

David Buggy is the Founder & President of Strava Technology Group, a NJ based top Microsoft partner and one of the most experienced partners in the Microsoft channel on Customer Relationship Management. David is a veteran of the CRM industry with over 20 years of experience helping businesses successfully adopt and manage Customer Relationship Management solutions. David and his team have helped hundreds of organizations including Salvation Army, Stuart Haas Racing, and Penn State University plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner Consultant


    Signup to receive important updates on Dynamics 365

    Your email address is not shared or sold in any way