When starting a business, many people create Excel spreadsheets to track all their client information (leads, sales, notes etc).
This will usually do the trick at the start, but as soon as your business starts to grow, you’ll notice that Excel or Google Sheets gets difficult to use and you hit that glass ceiling that you just can’t push through.
This is where a CRM or Customer Relationship Management system comes into play.
A CRM gives you the opportunity to put all your client information into a central spot, and opens up a world of possibilities for marketing and tracking through your sales process. Furthermore, it allows you to streamline your day to day tasks, work more efficiently by accessing your information easily and keeping everything organised.
If you find yourself at this point, and spreadsheets are no longer the way forward for your business, it may be the right time to change. Let’s look at why your business should take the plunge and move to a CRM solution.
Better lead management
Using Excel or any spreadsheet to manage your leads will quickly become frustrating, particularly as your business grows. Spreadsheets aren’t designed to show the amount of data you collect on a client in one go. Yes they can store virtually an unlimited number of columns, but you’ll be scrolling for days to find it. Furthermore, it’s frustratingly difficult to record all your interactions with the client, such as phone calls, emails etc.
A CRM solution opens the door to endless opportunities for record management and customisation that will enable you and your sales team to filter, sort, allocate and find anything they need at the push of a button.
Enhanced collaboration and data access
Question for all your players at home…. How do you share your spreadsheet and maintain the integrity of your data when multiple people are accessing it and potentially updating records? What about when your team needs to access it via mobile device?
A CRM puts all the information in one spot and overcomes the challenges raised by the questions above. Users are able to view records at the same time, changes made by one user are instantly accessible to others, and information can be accessed from any device with a positive user experience.
Generally, spreadsheets aren’t all that capable of transferring information with other systems and applications, and this can cause frustration for the team when needing to integrate.
With a CRM solution, you can easily integrate other applications and datasets that keep information flowing freely and unrestricted without having to get involved manually. In addition to this, most CRM applications also provide email and marketing functionality that will record, track and allow users to view emails and correspondence between the business and clients. This gives you and your sales team complete transparency of communication.
With a spreadsheet, there isn’t a great deal of security in regards to what can be shared and who can access it. Yes you can use Google Sheets to ensure only logged in users can access it, but most people are still using a version of Excel and a fixed document on the local computer. This does represent a risk to the business as the file may have been downloaded by a staff member who could then potentially leave the business and take all the client info with them.
CRM systems require users to login, providing additional security around who can access the client information. Furthermore, security permissions can be set up to ensure users aren’t able to export information and run off with it and permissions can be set granualy to ensure certain members of the organisation only have access to certain data. When a staff member leaves, simply deactivate their account and move on with confidence they can no longer access the information in your CRM.
If you’re a bit of an excel/spreadsheet gun, you might be able to generate a few reports and charts to represent the data, however this is usually at a pretty high level. How do you get insights from this information? And how real-time is the data?
With a CRM, however, you generally have access to real-time dashboard reporting that rolls through your data and presents relevant charts and reports in real-time. There are almost endless numbers of reporting options available that will give you valuable insights into the effectiveness and efficiency of your lead generation and sales processes.
Running a business in today’s modern world requires more than a simple spreadsheet can offer. Sure, you can get started with a spreadsheet, however, in the long run as your business grows and matures, it will become increasingly difficult to run your business from that spreadsheet.
If that’s you, and you need help migrating from a spreadsheet to a CRM, let’s get together and see how we can help you implement a CRM in your business today.
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