Going from Excel to Salesforce to manage client data
December 8th, 2015
Are you seeking to upgrade your client database?
If you are considering moving from a spreadsheet (like Excel) to a CRM (like Salesforce), you need to treat the move to a CRM as much more than just a software installation. A successful transition from spreadsheet to CRM requires a nonprofit to address critical questions such as:
- Who needs to know what about our clients?
- What are our most important workflows?
- Who is responsible for what interactions?
- What exactly is our theory of change?"
- Find an expert to guide you. This could be a pro bono volunteer who has worked with CRMs in a business context, a consultant who specializes in the nonprofit sector, or another nonprofit leader who has gone through the process already.
- Do your research on the options. We are big fans of Salesforce for a host of reasons, but there are certainly other possibilities. Keep in mind that many nonprofit CRMs out there are designed for fundraising first, and can be suboptimal for client management.
- Establish a budget (as a very rough guide, I recommend the average nonprofit set aside at least $20,000 for the one time implementation process).
- Assign a project manager (this should be one person who has authority to tame the flock of spreadsheets roaming your organization).