“I’m just a big fan of spreadsheets. I understand them, and they work great for me to track my customers.”
We frequently hear this comment from small business owners who haven’t tried CRM. They have practice collecting their information about prospects and customers in Excel, and it’s true that to a point you can track your contacts that way. But as a company grows, it quickly maxes out the capacity of a spreadsheet to fulfill this function.
Even more important to understand is the difference between a contact management system and a customer relationship management system. Sticking with spreadsheets puts a kibosh on so much transformational power that it's a shame when business gets stuck there.
Perhaps it can be said that your spreadsheet is poorly conceived and does not capture the complexity of the real world? management system and a customer relationship management system. Sticking with spreadsheets puts a kibosh on so much transformational power that it’s a shame when business get stuck there.
Let’s do a quick comparison of spreadsheets and CRM.
Here are seven reasons CRM wins:
#1 You can improve collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer service
For one thing, each department operating from its own set of spreadsheets is a characteristic of a dangerously siloed organization. Contact information gets messy really quick, and possessiveness over it negates any possibility of delivering a consistently positive customer experience.
For another thing, you cannot capture a history of transaction details in spreadsheets. You need a record of all phone calls, meetings, emails, and other communication history that can be easily shared.
Account time-line in bpm'online CRM. Easily identify who has been collaborating with others in a customer.
#2 You can act on more accurate sales information with CRM
With CRM, you can know not only who is buying what, but also what they think of it, what communication you have had with them, what marketing campaigns they have responded to, what parts of your sales process to duplicate, and how you can improve your team’s practices. Plus, you’ll get reports and analyses in useful formats as often as you need them. A well-used CRM allows intelligent follow up and forecasting.
#3 You can stay grounded in reality.
Over the years countless owners and senior executives who have used bpm’online, for instance, have shared with me their gut-level feeling: “Our CRM system is the ONE version of the truth that we rely on and go to.” Why? Because bpm’online gives them so many actionable insights into their customers and business processes.
I’ve never heard this level of confidence from anyone about spreadsheets.
Read more here about what executives say about the gut-level truth about people CRM provides.
#4 You can plan more effectively.
A spreadsheet doesn’t trigger next action items. CRM can and does, based on the history of a customer’s interaction with your content. It will also make it possible for you to easily review past meeting notes and create an adaptable plan based on real time information.
#5 You can track progress with metrics and visual dashboards.
Management is more efficient when you can watch all your metrics on the fly: quotation turnaround time, quotes to orders conversion rate, sales cycle time to close, repeat sales, service ticket time to resolution, which of your team members are exceeding their goals, and more.
#6 You can take the surprise out of any setbacks.
When you can spot trends earlier with real time information, you can leverage the positive ones for maximum benefit and correct the negative ones before major harm occurs.
#7 You can guard your time.
Too much time is lost finding information in past spreadsheets. CRM information can be queried in seconds, freeing you and your team to focus on things that matter instead of trying to understand the spreadsheet grid.
Tracking, inputting, and reporting also take time that can be spent more productively. Use a CRM tool that combines business process management, such as bpm’online CRM, as business differentiator for efficiency that supports the optimal customer experience.
Is your business experiencing any of these 20 warning signs that your business needs a CRM?
A spreadsheet habit can feel safe. But it’s a false safety because it limits the relationship building and data-driven strategic planning that can move you forward. It’s like a brake pedal, when what you want is acceleration.
Contact us today to investigate your options. No risk – you get a free 30-minute discover call. Then we would love to show you what your data would look like in a custom-designed CRM.