It’s amazing how many times I hear “We tried ABC’s CRM solution. It was worthless.” Every dealership expects the new CRM software to bail them out of all the bad habits they have had for years. According to CRMSearch.com*, there are three main reasons CRM projects fail up to 66% of the time.
1. Lack of Focus – A dealership needs to define what it is looking for from its CRM initiative. Once those goals are clearly defined in measurable metrics, only then can a CRM tool be applied to help manage the process. As stated by CRMSearch.com, “If you’re not sure what you’re trying to accomplish, don’t be surprised if you don’t accomplish it. “ When users and managers stray from the defined goals, the effectiveness of the process is greatly diminished.
2. Lack of Commitment – It is critical to the success of a CRM initiative that everyone from top management to front-line users is completely bought into the process. Not only do they need to be bought in, they need to be passionate about it. If there is one gap along the way, the project is destined for doom. A salesperson who thinks the sales force automation (SFA) 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 will be the downfall of the entire process. The software will get blamed, but make no bones about it, the people killed it.
3. Thinking Technology is the Solution – This one gets to me more than any other. For some reason businesses think a technological piece of hardware or software is a good substitute for human relationships. The digital 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. The research shows us that CRM must be a company wide effort that starts with customer strategies which 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.
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 to 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 those processes into 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.