How to Transition to a New CRM in 5 Easy Steps

Congratulations, you’ve got a new CRM for your team! Now what?

Transition to a new CRM

Bringing a new tool into your business is an exciting purchase that will make your team more productive and allow your business to be more efficient. Before you can start reaping the benefits of a new system, though, you need to say a proper good-bye to the old one. That means getting all of the contact information, deals, documents and notes that your sales team has accumulated into a new home.

We’ve compiled a 5 step list to make that daunting move easier. With just a little planning and a few smart safeguards, your business can be up and running in your new tool in no time.

1. Plan for your transition

The first step is to lay out the plan for your transition. Some systems have built-in tools designed to make importing large amounts of data easier. Even if there is a native tool in your new product, you may still need to supplement it with a third-party tool. Most native importers have strengths and weaknesses, and they may not be equipped to migrate certain data sets. Make sure that you decide on the best tools for each type of intel that you want to move.

Base’s importer is designed to make the transition process easy for your company. Especially if you’re switching from Salesforce, you may be pleasantly surprised at how simple the change is. For an example of how changing CRMs can help your company, check out Blue Reef’s experience adopting Base.

2. Set a deadline

Once you know what needs to happen, pick dates to start and finish your transition. Be realistic about how long this endeavor will take. If you’re using an intuitive import tool or if you have a small amount of data to move, the process could go as quickly as a few hours. If you’re an enterprise migrating your entire company’s customer base into a new system, plan for a longer time frame. While CRM implementations can take on the upwards of 25 weeks, typical Base implementations take 4 weeks or less depending on the size of your team and complexity of your project.

3. Run your old system until the new system is ready

Don’t let this process bring your team to a standstill. The business world keeps moving, so prepare your team to keep working during the transition.

Set a plan for where and when sales reps will be able to find the information to do their jobs during this transition. Typically, you should keep your current CRM running during the transition. Decide in advance whether they’ll be able to add new contacts or where to update a deal’s status. Planning ahead means that you’ll see a minimum number of hiccups in your regular routine.

4. Back it up

Your company should always be taking steps to protect customer data and should have a backup system in place. Take the time to update all of your backups before starting to move any data. If you have a smart plan ready, the chances of losing information are very low. But there’s always the outside potential for a system failure or a technology crash to throw a monkey wrench into the transition.

5. Clean your data

This is the equivalent of housecleaning for your customer data. Now’s the time to de-dup contacts, assign rightful owners and to review your existing information in general. It’s well worth doing this before the data is in its new home, because you want to start fresh with clean data in your new CRM system.

6. Test as you transition

After you have your first batch ready as a .CSV file, it’s time to upload it into the new system. It will give you an opportunity to test the import tool on a small scale. Take the time to make sure everything from your first data set appeared in the correct place before starting on your second batch. Uploading small amounts of intel at a time means you can identify changes that need to be made early on in the process.

7. Enjoy your new CRM

Once all of your customer data is in the new system, finish your last tests and double-check that everything is in its right place. Make any final adjustments to the information and inform your reps if they’ll need to adopt any major changes in process. Then, sit back and enjoy how much happier your sales team is with a better CRM.

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