Excel is the primary choice for several business leaders and seems to be the go-to option while they are starting their business. It is easy to set up, use, and does the job seemingly fine; unless these following events occur:
• The business starts receiving a higher volume of prospects
• Unable to keep track of communication with your clients and leads
• You are facing a difficult time controlling the transparency of agreements
For instance, consider collaboration. Think of sharing your spreadsheets with multiple people while hoping that everyone is on the most recent version at all times. It can be disappointing and opens up space for potential errors. This is not a productive way to work.
Take another scenario: Your leads have doubled from the previous month. Suddenly, you notice that the mailing service you use requires more capacity and storage. Added to it is the responsibility of monitoring communication with these opportunities. The efficiency starts to dimmish right when you want to generate and spot a lead’s stage in the sales pipeline.
Here, Excel isn’t enough for your sales operation. Although it may seem daunting to bid farewell to a solution that you have been using for a long time, the benefits will greatly outweigh the cost. It becomes glaring when you reached a point where you have more data than the sheet can manage. Hence, it’s time to move from Excel to a customer relationship management solution.
At its core, a CRM is an all-inclusive platform for your salespeople to manage their business relationships. Many businesses leverage the solution to generate and nurture relationships with leads and clients. Another function that a few organizations use CRM for is marketing automation, which is an exceptional addition to a powerful tool. As there are several CRMs available in the market, you need to look for the right CRM system that suits your specific business needs.
Moreover, a CRM for sales operations helps you to:
a) Generate and view custom reports
b) Schedule and send bulk emails
c) Monitor deals in a pipeline
d) Set up meetings with leads
e) Document notes and share files
1. Poor Time Management
The equal balance between time and work is what makes work more productive. But traditional data entry in spreadsheets draws productive hours from you. It doesn’t matter whether three or thirty leads fill up the web form; you are forced to enter the details manually. This allows room for human error and the opportunity for some details to slip through the cracks.
A robust CRM system for sales helps businesses to handle this situation by capturing lead information automatically from the webforms so that you can skip the manual data entry and reach out to them right away. Another drawback with the Excel sheet is that when you would like to check your sales figures with the help of statistics, you must choose the right data from the cells, select a graph of your choice, enter formulas, and create the report. It takes a lot of time. The CRM helps you out in this case with report creation at the click of a button without the need to seep through hordes of data.
2. Hassle-free Setup
Once you have set up Excel for business, the procedure doesn’t end there. You also need to set up your email customer, software for making calls, and other applications to manage sales effectively. The worst part is you require keeping switching between such multiple platforms daily in order to make it work with the business procedures. Think of a single application with all the features your organization needs to succeed. A sales CRM software steps in to make things easier. Besides, there are three critical advantages involved in leveraging a one-stop sales solution like a CRM.
• Save productive time
• Data and sales become organized
• Increases productivity
3. Tracking Events
It is apparent that you cannot send emails from Excel, and there is no way to track its metrics. With the help of a sales CRM, you can monitor a plethora of email metrics from open and click rates to the activity of your prospects on the website. The real-time details provide you the essential context that you require to interact with your prospects quickly.
Say you are notified about a prospect downloading a case study from your site. It suggests that they are exploring the business and serves as an excellent opportunity for you to craft an informative email regarding an event that your organization is hosting. The attached invitation can help to monitor response rates. Moreover, the best part is that all such interactions get recorded in the respective lead’s profile in the form of a chronological timeline.
Every organization needs to quantify efforts. Excel provides bar graphs, pivot tables, and pie charts for reporting. But there are capped limits that are imposed on the amount of data it can manage. Excel sheets fail miserably when it comes to difficult report scanning across timelines and involving a huge number of records. CRM automation solutions allow you to generate multiple reports on demand. If you want to generate a quick report, you can select a template from a typical list of use cases.
5. Data Security
Spreadsheets are always at risk of being shared without knowledge. Even when you set visibility permissions, users can duplicate the contract and manipulate the details. The data can be transferred to a storage device by any staff easily. And once the integrity is lost, it cannot be recovered. Hence, you can see how easily you can lose data with Excel. It ceases to be an issue with a robust CRM tool.
The data remains always secured, even when you are not at your workplace. Various sales CRM applications have different ways of making sure the security and privacy of clients. You must ensure that the solution you pick has tight security protocols before you decide to purchase.
Although both CRM and Excel are good quality tools, yet they are designed for various requirements. So, if you are searching for a straightforward and single setup that takes care of everything related to sales, a CRM application is an excellent choice.