A Full Guide on How to Easily Switch CRMs in 2024

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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.

EDITOR’s CHOICE

Monday CRM – Affordable, Easy to Use, and Scalable

  • Powerful Sales Automation
  • Task and Project Tracking
  • Efficient Roadmap Planning

1. Assess Your Situation

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:

  1. Cost and feature selection
  2. Its impact (or lack thereof) on your KPIs
  3. Usability and scalability
  4. Customer support
  5. Integrations
  6. Customization options

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.

2. Find an Alternative

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:

Salesforce Monday CRM Pipedrive HubSpot Act! Zoho
Best For Larger sales teams Ease of use and customization Those on a budget All-in-one CRM to use across departments Small businesses Boosting customer experiences
Starting Price $25/user/month $8/user/month $14.90/user/month $20/user/month $22/user/month $14/user/month
Free Version 30-day trial 14-day trial 14-day trial 14-day trial 30-day trial
Compatibility Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Android, iOS, Mac, Windows
Top 3 Features Extensive reporting, forecasts, ample integrations Customizable dashboard, automated sales cycles, email tracking AI assistant, customizable sales pipelines, automated lead nurturing Departmental automations, conversational AI, automated personalized email outreach Text messaging, unlimited customizations, opportunity tracking Intuitive dashboard, advanced analytics, sales automation

3. Plan the Data Migration

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:

1. Set a Date2. Decide What Data to Prioritize3. Assign the Right Team Members4. Create a Migration Plan

1. Set a Date

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.

2. Decide What Data to Prioritize

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.

3. Assign the Right Team Members

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.

4. Create a Migration Plan

Pinpoint the tools and methodology you’ll use to migrate your data. Your methodology should include guidance on:

  1. Data auditing — ensuring that you don’t migrate data that’s incorrect or outdated
  2. Data mapping — figuring out how your data will be organized in the new system
  3. Testing — Begin by moving a smaller dataset to see how the migration goes and how the new platform performs
  4. Data migration — sketch out the process. Most CRMs offer tools to help you export your data — be sure to review your system to see if that’s something your provider offers.

We’ll cover these points in more detail below.

3.1. Backup Your Data

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.

3.2. Test With a Sample

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.

3.3. Check Your Migrated Data

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.

4. Provide Your Team With Training

To ensure adoption, you need to provide onboarding and training to your staff. Here’s how:

  1. Identify Department Leaders

    Identify people who can become experts in the CRM and pass on their knowledge and practical expertise to their team.
  2. Plan Training Sessions

    In-person training is integral to adoption. Give a practical walkthrough of the CRM — highlighting the features and benefits of the software, and show them how they can use it to hit their goals.
  3. Get Support

    Many CRMs offer onboarding and training, so be sure to check what kind of support is available. Do they offer 1-on-1 consultants, how-to guides, or ongoing support?
  4. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

    Check in frequently over the next 3 months to see how adoption is going. Have any new questions or issues arisen? Does anyone need extra support?

5. Monitor and Tweak Your New CRM

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:

  1. How is Your Team Using Your CRM? — Are they continuing to use the software? Is it helping them meet their goals? Are they running into any issues?
  2. How Well is Your CRM Performing? — Is it continuing to successfully integrate and centralize your data? Is it fast and efficient? Are you dealing with any repetitive problems?
  3. Is your CRM helping you to hit your metrics? — This includes metrics such as lead generation, customer retention and support, productivity, and revenue-based metrics.
  4. Have You Encountered Any Hidden Costs? — Here, you’ll want to think about things like feature add-ons, consultancy expenses, and data storage costs.

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.

6 Signs Your Business Needs a New CRM

What are the signs your business needs a new CRM? Here’s what you need to consider:

1. Lack of Features2. Expense3. Integration Issues4. Usability5. Lack of Support6. Failing to Hit KPIs

1. Lack of Features

A lack of features is one of the main reasons companies switch CRMs. The best CRMs go beyond contact management and offer:

  1. In-depth, customizable reports
  2. Lead management and lead scoring
  3. Pipeline management
  4. Workflow, sales, and marketing automations
  5. Mobile solutions
  6. Sales forecasting

2. Expense

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.

3. Integration Issues

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.

4. Usability

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.

5. Lack of Support

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.

6. Failing to Hit Your KPIs

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.

Conclusion

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.

FAQs

How do I know which CRM to use?

How do I train for a new CRM system?

Can you port CRM data to a new CRM?

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Kirsten Lamb
Technology Expert
Kirsten Lamb
Technology Expert

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.