“Where did that Post-It go? I need to call that person back!”
“I think we track that somewhere, but I’m not really sure where that information goes.”
“It’s Sunday night, and I’m prepping for my meeting tomorrow morning… AGAIN.”
Can you relate to these statements at all? If so, it’s probably time to add a customer relationship management (CRM) system (or update the one you already have).
Some companies ignore the signs because they don’t want to add one more system to their workflow. Other business owners think they only have a handful of sales reps, so a CRM holds no real benefit for them.
Yet putting a CRM system at the center of your business means efficiency. For instance, you can integrate CRM with other software solutions, and you can actually prevent your team members from having to login into multiple systems.
Best of all, CRM can start as a simple solution that grows with you as your business expands.
Here are 6 signs it’s time for CRM:
Customer information in multiple locations
Post-its everywhere. Napkins in drawers. Business cards with information written on the back. Excel spreadsheets saved to your desktop. Email inbox. If your company is storing your customer information in all these places, it’s time for CRM.
Awkward follow-ups with prospects
You want your leads to feel welcome, but you don’t want to bombard them at the door. If there are no organizational systems to assign your sales reps, it’s time for CRM. This system allows you to automatically see your most recent communication on the screen, instead of having awkward calls that make you seem uninformed.
Sales meeting preparation takes significant prep time… every week.
If you frantically spend your Sunday nights putting together presentations for Monday-morning meetings, it’s time for CRM. With a centralized information base, pulling reports is easy and efficient.
Sales meetings are long and unproductive.
Just like prep time, CRM-driven sales meetings aren’t drawn out. Sales managers can pull reports for their reps. And instead of round-robin meetings, they can ask specific questions about big wins. And better yet, if there’s a stalled lead, team members can offer insight about how to push opportunities along. Everyone wins, and you can get your next cup of coffee and move on with the rest of your day.
You’re filing information in an abyss.
The client is on the phone asking for a status report. So you say, “Let me pull that file for you.” Where are you looking? If the answer is “multiple locations” or “my email,” then it’s time for CRM.
Finding information takes all morning.
If you get to work and have to spend a significant amount of time going through your emails and Post-Its, then it’s time for CRM. That’s not to say you won’t need to check emails when you have CRM. But with recent data in one place, this process becomes much more efficient.
These signs may seem like little things that don’t really matter, but when you add them up, they do. They often lead to a loss of potential clients or projects.
At the end of the day, we all want more business. We certainly don’t want to be losing clients, due to a lack of organization or a poor understanding of our sales pipeline. If you have these problems, it’s time for CRM.
A version of this post originally appeared here.