Five Reasons Why Your Field CRM Implementation May Fail

September 13, 2022

The implementation of a field CRM solution in sales organizations is no longer a topic up for debate. Companies have either already adopted such a solution or are in the process of doing so. If implemented correctly, a field CRM solution can enhance the productivity of the sales team and provide valuable input for strategic decisions. However, the last "if" is an important one and deserves serious consideration. According to independent research, the failure rate of such implementations is alarmingly high, ranging from 50% to 70% depending on the geography.

5 Reasons Your Field CRM Implementation May Fail

It goes without saying that it is very important for us to know why a field CRM implementation may go wrong so that necessary preventive measures can be taken well in advance. Here we have listed down five most important factors based on our experience of managing numerous field CRM implementations across different industries and geographies.

Lack of Long-Term Vision and Objective:

Most of the time, a decision to implement a field CRM is taken without having a definitive answer to the question "Why?" Companies are not sure about their end objective. Do they want to police their sales team, enable them with a tool that will make their life easier, or utilize the data collected from the point of sale to make important decisions? It's essential to have a long-term vision and objective before implementing a field CRM solution. Otherwise, the company stakeholders will realize that they are nowhere closer to what they want.

Bottom-Up Approach for Driving Adoption:

To ensure that the sales team is using the CRM mobile app, their KPI is set with the parameters related to data reporting using CRM. But these KPI parameters are not rolled up to their supervisors or higher-ups, which is a mistake. Senior leaders must drive adoption and facilitate change management. Before implementing such software, it's critical that business heads or function heads are part of the decision-making team so that they are also convinced about the benefits and own the decision to implement CRM. With senior leaders of the sales chain getting into action to make the initiative successful, the entire team will be excited, and there will be a tremendous boost in user adoption.

Poor Master Data Management:

More than 50% of IT implementation failures are due to poor quality of master data, and field CRM is not an exception. A CRM solution is going to be as good as the master data going into it. It's essential to have a clear data structure and answer important data structure questions such as the number of levels of product hierarchy that need to be captured and the number of different store attributes on which the business team may want to slice and dice the data. Senior stakeholders from the business side must be part of these discussions to minimize the chance of these answers getting changed in the future. Once the actual master data is migrated into the CRM, it must be clean, accurate, and relevant. Data concerns and data integrity must be taken seriously; otherwise, it may jeopardize the entire implementation at a later date.

Lack of Focus on Training and Support:

This is one area that many companies put in the back seat, and it's a perfect recipe for disaster. The success of an IT implementation depends on end-user adoption, which in turn depends on how comfortable they are using the system. It's crucial to train the end-users thoroughly and train them often to develop that comfort factor. When it comes to field CRM, interactive training (either classroom or through video-conferencing) with a live demo of the system is more effective. It's also essential to have ongoing and effective support available for the end-users to immediately resolve all the teething problems in the initial days and any other issues going forward.


In summary, it's prudent to spend more time prior to the implementation to finalize the details rather than hurrying into things that may lead to negative ROI and many other pains. It's all about asking the right set of questions and then brainstorming to find the right answers. That's what is required to make a field CRM implementation successful!