CRM Migration – 5 Steps to Success

September 27 , 2022

We’re not saying it’s fun to migrate, but we’re sure you have good reasons for doing it. Migration can be relatively straight forward, and will vary from CRM to CRM, so let’s get organized and get rolling:

Jumping the CRM Migration Gap
Jumping the CRM Migration Gap Photo by Dmitriy Ganin

1. Validate your CRM Migration

First, you will validate the following prerequisites:

  • Your old CRM is capable of exporting your current data.
  • Similarly, your new CRM offers functionality to import that data.
    • A subset of your CRM’s ability to import should also be that the import allows for data relationships (i.e. an Account/Organization can have multiple Contacts)

2. Plan a Proof of Concept

Second, plan a Proof of Concept (POC) with existing data to plan and document the steps for the migration.

  • Run exports from your existing CRM for the data you need.
  • Next, validate that your new CRM has a home for all incoming data fields.
  • Then, begin the import process to your new CRM with that data and run it as far as you can without importing the data. If you have to import it fully to test the process, you can always delete the data afterward.
  • Finally, execute the POC to work out the process as a trial run of the system and to get important test data into the system.

3. Configure your New CRM

Third, configure the new CRM to do what you want with the test data. Configuration can take quite awhile depending on your needs. You will set up:

  • Workflows and/or automations
  • Create rules for fields in various modules
  • Define User Permission structures
  • Develop flow mapping rules
  • Customize menus and names
  • Additional configurations
  • Connect marketing tools to your CRM (email campaigns and web forms)
  • Stand up third-party integrations with your CRM

4. Plan the CRM Migration

Fourth, assemble a detailed plan for your migration. As you schedule your CRM Migration, here are the things you should consider:

  • Schedule a freeze date and time for your staff so they know when to stop adding data to the existing CRM. If your existing CRM supports it, lock down permissions to prevent users from logging in.
  • After that, execute the data cut over just after the freeze for a smooth transition

5. Migrate your CRM and Validate

Once you have done the migration, you should spot check data between the two CRMS. In addition, plan on keeping your old CRM running for a couple of weeks after the migration in case there are any errors.

Finally, establish roadmap/feedback sessions to fine tune CRM functionality. Generally, your CRM is not a one and done process – it is a journey and subsequently requires ongoing attention.

Wrapping Up

For a quick reference, here are a few links for popular CRMs and their documentation for migration. Do note that instructions may seem easier in some cases than the reality, so let us know if you need the Odd Mammals at Plaidypus to assist – some platforms require more technical skills that others and we’re here if you need us:

Happy migrating and feel free to contact us with questions: