Kirsten Lamb is a freelance conversion copywriter and content marketer with a specialist focus in technology. She previously studied at Keele University and The University…
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Want to switch CRMs? Whatever the reason, whether it’s a lack of features or usability, there are several benefits to switching CRMs. In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to do to seamlessly change CRMs — from choosing your new CRM to putting into play a data migration strategy.
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91% of businesses with over 11 employees use a CRM, but not everyone finds the perfect CRM for their business with their first purchase. Luckily, you can easily switch CRMs.
The first step in switching CRM systems is to analyze the pros and cons of your current CRM to identify why you want to change services. This will help you know what to look for in a new CRM.
Here are some key areas to reflect on:
Weaknesses should be relatively easy to pinpoint. Be sure to get feedback on low performance and frustrations from users across departments — including sales, IT, customer service, and marketing.
Don’t forget to factor in strengths, too. Maybe it’s easy to integrate with the other tools, super customizable, or it’s got great automation. Reflect on what it’s doing well that you’d want in your new CRM.
Now that you know what your CRM is doing well (and not so well), you have a sense of what you need from a new CRM. Be sure to list your goals and requirements to help you quickly compare options.
Here are the market’s best CRM apps compared:
Data migration involves moving all valuable data from your current CRM to your new CRM. Here’s a step-by-step to help your migration go as smoothly as possible:
Set a date for when you’d like to begin and have the migrating of your data done. Be sure to have a month or two buffer to account for when your old CRM contract ends, and your new one begins — this buffer will help you account for any pitfalls and delays.
Next, determine what data is more valuable to you that you’d like to prioritize in your migration. Also, factor in data that’s outdated or not needed anymore.
A successful CRM switch begins with selecting the right team members for the job. Who is integral to a successful data migration? Who has the skills you need to ensure the migration is seamless?
Can your internal team handle the task, or do you need to bring in outside help? Outside support may be essential if you’re dealing with an extensive amount of data.
Pinpoint the tools and methodology you’ll use to migrate your data. Your methodology should include guidance on:
We’ll cover these points in more detail below.
To help protect your data, you need to back it up in a separate system or via the cloud — so you still have access to your data if something goes wrong with the migration.
Check to see if your chosen approach to backing up your data is in line with industry standards and regulations. In addition, be sure to test the backup before you begin migrating your data.
With Zoho CRM, for example, you can automate data backup and configure it in minutes with the Skyvia extension, a cloud-to-cloud SaaS backup and recovery solution.
To test your data migration plan, you’ll need to begin with a sample migration. Here, you migrate a small amount of data — typically 10% of your total data.
By beginning with a sample migration, you can test for any flaws in your data migration plan and get a sense of how long it’ll take to move your data from your old system to your new system.
Make sure your sample data reflects the variety of data stored in your old CRM, and include different record types and formats to see how they migrate.
Once you’ve migrated your data, review it to see if everything has migrated successfully. Compare the data in your old CRM with your new CRM to account for any inconsistencies or loss.
Is any data missing? Are you seeing any duplicates? Has any of the migrated data been corrupted? Review the reports and pay careful attention to any changes.
To ensure adoption, you need to provide onboarding and training to your staff. Here’s how:
Once you’ve successfully migrated your data and onboarded your team, you need to monitor your CRM to see if any changes need to be made. Here’s what you need to look out for:
If you identify any issues, discuss the next steps and brainstorm solutions with your team. Maybe an integration could help solve a data import issue, for example.
As we explored in our comparison of the best CRMs for small businesses, CRMs like Salesforce offer over 3,000 integrations.
What are the signs your business needs a new CRM? Here’s what you need to consider:
A lack of features is one of the main reasons companies switch CRMs. The best CRMs go beyond contact management and offer:
Platforms like Pipedrive start at just $14.90/month, for example, while packages for enterprise-level CRMs like Act! CRM starts at $30/month. Based on your budget, some platforms may not be feasible over the long term.
The average business uses 291 tools. As such, integrations are likely high on your list of considerations. From the number of integrations on offer to how easy it is to integrate your apps — if your CRM is letting you down with this, then it’s time to switch CRMs.
Usability is key to successful adoption. If your team finds your CRM unintuitive or runs into issues when using it, they likely aren’t getting the most out of the platform.
Good CRMs are easy to use. Take a CRM like Monday, which offers an intuitive, customizable dashboard that you can use to quickly review and customize your sales pipelines.
CRM providers offer different levels of support, which they deliver across different channels. When choosing your CRM, you may have prioritized other important factors — such as usability and features.
But the types and quality of customer support on offer are key for helping you to get the most out of your CRM and to help your team deal with any issues quickly and efficiently.
Most offer phone and chat support, and some offer priority support with higher-level plans. When you switch CRM providers, be sure to read reviews, like our Salesforce review, to check the solution’s reputation and available support.
You acquired a CRM to help you achieve certain goals. Whether that’s basic contact management or closing more deals, your current CRM was meant to help you fulfill a certain job.
If you’re not seeing the results you want and you’ve already tried to work around these issues, then it could be time to switch CRMs.
Switching CRMs can feel daunting, but if your CRM is an unusable budget drain that’s failing to help you hit your KPIs then a switch to a new CRM could be a great move for you and your team.
The best CRMs out there offer a usable interface, a host of features at a great price point, and A+ onboarding and support. If you’re not getting what you want from your CRM, look into the other solutions.
To find the best CRM, read in-depth guides and user reviews on the top CRMs on the market. Be sure to factor in cost, features, usability, number of integrations, automations, and onboarding and support.
In-person training is a great way to give your employees hands-on experience with a tool and give them the chance to ask any questions. When training your team, look into the onboarding and support your provider offers — including 1-on-1 support, consultations, guides, and digital training materials.
You can migrate data from your old CRM to your new CRM. But you need to make sure you have the right tools and plans in place. Successful migration begins with a migration plan and the right buy-in and support from your team and CRM provider.
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Kirsten Lamb is a freelance conversion copywriter and content marketer with a specialist focus in technology. She previously studied at Keele University and The University of Edinburgh. She has over 7 years of experience in the marketing industry and has worked with brands like Hotjar and WooCommerce, plus on the tech side of Booking.com.
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