Why CRM customizations fail at stakeholder engagement
- CRM implementation has a high risk of failure. CRM systems are reported to have more than a 50% risk of failure. If CRM can’t succeed in its own backyard, how can it possibly cope with – let alone excel in – the increasingly complex world of stakeholder management?
- CRM systems are not built with stakeholder management in mind. CRM systems are designed for streamlining the key aspects of customer interactions, not for visualizing project infrastructure and identifying key stakeholders. Asking CRM to do so will only increase the risk of engagement activities not being properly targeted and social risks not being adequately managed, which in turn increases community engagement costs. Remember that while most customers will be stakeholders to varying degree, not all stakeholders will be customers. That means they will have very different needs and interests. Including stakeholder engagement (which is typically a lower priority than sales) in the CRM only increases the risk of not meeting the expectations of users and management.
- Configuring CRM for stakeholder management purposes is a long, uphill battle. The languages, processes, functionalities, analytical tools and dashboards in CRM systems are all designed with customer relationships in mind, not stakeholder management. Because of this, CRM systems are poorly suited to needs of community relations or external affairs agents, and even less so to field activities. With highly developed stakeholder engagement systems already out there, there’s little to gain from reinventing the wheel.
- Customizing a CRM is extremely costly and often unsuccessful. And then there’s the cost of customizing CRM to bring it to an acceptable level for stakeholder engagement purposes. For most organizations, this will be vastly prohibitive – not to mention highly frustrating and an unnecessary waste of internal resources that could otherwise go to more productive use. It’s not unusual for organizations to invest one or two years in customization only to reject the final outcome because the tweaked system simply did not meet their needs. (This article succinctly answers the eternal buy-or-build question.)
- It takes a system solidly built around best practices to optimize processes. As stakeholder engagement becomes increasingly sophisticated, organizations are realizing that they need much more than simply a basic contact register in which issues raised during meetings and other communications are recorded. They need a system designed to encompass all aspects of engagement activities, such as planning and monitoring engagement activities, minimizing unexpected risks, ensuring compliance, managing grievances and commitments, tracking consultations and maintaining social licence to operate.
Driving successful stakeholder engagement from day 1
- Better reporting (at different levels, such as project vs. corporate)
- Accurate indicators of community concerns, company perception
- Mapping of all assets (current and planned)
- Visually compelling information available in just a few clicks
- Improved internal processes and ability to link engagement with company commitments
- Institutional memory of interactions per project, area, stakeholder, etc.
- Most importantly, a stronger engagement strategy
The right tool means better results
Boréalis online stakeholder engagement software is used by organizations around the world to successfully engage stakeholders and secure social license to operate in a wide range of industry sectors. To request a free custom demo of our software, contact us.