When Is the Best Time for Your Business to Implement a CRM?
Frequently, I am asked: “When is the best time to implement a CRM?” or “How can we know we’re not wasting our time with a CRM instead of making things easier for our company?”
Startups and small companies often start off with using Google Sheets to manage their sales data. Using an online, cloud-based software seems like the simple answer. After all, everyone knows how to work with the old, straightforward version of excel and no training is needed. In the beginning, everything seems to be working just perfect.
Young startups avoid CRM implementation not only because it's easier to use Google Sheets, but also because implementing a CRM requires various phases and takes a few months to complete.
So, when is the right time to start with a CRM? Some will advise you to start as soon as possible, but I believe you need to be sure that your strategy is in order before you begin. You need to know your needs and business plan for the next few years, even if it will change later on.
I collected a few scenarios which will help businesses understand when to go ahead and start thinking about their CRM.
You Need to Make Strategic Decisions on a Weekly Basis
Stressful, right? Every decision has an impact. You must learn the process of acquiring accurate data, building dashboards, analyzing and making conclusions. It can be extremely chaotic and complicated to do all of this without a CRM. A CRM will help keep you from making mistakes, both in data and strategic decisions.
Furthermore, 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.
You're Trying to Match Data Between Several Excel Sheets
Matching data between several sheets can be frustrating and waste valuable time.
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 an efficient way to manage your data, and it will likely cause mistakes. Therefore, if you're dealing with multiple excel sheets, take some time to plan it correctly.
Late Follow-ups = Losing $ MONEY $
If you're not quickly following up with your customers, you're probably 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 set reminders for various opportunities and relevant contacts. This will keep you from losing a potential customer.
DO More Selling With Fewer Operations
If you are the VP of Sales or the CEO of your company, you must have better things to do than spending many hours dealing with operational tasks.
Try to think about your hourly rate and how many hours you spend on sales operations (instead of actually 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).
You're Drowning in a Sea of DATA
Drowning in data can have many meanings depending on the business.
It can lead you to forget customer’s contact names, get mixed up between opportunities, have too many documents in different places, lose records, or have 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.
While I don’t advise every company to implement a CRM in their early stages, I’d suggest you keep these scenarios 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, make your life easier.
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- Rose Penhasi - Sales Operations and CRM consultant
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