5 signs you really need a CRM

No matter the size of your organization or the industry it’s in, knowing how to properly manage prospects, leads, and customers can be a struggle for your sales team.

Your team’s relationships with your customers can make or break your business, and there are certain, mission-critical tasks that just can’t be done without a CRM. Like all businesses that’ve outgrown spreadsheets have discovered, adopting a CRM is what transitions companies from the “doing fine” phase to the “we’re a legitimate organization” phase.

If your organization has been putting finding the right CRM on the backburner, here are five signs that now is the time:

1. You have more than one sales rep

If your organization involves multiple sales reps (or stakeholders,) a CRM can allow them to collaborate on sales tasks and focus each individual effort where it’s necessary. For instance, one salesperson might do outreach, and then connect the customer with another salesperson to handle demos.

The right tool (like Nutshell ) can give your team members the ability to update details about conversations they’ve had with customers from their mobile device, so information is instantly available for the rest of the team to see and act on immediately.

Nutshell provides an easy-to-read dashboard that displays each customer’s information in a social media-like timeline, showing each interaction the customer has had with the company, including emails, calls, and notes added by the sales team.

Expanding the Nutshell timeline

Additionally, a CRM makes it easier to keep tabs on the rest of the team. After all, the goal of any company is to improve sales, but this proves to be challenging if sales reps aren’t able to track what’s working, which is where a CRM comes into play.

A CRM can provide real-time insight into the activity of all of your sales reps, how they’re spending their time, and which tactics have proved to be successes, which is a huge deal for first-time CRM adopters. Being able to see which tasks and strategies work, and which need improvement, is virtually life-changing.

Having this ability can also pinpoint which salespeople on your team excel at which tasks. While one person may be exceptional at cold calls, another may have talents in creating informative slide deck. Info like this can be used to inform more standardized sales roles and responsibilities across the sales team.

And, with a sales department of more than one sales rep, having a dashboard that allows multiple users to access at once provides a central location and a single source of truth for all customer-related information.

2. You’re using a spreadsheet to keep tabs on customers

A spreadsheet may be great for little things. For instance, I have a spreadsheet on my computer of the mailing addresses of my friends and family. A spreadsheet is ideal for this kind of data.

A spreadsheet is not ideal for keeping tabs on customers. A spreadsheet will always present bottlenecks and challenges no matter how big your sales department is or the industry your business is within.

For instance, searching for specific information or details about a customer can be tough, especially if you’re scrambling for it at the last minute. A spreadsheet is not always easy to customize, and your sales representatives could be wasting time formatting one to fit their needs.

Sharing one giant spreadsheet with numerous tabs isn’t providing your sales team with real-time insights into what everyone is working on and what’s new with your customers. Not only can this lead to diminished productivity, but it can also mean missed opportunities, follow-ups that take too long, and losing customers to your competition.

Another big downside is they often don’t integrate with your email, billing software, lead forms, or any other tools you’re using. Thankfully, a CRM like Nutshell offers a long list of integrations, with new ones being added all the time.

5 important things you can’t do with a spreadsheet

Need another reason to ditch the spreadsheet? Here are five need-to-do things that a spreadsheet just can’t handle.

  1. View a chronological record of every interaction. Having this data will eliminate your sales team spending time searching through notes and will instead give your team the ability to hand off a prospect to anyone without having to explain every last detail they’ve ever discussed.
  2. Create a standardized sales process. A CRM can turn the methods that have been a success for your team into a template that all sales reps can access and follow at any time.
  3. See the status of your pipeline. When you need a coherent sales forecast or an analysis of deals in progress, a CRM can give you an easy-to-read view of this information.
  4. Communicate and collaborate. Just because you can share a spreadsheet doesn’t mean it’s a good collaboration tool. A CRM tool can make it easy to share notes, leave comments, receive notifications, and more, instantaneously and consistently.
  5. Integrate with other business tools. The tools your team uses should be able to work together. A CRM like Nutshell can talk to your email platforms, customer support software, and more.

3. You’re doing copying and pasting

In some forms of work, copying and pasting data is great and sufficient… enough. However, when it comes to email marketing and communicating with customers,  copying and pasting emails can be done with automation found within most CRM platforms.

This can also be incredibly time-consuming, seeing as you’re not able to email or call a customer directly from a CRM tool. Your sales reps spend a lot of time crafting proper communication with customers, so regardless if you’re contacting one prospect at a time or more than one, consider a CRM like Nutshell that offers templates, marketing software integrations, automated personal email sequences, and more, to help all of your reps stay on top of their inbox.

Not only are your reps copying and pasting one email template into another, wasting time, but they’re also likely doing the same as they send customer data to other reps, which can be a major hassle. A CRM keeps this customer information organized and segmented, so whoever needs access to it can, in seconds.

4. You aren’t getting insights

Without the reporting features of a CRM, your sales team will likely not get the insights and data they need to do their job successfully.

For instance, it can be a struggle to share reports or data with anyone, not just fellow sales reps, but also partners or customers. This is where a CRM can come in handy, as one like Nutshell provides easy-to-use and customizable reports that give reps an at-a-glance look into the business and your customers. Plus, creating manual reports is laborious and time-consuming and not only prevents your team from focusing on what they do best but doing this manually also leads to errors.

Another struggle your sales team could be facing is not knowing which pipeline stages to optimize. It’s incredibly challenging not knowing what’s working and what’s not without a CRM’s data.

Knowing what’s in the sales pipeline is crucial because if your organization is lucky enough to have leads coming in, but your team is struggling to manage them, what’s the point? A CRM can do this legwork for you.

Remember, at the end of the day, members of your sales team should spend their time selling, not analyzing information.

5. You feel stuck

Finally, if your sales team feels stuck and is struggling to do their job, a CRM can help.

When they feel like they’re treading water or barely staying afloat due to lack of organization, a CRM can be the lifeboat they need. If they’re feeling like they can’t provide the top-notch customer service they want to because the feeling of being unorganized is holding them back, a CRM is overdue.

If your organization is growing and scaling, and your sales team feels overwhelmed, a CRM can help keep their productivity levels where they need to be to succeed.

And finally, if the team feels stuck regarding not having the time to focus on top-spending customers, a CRM gives them the time and resources to do so.

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