The Spreadsheet Fallacy
Since the first release of Microsoft Excel in 1985, the working world’s reliance on the program continues to grow as we use it to organize, manipulate, and analyze data. There’s no question about the value and power this software holds and the part it plays in our professional lives. Whether we’re managing a list of tasks, potential clients, budgets, or anything else you can think of, Excel is a tool we trust.
But how much do you trust yourself to input data with minimal mistakes? Even the most detail-oriented among us are prone to making errors from time to time.
Because of this, it’s not realistic to rely on spreadsheet data to make important company decisions, especially those that involve potential deals with clients. Errors could prevent new business and interfere with your relationships with current clients, costing you money. A CRMBuyer article by Christopher J. Bucholtz, Are Your Spreadsheets Leaking Money?, points out that by relying solely on spreadsheets, “you’ll miss renewal dates and lose customers. Since retention is critical to profitability, using spreadsheets in this way could be a direct factor in a business’ failure.”
So is there a simple solution to your spreadsheet woes? Mobile access, customer intelligence, automatic data capture and analysis, pipeline management, and activity tracking could all be at your fingertips.
Well, here’s the solution: a CRM system. If you aren’t currently using a CRM, the ability to organize your information alone should be enough for you to consider it. But what is a CRM system? CRM stands for customer relationship management. We all know how important the relationships with our customers are to our business. A CRM allows us to manage our interactions and experiences with our customers by organizing, automating, and centralizing the data we input into the system. By increasing internal visibility, removing many manual and time-consuming tasks, and providing customer insight, we are able to enrich our relationships and improve our sales.
Bucholtz describes the use of a CRM system as a way to give you “a single repository of information for everyone who interacts or needs to understand the customer. The administrative overhead you’d need to manage spreadsheets is gone, as is the risk of duplication errors, and the right information is stored and shared because of the interfaces used to prompt users to input data.” No matter how you explain it, a CRM is crucial to your business.
Managing relationships with your clients is perhaps the best way to guarantee the success of your business and also the only way to maintain valuable sales data. A SuperOffice post by Toma Kulbyte, 10 Signs You Are Not in Control of Your Sales Pipeline, discusses the importance of CRM software in sales visibility, tracking, and pipeline information: “Having the full visibility of your pipeline and process will bring to the light what works and what’s not on the way to winning deals. To identify where your funnel is leaking doesn’t mean that all the prospects in your pipeline are going to convert, but you will be able to prevent some of the loss. And by combining activity and sales data in a single database, CRM software will give you the full visibility of your pipeline as well as sharpen your sales process.”
So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of a CRM system that’s right for your business today.