Tag: Managers

CRM Implementations: Five Most Common Ways Business Managers Sabotage Them

CRM Implementations: Five Most Common Ways Business Managers Sabotage Them

CRM business success depends on adoption. Ultimately it comes down to the buy-in from your end users and their full use of your CRM. Your CRM investment and results can be canceled out if users avoid or work around your CRM solution. All the detailed plans, pain staking research, vendor negotiations, and deployment efforts can be completely negated if your users fail to use the system.

Why do users avoid using CRM? The reasons are many, ranging from a desire to obscure efforts from business managers to a simple resistance to change. Change is tough — but not changing is much tougher, so managers need to coach employees through the transition from “the way we’ve always done it” to the use of a CRM system.

Business leaders can guide their staffs to the full use of CRM, they can also contribute to CRM adoption failures. CRM doesn’t demand a new way of thinking from the sales, marketing and service staffs alone – it also means a change of thinking for management. Remaining anchored in old ways of thinking can set the stage for CRM efforts to fall flat and for investment to be wasted.

Here are the five most common ways business managers unwittingly damage CRM adoption within their organizations.

1. Highlight CRM As A Sales Manager’s Tool And Ignore It As A Sales Representative’s Tool

The aggregation of sales data is one of CRM’s most useful capabilities, and it gives sales managers better visibility into their sales pipelines and their sales staff’s performance. However, emphasizing this to your sales staff without also pointing out how it makes their lives easier and more lucrative is a major de-motivator. While the manager is able to quickly and easily see data and use it to make decisions, that capability comes only when his reps are entering the data into the system. Unless managers emphasize how the sales reps benefit from the system, they’re going to feel like they’re trading time spent selling for time spent being their manager’s data-entry clerk.

2. Turn CRM Into Sales Managers’ Automated Tattletales

Sales managers need to be able to spot negative trends before they become problems, but how they react to these trends can erode the sales staff’s willingness to report on its actions within the CRM system. A heavy-handed response to something that CRM is revealing is likely to result in less enthusiastic use of the system. It’s akin to reps exercising their Fifth Amendment rights — why testify against yourself by entering data your manager will use against you?

3. Feel Compelled To Use Every Feature

CRM systems are increasingly designed to be customizable, and that often means that they include many fields that may not be used. The worst thing that managers can do is to invent data types to be collected just to use all these fields. Some business managers are too enamored by the possibilities of all this data, and others are convinced that using them all justifies their IT spend. The end result for the users is a cumbersome, off-putting mandate to input data they know they’ll never use — and a desire to never use the CRM system again.

4. Hang On To Pet Processes At The Expense Of CRM

The opposite of a manager who’s too enamored of technology is a manager who still wants to cling to some vestige of the way he’s always worked — and to accommodate that desire, he inflicts a needless work-around into how his staff uses the CRM system. Modern CRM solutions usually include some corollary to these processes that the manager has either not seen or is not trained on; refusing to adapt is selfish and an effective way to foment rebellion in your staff.

5. Jealously Guard Their CRM Turf Inside The Company

Because of how CRM enters into companies — often, through the sales organization — there can be a tendency to see it as a salesforce automation tool first and everything else it offers last. Business managers do their companies a disservice when they fend off efforts from marketing, support and other parts of the company hoping to integrate their activities with the CRM system. Instead of breaking down information silos, this allows the CRM system to become another silo, preserves the curse of sales/marketing misalignment, calls into question the value of a CRM investment and allows CRM efforts to stagnate.

Avoiding these five ways business mangers sabotage their CRM implementation is key and happens far more frequently than most people realize.

Chris Bucholtz is Editor in Chief of CRM Outsiders and a founding editor of both InsideCRM and Forecasting Clouds. For more information on how to build your small and medium size business’s success with Small Business CRM please visit http://www.sugarcrm.com

Related Crm Articles