One of the most common ways in which companies attempt to save on expenses is by consolidating software applications. Companies are using them for multiple purposes which they may not have originally been designed for. Software can be multi-servicing. It is often a tempting method to saving some cash. However, when a software is no longer meeting the needs of its users, it’s time to invest in a CRM (customer relationship management), which is suited for the needs of the business and its CRM requirements. In some cases, businesses will use spreadsheets with the most popular being Microsoft Excel in place of a CRM. Because of its familiarity and there is no expense involved in using the program. This is an outdated tool to use for communicating data. A recent survey suggested that 1 in 5 businesses still use spreadsheets whether it be Excel or Google Sheets as the main tool to communicate data amongst management and staff. Excel is a great program when used for the purposes which it was built for. However, Excel was not designed for you to run your business out of, this is the job of a CRM system. There are numerous reasons as to why spreadsheet programs do not work for keeping track of your clients, generating business reports, tracking your sales journey, tracking sales analytics and being able to provide forecasts without you having to manually make changes. They are simply not designed with these functions no matter how many formulas you insert.
According to Geckoboard:
- More than 80% of employees would like their managers to share more business performance information
- 25% of employees have, or know someone who has, left a job. Because they weren’t included in or privy to the business’ performance or direction.
- And more than half of respondents said that knowing company performance data contributed significantly to their own positive performance.
Investing on a CRM systemTransitioning to a CRM system can make a huge difference in the productivity of your teams. With transparency of information, errors are reduced and the workload can be shared. If your CRM is updated by your staff, you can make quick decisions based on the information available. It will not only increases productivity of your team but also saves time and increases efficiency in the business. Less time is spent on outdated communication among team members. And the responsibility for updating the project is circulated throughout the team. Higher productivity means better projects and a happier team. When looking for a CRM System, it is important to ensure that training is available for your team. A CRM is a big investment for a company. You want to make sure that it is being utilized correctly by all your staff. And you can receive reports that are correct and based on up to date available information.
Disadvantages on your company when cutting corners on software investment:
- As you are seeing the data all at once it’s difficult to interpret what’s important and what’s not. Visualization tools are used to highlight the important data. If you use a spreadsheet for this purpose, it’s hard to see the important data.
- Spreadsheets can be difficult to analyse if you do not know what you are looking for. The amount of data available in the report can lead to misinterpretation, making poor choices taking wrong actions. If your staff is not trained in how you display your spreadsheet reports, then the report is a waste of time.
- Loss of historical data. Spreadsheets are not designed to store historical data. Management may try to keep the size of the file to a minimum. So that the spreadsheet is constantly updated with new information and the historical data is deleted. This makes is hard or impossible to spot trends over time and compare data across longer time horizons.