Back in April, we wrote a blog about our hunt for a new CRM. After researching, meeting with multiple companies and diving deeper into capabilities, we finally made a decision. Ultimately, we ended up going with Salesforce. Although the process of transferring over from our current CRM to Salesforce has had its fair share of obstacles, we figure if you’re switching CRMs and there are absolutely zero challenges, you should probably be worried. So far, a few of our biggest obstacles have been the following: — Searching for Open Accounts: In order for us to get the most out of our CRM, it’s important that our sales reps be able to access the accounts that they’re currently working and open accounts that aren’t currently being touched by other colleagues. With our old CRM, it was simple to just pull accounts that were labeled as “house,” implying that they were workable. However, with our new system, it's been a bit more challenging to figure out the most effective and efficient way to get this done. We'll save you the long explanation, but in short, accounts are now labeled and arranged in a different way. Although we’ve figured out a workaround and how to overcome the issue, it definitely took a little bit of time to get this resolved. — Exporting/Importing Data: Exporting a mass amount of data out of our old CRM and then importing it into Salesforce proved to be a bit of a challenge. After going live, some items (like job titles) didn’t carry over into our new system and some contacts didn’t import over at all. But, as with any large task or set of data, we anticipated that there may be some untangling necessary. — Contacts: Some contacts have been duplicates or were not transferred over at all. But what's more, we've had a few struggles with our rep-to-client contact process on a more 1:1 level. In our old CRM, reps were able to easily send mass emails to their prospects with a few clicks of their mouse. However, with our new CRM, it’s been more complicated because of our initial setup. Essentially, we’ve had to meet a happy medium between the reporting/business capabilities we want our new CRM to have and the ease of executing certain processes we’ve used in the past. We’ve already fixed, overcome or found workarounds for all of these but nonetheless, they were definite obstacles within the process. We’re still deciding exactly how we want our CRM to be setup and finding the most effective ways to get things done. But so far, the leap has been worth the time invested. So if you’re considering a new CRM, take our advice: — Be Patient: Remember that your team will all learn at their pace and that in the past, each individual sales rep has had their own experience with CRMs. People do things their own way and more, are used to processes from the CRM you’re currently utilizing. Ensure that you’re allotting the time to teach everyone new processes, understand there will be a learning curve, and have a source available to help with questions and issues that may arise. — Be Flexible: Especially if your company is a holacracy (or more democratic in nature), realize that you’re going to get a million different opinions. In other words, you're going to hear what’s working and what isn’t. Be open to adjusting things according to what benefits the company and more, really take into account the feedback you're receiving. For example, we asked our sales colleagues to send us any issues that they were having with Salesforce and to send any future ideas over to sales support. In response, we made a priority list and are currently working on knocking out each item. — Have a Plan: Switching CRMs would have been a horrendous undertaking if we didn’t have a game plan going into it. We worked out what our short, mid and long-term goals were, created a timeline, and planned trainings/Q & A sessions accordingly. We also have a running list of how we plan to refine our processes in the future, with goals of looking into even deeper integration, more customized dashboards for our reps, etc. In the end, going with a CRM that truly fits your business needs is what matters. If, like us, you find yourself in a position where it’s time to switch to something new, arm yourself with research, resources and expectations. By keeping business running as smoothly as possible and taking into account that you may encounter some hiccups, you’ll minimize the effects of any issues you run into along the way.
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