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How CRM Consultants Help You Migrate Your Legacy System

On the surface, the benefits of a CRM tool seem obvious—it’s designed to help businesses better manage customer relationships, resulting in more organized contacts, streamlined processes and workflows, and an improved customer experience.

But when it comes to migrating your legacy system to a new CRM, the process is often anything but obvious. In too many cases, companies find themselves confronting an intricate web of different technologies, and ensuring the data transfers correctly can be overwhelming.

This is especially true if you need customizable features and software integrations, which can turn the complexity of setting up a CRM system into a nightmare. That’s where CRM consultants come in. 

On the surface, the idea of finding and working with a consultant might seem expensive and unnecessary. But if you’re busy running your business, don’t have the capacity to learn a new system or process, or are under a time crunch, working with a consultant can save you time, frustration, and money in the long run. They’ll also ensure your system is set up optimally so that it’ll actually be adopted by your users—plenty of projects fail because they aren’t rolled out correctly or built with end users in mind. 

As experts in the technology, CRM consultants like ZBrains can help you to identify any issues that could arise during migration, ensure your data remains secure, and even create customizable features tailored to your specific needs. Here’s exactly how they can help:

The 11 Steps of CRM System Migration

Generally speaking, several steps go into a successful CRM system migration. Let’s take a look at what the process looks like.

  1. Assess your reporting and KPIs: The first step involves understanding your current system and the KPIs that are essential to measure success.
  2. Analyze your data inputs: Next, you’ll need to get a better understanding of your data inputs at each stage of your process, including what kinds of content you’ll be migrating and the origin of each element.
  3. Assess operational efficiencies by department: Each department within your organization will have different needs and processes, so it’s essential to understand how they work together.
  4. Spec out your inputs: Inputs are the data points that will be used to populate your new system. Spec out which fields need to be populated, as well as the type of content for each field.
  5. Build your inputs: Now, you can start building out the fields in the new system and populating them with content.
  6. Build initial reports: Your reports provide critical insight into how your business is performing, so you’ll want to make sure they’re set up properly before making the switch.
  7. Spec out automation: Automation can make your life a lot easier, freeing up your time for higher-priority projects. Once you have your data inputs properly set up, you can start creating rules and workflows.
  8. Build automations: Once you have your automation rules properly laid out, it’s time to build them into the system.
  9. Migrate data: This is the moment of truth—all of the data from your legacy system must be moved over to your new CRM.
  10. Go live and perform change management: Once your data is migrated, it’s time to start using the system. Depending on how complex your CRM setup is, you may want to put a change management plan in place to help new users adapt.
  11. Add new features or reports using feedback from your team: As you start using your new system, you may realize that you need to make tweaks or add additional features. This is the time to do it.

As you can see, migrating data into multiple modules and systems can be a complex process, and it’s often essential that the data is migrated in a specific order for it to link correctly. That’s why, at ZBrains, we strive to make the CRM migration process as seamless as possible by performing both a test migration and a live migration.

Through this process, the test migration allows us to identify any potential data issues that could arise, as well as develop a plan to fix them before the live migration takes place. We also ensure that all data is migrated from your legacy system correctly and without any loss of information.

Finally, we take extra steps to secure your data during the migration process by using encryption technology and multi-layered authentication.

Pitfalls to Avoid During Migration (and How CRM Consultants Can Help)

When companies attempt a CRM system migration without the help of an expert, they often end up making costly mistakes. Here are four particular pitfalls to avoid:

1. Choosing the wrong way to solve a problem

Platforms often have many ways to solve a single problem, and it can be difficult to determine which is the best option without experience. This is especially true in the case of complex automations and features (e.g., multi-list segmentation and interactive dashboards).

2. Implementing too many features, too quickly

When companies invest in a robust CRM software, they can be tempted to build out more features than necessary. This often results in an overly complex platform that is difficult to use, with extra time and budget wasted on development.

Even if there are multiple custom features an organization can benefit from, keeping the system as lightweight as possible is key. Working with CRM consultants helps you to identify the features that are truly necessary, and leave out those that will slow down your system or add extra costs. Remember, focus on adoption first, then optimization.

3. Not properly preparing for a migration

Migrating a CRM system means downtime, potential data loss, and a steep learning curve for users. Working with a partner that has experience with successful migrations can help you understand the process and plan for any potential issues.

4. Poor change management

Migrating to a CRM system isn’t just about data migration. It requires a shift in how employees work and think, which can be difficult without proper guidance. Platform-specific CRM consultants can help you create a successful change management plan, as well as ensure that your system is set up to best support its users and maximize system adoption.

Outsource Your Zoho CRM Migration to ZBrains

When it comes down to it, there are four reasons to outsource something:

  • Time: Unless you already have someone in place and ready to perform the migration, chances are it’s going to take more time and energy than you currently have available in-house.
  • Cost: Outsourcing may seem like a more expensive option—until you take into consideration the cost-savings a CRM consultant can provide by helping you avoid migration mistakes and optimize your new CRM for your needs. 
  • Expertise: CRM consultants will already understand the nuances of your chosen system and will be able to get things set up quickly and efficiently. Even if you’ve migrated a system before, being unfamiliar with Zoho creates inherent risks in the migration process that can be costly or time-consuming to resolve.
  • Dynamics and Corporate Politics: In some organizations, having an external partner involved in the migration process can help with change management and ensure that all stakeholders’ needs are accounted for during the process.

At ZBrains, we understand exactly what it takes to get your system up and running—and we know how to save you time and money along the way. Contact our expert team today for more on how we can help streamline your next CRM migration project.

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How Zoho Partners Like ZBrains Help Simplify Your CRM

Companies turn to Zoho CRM for plenty of different reasons, whether they want to scale their operations or they’re aiming to improve efficiency or manage costs. And in most of these situations, Zoho CRM is a great choice—it’s incredibly robust, cost-effective, and offers plenty of automation features to help streamline your workflows.

But although Zoho claims that its CRM delivers one of the fastest implementation experiences in the enterprise CRM market, it’s not uncommon for new users to encounter challenges when working through their initial setup.

That’s where Zoho Partners like ZBrains can help. Read on if your Zoho CRM experience hasn’t been as straightforward as you’d hoped—or if you’re now stuck with a needlessly complicated CRM setup that’s interfering with your ability to operate efficiently.

What are Zoho Partners?

Zoho Partners are Zoho experts dedicated to implementing Zoho for client businesses and acting as front-line support between their clients and Zoho. This commonly includes system design, implementation, customization, integration with third-party systems, and general support as Zoho releases new features and applications. 

Zoho’s Partner program is broken into multiple tiers. At ZBrains, we’re proud to be one of Zoho’s Premium Partners, a top distinction given to a select group of Zoho Partners who are responsible for a certain proportion of Zoho’s annual revenue.

When to Work with Zoho Partners

How do you know if working with Zoho Partners is right for you? There are a number of common use cases where working with an external partner on Zoho CRM implementations makes sense.  For example, here at ZBrains, we regularly come across companies that:

  • Are brand new to the Zoho ecosystem and aren’t familiar with best practices for deploying a new business CRM.
  • Have begun exploring Zoho CRM’s free trial, but realize that they’ll need some additional support to realize their vision. 
  • Are already up and running with Zoho CRM, but recognize that they’re only scratching the surface in terms of its potential for their business.
  • Have tried out Zoho CRM in the past, but either couldn’t get buy-in from other staff members or couldn’t find a way to make it work within their company’s requirements.

In these and other related cases, having a second set of eyes in the form of a Zoho Partner can help to evaluate your current setup and identify opportunities to simplify your CRM setup that you may miss on your own. 

At ZBrains, for example, we typically begin Zoho CRM engagements with a Business Process Analysis. This helps us to understand the existing state of your Zoho CRM implementation and begin mapping a path forward to streamline your system.

How a Zoho Partner Simplifies Your CRM

If you’re migrating from another CRM, such as Salesforce or Hubspot, simply getting the right data into Zoho CRM, in the right format, can be challenging. To make matters more confusing, Zoho’s business productivity suite comprises 45+ different applications—some of which have overlapping functionality. 

So how exactly can Zoho Partners actually help you to simplify your Zoho CRM setup? Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, we’ve found that any of the following actions may be appropriate:

  • Migrating your data from your former CRM in the cleanest way possible
  • Identifying the most efficient way for data to be processed through and integrated with third-party systems
  • Designing your systems in the most optimal way
  • Ensuring user permissions are set so your data is protected
  • Identifying and implementing impactful automation opportunities
  • Identifying how custom development could be used to solve difficult system issues

Zoho Partners Set You Up for Success

Finally, another important element to consider when evaluating Zoho Partners is their approach to change management. It’s one thing to build a streamlined Zoho CRM implementation—ensuring your team members are prepared to use it is another thing entirely.

At ZBrains, we offer a number of established and bespoke coaching packages, including sessions that can help you:

  • Learn how to navigate and work within Zoho CRM
  • Customize your Zoho CRM implementation to drive valuable business insights
  • Implement automation within Zoho CRM to streamline your workflows

Getting Started with Zoho Partners

Ultimately, although it can be tempting to try to DIY your Zoho CRM setup, most companies save time—and ultimately, money—by working with an experienced partner who can help them find their way around the system.

If your current approach to Zoho CRM is working, you may not need the support of a Zoho Partner. But if you find yourself in any of the scenarios described above—or if you simply want to benefit from incorporating an expert perspective to identify additional optimization opportunities long-term—reach out to ZBrains to learn more about our Zoho Implementation Plans and Zoho CRM training.