10.08.2023

Navigating a successful global CRM migration: key considerations

13 min read

Mike

In this article, we've investigated the different aspects of a global CRM migration, understanding what the benefits could be for your team, how to manage data in a secure and compliant manner, how to ensure regional customisation, and engage with your team during the process.

As companies evolve, their technology and CRM requirements undergo dynamic shifts. Often, growth leads to the outgrowing of existing systems, compelling businesses to seek new CRM platforms that can accommodate their expanding needs.

A strategic approach to CRM migration is essential as it impacts every aspect of an organisation's operations. This process involves understanding the existing systems, setting clear migration objectives, and developing strategies to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Benefits of a central CRM system

As enterprises grow and expand their business operations to new regions, they often encounter challenges in managing customer data, processes, and communication across multiple locations.

Operating with multiple CRM systems for each region creates data silos and inhibits a unified view of customer interactions. This decentralised approach can lead to inefficiencies, data inconsistencies, and missed opportunities for cross-regional collaboration.

Having a centralised CRM enables a holistic view of customer interactions, allowing teams across the globe to access real-time data, insights, and customer history. This 360-degree view empowers sales, marketing, and customer service teams to make informed decisions, deliver personalised experiences, and identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

Data consistency is another critical benefit of a centralised CRM. With a unified database, there is a single source of truth for customer information, ensuring accuracy and reducing the risk of data discrepancies across regions. This consistency enhances data integrity, making it easier to comply with data privacy regulations and deliver a seamless customer experience.

Moreover, a centralised CRM facilitates standardised business processes and reporting across the organisation. It fosters collaboration among teams, breaking down communication barriers and fostering a culture of knowledge sharing.

A global CRM migration presents a transformative opportunity for enterprises to overcome the challenges posed by expansion and create a seamless customer experience across diverse regions. By centralising CRM operations, organisations can achieve global scalability, enhance data consistency, and optimise business processes.

However, a successful migration requires clear objectives, thoughtful planning, and effective communication to maximise the benefits of a unified CRM platform.

Setting clear objectives and expectations for the migration process

In preparation for a global CRM migration, a thorough examination of requirements is imperative at both the global and regional levels. It's crucial to establish clear objectives that not only resonate with the organisation's overarching strategy but also address unique challenges encountered during expansion across diverse locations.

At the global level, common migration objectives encompass enhancing operational efficiency, amplifying customer engagement, boosting sales revenue, and centralising customer data for advanced analytics and informed decision-making. Concurrently, recognising that regional nuances can influence requirements, aligning these objectives at the regional level is equally vital.

To ensure a seamless migration, the establishment of expectations entails delineating timelines, resource allocation, and communication strategies. A culture of open communication with stakeholders across all organisational tiers cultivates a collaborative environment for the migration process, engenders employee buy-in, and guarantees collective endorsement of the planned transformations.

Assessing data migration and integration

Data is the lifeblood of any CRM system, and migrating it requires meticulous planning and execution.

Conducting a thorough data audit and cleanup is a crucial first step. The data audit involves examining the existing data across various systems, databases, and applications used in different regions. This comprehensive review helps identify redundant, outdated, or incomplete information that may hinder the migration process or compromise data integrity.

A well-executed data cleanup process ensures that only accurate and relevant data is migrated to the new centralised CRM system. By eliminating duplicate records and outdated entries, the organisation can optimise data quality and streamline processes, setting a strong foundation for a successful migration.

Ensuring data compatibility and mapping between old and new systems

In a global CRM migration scenario, enterprises often face the challenge of dealing with multiple existing systems, each with its own data structure and format. The migration requires meticulous planning to ensure data compatibility and effective mapping between these diverse systems and the new unified CRM platform.

Data mapping involves defining the relationships and correspondences between data fields in the old systems and the corresponding fields in the new CRM. This process ensures a seamless transfer of data, preserving crucial information and relationships between records across the various systems. The accuracy of data mapping directly impacts the success of the migration, as any errors or omissions can lead to data discrepancies and operational inefficiencies.

Addressing the plural nature of "systems" in the migration is essential. Organisations typically have disparate CRM systems, databases, and software applications in different regions. Bringing all this data together into one global CRM requires a well-thought-out strategy that considers data structures, fields, and unique attributes in each system. The migration process must harmonise these diverse elements to achieve a unified and consistent view of customer information.

Integrating disparate systems and third-party applications

In addition to migrating data from various systems, enterprises may also rely on several third-party applications for specialised functions, such as finance or recruitment tools. Integrating these disparate systems with the new CRM is crucial to maintaining smooth workflows and preserving the functionality that each application brings.

A well-planned integration strategy ensures that data flows seamlessly between the CRM and other applications. This enables a holistic view of customer interactions, empowers teams with actionable insights, and avoids information silos that can hinder cross-functional collaboration.

Third-party integrations can enhance the CRM's capabilities, enabling organisations to leverage best-of-breed solutions for different business functions. However, ensuring the compatibility and security of these integrations is essential to protect sensitive customer data and maintain data privacy standards.

Complying with global legislation and data privacy regulations

In the era of heightened data privacy concerns, enterprises must prioritise compliance with international data protection laws.

Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States impose stringent requirements on how customer data is collected, processed, and stored.

When considering CRM migration and data privacy, it's crucial to keep these three factors in mind:

  • Getting acquainted with local data protection laws: Each region may have its own set of regulations, expectations, and compliance standards. This foundational step ensures that your CRM migration aligns seamlessly with legal requirements, fostering a secure and compliant environment.

  • Securing data through encryption and measures: Implementing robust data encryption and security measures fortifies your CRM ecosystem against potential breaches and unauthorised access. This protective shield ensures that sensitive customer data remains confidential, regardless of its geographical journey or the cross-border nature of your operations.

  • Empowering customers through consent protocols: Respecting customer preferences and granting them control over their data is fundamental in the data privacy landscape. Establishing well-defined protocols for obtaining customer consent and managing their preferences fosters transparency and mutual trust.

By addressing these considerations, your global CRM migration can navigate the complexities of data privacy regulations while maintaining a strong foundation of security and trust.

Data hosting and security: ensuring transparent and protected storage

As critical as adhering to data privacy regulations is ensuring that the physical storage of customer data remains in compliance and adheres to stringent security standards. Data hosting plays a pivotal role in this aspect of CRM migration.

When selecting a CRM provider, such as HubSpot, it's vital to understand where the data is hosted. Transparent information regarding data hosting locations helps assess the potential implications for compliance with local regulations and international data transfer agreements. It allows you to ensure that your customer data is stored in regions that align with your legal obligations and your commitment to safeguarding sensitive information.

Furthermore, evaluating the data hosting infrastructure for security protocols and certifications is crucial. Look for industry-standard security measures, such as encryption protocols, regular security audits, and compliance certifications, such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013, which affirm the provider's commitment to protecting your data.

By addressing data hosting considerations alongside privacy regulations, your CRM migration can encompass a comprehensive approach to data security, privacy, and compliance. This proactive stance safeguards your organisation's reputation and fosters trust among both customers and stakeholders.

Evaluating CRM customisation and localisation

While a centralised CRM system offers significant advantages in terms of scalability and data consistency, it is essential to consider the specific needs of regional teams.

This section delves into the crucial process of evaluating CRM customisation and localisation, highlighting the importance of tailoring the CRM platform to ensure optimal performance across various markets.

  • Evaluating CRM customisation and localisation: A centralised CRM system provides a solid foundation for managing customer interactions and data across global regions. However, the success of a global CRM migration hinges on understanding and addressing the specific customisation needs of regional teams. Each region may possess distinct business practices, cultural intricacies, and linguistic requirements that necessitate tailored solutions.

  • Identifying specific customisation needs for regional teams: Before initiating a migration to a global CRM system, it's essential to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the specific needs of each regional team. By identifying these unique requirements, enterprises can fine-tune the CRM platform to align seamlessly with the distinct operational and cultural aspects of each region. This targeted customisation enhances user adoption, efficiency, and overall user satisfaction.

  • Balancing uniformity and flexibility for diverse markets: While a uniform approach streamlines processes and promotes consistency, acknowledging the need for flexibility in certain regions empowers teams to tailor the CRM system to local market dynamics. This adaptive approach ensures that the CRM platform remains a versatile tool that enhances productivity without stifling regional innovation.

  • Tailoring CRM features for local business practices and languages: Effective localisation extends beyond language translation; it involves moulding the CRM platform to mirror regional business practices and customer preferences. For instance, sales and marketing teams may require distinct workflows and automation strategies based on cultural norms and regulatory constraints. Adapting the CRM features to accommodate these nuances fosters an environment where regional teams can leverage the platform to its fullest potential.

By identifying specific customisation needs, striking a balance between uniformity and flexibility, and tailoring CRM features to suit local practices, organisations can ensure a seamless migration process that optimises operations and enhances customer experiences across diverse markets.

Comprehensive team engagement and ongoing training

In the broader context of implementing a successful CRM system, achieving full team engagement and offering ongoing training are key components. It's clear that each member of your organisation plays a vital role in making the most of the CRM system. Therefore, enterprises should place significant emphasis on providing comprehensive team training and continuous support.

At Huble, we begin by conducting thorough assessments to identify existing knowledge gaps and skill deficiencies within your team. This forms the basis for designing training sessions that specifically address these gaps, ensuring your staff is well-equipped to effectively use the CRM system. We then offer various training formats, including workshops and drop-in clinics, catering to different learning styles and preferences.

Furthermore, we're committed to supporting your team beyond the initial training phase. Our 24/7 managed services ensure that expert assistance is available whenever needed.

This approach cultivates sustained engagement and confidence within your team as they navigate their CRM journey with HubSpot. As cultural shifts and process adaptations unfold, this strong foundation of robust training and support stands as a pillar, facilitating seamless adjustments and sustained empowerment.

Post-migration evaluation and optimisation

Upon completing the migration, it's crucial to assess its effectiveness against our established goals. We can measure this using key performance indicators (KPIs) related to customer engagement, sales revenue, and operational efficiency, which help us understand the impact of the new CRM system.

Analysing the migration's success allows us to identify areas where we can make improvements. By gathering feedback from our users, we gain insights into their challenges and where enhancements are needed. These insights guide us in making refinements to the CRM system, ensuring it better serves the needs of our global teams and customers.

To maintain the CRM system's efficiency and keep it aligned with our evolving business needs, it's important to create a plan for ongoing enhancements and updates. Regular updates to the CRM platform ensure that it remains current with the latest features, enhancing productivity and the overall user experience.

Conclusion

By adopting a centralised CRM solution, businesses can break down data silos, improve customer experiences, and streamline operations. However, achieving a seamless CRM migration requires meticulous planning and consideration of various factors.

Working with an International HubSpot Partner like Huble can significantly ease the migration process. Our expertise in CRM, marketing, creative, and sales consultancy, coupled with our Elite HubSpot Partner status, ensures a seamless and successful global CRM migration that aligns with your business objectives.

Contact our team today to find out how we can help your organisation navigate a global CRM migration.

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