Why CRM Implementations Fail

Eddy Tuvinksy (ET) sells for a distributor of cosmetics. Over 25 years, ET has worked at three companies, joining Distro, one year ago. “Steady Eddy” as he is known, has had career success, and knows how to sell!

Shortly after joining, ET learned that Distro had a failed CRM implementation, and everyone was scared to try again. ET was the “new kid on the block” and had to figure out the best way to rally the troops.

Distro Distribution

Distro has 15 employees, 8 in Sales, 2 in Marketing, and 5 in Operations. The owner, Donald Davis, the 16th employee, sells and supervises. All 16 staff explained their needs to share prospect and customer information. They truly saw great ways to use today’s technology but were afraid because of their failure.

ET knew it would take time to turn the tide. He also had direct experience using current sales processes and CRMs to support his sales initiatives. 

Distro had spent about $2,500 to get up and running and had failed. It’s easy to see why they were scared. 

Eddy Tuvinsky’s Approach

ET is one of 8 salespeople, well-known in the industry, and welcomed by the Distro team. Now in his 2nd year, he was beginning to hear the thoughts of his colleagues about why the CRM implementation failed.

At first, the comments were random. Over six months, several recurring themes emerged:

  • The owner paid lip service but didn’t use the CRM.
  • The team chose the wrong CRM and had limited CRM expertize.
  • They did not define their needs and priorities accurately.

ET also learned that the owner wasn’t mad but wanted to understand what happened.

A Call For Help

In year 2 at a sales meeting, several reps asked if Distro could get a CRM. There were some giggles but no boos. The owner said, “Tell me what happened so we don’t make the same mistake.”

ET suggested the team meet to agree on what happened and report back to Donald.

The Results

The team agreed that none of them were involved in the best ways. They agreed that:

  • Donald, the owner, needed to use the CRM as he still had all his sales info in his head, sticky notes, pads, and handwritten lists.
  • They needed outside expertise to help them select the right CRM and lead its implementation.
  • Automation was their highest priority, and the last CRM lacked that ability.

Don laughed and committed to changing his ways.


Distro sought outside expertise to select and deploy the CRM. Don Davis agreed to use it on day 1 and was involved in planning but staff chose the CRM.

Distro’s CRM is used by everyone. “I’m in it every day. My CRM produces sales because it frees my time to close more prospects,” said Don. 

Distro uses X2CRM to:

  • Send texts and emails automatically with reminders to reps to follow up.
  • Manage the sales pipeline.
  • Segment contacts into smaller groups for tailored messaging.
  • Launch campaigns based on your criteria.

Today, Distro’s sales reps close more sales with less follow-up fatigue.

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