Dear Second-Rate, Static Spreadsheet,
Everyone always told me I’d outgrow you. Back in the 80s you promised me simplicity and organization. You were modern, high-tech, and mysterious. I couldn’t help myself. So many layers of columns and rows, formulas and functions, charts and colors. You said that with every cell of your spreadsheet-being you wanted to make my life easier.
But you lied.
The only thing I’ve been asking of you lately is to arrange and manage my sales and marketing cycle. Keep track of customer information and interactions. Is that so difficult? Apparently. You have a hard time managing 10 customers, let alone the 50 I’m currently juggling between five sales reps.
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You can’t keep data tied to the correct customer. When you’re shared between sales reps, you lose important customer information and frustrate all parties involved. Oh, and you have no audit functioning.
In 2012, 35% of businesses admitted to processing customer information manually. Some have moved on, others have stuck with their dead-beat systems. But I want my business to grow. I want to serve, retain, and satisfy my customers, and the only way to do that seamlessly is to let you go.
The thing is, when it comes to customer relationship management, you were never intended to be mine. You’re great between your sheets and you have such a way with formulas. But I don’t need a simple calculator anymore. I need a real database.
I’ve met a cloud-based customer relationship management software. He’s data warehouse I’ve dreamt about since my business was born. Sometimes I find myself scribbling “Mrs. CRM Software” in my notebook. Here’s why he gives me butterflies:
No offense, but as an Excel spreadsheet, you can’t handle a big list. The more complicated and lengthy the list, the more disorganized and error-prone you get.
A cloud-based CRM system, however, is scalable and flexible. Instead of adding 100 rows and 20 columns to store more info, we can notify the CRM provider and change our storage needs immediately. No upgrade downtime. No mess.
He’s User-Friendly (and Omnipresent)
The CRM market will reach $23.9 billion in 2014. Which makes sense, because he’s easy to be around. With a cloud-based CRM, my sales reps each have their unique set of login credentials, and can access him from anywhere at anytime. When they’re working remotely or en route to a meeting, my reps can get important information like contact info, sales cycle, and status of conversion.
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He’s Attentive and Improves Sales
When sales reps change customer info, my CRM takes notice. Client data is no longer stored on individual devices nor shared via email. Each prospect, deal, and sale is tracked on one platform- and with a sales team geographically spread, this is crucial.
More importantly, he’s caring and thoughtful towards my clients, always aware of previous interactions with our company. He captures the right data, and sales have boosted as a result. Like the average company that adopts new CRM software, we’ve seen:
- A 29% increase in sales
- Ramped prospect productivity by 34%
- And improved our forecasting accuracy by 42%
By monitoring the appropriate information, we’ve nurtured leads how they should be nurtured. We’ve improved our closing rates. And we’re all on the same page in the process. He alerts reps when a customer should be notified or sent a follow-up email. He facilitates seamless internal communication and sharing.
Our new cloud-based CRM monitors customers’ social media activity. Which is helpful when we can answer questions, or simply gain more insight on our demographic. There was absolutely no way you could acquire and manage social activity. Let alone integrate with our email servers and social platforms. But it’s not your fault; you weren’t built to manage clients. You were designed to formulate.
As Whitney Houston sort of said, “And I……will always love you, Excel.” So please don’t cry, I just found someone more compatible.