4 Reasons Excel (and Gmail) is NOT your CRM

Keeping tabs on customers both through the sales pipeline and as paying clients can be the difference between having a successful company and one that flops. Everyone is quite familiar with the motto – 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. So why do only 10% of people make it to the third contact?

Too much data.

The amount of data you are (or should be) collecting on potential customers (and current clients) can get extremely overwhelming after just a few weeks of having your product in the market.

While choosing the right CRM is important (I’ll go more into that in a later post), just choosing one is equally important.

1. Data is king. How long does it take on average for someone to get through your sales cycle? When is the last time you heard from the CFO at “insert big company name”. Did you remember to send a birthday card to your top clients this month? What are the details to company XYZ’s contract? Missing data can cost you sales, and Sales Cure All.

2. Your time is valuable. I hope you deem your time more valuable than scrolling through hundreds (or thousands) of rows in Excel and/or constantly using your Gmail search bar to figure out what you last sent your customer. CRMs can be expensive, but so is your time. You should be on the phone or with a client, not trying to figure out what LSTEM24 means.

3. Excel/Gmail data is not clean. While you can make a few filters and lookup tables in Excel (and I do love Excel, don’t get me wrong), as your database grows, the integrity of your data will continually wane. Don’t be the one manually counting excel cells minutes before a big finance presentation just because you wanted to save a few bucks.

4. People hate change. When your company decides (and it will) to introduce a true CRM system, it will be a truly painful experience, and it won’t be quick. It’s not only because people hate change, but also because you’ll be going from a chaotic system to a (much needed) rigid one. Ask five of your friends who have worked at a growing company how the transition went, their answers will all be the same.

Choose a CRM early…and if you do not currently have one, get one. It will save you many sleepless nights.