I have worked with many small organizations that were using Salesforce but had never customized the system to make it more aligned with their business. Some of them signed up for Salesforce simply because they understood Salesforce to be a leader in the industry. That's very true, but without a plan and without configuring their system, they weren't getting the value they needed from the system.

Suddenly it comes time to renew their subscription, and the cost prompts them to rethink whether Salesforce is necessary for their business. This has been going on since well before any financial hardship or uncertainty hit organizations due to COVID-19.

Skepticism usually starts to take hold when an organization doesn't see the results they wanted. Some organizations benefit from starting with a new CRM. One that is easier to configure and is a little more user friendly. Some organizations need autonomy in the long term, so they don't have to depend on an admin user to make small changes to their system.

Don't Get Me Wrong

Salesforce is a great platform. I am Salesforce Admin Certified, and it is one of my favorite CRM systems. Several of my clients continue to use Salesforce in a way that brings great value to their business, but, Salesforce isn't always the right CRM fit.

The Reality Is

There are other options. There are several CRM systems that focus more on the small business market. Most are easier to use and configure, and they often have a variety of subscription plans with various features to suit your needs at an affordable price.

Here are a few examples for you:

  1. Pipedrive is a perfect example. Over the years, Pipedrive has evolved its features, and today they have workflow automation options and a strong marketplace. The business to business market (B2B) is their primary focus.
  2. Zoho CRM has been continually updating their platform over the years, and now they have an entire suite of business applications that you can pick and choose from to create your "Entrepreneur Operating System" through the Zoho One subscription.
  3. Insightly CRM has also stuck with the pack, and today they offer a stable CRM and marketing automation platform that fully allows you to customize your customer journey.

I could go on; there are so many others out there.

Changing CRM systems

If this is prompting you to reconsider the CRM that you're currently using, it is important to know that changing CRM's is not a simple task. I have compiled a short list of important steps and what you should consider before you move away from Salesforce or any other CRM that you might be using at the moment:

  1. Be sure to review and document all of your marketing, sales, and project activities.
  2. Evaluate which ones you are currently tracking in Salesforce.
  3. Review which are not being tracked in a system and decide if you want them to be tracked in your new system or not.
  4. Start the process of looking for your new CRM. You want a CRM that can help your business move forward by making it easier to track your business activities while paying less.
  5. Don't forget to communicate with your team. Let them know that you are looking to implement a new system. They might have good feedback that you should consider as you look into new systems.

Implementing Your New CRM

Once you have selected your new system, you want to make sure that you customize it to suit your business. This might be something that you never did when you first started with Salesforce. This time you want to do it right and your new CRM should be more user-friendly and easier for you to get the most out of it. Here are the critical steps to customizing your new CRM system:

  1. Begin by creating user-profiles and give them access to the records they need.
  2. Determine how you will segment the contacts in your database. Be sure to separate your small business partners from your potential and existing customers or clients.
  3. Configure the various stages of your sales pipeline to match the sales cycle for your products and services.
  4. Integrate your new CRM system with your email, your email marketing platform, and your accounting system.
  5. Lastly, don't forget to host training sessions with your users. You must help them to understand your business processes and how you will be tracking them using the new system.

Once everything is customized, be sure to validate the system with your team by doing a round of tests before importing your data that you exported from Salesforce.

In With The Old

It is now time to import the data from your Salesforce app or other old CRM. You can start to build dashboards and reports to give you the visibility you need. Most CRM systems include pre-built reports that help you right from the beginning. You can review and customize these based on the metrics that are important for your organization.

The End Goal

The whole purpose of following these steps is to get you into a CRM system that is better suited for your business and one that will be user friendly enough to help keep your team engaged.

I always recommend that you use the system during team meetings and share the information you're tracking in the dashboard. Your users will see how the system is tracking and how it is adding value for the organization.

This is how I help. I know that you're busy. You likely don't have the time to implement or learn a new system, but that shouldn't be the deciding factor when you're reviewing whether you should stay with Salesforce or not. Other options might be a better fit for your small organization. Small Business CRM Coach can help you through this entire process, from start to finish.