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CRM implementation: what mistakes are there and how to avoid them

# CRM implementation: what mistakes are there and how to avoid them

CRM implementation: what mistakes are there and how to avoid them

Table of Contents

Anastasia Romanova


Anastasia Romanova

Content Manager

Category: Software
5 min read

Everybody makes mistakes and that’s no secret. But if we’re talking about software, especially CRM-systems implementation, flaws can be a serious obstacle to the success you’ve dreamt about. This is exactly why we created this article! Here we will look at some of the most typical CRM implementation mistakes you or your team can struggle with. But not only look at - we’ll figure out how to not encounter them in the CRM implementation process. As a software development company, we’ve known the insights of software adoption. So maybe if you’ll listen to our simple tips, you won’t have to worry about the software effectiveness.

So what are the most common CRM implementation mistakes that people make? We’ll try to figure out in this article.


What is a CRM and why you do need to implement it

CRM system is an IT solution for improvements and automation of customer relations management. This type of software integration will multiply your sales, optimize marketing, customer service and support, keep track of customer relations history, improve your company’s workflow and results’ analysis.

For a CRM system, the customer’s word is a command. They are the center of CRM implementation philosophy as they should be in any customer service system. So the answer to the question “why a businessman needs it” is crystal clear: this software solution provides companies with a possibility to improve and optimize sales schedules to ensure that customers aren’t ignored. This IT-solution will prioritize the tasks in the right order to make sure you fulfill the buyers’ requirements. This is how you’ll empower your business with a strong clients’ base.

There are more proofs that’ll help you understand the need in CRM implementation. 3 interesting statistics below will demonstrate best what is the main advantage of such systems.


If you want to know more about CRM implementation and development, and it’s advantages for a business, read other articles about it on our blog.


5 typical CRM implementation mistakes and how you can avoid them

Creating something successful is impossible without mistakes and it is perfectly fine if your CRM implementation is not entirely perfect. Nevertheless, you need to solve the problems and fight the mistakes to draw the lessons out of them. So now we’ll talk about the most common challenges in CRM implementation that may lead you to a failure. And, of course, we’ll uncover how you can prevent them.


.1 You didn’t figure out your business needs and target audience’s requirements

If you forgot to take this step, there is a 99.9% possibility that the CRM-system will fail. Without a clear previously formed strategy, you won’t know for sure what you actually need to achieve with a CRM-system on board. This won’t only make you a “blind kitten” on the market but will also affect your business in general, making CRM implementation entirely pointless.

You won’t be able to uncover your business full potential without evaluating its needs and goals.

CRM system development isn’t only a step towards your business enhanced effectiveness, it’s an investment. And to make this investment return in the future, you need to understand what are your goals in CRM implementation. This way you will reveal the true capacity of this software type in your business. And only this way you can assure that the CRM system will really improve your company’s workflow, and won’t be a pointless addition.

The understanding of expectations you have towards the investment is crucial, because it has to pay off in the end. This is why CRM implementation has to be correlated by the return of investment (ROI) strategy.

Perhaps you see the benefits of CRM implementation in something different than payback: the client base growth, the customers’ service improvements, etc., but it has to be counted in the strategy. It all leads to the growth of your profits in the end.

The goals of your ROI strategy may be as followed:

  • increased number of purchases;
  • growth of profits you get from one customer;
  • growth of annual profits;
  • cutting costs you spend on customers attraction;
  • longer cooperation with customers (a.k.a increased number of regular customers);
  • making the one sales cycle shorter;
  • speeding up the company’s workflow in general.

These are not all the goals you need to achieve in terms of your ROI strategy; the thing is to adjust your goals to your specific business needs and workflow. This way you’ll complete your strategy and will be able to improve your business workflow. Aside from this, if you don’t want CRM implementation to go for nothing, you may set additional - intermediate - goals in addition to the final one. By doing so you’ll build a perfect roadmap for CRM implementation.

This typical mistake may not even reach you if you work with a reliable technical partner. For example, we in MassMedia Group have IT-consulting which includes estimation, planning, and expert recommendations on CRM system development, implementation, and post-release evolution. We’re also more than ready to analyze your business, market segment, and competitors to find your company’s real advantages. This way, your real business needs, and goals can be easily determined, and the CRM development will be aimed at their fulfillment.


.2 You orient on a budget only

Yes, your finances are an important part of your project and we won’t say otherwise. Yes, you need to base your CRM implementation process on it. But alas, your budget cannot be your only orientation in this matter. You will have to find the developers who are ready to work on the rates you’re willing to provide them. And if your budget is limited you will have to cut the CRM system functionality. But don’t rush to “cut” on features that might be crucial for your project’s life.

For example, many startups or companies with limited finances may prefer an off-the-shelf solution to the custom one. But the ready-made CRM system may not have all the functionality you need to fully uncover your business potential. Aside from this, these solutions may have the included features you don’t need at all (but you’ll pay a monthly fee for them nonetheless).

Ready-made solutions may be an option if your business doesn't have specific needs or a complicated structure yet. Then a CRM system like this can cover all your needs perfectly (for some time). But if things are opposite and your company’s special needs require special attention you’ll have to consider custom software as a perfect option for you.

It will appear more expensive from the start, but soon you’ll notice that it pays off by not having monthly fees and being more flexible. This way you’ll be able to scale your CRM after it’s implementation, add new features when needed, or even improve it with innovative technologies.

With an analysis of your company and budget, a reliable technical partner will help you create a work strategy that will support your company's load on the budget. In addition, this mistake can be compensated by the potential use of intermediate products - by developing a custom solution, it is possible to create a prototype and a Minimum Viable Product.

This will be the thing that’ll allow you to integrate the CRM system into your company’s workflow. If something goes wrong you may take a break from software development by still continuing using MVP. In some cases, this decision may be the best option since even MVP of a custom solution has all the basic features that are needed for your business significant improvements.


.3 No evaluation of CRM integration effectiveness

CRM development is not about software only - this process will affect your business strategy. You can’t just integrate the CRM-system in your business workflow and wait that it’ll magically solve all of your problems. Even if you wrote it down. Even if you already know what you need. It isn’t that simple. To make a correct estimation of CRM integration you need to use an optimal list of metrics for it. We say “need” because it’s crucial for your software effectiveness and, in general, its correct operation. Right now we’ll tell you about some of them and maybe it’ll help you to evaluate your CRM effectiveness.

Close rate

This is a metric that indicates the number of closed deals you’ve had. The mechanism of its work is somewhat like this: if you have 100 potential clients and you work with only 10 of them, your close rate is 10%. The bigger this number is, the better your CRM works. But you have to pay attention to the quality of those deals as well. You may have a closing rate of about 70% and still have financial troubles because your financial return from the client is lower than the number of deals you have.

Upsell rate

To put it simple, this indicates your company’s ability to sell more. If your customer wanted to buy nails and left your shop with also “a unique, amazing, 20% quicker and 40% cheaper than competitive offers” hammer - you have an impressive upsell rate. CRM implementation can increase this indicator by better customer relationships (which is pretty obvious) and better task management in general. If you see that your upsell rate is going higher, it means that you successfully managed the CRM implementation.

Length of the sales process

This metric is designed to indicate how long your whole sales cycle takes. To put it simply, this indicates how annoyed your customers are. It affects everyone who works with you - buyers won’t come back if they’ll be bored with the registration and verifications system. Or if the payment system is not quite comfortable to use. The more people have to wait on every step of buying something - the less is the possibility that they’ll come back for more. If your CRM system is integrated successfully, you will be able to identify the flaws in the sales process and correct them. This way you’ll speed up the slowest processes in your company’s workflow.

It is, of course, not all of the metrics that may help you to track the CRM system’s effectiveness. But in our humble opinion, these are the most essential ones and will help you to improve the CRM system.


.4 You didn’t provide your employees with all the necessary information

We have already mentioned that the CRM system implementation should be a strategy. And any new strategy integration requires attention from both the CEO and the company's employees. High-quality staff training can ensure the proper efficiency of a CRM implementation, just as much as its absence guarantees the system’s failure.

The main thing you should be afraid of is a panic in the ranks of your employees. They may have a mistrust or misconceptions towards the CRM implementation or the software and technologies in general.

For example, the misbeliefs you may encounter most often are:

  • that CRM system will take your people’s place, instead of improving their job;
  • that a system like this is made for spying on employees, controlling their job-activity;
  • some of your staff may also resist the CRM implementation because they simply don’t understand why your business needs it.

This is likely to create unpleasant situations within the company, from the conflicts up to the negative attitude towards CRM integration. If your staff doesn’t have a clear understanding of why the system is needed, or what goals the business is trying to achieve with it, they may have difficulties with the adoption of the new software.

In addition, some employees may simply not know how to work with the CRM system, and it is your job to show your staff what is expected of them.

If you didn’t arrange the staff training, people will make your CRM integration entirely pointless or lead it to failure. To avoid this mistake, try to conduct a company’s survey to figure out how your employees feel about new software. Make it clear to them why do you even need it and what goals the CRM system is meant to cover in your company. You may also need to clarify for your staff how to work with new software.

We at MassMedia Group provide our clients with a detailed CRM integration plan and train our clients’ employees. With it, your staff will be ready to contribute to the new system and we are eager to help you with that.


.5 Wrongly assembled team

As Insight Management Consulting infographic shows, around 64% of your CRM implementation success is on internal human resources, and 56% is on external consultants’ support. Meanwhile, the quality of your technical solution is considered to be a key success factor no more than in 45% of cases.


We’re not trying to say that technical solutions are not important - of course, they are! But the team that develops and implements the CRM system is still crucial. The right people to work with this software inside your company are those who know why your business needs CRM in the first place. It has to be your middle and top managers as well to ensure that the whole working process is organized correctly.

We can’t give you better advice than to assure that your people are united and their work is smooth. You know your business better than us so only you can gather the team who orients on the CRM system success and doesn’t have a mistrust of the technologies.

But the external team is another thing - here we can advise you how to do better!

The developer can also be a stumbling stone in your workflow. If people who work on your CRM system don't know the specifications of your business or if you assemble the team poorly it can affect both the quality and effectiveness of the software.

For example, if the team working on a CRM system does not have a business analyst, they will have difficulties in assessing the real needs of your company. If the lead developer isn’t on board, you may encounter a breach in the developers’ work, which will affect the final quality of the system.

As a company that has developed hundreds of projects, we can tell you exactly which people should be part of the team for CRM implementation. So, there must be:

  • front- and back-end developers to create a comfortable user-friendly CRM system;
  • a business analyst to help you assess the real needs of your business, analyze competitors and select the needed features based on your company's requirements;
  • a project manager who will coordinate the whole process to the smallest detail according to your requirements;
  • business development manager who will select for you the best of the best specialists available in the development company;
  • lead developer - the person who will take responsibility for your future CRM system development.

We’re more than ready to find a dream-team for you on the personal consultation. One thing that we can guarantee - you will feel comfortable working with our specialists.

Remember that the first thing that CRM integration changes is your business strategy. It isn’t just new technical possibilities, it’s a philosophy. Better customer resource management will help you achieve truly amazing results, but only if you, your finances, and your people are ready for it.

We know that there is nothing impossible and your CRM implementation success is one of the most real things in the world.

Especially if you do have a reliable technical partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CRM system?


CRM abbreviation stands for customer relationship management and de facto is software that is meant to automate this complicated process. It is a software that is aimed to automate your company’s relations with the customers, optimize marketing, and make more successful deals.

What a CRM system can do?


With a CRM system you’ll be able to achieve sales improvement, optimize customer service and marketing, preserve customer relations history, and improve business process and analysis of results. The level of automation you’ll reach with this system will help you significantly increase the speed of your company’s workflow.

Why do I need a CRM system?


This system can help you organize your workflow in order to ensure that you satisfy your customers, don’t ignore their needs, and make the sales process more comfortable and quick.

How can a CRM system implementation change my business for the better?


With it you’ll have a possibility to improve and optimize sales schedules to ensure that your tasks are prioritized in the right order to make sure you fulfill the requirements of your buyers. This way your business will be empowered with a stronger client base.

How do I know if my CRM system is efficient?


.1 Close rate <br> This is a metric that indicates the number of closed deals you’ve had.<br> .2 Upsell rate<br> Roughly speaking, it is the ability of your company to sell more.<br> .3 Length of the sales process <br> This indicates how long does it take to go through your whole sales cycle, from offer selection to a closed deal.