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Executing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy is a complex process.

It’s important to understand that.

Streamlining communications, breaking down departmental silos, harnessing automation to improve the sales process. It’s a dream when the system comes alive but it can be a tricky process to achieve.

Sadly, many businesses embark on the journey without fully considering some key principles which can prevent a CRM failure.

There are three common reasons that frequently come up. So, what are they?

1. Objectives are not clearly defined to get team buy-in

Your CRM vision needs to be clear, concise and recitable within 30 seconds. This is the future of your business, you need to know the outcome you want to achieve before you can set the direction.

At the outset of deciding to implement a CRM, your business should have identified obstacles it needs to overcome.

These business objectives are the key to defining the vision for your CRM.

Common objectives often include a desire to increase leads, improve sales close rates, increase the average package price and improve the accuracy of sales forecasts.

Once implemented, your CRM will be the epicentre of activity. It will shape team activity, influence decisions based on customer data and be the key source of all customer communications.

Allowing your team to participate in the vision and objectives fosters collaboration from the outset, increasing employee engagement and user adoption.

Low employee adoption and the absence of vital process knowledge in the CRM build is one of the biggest reasons for CRM failure.

You MUST have staff buy-in for your vision and objectives. They need to know how they can help bring the vision into reality and ultimately how it will make their lives easier.

For example:

Businesses that use a CRM can boost sales up to 30%. Studies have also shown revenue boosts at the individual sales employee level and company level, seeing a boost of up to 41% per sales rep.


From a sales perspective, statistics such as the above can be a powerful tool in motivating sales teams to buy into the objectives of the wider business.

Give your team the overall vision to identify how they can play into it. Otherwise, you’re pushing a system that they will see as more of a hindrance than a help.

Guide: 5 Things that go wring with an ERP Project

2. The sales methodology is not agreed upon before configuration has started

A subset of your objectives is your department goals, of which lies the critical beast of defining your sales process and methodology.

This is a multistage process that will rely on shared team knowledge.

Your sales team will need to investigate and define the ‘who’, ‘why’, and ‘how’, of everything they do. They need to communicate a deep understanding of their ideal customer and their motivations for proceeding with a sale.

These questions will help define the pathway and stages to deliver a lead into a sale.

Your sales process is the blueprint from first customer interaction to an onboarded client. All sales processes are unique to the individual business, but all use sales methodologies that are commonly practised across different industries.

It’s important to formalise the system of principles that guide how a sales team should act within and between sales stages. At its core, sales methodology is designed to empower sales representatives by equipping them with proven approaches to overcome objections.

This methodology will then feed into the CRM configuration.

To define the sales stages, businesses need to identify what is the pathway to progress a lead into a sale and then assign a percentage of chance to win from that sales stage.

In the table below, we explore an example of the sales stages and the percentage of chance to win in each stage. This can be a useful tool to copy into your own sales process.


For an example of how this then translates into a CRM sales configuration; at the initial meeting the BANT (budget, authority, needs, and timeline) qualification sales methodology is used to determine how a lead is qualified before it progresses to the next sales stage.

  • Budget: What are the customers pricing expectations and do they have a budget?
  • Authority: Are there multiple stakeholders in the decision-making process and who will make the final decision to proceed with the purchase?
  • Need: What challenges or compelling events are driving their enquiry?
  • Time: What is their buying timeframe and is the timeline realistic?

Since we have defined the methodology of this stage (initial meeting) in this example, we can begin working on the CRM strategy that will surround this process. We know precisely what information is required and what information needs to be gathered at the initial meeting for it to be considered successful.

A good CRM will ensure your team follows the methodology and support their activities with prompts and reminders to improve their selling practices.

But, the most important thing is to have that process solidified before any configuration has started.

Sales Stage

Percentage to win

Initial Meeting


Requirements Gathering


Technical Assessment


Product Demonstration


Proposal Negotiation


Verbal Win


Customer Win


3. Staff do not use the CRM in a rigorous way

Training materials and coaching sessions are the foundation to ensuring an effective and consistent application of your processes. The set methodology should be well documented with key concepts broken into digestible segments of information and formulated into a user guide.

Learning to adopt new processes does not occur overnight. It requires regular coaching sessions with user guides and routinely explaining the metrics which supports CRM adoption.

Creating a culture of regular feedback enables employees to use the CRM to its fullest potential.

Review how your employees have used the CRM system and think about rewarding those who use it well. The reward system is a great way to get everyone moving in the same direction


Once your team has moved past training, embed CRM compliance into your weekly sales meeting. During meetings, all reports and key performance indicators should be presented from the live CRM.

This allows teams to highlight issues with data and drill the methodology by referencing the stages and highlighting where users have made mistakes.

Don't allow the skill gap within your team to increase. Identifying non-compliance informs which team members need 1:1 skill development. Persistent coaching not only prevents non-compliance but creates accountability.

When team members are informed of how sales performance is measured they are more likely to be on board with the process in order to avoid scrutiny.

Likewise, measuring the rate and number of deals moving from closed-to-won allows you to make judgements about the effectiveness of the methodology.

Discipline of sales methodology and accuracy of retained information are the basis of a successful CRM.


Enable your team to do incredible things

Enabling your team with the right tools increases process efficiency and the accuracy of data. With disciplined practices, your CRM should be resulting in reduced sales cycles, high conversion rates and will lead to larger deal sizes.

Netsuite makes it easy to track closure metrics and gauge the effectiveness of your sales method in a single, streamlined system.

Chat to the Klugo team for evaluation assistance and a tailored solution to optimise your business.

Klugo, one team to unlock the full operating potential of your business.

NetSuite + NextService

Supporting wholesale distribution, manufacturing and field service customers across Australia and New Zealand.

We are dedicated to optimising your systems and business practices to create tangible value. Our Agile business engagement reacts to rapidly changing market and trading conditions ensuring that you maintain operational excellence.

Since 2012 Klugo has helped hundreds of wholesale distribution, manufacturing and field service customers maximise their potential and grow.

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