You probably use Excel for sales tracking for one of two reasons: your business is new and your concern is more about making sales than tracking them, or it’s just the way sales tracking has always been done at your company. Whatever your reason is, it’s time to upgrade from your spreadsheets to a genuine customer relationship management system. It may be a hassle, but in the end, you will see that transitioning from Excel to a CRM is worth it.

Excel – Out with the Old

Excel has likely done a good job doing what it does for you. However, it just wasn’t designed to handle customer relationships and sales tracking – it was designed for making spreadsheets, which is perfect if you’re an accountant or statistician. When you are a sales leader or sales team member, you need a tool that is going to enhance your sales efforts, and Excel simply can’t do that.

There are some key reasons why Excel is slowing down your sales process:

  • There are no constraints. There’s no consistency when anyone can add a custom row or column to suit their preferences. That means that there is little chance that you can have a uniform way to manage the information entered.
  • It’s not web-based. Excel spreadsheets are stored on the hard drive of your computer. Sending out updated versions of your spreadsheets every time you enter something new is cumbersome.
  • It’s not automated. While Excel does do math for you automatically (when you enter formulas), it really can’t do anything else automatically. That adds up to a whole lot of data entry – and time that would be better spent nurturing customer relationships.

Those are just a few of the reasons that Excel should no longer be your go-to for sales tracking. But wait, there’s more. According to an article on MarketWatch, nearly 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. That means that the very thing you need – an accurate look at your sales pipeline – isn’t what you get with a spreadsheet much of the time.

CRM – In with the New

Customers have come to expect a lot more from businesses than they used to. In the world of instant gratification and Google, customers can find what they want, when they want it, quickly and easily. The thing that is going to keep your customers from going to one of your competitors is the relationship you build with them. But let’s be honest, knowing all your customers’ information, what their business is all about, and where they are in the sales process is tough to keep track of in your head (or on a spreadsheet).

You have to be able to keep track of that information efficiently and be able to access it quickly – from lead to closed sale. That’s what a CRM can do for you. In a post on the Econsultancy’s blog, Editor Christopher Radcliff says, “Putting the customer at the heart of your business strategy is the key to success. CRM allows you to do just that. It also allows you the time and freedom to concentrate on other areas of your business, safe in the knowledge that an automated system is keeping you and your team up-to-date and fully aware of your clients’ needs.”

 

Benefits of Using a CRM

Besides being able to wow your customers with the information you know about them, there are other benefits to using a CRM. The following are going to save you time, money, and man-power, which all lead to more sales and a better bottom line.

  • Accessibility – You can access most CRMs anywhere you have wi-fi, with any type of device, via the cloud. That means you have access to updated information almost anywhere you go.
  • Accurate Goal Tracking – One of the most important tasks for a sales leader is to coach and motivate the sales team. That’s hard to do if you have no idea how your team is performing in relation to their sales goals. A CRM allows you to see that information at-a-glance, so you will know how each rep is doing and who needs additional coaching.
  • Automation and Integration – CRM programs can integrate with many third-party tools including email tools, calendars, inbound leads websites, and other marketing tools. You can automatically send emails to customers and prospects based on contact information entered in your CRM and sync up your other tools so that you aren’t entering the same data multiple times.
  • Accurate Forecasting – You can rely on the information you enter into your CRM (unlike spreadsheets with 88% inaccuracy) to automatically assign a proper value to each contact and potential sale. That allows you to properly forecast sales based on your pipeline.

It’s Up to You Now

As you can see, you simply can’t afford to continue using Excel as your sales tracking tool. You need to make the transition to a CRM like Salesmate, to take your sales process to the next level. You’ll see better communication, accuracy, organization, productivity, and most importantly, more closed deals.

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Jami Deloe