CRM

5 CRM Failures to Avoid

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Grace Lau


With so many well-established traditional CRMs competing with new, beautifully designed CRMs every day, it can be hard to quickly choose one that will be a good fit for not only your business, but also your team.

Trial and error will be involved.

While we could just offer a list of benefits to sell you on a particular CRM or CRMs in general, it might be more interesting to look at why CRM rollouts fail—through the lens of real-life customers who’ve had not-so-great (or terrible) experiences with CRMs. After all, CRMs waste no time in presenting you with their best side: the best features, the best reporting, the best testimonials.

What CRMs don’t tell you—their weaknesses—on the other hand, can take weeks or even months to come up. So, we thought we’d save you some time.

In your own words, as told to the world on G2Crowd*, here are the types of CRM failures to avoid when you’re searching for a new tool to help manage your prospects, leads, customers, partners, and more.

1. The All-Flash CRM

The first type of CRM to look out for is the one with flashy features that aren’t actually useful. You might be a few weeks deep before you realize that you’ll never need to use “1,000 different reporting types” when three good ones would suffice.

"Too many features, too little functionality."

“You have to hire a consultant to build it the way you want it, which is expensive and takes a long time.”

2. The No-Flash CRM

This CRM is stuck in the 90s and was probably built without the help of any designers (or anyone with design sensibilities). Having a user-friendly CRM that’s pleasant to look at isn’t a “nice-to-have” anymore—if your team just isn’t using your CRM of choice in their everyday work like you wanted, this might be a reason why.

“The design is old and tired.”

“The learning curve is very steep, the app is all but useless, and the design interface looks like it’s straight out of the 90s.”

3. The Why-Doesn’t-This-Work CRM

It goes without saying that no CRM is perfect. But if it’s preventing you from completing basic tasks that are part of your everyday routine, then it’s probably time to look elsewhere and free yourself from that accumulating frustration.

“Many times when you upload the leads, they do not transfer correctly and/or do not transfer at all.”

“Emails don't associate to contacts / deals and I can't have more than 1 person per deal”

“Difficult to achieve simple tasks like edit notes in internal comments instead of simply adding a note.”

4. The Abandonment-Issues-in-the-Making CRM

You may think that a CRM is a great tool in your team’s arsenal, only to find out (after the free trial has ended and you’ve signed onto an annual plan) that your team actually gave up on using it a long time ago. How will you spot the overly steep learning curve or non-intuitive design that drives your team back to spreadsheets and manual data entry?

“Our sales team members overwhelmingly didn’t continue to use it after the initial push, used it incorrectly or inconsistently, or get into frustrated arguments over who was using it right.”

“Our organization has had it for nearly ten years, investing tens of thousands of dollars, and we all hate it. No more.”

5. The Magically-Gives-You-More-Work CRM

The CRM that everyone wants to avoid, whether you’re in management, sales, or customer support. This CRM often coincides with / leads to a type 4 CRM (“Abandonment-Issues-in-the-Making”) when users stop using it once they realize how much more work it creates.

“It’s INCREDIBLY time consuming. Don't have time to sell. I feel like a data entry clerk”

“Be prepared to have your sales team spending a lot more time typing at their desks rather than out in the field making sales.”

“It slows down every sales process I have ever seen used with it.”

Now that you’ve seen what bad CRM experiences look like, do you recognize any of these five CRM failures? Which ones have you and your team encountered? Which ones are putting your efficiency and productivity at risk now? There’s a wide world of free trials out there (this one, for example)—sign up for a few and find the CRM that do their job (and that your team will use)!

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*pulled from real reviews of CRM software on G2Crowd