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How long does it take to implement a new CRM? Part 1

how-long-does-it-take-to-implement-a-new-crm-part-1

You are ready to upgrade your CRM! WooHoo! (In Part 2 we will cover the people implementing their first CRM)

As you consider which CRM is going to be best for you moving forward, you’ll look at Salesforce, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, and probably a few others. The big question is, how long is it going to take you to implement the new CRM? Are we talking Hours? Days? Weeks? 

You probably guessed the answer is: “It depends”. If you choose one of the complex systems like Salesforce or Infusionsoft it could take several weeks or more. These are not bad systems, in-fact, they are great systems. It’s just that these CRM’s require a programmer, or a very sharp technical person to get things set up properly. In this article we will focus on implementing a more straightforward, and easy-to-use CRM.

Since you are already using another CRM and you want to upgrade to something better, your path will be relatively easy. You’ll be up and running in a matter of hours. You probably won’t have everything perfectly dialed in, but you will be well on your way to a better CRM experience.

Here are the steps to getting started with your new CRM:

Step 1
Learn your way around the system.

Use video demos or video tutorials to get a good overview of the system. If the CRM company offers training or onboarding services, take advantage of those as well.  

The other option here is to just jump in and use trial and error to figure the system out. You can learn easy-to-use systems (like AllClients) as you go along.  

Step 2
Set up Categories and Tags.

While this exercise can also be done as you start using the system, many times it is helpful to give yourself a head start.

Find where you add Categories, Tags and Sources (usually in Settings) and add some that make sense for you and your business. This will help you put your contacts in the right buckets from the start as you move on to Step 3. 

Step 3
Import your Contacts.

Do an export from your old CRM and choose the CSV format. Then import your contacts into the new CRM. 

Changing systems is also a good time to do some database cleanup. Look at your contact list and remove old, stale contacts. And depending on how big your list is, you may even want to go one by one through your contacts and make any appropriate edits to get the contact records up to date. 

Step 4
Start using it…now!

This is most important. There is an adjustment period to get used to a new CRM, so the sooner you get started, the better. 

Resist the temptation to give up too early on the system. Don’t expect everything in your shiny new CRM to work the exact same way your old, clunky CRM worked. Remember, you are upgrading to find something better, so give it a chance. 

The hardest part of this whole process is finding the right CRM for you and your needs, and then pulling the trigger. 

Once you find a great CRM that you can understand and one that you will actually use, the rest is easy. You will be benefiting from your new CRM the same day you get it.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will have this discussion for the folks getting their first CRM.

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