Life without CRM

Too much admin, not enough selling!

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For many small and medium-sized businesses, the concept of life without CRM is nothing new. Unfortunately, it’s everyday life. A typical day involves spending too much time on administration, and not enough on selling.

Active sales teams generate large volumes of data and information. Even a single sales person who is out on the road talking to customers can generate lots of notes containing valuable insights into those customers. The problem is, that information is either stored in a paper notebook, in scattered Word documents on a laptop, or simply in the sales person’s head.

When customers get in touch with a business throughout the course of a day, they do so via several different channels: telephone, email, social media, or even by dropping into the office if they’re local. They may be querying a product or service line, chasing an order, or even complaining. Many businesses have no single platform on which to store this flood of customer information, so things begin to get lost in mountains of paperwork – leading to a negative experience for customers.

Typical problems:

  • Prospects not being followed up promptly, if at all.
  • Customer queries not being responded to in a timely fashion.
  • Lost or missing orders.
  • Customers being called about the same thing by different team members.
  • An inability to truly know and understand customers.
  • Complaints being left unresolved for long periods of time.

Even if a business manages to successfully capture all their customer information, the chances are this is held in many different places, which means being able to quickly make sense of it is a challenge, if not impossible.

More problems:

  • Reports take a long time to create and quickly become outdated.
  • Sales people are unable to anticipate what customers need, and when.
  • It is time-consuming to determine what is in the various stages of the sales pipeline.
  • Managers lose sight of their team’s productivity and day-to-day activities.
  • Sales forecasting is little more than guesswork.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, there’s no doubt your business needs a CRM system.

Now read the second part of this article, where we explore what life is like for businesses who make the most of CRM.

Image credit: “The messiest desk in the world” by Joseph Novak is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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