Why You Should Replace Your Spreadsheets with CRM Software?
Regardless the size and industry, almost every company in the world uses Excel/Google spreadsheets. How many of us don't like to gather client information and sales results in an Excel spreadsheet? And why not! It’s easy to set up, simple to use, and mostly does the job.
As many advantages as Excel has, they are offset by many disadvantages. There are some areas where Excel just doesn’t fit into the everyday tasks like tracking lead activities and interactions, more in-depth view into your history with a particular client - old invoices, orders, preferences and more. Frequently, companies find themselves in a situation where the complexity of the structure they have created makes it impossible to search and manage through their contacts database. This is when you realize Excel is just not enough.
If your business has outgrown the features spreadsheets provide, then it’s time to move from Excel to CRM.
CRM stands for customer relationship management. Basically, CRM is an online system that collects information about your customers from a range of different channels, including a company’s website, phone, email, marketing campaigns, manual data entry and more, and structure it. The CRM software integrates and automates sales, marketing, and customer support in a single solution.
How Can CRM Help My Business?
A single shared source of all your contacts
It may be easy to enter customer or lead information in Excel, but that is not an effective way to collect, analyze and manage data. Especially if you’re a company that’s hoping to grow in the near future!
To better understand your customers and achieve more sales, you need information, such as - who are your clients, what are their preferences, previous interactions and communication, how big of an asset are they to your company, etc. With a CRM solution, you have that information in one single place, and it is always up-to-date and available on the go.
Some more advantages of implementing a CRM:
- Plan activities related to your leads and assign tasks
- Track interactions
- Sophisticated filtering and segmentation
- Automated and targeted marketing campaigns
- Attach and link your full documentation to a CRM profile
Assigning tasks to your staff can play an important role in the daily routine in the path to achieving better results. Planning tasks is easy with a CRM - you can create time-bound events, such as meetings, appointments, etc., but also status-bound tasks, such as sending an email, making a call, sending an offer.
In order to observe customer interactions with your company and track events, you need the help of a CRM. The solution gives your sales reps a chronological view of every customer's engagement with your business and tracks sales swiftly - know when someone has opened an email, clicked on a link or submitted a form.
Like Excel, the CRM can show you slices of your data based on certain criteria. But unlike the spreadsheets with a CRM system, you can use advanced filtering based on multiple rules to dive deeper into your data.
You can save these filters and re-visit them later. Your contacts will be added to or removed from filters depending on whether or not they meet the criteria.
One of the biggest advantages of a CRM solution, further to being a single source of information, is that it provides real-time data on each customer. Any manual or automatic changes saved are presented immediately, so that there’s never a collision or loss of information. You have control over what each employee can see/do at any time.
Besides keeping your contacts in a more efficient and simple manner, a CRM system also suports you with a more flexible reporting. All businesses need to understand their KPIs (key performance indicators) and the best way is through the use of reporting tools. In a CRM system, you will find many features for profound and complete analysis.
Unlike Excel, where it's almost impossible to follow the connection between different spreadsheet data and spreadsheets, CRM gives you a complete look at the overall operations, clients and prospects. Through analytics, you can visualize sales forecasting, analyze performance, identify the most successful employees and track growth. You will be able to track the essential results you need.
Integrations with other systems
With spreadsheets, there’s no direct integration with other software. You will have to do things manually, because none of your customer information is added automatically. Also, it goes the other way around - you can only transfer any information to other applications manually.
This is where CRM comes in very handy - there is constant communication between the products that are integrated, and when a piece of information is added to one place, it is distributed to the others as well.
There’s a ton of integration opportunities that come with using a CRM, including eCommerce, accounting systems, marketing automation, ERP software, and more.
And it gets even better - your existing Excel or Google spreadsheets data can be easily imported into the CRM.
Your customers are important to your business. In fact, no matter what kind of products or services you offer, your customers are the single most valuable asset of your organization. A CRM would provide you with “one data truth” across marketing, sales and customer service. This will give your teams the knowledge needed to perform effectively various activities - interactions with customers, like engagement, sales, support and success securing.