Breaking Out of Spreadsheet Prison

Are you old enough to remember when spreadsheets were new? Okay, you don’t have to answer that. But you probably remember your first thorny spreadsheet project; you stared at the rows and columns for hours, creating formulas for different cells. And as your project grew, so did that spreadsheet – until it turned into a monster with so much data that you couldn’t turn it into anything clear or comprehensive.

It’s time to admit the obvious: spreadsheets may still play a role in our business lives, but they simply cannot efficiently manage the amount of data pouring into our systems. Think of the vast amounts of customer data you need to control – or the nuances attached to each sales interaction. Can you document those smoothly in a spreadsheet? Can your sales team adequately serve your prospects based on spreadsheet intelligence?

No, not really. Not expertly. And that’s where Salesforce (a Customer Relationship Management tool) comes in. By managing all your customer information in one place, your CRM is one-stop-shopping for boosting sales performance. You can follow up with a prospect by email or reach out on social media. You can check the details of your last conversation. You can stay up to date on all your tasks and measure how you’re doing.

In short, you can super-charge your ability to close more deals, launch smarter conversations and forecast accurately.

Are You Salesforce-Ready?

Now maybe you’re thinking, “I know Salesforce offers great benefits but our team isn’t ready for it yet.” Or: “We’re doing okay without it so why bother?”

But is your current system really giving you all of the benefits of a CRM?? Ask yourself these questions to see where you’re coming up short.

  • How complete is your visibility? Salesforce gives you a kind of omnipotence by letting you see all sales conversations and interactions. You don’t have to flip through different spreadsheets or ask different department heads for their data. You’ll be able to tell at a glance which tactics are outperforming others and which reps need coaching.
  • Is your data connected and unified? Your different teams and departments probably maintain different spreadsheets, with notes scattered in different systems – adding up to a fractured outlook. Old systems don’t talk to new systems, and soon you’ve got conflicting insights. Salesforce provides a unified single source of truth.
  • Is the team empowered to be remote? Today’s sales team is on the go. They can’t work on the fly unless they have all of the information they need at their fingertips – from a customer’s goals to recent buying history. If your reps are operating in the field without access to that knowledge, they’re doing under a handicap.
  • Can you scale smoothly? Imagine your business booms in a few months, doubling or tripling in orders. While some growing pains are inevitable, you can make your growth smoother with a CRM with standardized processes and accessible data. Sticking with spreadsheets, on the other hand, will inadvertently create silos as new and different teams maintain different databases of new customers.

Transitioning to Salesforce will make your processes more efficient, endow you with smarter insights and connect the right leads to the right sales reps. You’ll understand how to transform new relationships into long-term engagements and help the entire team be more productive.

In short, Salesforce is the promised land waiting outside your collection of complicated spreadsheets. After all, this is the era of knocking down silos and connecting all of your different systems and data to form an overarching look at relevant patterns. Only a CRM like Salesforce gives you the power to drive closer connections with your customers.