Every business that is growing must reach a point in their development where they can invest in technology to help them grow. When is the right moment?
We often feel content to hire more people – because business is booming! – but we balk at the expense of systems and processes that make it easier and more efficient to use the people we already have.
Businesses who plan to invest in CRM for the first time have one thing in Common – they are growing and experiencing some strains.
The old saying, “What got you here won’t get you there,” rings true in the end.
These are signs it is time to get a CRM.
1. Spreadsheets are no longer the best way to go
Do not feel guilty about your spreadsheet addiction. It’s normal because it works… for a time.
Excel has seen many impressive workarounds, but they don’t scale well. Excel is a powerful calculator but not a database.
You may already be suffering from spreadsheet addiction if your business is using spreadsheets for reporting, sharing, updating, reporting, corruption, and data loss. You may also be missing the one source of truth you need about your customers when it is most important.
2. You’re losing your way
You used to be able to see what everyone was doing and where they were at. As your customer base grows and your staff increases, it becomes difficult to keep track of who is doing what for whom. You can also store all your customer history in your collective memory, and it is possible to walk out of the office at any time.
Customers are often the ones that suffer from poor service, forgotten or lost customers. CRM allows you to keep track of customers and prospects and to determine the actions you should take to serve their needs. It does all this in an automated manner so that no one is overlooked.
3. Growing pains can be excruciating
You just have to do what you can when you start a business. For the moment, you find creative ways to make things work. As you grow, temporary solutions begin to fail under pressure. This can lead to increased risk for your business.
Perhaps you have already experienced something catastrophically wrong and are now too overwhelmed to find solutions.
4. Your people are inconsistent
Your staff will discover different ways to do the same thing if left to their own devices. Every sales legend has a password-protected sales funnel spreadsheet. But there are others who swear by post-it notes.
CRM is the answer. It allows you to take your best practices and apply them consistently so that you can see all activities and pipelines. It is essential to identify your superstars and those who are taking it easy.
5. Oversight is not a virtue
You don’t have a system for tracking if you don’t have a plan for reporting. Without reports, you’re blind.
A CRM allows you to track and manage your sales pipeline easily. You can also know when you will need additional staff or products before it is too late. Although you might not realize it, CRM can be used to manage all aspects of your business. CRM allows you to identify bottlenecks in your delivery process and then direct resources to those areas. Your solution can be extended to include order management and integration with your finance system. You can do it all and take it one at a time.
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