Nine Signs You Need a Customer Relationship Management System

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Do I Need a CRM System?

How do you know if you need a CRM system? It’s simple. If your business sells, markets, or services customers, you need CRM.

No matter how big or how small your company is, the days of managing leads and customers with spreadsheets, saved emails, or folders stuffed with paper are over.

Still not sure? Here are nine signs you need CRM:

1. No Central Place to Store Data

Capturing data at every stage in your customer lifecycle is critical for maximising sales effectiveness and customer retention. When you have different employees tracking customer interactions in different ways, it’s hard to get a complete picture of your customer relationships.

A CRM system simplifies data capture by allowing customer-facing employees across different departments to store and access information in one place.

Without a CRM in place, you may have to go desk to desk or piece together emails, spreadsheets, and handwritten notes just to get an idea of a customer’s history. Generating critical sales and management reports is tedious and painful.

2. You’re Losing Data

If you’re not using CRM software, you’re losing data. Multiple people storing data on hard drives, in emails, in miscellaneous documents, and in random folders is no way to keep your data organised and safe.

Papers get misplaced. Hard drives crash. Laptops get stolen. Employees leave.

All of these things lead to losing the data you’ve collected.

A web-based CRM protects your data from being lost. Your data is stored in the cloud and backed up regularly. There’s no single point of failure.

You don’t have to rely on one person or multiple people to organise and gather data. You won’t lose leads or history when an employee leaves. You can transition from one employee to the next by simply reassigning data from one user to another.

3. No Visibility into Sales Activities

Every company wants to improve their sales. But how can you do that if you’re unable to easily track what’s working and what isn’t?

With a CRM solution in place, you’ll have insight into your sales team’s activities. You’ll know how your sales reps are spending their time and which activities are more likely to win business. You can use this information to identify promising leads, fine tune your sales process, and increase sales.

You’ll also be able to easily keep track of important data like potential deal value, what stage each of your current opportunities is in, and who you’re competing against. Your forecasts will be more accurate and much easier to produce with this data at your fingertips instead of scattered around the office.

4. Sales Team Not Hitting Goals

How do you set sales targets for the year without a CRM? One way is to take last year’s numbers and tack on an ambitious percentage. Or you could rely on the information you piece together from multiple sources that are not entered or tracked consistently.

With a CRM solution in place, there’s a better way.

Your CRM holds valuable data you can use to set realistic, attainable sales goals. You can see how many of your leads converted into actual opportunities and how many of those opportunities converted into paying customers. You can use this data to set goals and create accurate forecasts without having to compile it manually or use your best guess.

5. Not Sure Where Your Best Leads Come From

Where do your most valuable leads come from? How do the leads you get from attending trade shows stack up against the leads you pull in from direct mail campaigns?

Identifying lead sources and tracking them through your sales process is a slow, cumbersome process if you’re doing it manually. If you had this information at your fingertips, like you would if you were using CRM software, you could allocate your marketing dollars in the way that makes the most the sense.

6. Unable to Convert Leads to Opportunities

Without a CRM, it’s difficult to track leads through your funnel. It’s also challenging to establish a process for nurturing leads based on your previous successes.

With a CRM tool in place, you’ll know what works best for converting leads. You can streamline your process for lead qualification and ensure that reps are following best practices, rather than doing what each rep feels might work.

7. Constant Internal Communication Problems

An effective CRM tool allows employees from different areas of your organisation to see what stage a prospect or customer is in. They can determine which tasks need to be completed, by whom, and when they’re due.

CRM systems improve communication throughout your organisation by giving employees a 360-degree view of each customer. A salesperson can spot a service issue or a pain point before a visit. If you reassign territories or experience turnover, the history is there for the new person to review.

There’s no duplication of effort. There’s no question as to who’s responsible for deliverables at any given time. Employees can spend less time discussing customers and more time making them happy.

8. No Remote Access

Your sales reps are in the field finding new leads, gathering valuable intelligence, and having productive face-to-face meetings. But you wouldn’t know it because their notes are handwritten or stored on their laptops and phones.

You might get a glimpse at their notes eventually. Or you might not.

You need a simple way for sales teams to enter their notes and any new data they find when they’re on the road. You need access to your data when you’re travelling or not at your desk.

With the right CRM, you can access your data and enter new data from anywhere on multiple devices.

9. Unable to Scale

An Excel spreadsheet might work fine when you have a handful of customers. As your business grows, it becomes more difficult and impractical to track every customer interaction in a spreadsheet. Data entry, analysis, forecasting, and monitoring activity will take over your day.

What if your business suddenly skyrocketed? You’d be pleased, sure, but are you certain your current processes and systems would hold up?

CRM gives you the ability to view your important data at a glance. You can generate reports without having to cobble information together from multiple silos that don’t talk to each other.

A good CRM system scales with you. As your sales team, customer base, and revenue grows, you can add more users and collect and store more data without stress.