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Challenges of Opensource CRM

By September 3, 2020August 18th, 2021SuiteCRM

There are many problems that arise with a CRM system.  The initial problem begins with the expensive costs that occur when Opensource CRM implementing the system.  It is a huge investment to maintain a customer database.  The additional expense comes from the money needed for the computer hardware, software, and personnel that is needed to maintain it.  

These exorbitant costs can lead to a negative vibe within the company and can result in a CRM collapse.  Next arises the problem of an inadequate focus on objectives.  

This typically occurs after the CRM system is implemented.  When hard times hit, the organization may lose sight of its goals and eventually steer away from the clearly laid out objectives.  Goals may get interchanged and ultimately lose their original importance.  

A CRM system is far from simple.  Being that it is such a complex system also comes into play as a challenge.  Sufficient training needs to be given to employees in order for them to comprehend and deal with the difficulties easily.  Companies need to keep in mind that the business needs are the most important.  The problem comes from the fact that although the system is based on the customer, the employees need to be too.  It is highly essential for the company to put in effort to focus their employees.  This can also be very expensive.  The final challenge of a CRM system is the fact that it gives off slow returns.  The large investment that was originally spent may not show returns for years.  

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Companies around the world have leveraged CRM strategies to gain competitive advantage. As more and more companies rush to implement CRM, precautions must be taken to do it right. It is approximated that 50-70% CRM implementations fail, depending on the Industry vertical – it is essential to identify the key challenges, address risks and build a strategy that can make your CRM successful. CRM talks about strategy, but at the end of the day, someone has to lead the way and implement it. Listed below are some practical tips to consider when building effective CRM strategies and implementation plans.

  • Getting Clarity on Objectives:

Unlike other software implementations, IT teams alone should not be expected to roll out a CRM system. It is very critical for companies to form a core CRM team, which in addition to IT draws participation from the top management plus senior executives of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service departments and subsequently the end-users. Decisions related to the implementation should be discussed in this forum.

  • The Costing Iceberg:

It is not unusual for CRM implementations to overrun costs and timelines. When assessing the costing, always calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). There are two ways of implementing CRM – the license model or the ASP (hosted) model. In the former model, licenses typically represent 9 – 18% of the TCO. The actual TCO will need to include the cost of hardware, software, engineering, operations, AMCs, etc. On the other hand, in the ASP model, a subscription fee represents the true TCO. Since, ASP models offer a fully managed and a continuously evolving system, it also saves implementation time, upgrade costs and ownership hassles. Any implementation delay also has a cost associated with it, in the form of lost time and opportunities.

  • Achieving User Adoption:

User Adoption is the key to success for any CRM. It is important to design effective training programs in order to provide an understanding to end-users for them to be able to effectively use the system. Ensure that the user interface is kept simple. Consultants often underestimate or miss the motivation required to get the end-users to start using the system. 

  • Managing the Application:

Once the CRM has been rolled-out, it is important to re-align the working culture of teams around it. At times, the “as-is” bug bites people. To illustrate, the VP sales directs his sales team to carry excel sheet print-outs of their pipeline when coming for a review. Here, either the report was not configured well in the system, or users have not been updating it enough. Such scenarios need immediate correction or else the CRM system will slowly lose its relevance. The core team must review such anomalies from time-to-time.

  • Process, Process, Process:

Clearly defined processes and their enforcement are critical to the success of any CRM rollout. The objective is to cut out the ambiguity in the system. It is advisable to create a central depositary, accessible to all, which stores all process definitions. Some key processes that need to be defined are the Change Management process, Feature Re-evaluation process, Success Evaluation process, Business Flows, etc. Any process implemented via the CRM solution, must map your real-world process and vice-versa.

  • Finding the Right Partner:

The results of CRM success go up considerably with the right solution partner. While strategy consultants are good, it is the solution partner who will make it work. Ideally, select a partner who can do both – strategy & implementation. It is important that your partner shares the risks of your implementation. Pay only for success. While global knowledge bases are impressive, local issues can often negate these learnings. Work with a vendor who understands local work cultures, technology limitations, cultural sensitivities and is willing to listen.


In today’s world, CRM can bring numerous advantages to an organization. Though the model is not entirely without risks, with a well-planned strategy and implementation framework companies can implement Opensource CRM successfully resulting in better productivity and customer satisfaction.

The success of any CRM implementation largely depends on the ability of the users to efficiently work with the system. This is the best way to know more about the SuiteCRM Training.

Nasir Khan - CRM Author

Nasir Khan - CRM Author

Deployed robust sales, marketing and customer support automation systems and implemented industry best practices/processes across verticals such as BFSI, Manufacturing, Real Estate, IT, ITES, eCommerce, Education etc.,