In many cases, the reason for the decision to replace the existing CRM system was because the technology became dated or newer technology failed to perform as advertised.
In other cases, particularly with newer platforms, the reasons for the decision to dispose of the product was not because the technology itself failed. The CRM initiative may have instead failed due to a lack of some or all of the following:
- Proper, pre-implementation planning
- End user involvement in the pre-purchase evaluation process
- Senior management involvement in the evaluation process
- A knowledge of ways to optimize the CRM system’s functionality
- An awareness of third party products that could fill gaps or provide big wins
Another reason we’ve heard for CRM disposal is disenchantment with the vendor’s policies. This often happens when there’s a change of personnel and there wasn’t a full hand-off of original vendor-provided information to newly involved staff. A example of this is when the old guard let the annual CRM maintenance and support policy lapse and the new guard is blindsided when they get a bill for the cost of reinstatement.
The Bad Word Syndrome
If things go badly enough for long enough, the name of the CRM system becomes a bad word within the organization. The brand itself has a irreparably negative connotation among many people, even if the system has the capability of working fine under the right set of circumstances.
Once the “bad word syndrome” has occurred, there’s a very low chance that the system can be rectified or successfully redeployed. Much of the time and money invested in the CRM system completely evaporates.
How can you avoid having a new CRM system eventually become a bad word? Begin by consciously avoiding the pitfalls listed above.
Also, make sure to memorialize the initial conversations with vendors about their pricing, policies and contracts. That will ensure that people who step in later do not feel blindsided when they learn of things, well after the fact, that were part of the originally provided information.