[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1524287185372{padding-top: 30px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Top Five Reasons to Use A CRM Instead Of Excel Spreadsheets

While Excel can be used to keep lists, crunch numbers, create graphics, and run pivot tables for data comparison—functions it performs quite well—this tool was never intended to handle customer relations.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, on the other hand, are a reflection of their name. These database systems are specifically designed to complement the various activities needed for customer interactions, engagement, sales, support, and success.

Here are the top five reasons to utilize a CRM over spreadsheets.

  • Central hub of information

Sharing information is critical to business operations. Silos of information causes loss—both in knowledge sharing and in bottom line profits—because they create gaps in your business that your customers feel.

Customers expect that speaking to one person in your company is the equivalent of speaking to everyone. Anyone who picks up the phone should know what they have purchased, what promises have been made, what communications have occurred, and what goals they want to achieve using your product or service.

The best way to achieve that expectation is to provide one place where accurate, up-to-date information is stored so that anyone in your organization can be empowered to handle a customer interaction.

CRMs accomplish that goal by providing a single source of real-time data about each customer. Changes are captured immediately so that there’s never a conflict or loss of information, thus enabling individualized service to be provided to the people who matter most: your customers.

  • Standardization

As companies grow and change, institutional knowledge may get lost or overlooked if there isn’t a single system to capture information in a standard way.

If your sales team expands or accounts shift between salespeople due to new territories, how does that transfer of knowledge occur? If a manager wants insights into how his team is performing, both individually and at a group level, how can he quickly pull together comparable data?

CRMs provide consistency in the way information is captured and stored. Whenever someone calls a customer, sends out a marketing email or survey, or receives a customer inquiry, that conversation or interaction is recorded in a standard template, providing a clear path for anyone in the future to both access and contextualize the interaction.

  • Communication

Effective businesses run on efficient communication, both internally and externally.

How unwieldy would it be if just one person—let alone ten, twenty, hundreds, or thousands of people—updated you every time a customer interaction happened? Add to that challenge all of the myriad methods for communicating (texts, emails, instant messages, social media messaging, phone calls), and the exchange of information becomes cumbersome and challenging to track.

The beauty of a CRM is the security everyone feels in knowing exactly what information has been communicated and exchanged with every customer. Having a reliable single source lets an entire organization—no matter how large or small—be consistent in external communications and messaging.

  • Reporting

Besides more effectively serving and communicating with your customers, CRMs also allow for operational efficiency and reporting. The best way to understand key performance indicators and business operations is to use reporting tools that utilize standardized data and give you insights into the health of the business.

For example, sales forecasting is much easier when you can quantify your customer acquisitions, analyze performance, identify successful sales tactics, and track progress. Adjustments can be made in real-time, and the results can be seen faster.

With a streamlined system and single source of uniform data provided by a CRM, you can run reports as often as you like to see what’s working and what needs improvement. Your business can better plan, optimize, and achieve targets.

  • Growth and Scalability

If growth is the goal, the four core CRM capabilities above are your comrades in arms. The best way to achieve sustainable growth is to understand your business today and how to scale it for the future.

Are there trends within the sales cycle that best correlate to customer acquisition? Do you know what makes your customers successful? Where do you need more resources in order to grow and scale your organization?

Growth potential happens when you know what’s in your sales pipeline, how accurate your forecasting is, what markets are working for you, and what customers are happy, loyal, and buying additional products. The nuances of sales cycles and customer retention are tough to ascertain without these insights.

You can best project future opportunities and market needs by utilizing a CRM’s comprehensive set of standardized data and reports, which makes your business sustainable for years into the future.

At anCRM, we offer a CRM used by small and mid-sized businesses from a huge variety of verticals. Learn about all of anCRM’s features and plans on our pricing page or sign up for a free trial.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]