The foundation of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is the data it holds. The data is what you record, update, and evaluate on a day to day basis. This makes a successful data migration from your old system or process to the new CRM software system critical for the new software to function. The initial CRM data migration can be a very tedious process. You have to decide what data to delete and transfer and which data to reorganize, update and leave as is. Although it is often long and tiring, it is still very important. So, let’s take a look at some of the keys to having a successful data migration.
1. Establish a timeline/process
Taking data from one system or process and transferring it to a new CRM is not as simple as cut and paste. They will both have different categories, fields and label options that the data simply will not fit into on its own. The data needs to be preformatted for the new system so that there is no data out of place. With all of this in mind, having a schedule and sticking to it will be key for keeping the entire CRM project moving forward as well as the conversion.
Knowing when you would like to be finished deleting data and reorganizing what you have, done testing, and done migrating will be important in the scope of the overall project. If this process does not go smoothly, then your entire CRM timeline can be put off track.
2. Back up and clean up your old system’s data
The sheer volume of data might be intimidating, but cleaning up data first will save a lot of time in the long run. By cleaning up, I refer to the act of deleting unneeded data, reorganizing data to transfer, and testing the data to make sure the conversion is a success.
Issues will undoubtedly arise at some point in the CRM data migration process. The key is making sure none of the issues are severe, but in case something dramatic does occur, having the data backed up can be the difference between keeping data and losing it forever. One of the worst case scenarios in CRM implementation would be losing data that could lead to future revenue loss.
3. Update data in the new CRM system as you go
After reformatting the data and getting it into the new system, it is the perfect time to adjust data to fit your business categories and your company processes as well as those of the new CRM. Essentially, this means putting your specific labels on the data so that nothing falls through the cracks and finding specific data is easy.
Many CRM vendors can migrate data directly from Excel, which is much simpler than previously used methods. Loading, testing, fixing problems and retesting has never been easier, and all the data does not have to be loaded at once either, so going little by little can help detect any problems and make it easier to manage.