Thinking of leaving GoldMine? Here’s a checklist of items to consider BEFORE making your first move!
There are quite a number of CRM systems vying for your attention these days and, as the old saw goes, everybody “hates” the CRM they’re on and haven’t learned to hate the one they’re moving to… yet. Before you make a move toward changing out the “nervous system” of your company, consider this brief checklist of possible pitfalls:
First, think about what you already have invested in your GoldMine system. It’s probably more than you think at first blush. This includes, of course, your cost of the software and the hardware it’s installed on, but usually the real investment is in more intangible things.
System Configuration: Over the years, since you got GoldMine, you have either hired out or internally worked out how to use GoldMine to “mirror” the real-world processes of your company. If it was done correctly, this was a very labor-intensive and detailed process. If it was not done properly, or if your business processes have changed so drastically that a ground-up redesign is needed, then maybe what’s really called for is system configuration work on your existing GoldMine or an easy upgrade. Chances are, this kind of mismatch is the most important reason you are giving up on GoldMine. So ask yourself: “If we aren’t prepared to invest in a detailed system configuration, why bother changing CRMs at all? And if we are prepared for this investment, have we really exhausted the possibilities with GoldMine?”
Training: Don’t underestimate the training time that has gone into making everyone functional in your current system. This is not just GoldMine “technical” training, but the vast amount of low-level business process training that got everyone entering data in the correct way, using commonly agreed codes and entering the key information in the right places. Every time you added a new sales rep, you invested more in this kind of training, and this is an asset to your company that will have to be re-created from scratch if you go to a new system.
Support Costs: Every CRM system requires active maintenance by knowledgable technicians who know both your business AND your CRM system’s technical back end. Getting this combination together is difficult and expensive. You’ve already done this.
Now, second, think about the one-time costs you will face in converting to a new CRM system. I’ll simply list these potential costs:
1. Software (the CRM itself). This is the one you’re probably already thinking of. Sure, it’s significant, but the list goes on a long way from here.
2. Cost of hardware upgrades to support new technology.
3. Data Conversion. “Connectors” often help, but they are never automatic and rarely easy as the salesman told you. This is often an expensive proposition and, again, full of hidden costs when you decide that your old information is not really as “junky” as you thought.
4. Cost of replacing add-ons and your custom-built solutions that tie into your current CRM. Rebuilding these, if they are not available off the shelf, can add a lot to your bill.
5. Configuring the CRM to match your business processes. This is not just a technical problem. It requires you, the people who know your business the best, to work closely with a system configuration expert, to completely describe all the moving parts of your company. You cannot successfully hire this out without also participating deeply in the process. We mentioned this above, but remember that whatever you invested before will have to be re-done from scratch for the new CRM System, as it has a different data structure and a different way of handling each process.
Finally, ask yourself if you are considering a move away from GoldMine because of one of the following:
1. GoldMine doesn’t appear to be able to do what we need it to do.
2. GoldMine maintenance is due, and I’m tired of paying for “nothing.”
3. We can’t get the information out of GoldMine that we need, so people don’t put in the work to enter data properly.
4. The original people who set up the system have moved on. No one knows how it’s supposed to work, so it doesn’t work.
5. GoldMine is a “rudderless project,” because we don’t have a dedicated GoldMine administrator, either internally or external to the company.
The answer in each of these cases is NOT to go to a new CRM system. The answer is to get together with your GoldMine partner and really look closely at the situation, asking if the issue can be resolved with better planning, training, support, or add-ons.
Every CRM has its flaws and limitations. Like it or not, your commitment to GoldMine is real and more expensive than you may think. It’s a shame to find out about the limitations of your new system and the hidden benefits of your old system ONLY after you’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
Source: Rob Machalek, MasterMine Software, Inc.