Performing a Salesforce migration is a significant undertaking for businesses looking to streamline their operations and harness the power of a robust CRM system. Whether you’re importing data from another system into Salesforce or moving data between different Salesforce Orgs, following best practice is essential. That’s why we’ve developed this guide that covers the key considerations, strategies, and tools that can help you navigate the complexities of a Salesforce migration and ensure a smooth transition. While it’s possible to attempt the migration on your own, partnering with a specialist who has done multiple Salesforce data migrations before can significantly enhance your results.

Read on to discover how you can achieve enhanced data sharing, improved workflows, and ultimately, better business outcomes by leveraging Salesforce migration expertise.

Why do a Salesforce data migration?

Salesforce has evolved into much more than a cloud-based CRM system, making data migration a key aspect of leveraging its capabilities. As businesses integrate and transact data between Salesforce and other systems, the need for complex and scalable data models grows exponentially. Let’s explore two common use cases that drive Salesforce data migration.

1. Importing data from another system to Salesforce

A move from one system to another often occurs when the legacy system can’t deliver to current and future business requirements, or another system has been rebuilt within Salesforce, eliminating the need for separate platforms. Either way, valuable data needs to be moved to the new platform. Another reason could be that collaborative partnerships with non-Salesforce organisations may require periodic data imports.

2. Moving data from one Salesforce Org to another

This can occur when multi-departmental organisations operate multiple orgs and need to share data between them. Another scenario arises when an org’s data model is no longer scalable, necessitating a rebuild in a new Salesforce org. In such cases, ensuring that relevant data follows the migration and aligns with the new data model becomes crucial.

Considering the Business requirements

To embark on a successful Salesforce migration, it’s vital to address the following business requirements and develop a comprehensive strategy.

Effective Communication and Stakeholder Involvement: Thoroughly communicating the migration plans and involving relevant stakeholders is vital, particularly for major migrations impacting multiple teams or business units. Open lines of communication ensure everyone is aware of the upcoming changes and their roles in the process.

Defining Migration scope and budget: Defining the precise scope of the migration helps keep your project on time and within budget. Clearly communicate whether the migration includes a subset of data or impacts specific teams. Larger data migrations require significant time and effort, especially when cleansing and merging data from multiple sources. Setting the budget, having regularly check ins against it and preventing scope creep will help you stay on track.

Migration Timeline: Establishing a migration timeline with measurable milestones is essential for planning and execution, and for keeping the project team motivated and on track. Users need to know when the cutover will occur and which system they should use for their daily tasks. While it’s important to set a timeline, be open to adjusting milestone dates in case of delays or unforeseen issues and communicating these to stakeholders when they arise.

Data Cleansing prior to the migration: Clean data is critical for a successful migration. Preparing the data before importing it into Salesforce ensures data integrity and enables users to derive valuable insights.

Post-migration data validation: Once data is migrated to Salesforce, it’s important to validate its accuracy and integrity. Verify that key pieces of information, such as contact details, have been correctly migrated. Spot-check the data to identify any discrepancies or issues that need to be addressed.

Considering the Technical requirements

Change can be hard, and it becomes particularly complex when multiple technology platforms are involved. Therefore the following technical considerations must be planned for in advance and followed through on at execution time.

Create a Data Governance Plan: To maintain data cleanliness and ensure ongoing data quality, develop a data governance plan. Outline guidelines for data management and validation, and define who is responsible for each area. This plan ensures that the data remains valuable to the business in the long run.

Select the right Data Migration tool: Choose a data migration tool that aligns with your specific requirements. Consider the volume and complexity of the data to be imported. Each tool has its limitations, so evaluate their suitability based on your migration needs.

Identify required and read-only fields: Identify any required or read-only fields in Salesforce objects to ensure accurate data import. Make sure that all required fields have a value before attempting to import records to prevent rejections by the system.

Plan the order of Migration: Establish a correct migration order to avoid data inconsistencies. If records require a Master-Detail relationship, ensure that the parent record is inserted first to avoid errors during migration.

Naming convention and date format: Maintain a consistent naming convention for object and field API names to ensure clarity and ease of management. Ensure that date values align with Salesforce’s standard format for accurate data representation.

Prepare for errors: Expect some errors during the data migration process. Keep a record of encountered errors and continue the migration plan while addressing any issues separately. This approach prevents getting stuck at a single point and allows for a more efficient overall process.

Popular Salesforce Data Migration Tools

When it comes to Salesforce data migration, several tools can simplify the process. Let’s explore four popular options.

Salesforce Data Import Wizard allows for the seamless import of data within the Salesforce web app. It supports both standard and custom objects and allows the upload of up to 50,000 records at once. While suitable for simpler migrations, it may have limitations for more extensive data import needs.

Salesforce API: Apex Data Loader provides developers with various methods to manipulate data within the Salesforce database. Apex Data Loader, a free downloadable software, leverages Salesforce API to insert, update, upsert, and delete data. It offers user-friendly interfaces and command-line options for efficient data migration.

Skyvia is cloud-based data platform that simplifies Salesforce migration and offers continuous data synchronisation. With its Salesforce Connector, you can easily migrate data into Salesforce from various sources, including CSV files. Skyvia also enables Salesforce to Salesforce data migration and provides backup capabilities.

Kingsway Soft is accessed as a cloud-based application or installed as an on-premises tool. Key benefits include its user-friendly interface, powerful data mapping capabilities, seamless integration with various systems, and automated workflows for efficient and accurate data transfers. However, it may have a steeper learning curve and can be costly for smaller businesses.

Salesforce Data Migration Checklist – what to keep in mind

To ensure a successful Salesforce data migration, consider the following checklist.

Backup: Always take a backup of your data before performing any migration. This ensures that even in worst-case scenarios, your original data remains intact and can be restored.

Sort data before the Migration: Determine the data that needs to be migrated and make note of its source and destination. Consider any conflicts that may arise and establish a plan for handling them to maintain data integrity.

Create a Migration Plan: Develop a comprehensive migration plan that outlines the order in which objects should be migrated. Prioritise the migration of essential entities like Accounts, Contacts, and Campaigns to ensure a smooth transition.

Build a Data Migration workbook: Create a detailed workbook that includes all the information being migrated in or out of the system. This serves as a reference document and ensures that nothing is overlooked during the migration process.

Establish a Communications Schedule: For larger migrations, establish a communications schedule to keep all relevant teams informed about the changes. This ensures a smooth transition for daily tasks and minimises disruptions.

Document every step: Maintain detailed documentation before, during, and after the migration. This helps identify any discrepancies and inefficiencies, allowing for improvements in future migrations.

Salesforce data migration is a complex process that requires careful planning, strategic execution, and technical expertise. While it’s possible to attempt the migration on your own there are a lot of complexities to watch out for, so partnering with a specialist who’s done this before can reduce the anxiety and deliver enhanced results.

Remember, Salesforce migration is not just about transferring data. It’s about leveraging the power of Salesforce to transform your business processes and drive growth. Trust us to work alongside you on your migration journey and we’ll keep you on time, on budget, and deliver a fully reconciled migration – guaranteed.