It’s amazing how many times I hear, “We tried ABC’s CRM solution. It was worthless.” It seems every dealership expects their new CRM software to bail them out of all the bad habits they have had for years.
But according to Rick Cook’s article, Three Reasons CRM Fails at CRMSearch.com, there are three main reasons CRM projects fail up to 66% of the time, including “lack of focus,” “lack of commitment,” and “approaching CRM as a technology (only) solution.”
- Lack of Focus – As Cook states, “If you’re not sure what you’re trying to accomplish, don’t be surprised if you don’t accomplish it.” Your dealership needs to define what it’s looking for from its CRM initiative and outline clear, measurable goals. Only once those goals are clearly defined can a CRM tool be adequately applied to help manage the process. When users and managers stray from the defined goals, the effectiveness of the process greatly diminishes.
- Lack of Commitment – It is critical to the success of a CRM initiative that everyone from top management to front-line users be completely “bought in” to the process. Not only do they need to buy in, they need to be passionate about it. If there is even one gap along the way, the project will be destined for doom. A salesperson who thinks the new initiative or tool was forced upon them, a sales manager who refuses to manage each step, or a dealer who doesn’t hold his entire team accountable for making sure everyone is playing their part could each be the downfall of the entire process. The software will get blamed, but make no bones about it, the pe will have killed it.
- Thinking Technology Is the Solution – This common mistake gets to me more than any other. For some reason, many business people think a piece of hardware or software is a good substitute for human relationships. The technological solutions are great for keeping the process on track and reminding us when it’s time to do something, but the machines are not meant to replace us. As Cook explains in his article, “CRM must be a company wide effort that starts with customer strategies [that] are then automated with application software. You can’t just concentrate on the software and ignore the rest. The software is an enabler, not the be-all or end-all.”
So, as you evaluate your current CRM process or look to add a CRM tool to your business, look at your customer processes first. If necessary, change them, tweak them, re-engineer them, or do whatever you want with them to ensure your customers will be receiving the best of your entire dealership at all times. Once you have your customer management strategies clearly defined, choose a great CRM tool to integrate with those processes for ease of execution. Be sure your entire staff is fully engaged with the business decision and then hold everyone accountable for the results.
Now you have the best chance to be on your way to a very successful CRM implementation.
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