Why one in three CRM implementations fail

4 min read
Apr 29, 2024 10:38:49 AM
In collaboration with Emerce - A well-functioning CRM platform is one of the most important pillars in your organization to ensure growth and customer satisfaction. Yet a large portion of CRM implementations are doomed to fail.


In 2001, Gartner published survey results showing that 50 to 70 percent of CRM initiatives stranded. Since then, new studies have shown that this percentage has hovered between 20 and 70. Why is it that organizations get stuck on a new CRM time after time? Do they understand what a CRM is and how to implement it?

The CRM as the holy grail

HubSpot is still known to many as a marketing automation tool, but by now it holds much prestige as a full-fledged CRM platform that supports your commercial processes through centralized data, messaging, automation, content and reporting tools. Combine that with a turn-key solution that gets you up and running in a minute, a strong user interface and good credentials, and you've got a no-brainer on your hands: turn it on and get started!

Yet it can soon start to squeak and creak: the marketing team uses the CRM platform as if their lives depended on it, but sales only logs in once in a while and then continues to work doodling in their Excel sheets. The accountant wants to link customer data with Exact, but IT wasn't even aware of a CRM platform. And then the CFO shows up at the door with a cost....

After a smooth start, frictions arise

A number of clear patterns can be identified in CRM implementations that are struggling:

  • Too little support
    Often, when a new system is introduced, too little consideration is given to the stakeholders in the organization. Teams feel that they have not been part of the implementation, IT managers feel passed over and the CFO is not aware of the platform until the first invoice appears.
  • Commercial processes not properly mapped
    If the design of a CRM platform is not a reflection of what is actually happening on the shop floor, the engine stalls: processes full of friction, communication that doesn't work, or works poorly, and unclear responsibilities.
  • Platform not properly integrated
    Every organization has countless systems with processes and data set up. If these are not connected to the CRM platform, silos of teams are created, each with their own processes and data. They are insufficiently able to service the customer properly because there is too little insight into what is going on.
  • Little knowledge about the platform
    HubSpot as a CRM platform has an enormous amount of functionality on board, making it easy to get bogged down in all the possibilities. As a result, different teams implement the same processes in different ways and frustration arises in use, resulting in dropouts.
  • Poor quality and contaminated data
    The data in your organization has grown over time. Its quality varies: your mailforms have produced mediocre quality, but your financial records are top notch. Handling poor data sources for your CRM platform results in friction and poorly running processes.
  • Insufficient insight into results.
    Insufficient insight into what the CRM platform delivers can be just the drop that makes the bucket overflow: in addition to complaints from within the organization, the added value is now questioned and it is virtually impossible to optimize your processes.

Roadmap for a successful CRM implementation

If you recognize one of the above points in your own organization, you will naturally ask yourself: how do you ensure a successful launch of a new CRM platform?

  • Create support
    From day one, invite the stakeholders to be part of the CRM implementation: the team leads, the CFO, IT, administration, etcetera. By including them in the initial choices and periodic updates, it's going to help you tremendously later on to keep their noses in the same direction.
  • Map the commercial processes
    Together, draw a picture of the most important commercial processes in your organization and use this as a common thread throughout the CRM implementation. By setting up workflows and communication in such a way that it always relates back to your processes, you avoid friction and surprises among the teams.

  • Draw up a technical roadmap
    Map out your technical landscape and determine what changes you want to make over the next year: introducing the CRM platform, saying goodbye to legacy systems and integrating existing systems. The better you integrate the CRM, the better you'll keep track of all activities around your customers and teams.

  • Train your teams on the CRM
    Make sure everyone who will be working directly with the CRM is aware of the functionalities and the processes set up. TheHubSpot Academy contains lots of material to get you up to speed quickly, and internal training sessions can help you tackle many questions ahead of time.
  • Secure data quality
    Determine the quality of the data in your systems: is the data complete? How is correctness guaranteed? Organize a data cleanup where necessary and improve your processes to improve the quality of incoming data.

  • Make results measurable
    Make sure you have a plan for making your results measurable: define KPIs based on your goals and use the data from your commercial processes in the CRM to back this up. HubSpot offers tremendous opportunities to organize dashboards that allow you to see at a glance whether you are on track.

By getting ahead of friction in the introduction of a new CRM, you significantly increase the chances of a successful CRM implementation. Your customers feel better served, teams work better together and your organization can finally realize its full growth potential.


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