Should You Upgrade or Reimplement Your CRM Solution?

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There are two different ways to improve your current CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution: upgrade or reimplementation. You might assume that the end results of the two paths will be the same. But there is a distinction.  Choosing the best path based on your organization’s processes and goals can make a big difference.

CRM Reimplementation

Reimplementation refers to the process of launching the newest version of your current CRM. The process will include reconfiguring security structures, entities, workflows, business rules, reports and dashboards, integrations, and plug-ins. You will have to migrate data from the old to the new version. For the migration to be effective, thorough cleaning of data is required. That means more upfront effort for your employees.

Despite the added work of data migration, there are scenarios in which reimplementation makes more sense:

  • It’s time to reconfigure your entire system, clean your data, and change your CRM format.
  • Your business processes and requirements have changed since your initial CRM implementation.
  • The original configuration was not done properly following best practices.
  • Security standards, requirements, or roles have changed.
  • The CRM version you’re using is significantly out of date.

Reimplementing will give you a clean slate to start with when it comes to interface design, data, security, and processes.

CRM Upgrade

Upgrading your CRM works with your existing system and follows a path that will lead, eventually, to the latest edition of the software. For instance, if you’re migrating from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2019, you’ll have to upgrade to version 2017 as an intermediary step. Ensuring all customizations, processes, and reports work correctly in the newer version of CRM is a critical consideration if you choose to upgrade.

Generally, upgrading will be less expensive than reimplementation because it does not require process reconfiguration or data migration.  Also, there are scenarios in which upgrading makes more sense:

  • You don’t have significant problems with your CRM solution, but you want to add the new features and benefits that come with the latest CRM release.
  • You do not require significant changes to your processes.
  • Your organization’s data is clean and up to date.
  • Saving time and labor is a priority.

CRM enhancements are separate from either reimplementation or upgrade projects. These add-ons should take place after a system upgrade, not in conjunction with it. Once the new CRM is functioning smoothly, you can focus on enhancements as the second stage of your journey to a more effective and efficient CRM.

Insure Success

The majority of failed CRM implementation or upgrade projects can be attributed to the management of the projects, rather than the technology being implemented.

Here are some tips for managing a successful CRM reimplementation or upgrade:

  • As senior leaders, steer the project, starting with building awareness about the need for the change and how new tools and processes will benefit both employees and clients.
  • Anticipate employee reaction to change and facilitate responses accordingly.
  • Create new business processes that will soften the blow of change, such as aligning employee reward structures to support better customer service.
  • Bring employees onboard by allowing them to be involved in the change process and making sure they realize the benefits that will follow.

When you begin to plan your CRM software change, keep in mind that a one-phase solution can present risks. Instead, create short-term goals via pilot programs and project milestones that allow for adjustments along the way.

Which Path is Right for Your Organization?

Which is right for you: reimplementation or upgrade? Whichever you choose,  BroadPoint’s Microsoft gold-certified consulting team can help. Our combined software, project management, and business experience ensure your CRM improvement project will be seamless. Contact us today to learn more.

By BroadPoint Technologies,

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