Guiding Your Staff Through the 3 Phases of CRM Adoption

April 20, 2021  |  Grace Duginski

Adopting a new CRM is a great opportunity for nonprofits to create more efficiency as they pursue their missions. But what should organizations do to prepare staff—the real power behind the work—for a change like this? We asked our friend Charlotte Kresse, one half of Raise HECK, what nonprofits should do to prepare for a successful and efficient CRM migration in order to get the most value out of their investment and make a deeper impact.

Q: How can I prepare my staff for a CRM migration?

A: Technology is only as good as the people who use it. That's why it's so important to prepare and educate your staff through each of the three phases of a migration process: planning, migration, and go-live and onward. This will help you make sure you get the best return out of your investment.

Phase 1: The Planning Phase

You've selected a new platform. This is when it's important to clearly communicate to your staff, early and often, about the reasons for the change. It's important to acknowledge that your staff may be fearful or have some concerns about how their jobs will change, so address any questions that show up. It's also important to clearly communicate the timeline for the expected migration to the new solution, and set clear goals and expectations for learning and adoption.

Phase 2: The Migration Phase

Once you're getting your data imported, you're setting up forms, and so on, you should focus on a clear, defined plan for onboarding and training your staff. In order to meet a variety of learning styles, consider multiple forms of training, including live and "in person," question-and-answer, recordings, et cetera. During this phase, it's important to identify which functionalities your staff will need immediately to do their jobs when you move into the new solution, and which functionalities are exciting to have but will require more learning in order to use.

Phase 3: Go-Live and Beyond!

Make plans for ongoing staff education and optimization. At this point, it’s important to know what resources are available from your CRM provider. This could include help documentation, support, customer success, and more. What’s really key here is to put in place a proactive plan with goals for your staff to continue learning, beyond your go-live date, about all the things your platform can help you to accomplish. This will help ensure that you continue to get the most value out of your CRM investment.

Learn more about how Raise HECK helps nonprofits manage change and adopt systems like EveryAction—a platform designed to help nonprofits advance their missions.