How to ensure a smooth transition to a new CRM

To ensure a smooth CRM transition, you need to be strategic. From data management to implementation and onboarding, there are many moving parts to consider.

Whether you’re just considering a switch or you’ve already decided, now is the time to begin developing your CRM transition plan. 

This guide walks you through the multi-faceted endeavor of switching CRMs and how to increase your chances of success with your new system.

Create a transition plan Start by identifying a realistic cutover or “go live” date

If your legacy system has been around for years and your data needs significant scrubbing, then your cutover date could be several months away. On the other hand, if your company’s CRM contains data that doesn’t require much cleaning and has a simple data structure, then a 30-day go-live plan may be feasible. 

Remember to ask key stakeholders about their availability. Your timeline will certainly be delayed if your IT Manager is about to embark on a three-week hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains. Setting aggressive goals is important, but some variables will be outside of your control. 

Select a project lead

Who at your company has the right leadership skills and technical know-how to ensure the project’s success? For many organizations, this responsibility falls on someone in sales or IT. Look for someone who possesses the right mix of authority, communication skills, and empathy. After all, your CRM will be used by many people across many departments, so it’s important to consider the needs of all primary users and stakeholders. 

Identify key dates & unanswered questions

Work backwards from your cutover date. Make a list of all the major milestones that must be accomplished to achieve your goal. Flag any unanswered questions that may delay your timeline. 

If your new CRM offers built-in project management capabilities, go ahead and start using the system to manage the cutover process. If you’re switching to Insightly, you might consider breaking up the project into smaller projects that are tracked on a kanban board

Build an internal communications plan

One of the main reasons why companies switch CRMs is to increase user adoption. Tell your users about your plan to switch CRMs and include them throughout the entire process. A weekly email newsletter can be a low-cost, low-effort way to keep users engaged and informed. Tell users about upcoming milestones and when their participation or input will be required. Consistently invite users to reply with any questions or suggestions.

Take a strategic look at your CRM data

Bad data plagues most companies to one degree or another. Switching CRMs is your opportunity to lessen bad data’s impact and establish a process for preventing it going forward. 

For starters, ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your existing data:

What data do we actually need to be successful? Which data challenges do we currently face and hope to avoid? Should some of our custom objects or fields not be migrated to our new CRM? Do users rely on workarounds because they lack the right data objects or fields? Do we have duplicate records that must be merged or consolidated? Which records (i.e., old leads) should be disposed of? Does our current vendor make it easy to export our data?

Identifying your current data challenges and deciding what

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