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6 Signs Your Business Should Upgrade From Spreadsheets to CRM


As your business grows, it’s natural that you are collecting a lot of customer data. But many businesses get stuck in a trap where they are relying very heavily on spreadsheets and emails to keep track of all the data they collect on customers.

While this might have worked well for you when you were just starting out, chances are that it’s going to cause some issues as your database begins to grow.

A good customer relationship management system (CRM) allows you to take control of managing your sales process and customer relations while remaining organized at the same time. If your current system is anything but, it might be time to take the leap. We’ve put together a list of some of the key problems that a good CRM system can help you overcome.

You’re Wasting Time:

When you first started using spreadsheets to track your customers or clients, you probably recorded a handful of basic qualifiers like their name, contact details, and where they were in the sales funnel. But, now that your business is growing, you might have found that the columns in your spreadsheets are growing along with it. As your business gets bigger and takes on more clients, more data may be necessary to make the sale, but accessing that information can be time-consuming and frustrating. If you can’t easily find what you need when you use the search function, it’s a sure sign that your spreadsheet system is no longer working for you.

You’re Disorganized:

When you first started out with a handful of customers, remembering every important conversation that you’d had with them probably wasn’t very difficult. But now that your customer base is growing, it’s impossible to remember everything all the time.

A corkboard covered in business cards or a desk covered in post-it note reminders is definitely not an organized solution that you can work with. If you find yourself constantly digging through email messages to figure out where you’re up to with clients, forgetting about follow-ups, and spending too much time getting the information that you need, it’s probably time for a CRM.

You can use this article to figure out which CRM system is the best option for your business by comparing the range of features offered by the options available.

You Lose Leads:

If you’re working with a disorganized spreadsheet system and spending hours trying to find basic information on a customer, the risk of losing important data – such as when to follow up with a customer – can easily get overlooked or forgotten about.

As a result, you end up losing important customer information, there’s a breakdown of communication between employees, and customers start to pull away, cancel their contracts or look for an alternative because let’s face it, nobody would be happy still waiting by the phone hours later for a call that never comes through because somebody’s forgotten to enter it in the spreadsheet.

Ultimately, this can slow your company’s growth down because it will lose potential sales and customers. A good CRM solution makes it easy to enter customer data and makes it clear to everybody when and how to follow-up.

You’ve Got No Remote Access:

When you own and run a business, you can’t pause things simply because you’re not at the office at that moment. And if a customer calls you when you’re not at your desk, relying on a spreadsheet system can make it really difficult for you to access the important details on them that you will need for a successful call, if not completely impossible.

Without a good CRM system, it’s very hard to be as effective with your customer data when you are not in the office. But on the other hand, CRM allows you to access and update customer details quite easily from a smartphone or tablet and instantly update the system so that your team members back at the office can see the changes that you have made straight away.

You Need More Features:

If you and your team are often finding yourselves wishing that you had certain features or that is was possible to take certain actions with your customer data, it might be a sign that your business is ready to upgrade to CRM. Perhaps you would like to apply bulk actions to certain customers, automate email responses, or organize your contacts in groups.

If you’re finding that your current system simply does not have the capability to do everything that you would like it to do, and spend more time wishing you could do things with your data instead of actually doing it, it’s a sure sign that your company is ready to make the change.

Your Team is Growing:

As your team grows, it’s going to get more difficult for everybody to keep track of customer data using spreadsheets. Although there are cloud applications like Google Sheets that you can use to ensure that the spreadsheet is updated in real-time, a growing team can make it all more confusing for everybody to deal with.

As you get more employees, your customers are more likely to be having conversations with more than one member of staff, and more employees are going to be making updates on the same customers – meaning that everybody has to have access to clear information and instructions so that calls, follow-ups and other interactions with customers can go as smoothly as possible.

A good CRM system makes it easier than ever for your employees to collaborate with one another when it comes to sales and customer service, ensuring that your customers have a seamless and enjoyable experience no matter who they are interacting with from your company.

If your business is growing and your old system of collecting customer data with spreadsheets is no longer working for you, it’s probably time to think about upgrading to a CRM system.