How Migrating Customer Data from Legacy CRM to Salesforce is Like Moving to a New Home

After returning from Dreamforce, I learned that two of my friends were moving to new homes. They used different approaches to moving their belongings and had vastly different experiences once they moved in. This made me think of the different approaches companies use when migrating customer data from a legacy CRM system to Salesforce and the impact these approaches have on their user experience when they go live.

One friend, let’s call her “Jane” is not the most organized person. Her goal was to get her family’s belongings into the new house as quickly as possible. Room by room, they packed all of their belongings into boxes and shipped them to their new home.

Before migrating customer data from a legacy CRM to Salesforce, think about how you would approach moving your belongings to a new home.

I equate this to a company whose goal for their migration from legacy CRM to Salesforce is speed-to-market. They focus exclusively on migrating customer data from their legacy CRM to Salesforce and begin executing.

The other friend, let’s call her “Jennifer” is very organized. Her goal was to make it easy for her family to adjust to their new home as quickly as possible. Before they packed their belongings into boxes, they went through a thorough evaluation process:
1) Move it
2) Toss it
3) Fix it
4) Donate it.

They packed only those belongings they needed and were in good working order. If something needed to be fixed, they would fix it before packing and sending it to the new house. After a family discussion, they realized some things were needed for the new home that they didn’t have in their old home. They came up with a list of stores where they could get those items to ensure the family had what they needed to be comfortable in their new home on day one.

This is the equivalent of a company whose goal for their migration from legacy CRM to Salesforce is smooth and speedy user adoption. They plan to migrate customer data from their legacy CRM to Salesforce, but they also do the following in preparation for go-live:

  • Speak to the users to understand what other types of customer data they will need in Salesforce and identify other key sources.
  • Evaluate the customer data from all source systems to identify any incomplete or inconsistent data and fix it before moving it into Salesforce.
  • Ready to manage potential duplicate customer data they encounter because of the inconsistencies between customer data stored in various data sources.

What is the goal of your migration from legacy CRM to Salesforce? Speed-to-market or smooth and speedy user adoption? What are you doing to ensure you achieve your goal? Here are some resources that may help:

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