As we move forward with the new ‘normal’ following Covid19, businesses are focused on empowering remote works to maximize productivity. With greater mobility and flexibility comes a greater a need for management and control of remote staff and the data that they are using and updating daily.
I frequently speak with businesses that use Microsoft Excel as the primary tool for data management. Microsoft Excel is great! It enables the easy analysing of data and can provide an easy method to present projections! However, it is not a cheap alternative to a (Customer Relationship Management) CRM software. It should not be used to the update, collaboration, store and retrieval of critical business data.
Here are some of the most notable limitations of Excel as a CRM software tool:
- Managing relationships
In Excel you cannot manage relationships between your customers and their data. It is best left to a database driven application such as a CRM. Excel cannot understand dependencies like customers and orders and opportunities.
- No Sharing
Multiple people cannot read and write in Excel at the same time. This is not a problem if you only have one salesperson. If you have a sales team it can create confusion and lead to poor customer experience and lost business.
- Lost Sales Revenue
With Excel you are unable to capture key information, segment & target clients, accurately, schedule follow ups, manage reminders to prevent missing sales & losing revenue.
- No File Storage
In Excel what you see is what you get! You cannot attach invoices, emails, letters, quotes or any other important files relevant to that record. You need to store these documents elsewhere. This leads to information them being forgotten, corrupted or lost completely.
- Limited Field Control
In an Excel spreadsheet all the fields must be created and organised manually. Due to the layout of Excel users can feel limited in the number of fields that can use comfortably. For example, first name, last name, phone number, email, last call date, notes, invoices, quotes, lead categorization, etc all in the one row, is not easy.
- No calendaring features
Excel does not have any calendaring features that are critical to alerts, follow ups and scheduling. Even the most basic CRM application will beat MS Excel hands down in this area.
You cannot send out marketing materials directly through an Excel spreadsheet. With a CRM system you are able to segment clients and use this segmented data in specific campaigns. A CRM database will also keep a track recipient of campaigns, record who has opened and responded. This helps to make marketing more tangible.
Excel versus CRM Software – The benefits
I explored in a recent blog the risks that using Excel as a CRM bring to an organisation. One way that a CRM benefits an organisation is through the visibility of its sales activities. This visibility is fundamental to managing sales performance and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost. If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered within the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data. A CRM system will enable structured data to be used to access performance. This assessment should indicate which sales person is out performing others.
How ProAptivity can help
ProAptivity focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software offers an alternative to Excel and provides the management and control needed for businesses in the new normal.
Contact us today in Belfast on 028 9099 6388 or at our Bedford office on 01234 214004. Alternatively email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.