Later this year, we'll be releasing the new LACRM design to all of our customers. Even though the new design will be simpler, more attractive, and easier to learn than the old one, nobody likes being surprised by a redesign. We're not changing much about the core CRM functionality, but there will still be some new things to get used to, and we don't want to spring that on you when you aren't ready. This is especially important for multi-user accounts where some users might be more or less tech-savvy than others.
That's why we're giving all customers the option of switching to the new design before its final release, so that you can get used to it on your own schedule instead of ours. The new design isn't 100% finished yet, but it's completely functional, and we've been using it internally for a few months already. So if you'd rather not wait for the final release, you can give it a shot right now! And don't worry, you can temporarily switch back to the old design if any of the unfinished parts are causing problems for you.
If you'd like to try out the new LACRM design, you can enable it here (2020 update: everyone is on the new design now, so there's nothing to update!).
Migrating multi-user accounts
If you're an admin on an account with multiple users, we suggest putting a bit of extra thought into how you want to migrate your users to the new design. Your users might not be happy if they are forced over to the new design with no warning at a time that is inconvenient to them. There are two main things that can help with the transition: Timing and communication.
Step 1: Figure out the timing
The reason we're letting you and your team opt in to the new design before its actual release is so that you can have control over the timing. Here are two suggestions for picking the right time for each user to migrate over:
Migrate in stages
The form for enabling the new design can be applied to just your user, or all of the users on your account. You might consider switching users over in stages based on things like tech-savviness, admin status, and role within your team. For example, if you're an admin who is pretty comfortable using the CRM, you might choose to be the first person to switch over to the new design so that you can evaluate things and make sure you know how to help everyone else with the transition. Or maybe you have a really tech-savvy person on your team who is eager to try out the new design. You can send them the link to enable the new design, and they can start testing it out before everyone else on your account.
After a handful of users have gotten used to the new design, you could have a period where you let other users switch over on their own. Each person can use that same link to enable the new design just for themselves. This will give users plenty of warning that the redesign is coming, and it'll put them in control of when the change happens.
Then, after you've given everyone a chance to switch over on their own, you can set a deadline for the remaining stragglers to make the switch. Once the deadline is reached, you can use that same link to switch all remaining users on your account to the new design. If you don't do this, we'll automatically handle this for you later this year when we do the final release of the new design (at that point we'll stop supporting the old version).
Pick a time that isn't too busy
Users are most receptive to CRM updates when they happen during non-critical times. For example, if you have a major sales deadline coming up soon, now probably isn't the time to make the switch. But right after the deadline might be the perfect time since your users should have some extra free time to adjust to the new design.
Step 2: Communicate the process to your team
Once you have the timing of your migration figured out, the next step is to communicate this to the users. We're doing everything we can to make sure every LACRM user knows about the upcoming redesign, but you might still want to give your users a heads up. You can do this however you want, but the rule of thumb is that the more warning you give, and the more explanation you give, the more users will like the new design.
When you switch your entire account to the new design, there is an option to have us email each user letting them know about the migration, and giving some information about what has changed. We recommend having us send that email, but it's not a bad idea to also send out your own email a bit before the migration just to let people know it's coming. And if you have any users who are typically opposed to any and all change, it can help to explain why the new design is worthwhile (once again, we'll do our best to explain this as well).
Here are some reasons why we're confident the new design will be an improvement for your users. If you think you'll have reluctant users, it might help them to hear some of these points from you instead of us:
- The new design will work much better on phones and tablets. We don't have it working perfectly on mobile yet, but that's the main inspiration behind the changes.
- This is not a case where our designers decided to mess with things just to have something new. Each change has a specific reason which was driven by feedback from our customers. For example, the "Contact info" section on a contact's profile switched from the left side of the screen to the right. This might take some adjustment, but once you're used to it, it means that the contact info always shows up at the top of the page instead of being buried under a bunch of links.
- The settings section is laid out in a much more clear way. You may be used to the old settings layout, but it almost certainly confused you when you first started using the CRM, and the new layout should be much easier for you once you get used to it.
- There will be a number of feature improvements coming with this redesign (note: many of these won't be available until the final release of the new design). These features include:
- Dramatically improved custom fields including the ability to have different fields for contacts and companies, more field types for contacts and companies, the ability to show custom dates on the calendar and receive email reminders for them, and much more.
- Outlook Calendar sync. If you're an Outlook user, this is almost certainly something you'll want to use.
- A list of "recent contacts" in the navigation menu so you can easily jump to the contacts you've recently viewed.
- More export types including notes, emails, and calendar.
- The ability to upload contact profile pictures so you can see a contact's photo directly on their CRM profile.
We've worked really hard to make sure this new design is a major improvement while also being careful not to change things in ways that will be hard to learn for our existing users. I hope you and your users enjoy all the improvements, and that the transition is as smooth as possible. If you have any questions about the redesign, the new features, or how to migrate your team over, please don't hesitate to contact us. And whenever you're ready...