7 Signs Your Business Is Ready for a CRM

 In blog, CRM, SMB

Is your business feeling the data pinch? Most small business owners  tracking their customer information start with old and isolated tools. It’s not uncommon for owners to manager their business in email or spreadsheets.

This makes sense when you first start out and your available budget is small. These tools are often very familiar and therefore easy to get started and use. As your business grows both in customer size and employee count, these tools become cumbersome and risky. With more employees entering and sharing information, the data can easily get lost, outdated, or – worse – segregated between teams.

Tracking sales, service, and other business functions is still a very important to support your continued success. How do you know you need a CRM System?

7 Signs Your Business Is Ready For a CRM

1. You have multiple spreadsheets shared across employees

When you’re passing multiple spreadsheets to get updates you have to expend effort on maintaining versioning. With several spreadsheets in use, your team lacks the benefit of a single view for your business information. You can mitigate this a little with the use of cloud spreadhseets – like Google Sheets. You still have issues with multiple people updating information at the same time.

2. You’re missing customer history

So you’re getting updates, but are you saving the historical information? Are past details overwritten with the latest update? Many systems do not have a good way to capture notes and conversations for the lifecycle of your customers. The history of your customer can help identify possible upselling opportunities in the future.

3. You’re missing critical follow-ups on deals

One downside with using email and spreadsheets is the difficulty in setting reminders for those critical follow-ups. This is manageable with using calendar or outlook reminders when you’re a very small team. The larger the team the easier it becomes to have these get lost.  Worse, spreadsheets and calendars isolate follow-ups’ statuses from each other. You lose the inability to get a quick overview of the activity with your customers.

4. You’re data spreads across multiple systems

It’s pretty common for companies to have multiple spreadsheets. You could have for current customers, prospects, customer service, marketing, or you could be using different system for each function. This siloed information requires you to look across multiple locations to get an overview of your business. You could spent time on running your business instead of losing due to your lack of a single-reference point.

5. You have conflicting information

Conflicting and inaccurate information can have dramatic negative impact on your business. Without a good method of tracking history of your business’ information, you lose the capability to know what is the latest and correct information on your business. You and your team can be making critical business decisions based on incorrect information. At best, this leads to making you look disorganized to your prospects and customers. At worst, it lead to lost deals.

6. Your team is duplicating work

Without a single reference point, strict process and communications is force upon your team, or risk duplicating work. Ever have a customer get contacted by more than one person for the same reason, on the same day? The lack a visibility between employees will lead to loss time and money due to the inefficiency.

7. You have a security issue

It is important for your business to protect a source of truth. Spreadsheets can easily get deleted, copied, and shared without anyone knowing. Even with rigorous backup processes you risk your critical business data being lost forever.

Set yourself up for success

Your small business won’t stay small for long. Working only in email and spreadsheets  is not a scalable solution for long-term success. A custom relationship management (CRM) system provides a strong base for your business. A flexible CRM platform, like salesforce.com, can help with everything from managing sales, service, marketing, and even other business processes like time and expense tracking.

Interested in learning more about how salesforce.com can help you succeed? We’ll be happy to talk with you.

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    Brian Kwong
    Brian has been an Admin/Developer on the Salesforce platform since 2007. He was recognized as a Salesforce MVP in 2012 and has been renewed each year. Brian is a passionate supporter of the Salesforce community and is a co-leader for the Wisconsin Salesforce User Group. Brian specializes in business automation, business analyst, and best practices. He's the Vice President of Delivery and Operations at Better Partners.

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