In 25 years of helping sales teams implement CRM solutions, I’ve learned there are two main reasons that CRM projects get stalled. And believe it or not, that is happening to a LOT of businesses!
As a CRM vendor, we’ve studied the reasons that deals don’t close and by an overwhelming majority, the primary reason is that the customer just never makes a decision. In other words, a business starts looking for sales automation and CRM solutions, talks to vendors, gets demos, have internal meetings about important requirements, etc. and then just never decides on a solution.
Why is that? From my experience, the two most common reasons are:
Unable to Reach Consensus on CRM Requirements and Capabilities
Often, CRM projects start off as a tool the VP of Sales needs but, the requirements very quickly expand to include marketing and customer service functions and information exchanges. So, now there are multiple decision makers at the table each with their own list of priorities. Even within a typical sales organization, it’s difficult to find a CRM solution that has all the bells and whistles possibly needed for Lead Generation, Inside Sales, Outside Sales, Pipeline Management, Contract Management and all the other things that your sales team may want to do. If you take that list and add to it all the tools your marketing team might like to have and the same for customer service, the list becomes extremely long and you’ll find there are no “out of the box” CRM systems with all of these capabilities. So, either your project just got much more involved, with the need to integrate and customize several technologies, or everyone’s going to have to choose what they can live without.
This is where things stall. There may not be budget or patience for building an all encompassing system for the entire organization. And there may not be enough agreement among departments to reach agreement on compromises.
Lack of Executive Support/Leadership
Of course, when you’re marketing, sales and customer service departments can’t agree on priorities, that’s when executive leadership is supposed to make the decisions for you. But, technologies like sales and marketing automation are often a bottom up decision internally. Management closer to the sales and marketing departments recognize the need but, executive management can’t see how it directly impacts the bottom line.
So, the Sales VP and the Marketing Director pitch executive management on a project that is massive in scope, in order to accommodate all the constituencies. And that’s not likely to fly anywhere.
Or perhaps leadership is completely out of the loop, which as described above, leaves no referee to prioritize requirements and so, no vendor can be agreed on and everyone just loses patience and goes back to work with the tools they have at hand.
Believe it or not, a large portion of successful businesses in the US do not have a CRM solution implemented. And the reasons are above.
So, if you’re CRM dreams have stalled, the answer is to sell the concept to the C level first. Get them on board and get boundaries from the C suite and focus all requirements discussions and vendor demos within those boundaries.
If your CRM project has stalled for budgetary reasons, let a SalesNexus consultant tell you about our CRM Implementation packages that help document requirements and workflows and set things up quickly and affordably.