Snake Charming: Transforming CRM Project Pitfalls into Opportunities

My husband and I recently took a month-long trip to Curacao to escape the Chicago winter. We rented a beautiful villa where we could hear birds singing and feel the warm breeze—it was wonderful. But we noticed a small snake in the living room on the third day. I’m afraid of snakes and was ready to cut our trip short!


I faced a decision: Would I let this ruin our long-awaited vacation? 


Then it got me thinking, the snake represented situations that can unexpectedly threaten even the best-laid plans, not unlike challenges that arise in a major Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation.


When you’ve invested significant time and resources into a project, it is natural to feel disappointed or angry when obstacles get in the way. But staying positive and solution-focused is critical to overcoming the challenges.


What “snake” has shown up to potentially derail your CRM project? We discuss positive perspectives for everyday situations to transform a CRM project pitfall into an opportunity.

CRM Project Pitfall: You Weren’t Asked to Join the Core Project Team

Feeling excluded in any situation is an unpleasant feeling. The feelings of exclusion may be intensified if you’re being omitted from work projects—even if the omission is unintentional. It’s understandable to feel left out if you weren’t asked to join the core CRM project team.


But rather than stewing over the exclusion, put your efforts to good use and volunteer to support the CRM project. Offer to be a backup resource or suggest ideas to help drive successful CRM adoption. Finding ways to contribute will make you an invaluable change champion.

CRM Project Pitfall: A Team Member Makes a Costly Mistake

Mistakes happen. It’s part of life, but it can be very frustrating when a team member makes a costly mistake that directly impacts your CRM implementation.


When a colleague’s error causes a major setback, it hurts. But berating them rarely helps. It’s important to remember that we’ve all made mistakes. Instead, use the following tactics to manage the error.


  • Breathe: Before reacting to a team member’s mistake, take a deep breath and a moment to calm down.
  • Identify how the mistake happened: Decide why the mistake occurred in the first place. Was there a communication or project breakdown that contributed to this CRM project pitfall?
  • Discuss the situation with a compassionate lens: Remember, we all make mistakes. Emphasize that you’re allies working toward the same goal and collaborating to get things back on track.
  • Correct the mistake: Reversing the error is great, but it’s only effective if you also work to prevent the error from happening again. Prevention might require additional training or developing processes and procedures.

CRM Project Pitfall: Your Idea Gets Rejected

Having your suggestions dismissed or ignored can sting. It’s easier said than done but avoid taking it personally. If you’ve faced rejection, work to reframe it as an opportunity to understand the group’s needs and priorities. As you reframe the rejection, maintain a positive mindset, stay engaged, and continue to pitch ideas when appropriate.


Like the snake that threatened to end my dream vacation, a CRM project pitfall can feel deflating. However, maintaining optimism and adaptability is the best way to keep major projects moving forward through unpredictable obstacles. With teamwork and commitment, you can rid the snakes and achieve success.