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September 17, 2018 Business Technologies

Time to Switch to a New CRM? Seven Tips for Planning the Big Move

Sonja Fridell wearing a blue blouse and a dainty necklace.
By Sonja Fridell

Moving from one CRM to another should not be a rushed process.  It takes real patience and effort to meet with key stakeholders and map out how the new solution should work.  We’ve helped clients all over the U.S. with this sometimes overwhelming process – and we have a thing or two to say about it!

 

1. Understand Why You’re Moving

Before you make a decision, take a look from the outside in.  Why is your company considering this move?  Will this solve anything?  If you don’t know where to start, consider collaborating with a CRM service partner.

2. Get Input from Users on the Front Lines

Compile a thoughtful list of feedback from different user groups.  What do they hate about the current system?  What do they like?  This list can serve as the beginning of your requirements document for your new system.

Bonus Tip: If you’re a Microsoft Office 365 subscriber and use OneDrive, start a OneNote called “CRM move initiative.” Then create areas per functional group and have them add their likes and dislikes of your CRM into their designated area.

3. Plan Ahead (Obviously!)

Check with your current CRM provider to check your exact contract end date.  Plan backwards from that point.  Some smaller migrations can take just a few weeks, but others can take as long as six months or more.  Don’t rush!  If you only have a few weeks left on your current contract, consider negotiating with the provider to see if you can extend your subscription by a few months.

4. Get Your Data

Some CRM providers are willing to provide a full relational database export, not just flat files.  This makes importing the information to a new system much easier.  A few months before switching systems, ask for a test export and have your CRM service partner take a look at the results to see what you’re dealing with.

5. Review Your Integrations

Map out all the systems currently integrated with your CRM.  Then make a future state map of systems that you’d like to integrate with the new CRM.  Those systems should all be considered when choosing the new system.  If out-of-the-box integrations don’t exist for what you need, then talk to a development partner about how to build them.

6. Do Your Research

There are many review sites for CRM tools. Here are some of our favorite peer review sources:

7. Consider Investing in Change Management Services

Most users rely on CRM and use it heavily.  Disrupting users by switching to a new system (whether they hate or love their CRM) will cause a lot of heartburn, and even cost your company money if done poorly.  If you don’t have change management experts in-house, find someone who can provide these services.

 

Moving from one CRM to another is no small feat. If you include these steps in your decision-making process, you will cut down on the risk of wasting time and money on a badly-executed move. We can guide you through each step of the process by providing you with unbiased advice and support. Contact us and let’s get started!


 

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Author bio

Sonja Fridell

Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.

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Sonja Fridell wearing a blue blouse and a dainty necklace.

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