If your small business handles limited data, spreadsheets may be enough for data management. However, have you thought about what will happen when your business’ data increases and you hire more people to manage it? In such a scenario, using spreadsheets for managing data can result in confusion and chaos.
This is where a customer relationship management (CRM) solution can be more beneficial than spreadsheets. Read on to know the tips to make the switch to a CRM solution from spreadsheets. But before we get to the tips, let’s look at the advantages of CRM solutions in general.
CRM solutions: How are they more beneficial compared to spreadsheets?
CRM solutions provide several advantages over spreadsheet tools, such as:
- Centralised data storage: A CRM solution will store the entirety of your customer data in one place. This allows you to look for data without having to shuffle through several spreadsheets. What’s more? CRM solutions are accessible from a variety of device types. Even if you’re on the go, you can access important customer data on your mobile device.
- Customisation capabilities: Spreadsheet tools generally don’t offer much in terms of customisation. For instance, you can’t set relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) for accurately measuring performance on a spreadsheet tool. However, this isn’t the case with a CRM solution, which will allow you to measure performance, segment customers on the basis of various metrics, and more.
- Seamless integration: CRM solutions offer integration capabilities, i.e. you can link all other business applications with your preferred CRM solution. For instance, you can link your CRM solution with your business’ social media pages across platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This will allow you to collect data from those platforms through the CRM solution. It reduces the need to collect and enter information manually in spreadsheet templates.
- Automated marketing features: Marketing automation features can come in handy in terms of automating various marketing processes. For instance, several CRM solutions offer lead qualification automation, email marketing automation, and more. However, these features are almost entirely missing in spreadsheet tools. So, if you continue to use a spreadsheet tool, you’ll have to combine its use with that of a third-party software. All in all, this will result in increased costs and inefficiencies.
Tips for switching to a CRM solution from spreadsheets
So, now that you know what benefits CRM solutions have to offer over spreadsheets, it’s time to go through a few handy tips for making the switch as smoothly and seamlessly as possible:
- Format spreadsheets: After you’ve chosen a CRM solution for your business based on your needs and budget, it’s time to format those spreadsheets. This is arguably the most time-consuming process as you make the switch, but it’s only a one-time thing. Typically, most CRM solutions offer comprehensive guides on how you can format the spreadsheets correctly.
- Change the file format: Once the spreadsheets have been formatted according to the needs of the CRM solution, it’s time to change their file formats. Typically, spreadsheets in Excel are saved in the ‘.xlsx’ format, while OpenDocument spreadsheets are saved in the ‘.ods’ format. However, these file formats aren’t compatible with most CRM solutions. Thankfully, most spreadsheet tools are capable of converting spreadsheets to the ‘.csv’ format, which is the most common file format compatible with CRM software.
- Review, import, and validate data: The last step is to review the data for any discrepancies and then import it to your CRM solution. After the data has been imported, validate it to check for potential errors. Almost all CRM solutions have built-in validation features, which allow rules to be set and the imported data to be checked based on those rules.
If you’re looking to invest into a CRM tool to help you organize your data without having your employees wasting time on trying to find what they’re looking for, get in touch with our team to help you ditch spreadsheets and be on top of your data. Give us a call on 22488300 or send us an email at [email protected] and you can book a free consultation to help you design the perfect solution for your business needs.