Lately, I’ve been asked several times “When is the best time to implement a CRM?” or “How can we know we’re not wasting our time instead of making things easier?”
Startups and small companies often start using Google Sheets to manage their sales data before implementing a CRM in their company. It looks effortless to use, online, cloud-based software. Besides, come on, everyone knows how to deal and work with the old and straightforward version of excel, so no training is needed.
In the beginning, everything seems to be working just perfect.
Additionally, young startups may want to avoid starting a CRM implementation project which contains various phases and takes a few months to complete.
So, when is the right time to start? Some people will advise you to start as soon as possible, but I believe you need to be sure that your strategy is in order, know your needs and your business plan for the next years, even when it changes.
I collected a few scenarios which are signs for every business to go ahead and start thinking about their CRM.
When You Need to Take Strategic Decisions on a Weekly Basis
Every decision has its impact. You must know the process of having accurate data, building dashboards, analyzing and making conclusions. It can be extremely chaotic and complicated to do all of this without a CRM. Keep yourself from making mistakes as much as you can, both in data and strategic decisions.
Furthermore, let me tell another fact - there are plenty of software integrations and Business Intelligence Tools which will work with your CRM to automatically create the dashboard you need every week.
When You Try to Match Data Between Several Excel Sheets
Matching between several sheets can be frustrating and time wasting.
Try to think about your process, everything has to be connected, and data should flow through the relevant departments.
Going through different sheets from several departments is not the most efficient way to manage your data, and it will likely cause mistakes. Therefore, if you feel you deal with too many excel sheets, take some time to plan it correctly.
Late Follow-ups = Losing $ MONEY
If you miss following up with your customers, probably you are going to lose some money.
There are two kinds of salespeople, one who always follows up on time, and another who has to be reminded to follow up on time. In a proper CRM, you will be able to define those reminders which will be attached to the opportunities and relevant contacts — no more forgetting a potential customer.
DO More selling, with fewer operations
If you are the VP Sales or the CEO of your company, you must have better things to do than spend many hours dealing with operational tasks.
Try to think about your hourly rate and how many hours you spend (PAY!) on sales operations (Instead of selling..). Remember this formula-
Your Hourly rate * Monthly hours spent on operations =
Monthly payment for operational tasks
(Excluding the $ value of the clients you lost when
you didn’t focus on sales).
Drowning in a Sea of DATA
Drowning from data can have many meanings, depending on the business.
Forgetting customer’s contact names, getting mixed up between opportunities, having too many documents in different places with missing records, or having a hard time to find a specific detail you need in an old e-mail all of this can be a BIG sign that you need a CRM.
I don’t advise every company to implement a CRM in their early stages, but instead, I’d suggest you keep these questions in mind as you’re building your startup!
Are you dealing with daily pain point which you can solve with the implementation of a sophisticated CRM?
If yes, try to make your life easier.
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- Rose Penhasi - Sales Operations and CRM consultant
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