Noticing that your business isn’t running as smoothly as it should could mean that you have a CRM failure.

Sometimes your sixth sense feels there’s something wrong, doesn’t it? You get the feeling that your business isn’t working quite as smoothly as it should. Your teams appear on to be on top of things, but then a string of problems arise and you don’t know where they’ve come from.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

Your CRM might seem up to date. Then suddenly, some dead-cert sales seem to have gone cold. You ask your sales people about them, then they realise they lost track and didn’t put them in the CRM. This CRM failure means you’re no longer at the top of the game.

Maybe you start hearing complaints from customers with unresolved issues. After asking around, you realise emails got muddled and passed around between people. Nobody dealt with this CRM failure either.

According to the marketing team’s reports, there are lots of leads. So why is the sales pipeline slow? You ask around and there seems to be a blockage between sales and marketing. That spreadsheet wasn’t passed across because a member of staff was on holiday for three weeks.

Business growth leads to more problems and complexity.

Whether you have a CRM or not, as your company grows you’re likely to face these kinds of problems more and more. Things will run less and less smoothly, while scalability makes things even more complex. People from various departments face increasing frustrations because of existing CRM failures.

According to a study by the Merkle Group, 63% of CRM systems fail their organisation. That doesn’t include the countless unreported failures from businesses which still rely solely on emails and spreadsheets to keep things going.

So where do these problems come from and what can you do to solve them?

5 common reasons for CRM failure.

1. Lack of sufficient systems in place. Many businesses cope perfectly fine without a CRM for a while. But there comes a stage when problems arise, multiple people juggle difficult problems at once and it becomes more risky.

A good CRM system offers reminders and prompts for critical tasks. It keeps customer records in one place rather than in someone’s inbox. It means that everyone can keep on top of their workflows, while others can step in if there’s a problem, or if someone’s away.

2. Low and slow CRM adoption. According to a study by Gartner, 49% of respondents stated that slow user adoption of CRM systems had prevented their organisation from being more customer-centric.

With personal training that persuades end-users on the benefits, they’re more likely to use a CRM system.

3. Lack of buy-in from board. 38% of executives surveyed by the Merkle Group said that a lack of executive buy-in meant their CRM didn’t meet their business goals. By getting buy-in from the top down, everyone can be behind it. That means that C-level executives have a stake in the success of the CRM software.

4. Loss of sales time. 46% of Sales Initiative magazine’s readers stated that lost sales time is a major issue in choosing a CRM system. A customised sales CRM can minimise the data-collection, “time-wasting” elements of CRM and only ask for the most necessary elements.

5. Managers not leading from the front to get CRM adoption. CRM expert Paul Pitman at Collier Pickard tried all the tricks to get CRM user adoption. Making it look like Facebook, setting up mobile and tablet platforms and making commissions dependant on data entry were among many of his attempts

But then a free tactic did the trick. He used the system himself and his teams followed. Teams see their boss as an example, so if managers lead from the front, they are much more likely to use the CRM and improve the ROI of the system.

It’s important to act now.

You can palm these issues off. But what happens if a strategic client drops out because your team faced a busy time of year and couldn’t handle their support issues, due to a CRM failure? What happens if your CRM isn’t prioritising sales leads – and you lose the hottest ones?

It’s important to get the right CRM system in place before problems escalate and leave your business behind.

Learn more about getting everyone on your side by downloading your free eGuide: The ultimate guide to: winning board support