There was a time when Excel sheets came in pretty handy for any sales person. Sales teams could use them to organize prospects and synchronize sales information. They did have some significant limitations though, and many times, the salesperson had to do a lot of the footwork in order to keep the process efficient and even effective.
However, Excel has had its day when it comes to customer relationship management. New CRM technology has emerged that makes Excel sheets obsolete for this purpose. Here are four good reasons why your sales team needs a CRM system.
A good CRM system improves communication across the organization. A sales rep can view a customer file and instantly know the history of a lead from years ago. All the information is in one place and is updated in real time, so a team member in another part of the organization can view notes made on a lead in one section of the organization immediately. It streamlines the data sharing process and makes it available to all relevant parties throughout the organization.
Unlike Excel sheets, which are generally specific to one user, a CRM system places everything in an easily accessible place. It creates a centralized place for storing data. While it is exceptional for other applications, Excel simply does not have these same capabilities. Even when stored on a shared drive, it is too easy for multiple copies of an Excel file to be created – all with differing information. This creates confusion and can lead to the dissemination of misinformation.
Improves employee training and transitioning
Training new employees can be greatly simplified by some of the CRM system's built-in tools. Employees who are transitioning to the sales team or who are being assigned leads that formerly were under another team member’s purview can quickly be brought up to speed. It allows them to act efficiently and quickly and to dive right in without having to dig through email, spreadsheets or undecipherable notes.
Improves measurement processes
CRM systems set a standard, making data entry uniform. This means that managers can easily combine and analyze data to understand the overall health of the sales organization. In short, a CRM system makes managers’ lives easier. Managers can monitor their employees’ performance and see how many tasks they are completing, how often they are closing deals, even how many leads they are contacting within a specified time. The system streamlines what salespeople are doing, what data they're collecting, and the processes they're using so that managers and salespeople alike can benefit from the ease of the process and sharing of data. It can be a powerful performance tool that managers can use to groom their sales teams as well as encourage them.
As your company grows, your CRM system can grow with it. It can provide insight into understanding what works best for your organization regarding timing, touch points, the sales cycle and other areas where precise organization is key to optimal sales. Excel sheets might work for one employee, but try having a team of 10 or 20. That can quickly devolve into chaos.
A good CRM system will streamline your sales and help your seals team increase production. Excel sheets had their heyday, but there is technology that can make it so much better. Without a good CRM system, your sales team simply can’t live up to its full potential.