The thought of switching your Customer Relationship Management software may seem daunting, and understandably so.
Often, CRM’s are more commonly associated with commercial organisations, but NFP’s, Fundraisers, Event Planners and Membership organisations also rely on them as a lifeline for data management, and to whom switching can seem every bit as scary.
Your existing CRM platform may have been chosen years previously and has become an ‘institutionalised formality’ used by several departments, storing years of correspondence and data.
It’s fair to say that most CRM’s offer additional functionality too, that has been adopted as part of your ‘day to day’ processes and a change in that might also seem uncomfortable.
If this is the case, it’s important to remember that the fundamental reason for having a CRM system is to stay organised and keep all of your customer data in one secure place…simple!
There may be many reasons why you are considering a switch, cost, functionality or frustration. Whatever the reason for change, it’s crucial that a decision to stay isn’t to avoid the hassle of switching!
The purpose of this blog isn’t to go in to great detail about why you may want to switch, but the common reasons include; You have outgrown your CRM, you aren’t getting the support you need from the provider, it doesn’t meet your requirements, it’s not easy to use or it’s too expensive.
You may also be struggling to get full team/departmental buy-in due to a complicated interface. Afterall a CRM is only as good as the information that is entered into it.
It might be an idea to revisit the reasons your current CRM was chosen and identify if the circumstances and requirements have now changed.
Why you might NOT want to switch?
Fear plays a major role in the reluctance of switching. Fear of losing data, a delay in your processes, or having to learn a new system. All valid reasons to identify and address, but not reasons to continue with a system that you aren’t happy with.
Making a list of your concerns will prove valuable when searching for an alternative CRM provider, and sharing those with the new CRM support team should allow them to alleviate your concerns and help you proceed with confidence.
Find the correct alternative solution
This is crucial to the ultimate success of the switch and is something we can’t stress enough.
It’s very important not to get carried away with the ‘bells and whistles’ that some CRM’s provide and stay true to the reasons you actually wanted to switch in the first place. Often simplicity is key!
Ensure you are able to have an in-depth demo of the new software you are considering from the provider and voice any questions you have at this stage.
The benefit of an ‘off the shelf’ system is that it is tried and tested, and a fully comprehensive CRM system will often cover the many features required for an organisation-wide solution.
For instance, a non-profit organisation isn’t looking to boost sales, but may be more focussed on retention, customer management or event organising.
Partner with an expert when switching
The most important part of the switch is that you understand the process, prepare accordingly and feel supported every step of the way.
Depending on your situation, the process may differ from case to case, but the general stages include;
- Assessing the needs of yourself, colleagues, organisation and also to identify how you might better serve your supporters/members. (This will help you decide upon the new platform.)
- Communicate the switch internally and empathise with the needs of others
- Set a date for the switch and communicate internally
- Schedule staff training
- Prepare and organise your data. Your new CRM provider should be with you every step of the way and advise how you can best prepare your data for the switch, and also the steps involved in the process.
With simple planning and a controlled and supported execution, a CRM switch can be undertaken with confidence and should be met with excitement and positivity.
The process should leave you feeling more organised, focussed and better equipped with a system that will work for you & your team and improve the experience for your supporters or members.
Speak to our Sales team today to learn more about the switching process and also experience a live demo of SubscriberCRM.