Ready to give up on your CRM deployment? Before you do, you should know: CRM is a huge market. It is valued at $63.91 billion today and projected to grow to $145.79 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 12.5%. Eighty-two percent of enterprises use CRM. Yet when I surveyed hundreds of business and IT decision-makers who had been directly involved in a CRM implementation project in the last 12 months, most of them told me that they were not successful with their CRM.

Here are the heartbreaking numbers. Sixty-eight percent struggle with getting a single view of the customer; 48% struggle with creating customer insight to drive decision-making; 39% struggle with data quality; 29% struggle with gaining cooperation across the organization to support CRM improvement projects; 15% struggle to change business — and the list goes on.

I hear constant complaints from Forrester clients who are unhappy with their CRM and want to replace it with a new one. And I always tell them that it’s not about software — CRM software is excellent, and all the vendors in our latest CRM Forrester Wave™ evaluation offer CRM core solutions and CRM suites chock-full of advanced capabilities. Read them to see what I mean! Instead, focus on the real problems that face your organization: a poorly defined CRM strategy and suboptimal governance and change management.

Key Reminders To Get The Most Out Of Your CRM

To be successful at CRM:

  • Do not just define, but CLARIFY, your CRM strategy. CRM technologies are a means, not an end. And they are not an IT technology project. You need deep business alignment, with IT in a supporting role. Before you start, you must define CRM objectives before implementing a new solution — objectives that are tied to real business outcomes. Is the goal of your CRM to transform your revenue operations for better accountability? Or to become more customer-centric by offering self-service portals to your customers to manage their issues? Companies often stumble due to a lack of business and IT alignment and a lack of an agreement on CRM goals, metrics, and funding. Read Define Your CRM Plan With Purpose for guidance on how to define your strategy.
  • Make sure that your change management process is not only adaptive but transformational. Change management is not a separate initiative or project. It’s an integral part of your deployment that addresses the human element of change. And it communicates to all users who are affected by this project what is in it for them — and why they should care about this project. To do this right, you need to set up a communications, training, onboarding, and measurement plan to bring your organization along with your CRM initiative. Read Change Management For CRM Deployment for guidance to understanding the six critical elements of managing change and how to be successful at it.

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