How to Plan for Data Migration as Part of Your Salesforce Implementation?

April 4, 2024


Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become essential for companies to manage their customer data and interactions effectively. Salesforce is widely accepted as CRM of choice for a variety of businesses.

Implementing Salesforce can be a game-changer, but it requires thoughtful strategy. One crucial aspect of a successful Salesforce implementation is data migration. In this post, we'll discuss the importance of Salesforce data migration and briefly overview the implementation itself. 

Whether you're a business owner or a Salesforce administrator, we will help you understand why data migration is critical and how to do it right.

Understanding Data Migration

The definition of data migration is simple: the action of transferring data from one system to another system. You can use tools like Salesforce Data Loader to import your data in bulk, but this requires carefully preparing your data to correctly map to the Salesforce system.

How you configure your data within Salesforce directly impacts the effectiveness of your data processes, the quality of your data, and the overall ease of use of the Salesforce system.

However, the in-depth nature of migrating data makes it susceptible to several roadblocks, including a lack of data standardization and planning. While attempting to transfer data, there can be unexpected dependencies between datasets, redundant data, and interlinked processes that may not have a mirroring equivalent. Due to this, data migration can be particularly time consuming.

Preparations for Salesforce Data Migration

When migrating data to Salesforce, give yourself a generous timeline and budget that allows for the careful assessment of your data sets. Depending on the complexity and quality of the data, it can take weeks or months to complete a transfer and configure a functional Salesforce data model. 

With typical extensive timelines for data migration, and the advanced resources required to facilitate the transfer, the total cost of Salesforce data migration alone can range from $5,000 to $50,000. Coordinating your resources ahead of your Salesforce implementation can help avoid costly delays or unexpected scope creep throughout the migration process. 

Steps Necessary to Ensure a Smooth Salesforce Implementation

Establish effective communication with all stakeholders who may be impacted by your data migration initiative.

Define the Scope and Objectives

To determine the scope of your Salesforce data migration process, clarify what you hope to achieve by using Salesforce. Make a Salesforce data migration checklist that breaks down the migration process into digestible checkpoints that guide your data transfer based on your goals, customer needs, and current systems. 

Ensure Stakeholder Involvement

Identify how stakeholders throughout your organization use your data to determine who the Salesforce data migration project will affect. Seek their insights on potential challenges and user requirements to ensure your new Salesforce system aligns with their needs. 

Additionally, leverage stakeholders from all relevant departments to create a central data mapping document that visualizes data transfer throughout your organization.

Implementation Stages

You'll progress through these key stages once your organization is prepared to initiate its Salesforce migration process.

Discovery and Planning

Make sure you and your team have an intimate understanding of your current data systems and data migration best practices. Coordinate a project team, inventory resources, designate roles, select data migration tools, and develop a detailed migration plan document.

Design and Build

Set up your Salesforce environment by establishing sales processes and developing custom objects and fields to house your incoming data. Create templates to structure your data, then design custom security settings to protect your client information.


After transferring data, conduct unit testing, system testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT) to confirm that your team can access the data they need. Thorough testing addresses data security concerns and supports the widespread adoption of your new sales infrastructure.


With a fully functional Salesforce system ready, you can train your team to use Salesforce to support their goals. Set up initial training sessions and resources for ongoing support as your team explores its functions.

Review and Iterate

Managing a Salesforce system requires a commitment to ongoing maintenance. Conduct regular system assessments and implement user feedback to improve your data utilization.

Rollback and Contingency Plans

Even with extensive testing, you may encounter issues with your data migration after launch. Develop a rollback plan that allows you to revert to your legacy systems and back up your data to enable a full system recovery. Have an additional contingency plan to keep your project on track when faced with external issues like budget and personnel changes.

Data Migration That Streamlines Implementation

By developing a thorough data migration plan, you can achieve a successful Salesforce data migration while keeping your most critical data retrieval processes intact. Being proactive about your data management and quality assurance before, during, and after your migration can help you avoid common Salesforce data migration challenges and keep your data transfer plan on track. 

How Operatus Can Help

Preparing for a successful Salesforce data migration can feel daunting when unfamiliar with the data transfer process. Fortunately, the Operatus team is here to offer expert Salesforce data migration services and in-depth guides and resources, like our Zendesk to Salesforce migration guide

Contact our specialists today to start laying the foundation for your successful migration.