10 Reasons to Upgrade Your Legacy CRM and Move to The Cloud

March 6, 2020 | 9 min read

Is your business stuck using a legacy CRM solution?
It’s time to let it go.
Even if your CRM’s adoption rates are still at acceptable levels, it’s time to move your business into the present with a modern CRM that runs in the cloud.
Not only will it make the CRM easier to use for your employees, but you can also centralize your data and provide a better customer experience.
In this article we’ll cover, in detail, why you need to leave your legacy CRM behind:

  1. Siloed Data Leads to a Disjointed Customer Experience
  2. Legacy Solutions Limit Scalability
  3. A Bad CRM User Experience Wastes Agent Time
  4. Bad UX Leads to Human Error and Bad Data
  5. Lower Adoption Rates Impact Productivity
  6. Legacy CRM Updates Are More Expensive
  7. Integrations Require Custom Development
  8. It Might Be the Wrong CRM for Your Business
  9. Bad Reports & Dashboards Lead to Unused Data
  10. The Cost of Switching Is Lower Than You Think

1) Siloed Data Leads to a Disjointed Customer Experience

In 2018, 71% of consumers expected a consistent, omnichannel experience, but only 29% felt satisfied that they got one.
And the most common cause of a disjointed customer experience is data and organizational silos.
Siloed data happens when each team or department uses separate tools to store data and keep track of customers.
For example, siloed data is occurring when a help desk support agent isn’t able to see a client’s previous interactions with call center agents and vice versa.
This disconnect can lead to a lot of frustration for your customers. They want to pick up where they left off, regardless of the channel they use to contact you. They don’t want to start over every time they reach a different sub-set of your support, sales, or management team.
Using a cloud-based CRM, however, means all your customers and visitor’s data is managed within the cloud, where it’s accessible to each and every one of your support and sales agents. As soon as a call is made to your team, the system recognizes the number and automatically brings up all relevant contact information at your team’s fingertips:

Unified customer service platform with Call Pop
Nextiva displays real-time customer information before accepting an inbound call.

The future of customer service shows an even bigger focus on omnichannel CRM strategies, so using a legacy system will only hold you back.

2) Legacy Solutions Limit Scalability

Legacy CRM software often has geographic restrictions and other limits programmed into it.
An intranet, LAN-based solution will also make centralizing data from multiple offices very complicated. Every time you establish a new office, you have to set up a new CRM installation from scratch.
It’s not the best fit for a growing business with ambitions to expand further.
In contrast, a modern CRM platform is cloud-based and free from any geographic restrictions. And don’t worry, making a new CRM investment no longer involves prohibitive upfront costs. You also don’t need to install anything on-site, so adding new locations is easy.
If you want to stay in control of your customers, regardless of how big your company grows, you need to upgrade your software. Modern CRM solutions are designed with scale in mind.

3) A Bad CRM User Experience Wastes Agent Time 

Legacy systems often have a clunky and dysfunctional user experience. With a steep learning curve, training new staff is a slow process. Basic tasks involve more steps and actions than they should.
While many companies have custom-developed workflows, they tend to be less than ideal. In some cases, staff default to doing things manually as it’s the easier choice.
The world of interface design has been revolutionized since most businesses invested in their first CRM. Workflows are more efficient, and critical design elements help improve usability. It doesn’t take long for first-time users to learn the ropes.
And since it’s easier to use, experienced agents complete the same tasks in less time. An easy-to-use CRM is a sales enablement tool, instead of a productivity dump.

4) Bad UX Leads to Human Error and Bad Data

When CRM software is hard to use, it doesn’t just impact speed and efficiency. The lack of usability leads to more mistakes and bad CRM data.
Filling out fields and saving them to a customer profile isn’t like writing an essay. The agent likely doesn’t have time to proofread, and companies rarely have manual editors in place. So it’s essential to get it right the first time.
But in the heat of the moment, between one customer interaction and the next, mistakes happen, especially with a clunky dashboard that doesn’t adapt to each user’s roles and responsibilities.
And doing it all manually can be extremely time-consuming (and therefore expensive).  27% of sales reps spend more than an hour every day doing manual data entry:

Time spent spent on updating CRM data - HubSpot
Data from HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report

If you want to take advantage of big data, you have to ensure its quality. You can’t personalize marketing campaigns if the fields are incorrect. An easy-to-use CRM is the first step towards better quality data.

5) Lower Adoption Rates Impact Productivity

It’s not enough for a company to choose and install the software. It’s not going to impact productivity, service, or sales unless your staff uses it. Preferably, all support and sales reps should become active users.
But with hard-to-use systems, that’s not what happens. Miller Heiman Group found that 47% of surveyed companies had adoption rates of over 90%. That means that, for the majority of companies, more than one in ten salespeople were not actively using the CRM.
This situation makes it harder for teams to work together. Imagine trying to follow up on another agent’s account with no available data to go on. You would need to start from scratch.
In an efficient team, all members actively use the same software to track all data points.
Related reading: Customer Relationship Management Trends

6) Legacy CRM Updates Are More Expensive 

Maybe your adoption rates are acceptable, and you don’t need to scale beyond your current office.
But to give consumers what they want, you have to keep up with the latest customer service trends. That means you have to keep your software up-to-date.
Updating legacy software, however, often costs more than switching to a new solution. 
In most cases, at least some custom development will be necessary. Even if your commercial solution has been updated, you might need to buy a completely new license. And updating your legacy CRM on-site can be a complicated process and require you to hire external consultants.
With cloud-based systems, updates happen automatically and independently. You don’t need to make or re-install individual software.

7) Integrations Require Custom Development

A CRM is far from the only application that companies use to store and handle customer data. Website analytics and e-commerce platforms also track and save customer behavior data.
If you want to automatically update customer records with their latest purchases and activity, integration is critical.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Powering marketing automation tools with CRM data is a must. Most of your company’s SaaS stack could, in theory, be integrated.
But your current CRM may not have built-in integrations. To make the tools work together, and centralize your data, you need a custom solution. And hiring developers with API experience is not cheap. A single hire will likely cost you at least $100,000 a year.
Hiring a consulting firm to do the job won’t be any cheaper.

8) It Might Be the Wrong Type of CRM for Your Business

Unless your company developed an in-house solution, chances are you have a general CRM. In the early days, you didn’t have a lot of choices. Most companies, wanting to keep up, simply chose an established CRM tool.
But times have changed. There are now several types of CRM on the market, tailored to different needs.
For example, there are critical differences between service CRM vs. sales CRM. In one, the stages of the pipeline are more important whereas, with service, you want better documentation of each interaction.
There are also vertical solutions tailor-made for specific industries. For contact centers, there are integrated CRM & Call Center Software solutions. Retail, ecommerce, legal, and most other industries also have industry-specific CRM options.
Working with a CRM vendor that designs software specifically for your business’ needs gives you a competitive advantage.

9) Bad Reports & Dashboards Lead to Unused Data 

A CRM is often introduced as the first part of a company’s digital transformation. But to put in place data-based processes, managers and executives need to understand the data.
Analytics and reporting are some of the weakest areas of dated CRM technology. If there are any default options, they often highlight the wrong metrics. Creating a custom report is clunky, at best. You might even have to do CRM data migration before you can make meaningful reports.
It doesn’t matter if you measure all primary customer service metrics. Data in tables is rarely enough to help you make informed decisions. High-quality visualization is key to identifying problems and garnering insights.
However, with a modern, cloud-based CRM with analytics built into the platform, your business’ data is presented in a clear, visually appealing way that makes it easy for you to identify problems and know exactly how your customer’s experience is developing:

Business Analytics - CEO/Executive Dashboard
Nextiva offers ready-to-use business intelligence between your CRM and phone system.

10) The Cost of Switching Is Lower Than You Think

With a cloud-based CRM like Nextiva, the switching costs are much lower than business owners fear. Our basic CRM plans start at $10/user per month. It includes sales pipeline management, workflow automation, an integrated knowledge base, and more.  There are no up-front costs or hidden fees.
And with our migration tool, you can easily import customer profiles and other data from your previous CRM. You won’t need significant downtime to implement the switch. With the right preparation
Our interface is intuitive and easy to learn. Our “call pop” feature automatically opens relevant records when a customer calls. First-time users can complete basic tasks with minimal training.
With no up-front investment and low training requirements, the switching costs are negligible.

3 Things to Do Before You Switch

Convinced that it’s time to let go of the CRM of yesteryear? Great! But you shouldn’t jump in straight away.  To make the transition as smooth as possible, there are a few things you should do before the switch.

1) Find a CRM Tailored to Your Business Needs

Instead of choosing the most “popular” cloud CRM solution, you should find one tailored to your needs. Does your industry have a long and complicated sales process? Are there state or federal regulations for data handling?
At Nextiva, we’ve created different interfaces for sales and service. This approach makes relevant fields, data, and workflows, easier to handle. We even offer a tailor-made solution for contact centers that combines VoIP, PBX, and CRM functionality.
We’ve also developed customizable plans suitable for different business sizes. Our basic plan is perfect for SMBs, with just the right amount of features leading to a simplified experience. Our enterprise plans include automated surveys and all the features you need to get a holistic view of your customers.

2) Research Your Options

Don’t just believe what a company writes about their software on their website. Dig deeper. Read real reviews on trusted sites like Gartner Peer Insights, G2, and Capterra. Focus on reviews left by companies of similar size or in the same industry.
By learning about their experiences in detail, you can figure out which software is the right fit for you.
Since the solution is cloud-based, you also want to check their uptime record on downdetector.com. You don’t want to choose an unreliable vendor for something as crucial as a CRM.

3) Set a Date & Train Your Staff in Advance

Once you’ve found the right solution, it’s time to prepare for the new software. Choose a date where you expect little activity, or have no other meetings planned. Arrange for technical staff to migrate the data before regular working hours.
Next, you need to prepare your staff for the switch. Most CRMs use similar jargon and processes, so most transitions require minimal training. But erring on the side of caution is always the right move. Make sure that all reps are familiar with the new software before finalizing the switch.
If they already know how to use the new software perfectly, there won’t be a dip in productivity with the new CRM.

Ready to Move to The Cloud?

Are you ready for a modern cloud-based CRM with an intuitive interface, clear-cut reporting, smart workflows, and advanced features?
Nextiva’s Customer Service CRM will help your support teams provide the level of service consumers expect. We integrate help desk, email, and voice into a single ticket dashboard. Consistent omnichannel service is no longer a pipedream.
Our Sales CRM is perfect for companies with long sales processes and large sales forces. Your sales reps will know exactly where each prospect is at any moment, giving them the context they need to close.

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Andrew Nechiporuk


Andrew Nechiporuk

Andrew Nechiporuk is an growth marketing manager at Nextiva, avid meme enthusiast, coffee connoisseur, proud dad of Persie the cat. Andrew loves traveling, visiting music festivals, and diving deep into data and analytics.

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