As a major provider of CRM integration and migration software, we work with a wide range of qualified Partners throughout the world and we get to see a lot of migration projects across many different CRM platforms. Sometimes we provide advice, sometimes we are directly involved, and sometimes we just get to hear about how things went. This wide exposure has allowed us to identify the top 3 habits of our more able CRM migration partners.
It’s common knowledge that transferring client information to a new CRM system can be hard work. While we have already provided guidelines, tips and pointers for the migration process we've successfully taken care of (check all of them out here), the emphasis below is on the broader habits we consistently see with successful CRM projects.
Successful CRM specialists make sure that all parties with data to migrate have a voice in the project. This can be harder to achieve than it sounds. The consultant may not be introduced to all the players on the client side, and in any case, will not have the authority to insist that any particular client group or department be involved. The consultant can, however, remind the client that if data is “missed” there will be financial and time repercussions, and can also keep a lookout for anomalies and gaps that suggest data has been omitted.
Clearly, any missed data can be incorporated at a later date for a cost, but this can blow out the project budget and also reflect badly on the consultant. It doesn’t matter whose “fault’ it is, no one wants a finger pointing argument with a client. Successful migration consultants know that it’s just as important to meet a client’s expectations as it is to get the job done.
A migration project can go smoothly and look like a success but not be profitable because the consultant puts in more hours than can be charged for. This is especially likely when the data structure and content has not been properly reviewed and the client has been given a fixed price quote. Client data can hold nasty surprises like duplications, inconsistencies, and incomplete details. Smart CRM consultants always make sure they fully understand the nature of the data they are transferring so that they are committing to a realistic and timeframe that. Success is not simply about meeting client needs; it’s also about staying in business and being available for the long term.
No matter how much excellent preparation has gone into a migration, things can still go wrong. A safe and effective testing environment is imperative for fine tuning migration results and identifying errors before the new system goes live. Errors can range from incorrect data mapping to client misconceptions about what they really want. A ” test, check, refine, test again” loop makes sure there are no surprises once the data is finally transferred, and leads to a faster migration result as well as quicker signoff (and final payment) from the client. Our more savvy Partners appreciate this step and use a migration tool that incorporates flexible and well-documented testing.
It goes without saying that on top of mastering these three habits consultants also need to be expert in the mechanics of migration – for instance, know what data transfer can be automated when a migration tool is needed, how to achieve data integrity, and how to map difficult areas such as pick-lists.
For more information on managing a CRM migration, don't hesitate to contact us.
This article originally appeared on InaPlex's Blog.