CRM Data Migration Best Practices

When considering business longevity and realizing the necessity of optimizing operating processes, decision makers often start to consider their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

A good CRM system automates complex processes and integrates vital tools into one. Therefore, companies consider CRM data migration to superior systems which can be scaled to growing business needs in order to improve efficiency.

What is CRM Software?

A CRM system is a software solution used by companies that need a wide range of functionalities when it comes to structuring and accessing customer data. Ultimately, CRM’s are responsible for collecting and safeguarding valuable information relating to a business’ customers in one accessible location.

Migration tools

Migration tools transfer all of your data automatically and while there are various options to choose from, the downside is that they can only move data between similar CRMs.

User interface uploads

Data can be transferred into a new CRM by uploading exported data files through the user interface. However, this will only work if the new CRM can parse the uploaded data from the legacy system.

Custom scripts

Through creating a custom script or software migration tool, you will be able to migrate data quite efficiently between two CRM systems. This is done by using Application Program Interface (API) calls to action the transfer. For CRM systems that use third-party solutions which need to be available in the new CRM, this is an effective option.

Best Practices For Data Migration of CRM Systems

By handling the data migration process properly in the first place, you will set yourself up for success with a system that is easier for people to work with and information that is segmented more meaningfully.

Inform your team

CEOs and decision-making managers within your company should be consulted before going ahead with a CRM data migration. Not only will they be able to assess the migration from different points of view but they will also be able to offer insight into what data fields should be included in the new CRM.

Prevalent users of the previous CRM system will also be able to tell you exactly what data is missing or what glitches need to be looked after your data migration has been finalized.

Evaluate the Legacy and new CRM

By taking a close look at your source CRM you will be able to pinpoint how that system has been utilized by your business. This will give you a good idea of what data needs to be migrated to the new CRM, and what is outdated or irrelevant.

Decide on a cutoff date for historical records 

Historical records over a certain age may be irrelevant to your business. Decide as to whether all information should be migrated across to the new system, or if old records over a certain age can be binned.

Spend time data mapping

You want all of your relevant customer history to transfer across in its entirety, not simply be representative of its’ current position in the legacy. Therefore, mapping data to ensure that the past positions of each customer is carried across between old and new is a vital step in the migration process.

Before tackling the whole database, test migration on a single record to make sure that the information remains intact while being transferred from the legacy.

Analyze your CRM structures

That is to say, which field will be moving to which field? Data can only be successfully migrated into a new CRM if it has a compatible structure. Knowing the custom fields of your old CRM will help you to pinpoint how the structure of your new CRM will need to change. Some custom fields may have to be replaced so that some of the data can take on a different form in the new CRM system.

Backup your data

Before initializing a CRM data migration, it is paramount that you create a backup of all the data that you intend to move across. No matter the amount of research or planning you do ahead of time, there is always a slight risk of data loss. So be sure that your migration plan includes a data backup so that you don’t lose important customer data.

Implement migration tests

When transferring a large amount of data, it is best to first run a few migration trials using small portions of data. You can choose different data samples to migrate to the new CRM in sections. This will also help the developer team to refine the migration tool before all the data is transferred.

Once the migration has taken place, keep a look out for any inconsistencies or issues with the new database. You might need the team of developers for a while longer to address any possible issues that result.

Need to migrate your CRM? WordHerd specializes in various types of web migrations, including CRM software systems. For more information, check out our CRM migration services here.