<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=241894266379435&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Forgotten Customer Relationships, Make your business work smarter, Business success with CRM, Better Decision Making,

16 Min Read

10 Warning Signs Your Business Needs a CRM System - Leading Indicators

Are you satisfied with just a few clients and no real ambition to grow? Most businesses want more than that, a lot more.

A common concern for businesses is how to know when their activities really warrant investing in an upgrade from basic contact management to a real CRM system.

What is CRM and Why is it critical to business success"?   

When should a business upgrade from basic contact management to a fully capable CRM.?

20 warning signs tell you it’s time for CRM, but we’ve split them into two groups: 10 Leading Indicators and 10 Lagging Indicators.

Leading indicators are the early signs that you're outgrowing your current processing system and should start considering a CRM

Lagging indicators mean you've already outgrown your processes and are probably losing money because you're not keeping up with your current clients and prospects. Opportunities are slipping away, and decisions are slow and uninformed.

Now for the 10 leading indicators:

10 Early Warning  Signs You Might Be Ready for a CRM...

Warning_signs_Lack_Of-CRM-SystemLeading Indicator 1: You have more than one employee interacting with customers.

Two different employees speaking to a customer about the same issue is a huge time suck.  This is true in sales as much as customer service.  Making a customer explain their situation more than once is bad on two fronts: it's a drag on your company's resources and an off-putting hassle for the customer.  

How many times have you been frustrated yourself when you call for service and you'd swear no one in that company knows what’s going on? An integrated CRM system will prevent that.

Leading Indicator 2: Halfway to a meeting you forget the name of the person you’re meeting.

You have to call back to the office to have someone else look it up.  Or you tap your phone, but the appointment is missing the critical notes from past conversations.

As the number of your contacts grows, it gets exponentially harder to remember their stories, names, histories, and the details of your interactions together.  If you're starting to have a hard time keeping track of it all, it's not going to get better as your business grows.

Account history timeline (bpm'online CRM):

Account history timeline bpmonline CRM


Leading Indicator 3:  You've got 5 or more Excel spreadsheets stored on the network…

… and only one person at time can update them. You can hear people holler in the office when they are done editing so others can update it.


Excel has become the default tracking option with multiple worksheets formatted several different ways.

Key point: Excel is for holding static information. It’s for single user access. It is not a relational database that links all kinds of information.  

With a CRM such as bpm’online, you can view live, up-to-date information on the go, click to sort and filter information, and generate a list of key service accounts for a sales region. If you really need to use a spreadsheet, just quickly export data to Excel.


Leading Indicator 4:  A salesperson leaves and all their commitments and contact information leaves with them.  Their replacement must start from scratch, building totally new relationships without notes on past conversations.

This really scares business owners, as it should. Turnover is a costly disruption to any business. But in sales it's even worse.  Relationships and trust are hard-won over time, and a new account rep won’t be able to build a new relationship immediately.

The new person shouldn’t have to start from scratch. Once you have employees, you need a way to share that customer information from one employee to another. With bpm’online, they’ll be able to share action items and progress notes as well.


Leading Indicator 5:  You made a follow-up call to a prospect, only to find out that someone else from your company called her earlier that day about the same issue.

Some businesses have a notes sheet to track who's been talking to whom and when, but a system like that is never accurate in real time.  Even if someone goes back and enters notes, it might not happen till the next day.  Meanwhile, you're wasting time calling people who've already been called, and your customer is wondering why you and your employees don't talk to each other.



Leading Indicator 6: You have any of your customer or prospect data stored in a physical filing cabinet. You can’t access it digitally.

It's one thing to have an archive of that pre-digital records.  But if you're tracking your current prospect data by hand and filing it away, there's no way you can quickly retrieve prospect information and keep it up to date. Plus, the more you grow, the more time you'll waste trying to maintain the outdated system


Leading Indicator 7: You get scared when you try to figure out when and where new revenue is coming.  You'd love to have an estimate of how much money your team is currently trying to bring in and how much your deals will make in the long run, but you have no way of getting to that number. Inaccurate spreadsheets or call reports can only show what sale opportunities “might be” on the horizon.

Hope is not a strategy. You can’t afford to spread precious resources too thin by tracking down unqualified opportunities. Businesses with successful CRM systems have a set of sales processes that move qualified opportunities through the pipeline, optimize sales performance and give you a better sense of future revenue.

Sales pipeline conversion (bpm'online CRM)

Sales pipeline conversion-bpmonline CRM


Leading Indicator 8: Your customer service issues keep recurring and taking too long to resolve. You don't have a process to determine patterns of a service or support issue so you can correct it.

You can't see how an issue was solved, so the next time it happens the whole analysis and resolution process starts all over again – and you lose productivity and customer satisfaction.  


Leading Indicator 9: Your mobile phone has more useful information then the main company database.  We see this all the time when a new client engages us to set up a CRM system. The company database has only basic customer information and a billing contact.  But the sales rep’s smart phone contains information that could run a successful small business.

If mobile data synchronized with the main company database in real time, imagine how the office run more effectively.  You could have smarter conversations with more people, find quality contact information with less frustration, and get better marketing results with more accurate, focused content that matters to your prospects.



Leading Indicator 10: Sales Reps are filling out call reports days too late. It is taking four hours out of their selling time each week and the reports are incomplete. Important info is not shared with management, so smarter decisions cannot be made in a timely manner. Something must change.

By putting a CRM system in place, we have helped management remove the need for reps to create these call reports.  Completed activity, new opportunities, closed won/lost opportunities and similar metrics all show up on the sales management dashboard.  Even out in the field, sales reps can type or talk into their smart phone or tablet, move that opportunity up to the next stage and update closed opportunities.  No more re-keying in information for a call report.

Mobile access using bpm'online

bpm'online mobile

Read: 10 Lagging indicators that your business needs a CRM


What warning signs have you seen that it’s time to consider a CRM strategy for your business?

Are you ready to accelerate your growth?

Tap into our CRM and business development experience for answers to your questions

Contact us to plan a time for a call to discover the options that might be best for you.



Topics:   Forgotten Customer Relationships Make your business work smarter Business success with CRM Better Decision Making

Don’t let your business become a Ghost of its former self

Business can be scary. Do you have the right system in place? Pretend we're gathered around a campfire. It's dark, and spooky noises come out of the woods. Now listen to this scary story. It's about ...
Picture of Dick Wooden Dick Wooden 16 Min Read

Harness Technology for Better Selling with Sales Creatio

And Connecting in the Age of the Customer Whether it’s the Internet or mobile devices, technology has changed the way buyers are buying, allowing them to plug-in from anywhere to do their own ...
Picture of Dick Wooden Dick Wooden 16 Min Read

How to Choose Your CRM Partner Wisely: 4 Key Factors

Choosing a Valuable CRM Business Relationship Partner Whether you are upgrading to a new CRM system or need some help upgrading the one you have to better serve the business growth you anticipate, ...
Picture of Dick Wooden Dick Wooden 16 Min Read