Discover alternatives to Goldmine, but determine your next system wisely. If you’re new at vetting CRM platforms, I urge you to read this post in its entirety. If this isn’t your first rodeo, feel free to walk away with the short list of points to consider.
What’s the issue with Goldmine anyway? In many situations, Goldmine is a technology that hasn’t adapted with today’s business marketplace. Current CRM systems are much more adaptable to automate internal processes to boost efficiency, something that isn’t as readily available in Goldmine. Goldmine is a Contact Centric database, making many B2B relationships harder to maintain effectively within Goldmine. If you are looking to integrate Goldmine into your other business applications, you’re also looking at a large fee comparatively to many of the marketplace based integrations available in other CRM’s. So let’s get started!
The Short List
- Business Type (B2B, B2C, or Both)
- Email Provider
- Business Accounting System
- Other Application Integration Importance
- Your Customer Journey
- Define Criteria for Migration (e.g. Is your old data necessary?)
The Long Version
Business Type: B2B or B2C (or both?)
There are quite a few great Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms out there, all of which specialize in important items related to their main audience. This is a key point to keep in mind when you are migrating from Goldmine. Make sure you find a CRM that fits your sales scenario of Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C), or both.
In Goldmine, the software is centered around the contact. This creates an issue as most CRM platforms are Account centric, or centered around the Account, not the contact. When completing a migration, B2B based sales organizations will typically run into an issue with many different spellings for the same company in the Goldmine database, creating duplicate accounts in your new CRM. Nobody wants a dirty database. The best way around this is to find a good migration tool or hire some migration help here. B2C conversions can usually avoid this issue as the company names are regularly much less important.
If you are both a B2B and a B2C organization, define your strategy and customer journey on both aspects of the business. This will help define what CRM system you are going to use as well as the next best step for the migration. This sounds like a much more daunting process than it is and can be accelerated when working with a good partner, who has experience in both technical configuration and change management.
CRM Integration With Your Organization's Core Apps
When you are switching CRM systems, take a look at what is out there to fit your infrastructure scenario. Email is so important in the business world, consider looking at CRM systems that have intuitive integrations with your email platform. For example, if you are an Outlook (MS Exchange) or Office 365 user, look into Microsoft Dynamics. If you are a G Suite user (formerly Google Apps) take a look at Zoho CRM or Copper.
Next, what are you using as your accounting system and is it important to have financial information available to your sales and account reps? If so, make sure the CRM of choice has an accounting system integration. Tread with caution here, reason being, if the integration doesn’t come out of the box it can be the most expensive portion of your CRM migration. The absence of an accounting integration will likely drive your operations employees mad and waste valuable time as well. As technology continues to enable workflow and process efficiency, you will start to see more and more systems affecting multiple teams. It’s your responsibility to make sure that all teams are affected in a positive and productive way.
Finally, when choosing a new CRM, take a look at the CRM systems gaining popularity in your industry. Yes, Salesforce is the gorilla in the room, but, there are plenty of other CRM systems which will be just as successful for your business at a fraction of the cost. By looking beyond that gorilla we call Salesforce, some of these systems can turn out to be even more relevant to your business and scale easily with your team.
Upgrade | Newer Systems Are More Powerful
Now that you are moving away from a more traditional CRM software environment, the breadth of CRM capability will increase 10 fold compared Goldmine. You’ll now be able to define your customer journey using automation and workflows to ensure this path is replicated. And all you have to do? Design it.
This robust automation is possible because of growing innovation in modern technology, which allows for constant CRM updates without the hassle of patches and upgrades. Automation will not only save hundreds of hours for your producers, but it will also help save your budget. Newer CRM systems take far less time to configure and maintain than their predecessors. Think about your organization's dream process and implement it for a quarter of the price compared to 5 years ago.
The last piece of advice here may be somewhat contradictory, but I encourage you to bite off small chunks at a time. It is important to get the initial implementation of your new CRM correct. Your initial setup is not the time to cram in anything that is unnecessary. Attempting to separate the nice-to-haves from must-haves is difficult, but your sales team will be ecstatic when they are not overwhelmed with features they can’t figure out how to use.
Migration | What’s worth keeping & what to throw away.
Through experience, we know many Goldmine databases are far from pristine data sets. Goldmine is customizable to the individual which can quickly make a database far less structured. This is especially important for B2B Goldmine users. It is important to define the criteria for what needs to be merged under the same account and when to completely separate contacts from a similar account name structure.
Along attempting to normalize your contact database, don’t squat on old, unnecessary data. It’s important to question your organization’s need for email information created in the late 90’s. People change roles, emails change hands, and so do phone numbers. Set a date where you believe information will start to be irrelevant and migrate everything that has been updated after this date. This is especially important for attachments. (Don’t let anyone tell you attachments and email are impossible to migrate from Goldmine, they are lying.)
Last, but not least, find a migration partner. Even if you don’t need a partner for the implementation of a new CRM, the Goldmine Database can be extremely difficult to migrate from. Save yourself time, money, and a few headaches with an experienced partner. Here’s one to check out.
Your CRM Adviser, Shaun
Shaun Banta is a business strategy adviser for organizations looking to better their customer experiences through CRM technology. His thought process lies somewhere between a creative mindset and an analytical business frenzy. He loves the outdoors, competitive sports, motorcycles, audible, and podcasts. Connect with him on Linkedin.Originally published on May 02, 2017