Why Are Some Organisations Still Struggling With CRM Adoption?

Given database ubiquity and technology literacy you would think sales organisations are now fully up to speed with their CRM. Below we give the most common reasons why some sales organisations are still behind the curve.

  1. History: Under previous management decisions were made that have either been difficult to unwind or have taken the organisation down a blind alley.
  2. Legacy systems: This can be to do with point 1 although there are still businesses in autumn 2010 that are still making legacy based decisions that will give them problems of functionality and scalability in the near future.
  3. Cost: Might be connected to the previous point, but sometimes simply driven by a lack of understanding in the profound and structural change technology is having on the customer/sales interface.
  4. Make not buy: Do not build your own unique thing. It is unsustainable and too expensive to change. Those that have are now scratching their heads.
  5. Previous bad choices: Selecting something that didn’t work very well that has killed the small amount of motivation and goodwill that was there beforehand.
  6. Salespeople are highly adaptive: In the absence of anything they will create something. Their own database, spreadsheet or diary system. At the single user level these can be quite sophisticated. They don’t want to give them up, they complain bitterly about how the new system isn’t as good as their own.
  7. Ignoring the holy trinity of field force technology adoption:
    – Connectivity first. People have to be able to log on easily, quickly and from anywhere.
    – Reliability second. The connection has to be robust, reasonably fast and always on.
    – Functionality third. It has to do what is says on the tin.
    It doesn’t matter how good it is in theory. If people can’t use it or stay on it without any effort they simply won’t use it.
  8. The CRM has to align with the sales process and workflow: Single entry inputting, real time, single view of the customer, and data integrity. All critical not optional requirements.
  9. Proper training with follow up coaching supported by the right hardware.
  10. Mandatory usage requirement: No double running systems, opt outs or discretion. Negative consequences for those that don’t align with the new ways of working.


Note: This isn’t a ‘majority will do’ list. All need to be present for take up to work.