I’m not saying that Microsoft Excel is a bad piece of software. Far from it. I love Excel. A ton of good things start their lives as Excel spreadsheets. It’s a fast, convenient way of recording, sharing, and analyzing data in nice, easily editable chunks.
When you were getting your B2B sales going, it may well have been your lifeline.
Excel: Good for Very Young Companies
When you’re starting a business, the temptation’s definitely there to get going with Excel. And it’s not a bad idea. Chances are, you already have access to it (or you’re a fan of the free option of Google Sheets). You already know how to use it. You can count on your partners, first hires, and collaborators to be familiar with it, and you can probably record a lot of what you need in a few spreadsheets.
You’ll be making budgets, pricing sheets and invoices, and of course, storing all your B2B client data. As you’re getting started, you may be working with pretty small and limited datasets: customer names, their companies, positions, contact information, and perhaps some general comments.
It all fits. It works. And meanwhile, a good CRM will cost money, and it will come with a learning curve.
But Then You Want to Scale Up…
So you’re chugging along and business is going well. But what once were nice, limited, neat Excel spreadsheets are getting more and more cumbersome.
- Your new B2B sales reps keep getting versions mixed up and record information inconsistently
- You’re losing time spent tracking down information amid a larger and larger haystack
- You’re looking to face bigger and bigger competitors, but you can’t match their resources and efficiency
- You’ve just got this sneaking suspicion that there oughta be a better, more technological solution to managing your client data
There sure is!
While you’re trying to figure out which information on Client_List-Dave(2)-v2_Final(1).xslx is outdated compared to Client_List-JulieS-1-v2-v2-v3.xslx, your competition is out there with a dedicated CRM solution taking care of all these little inefficiencies for them. And a lot more besides.
But which one's the real one?
As you grow, the time will come to make the switch yourself.
Get Set Up with a Real B2B Sales Enabling CRM
The issue with using Excel to manage your client relationships is simply that it’s not designed to effectively manage your client relationships.
Dedicated CRM software, on the other hand, most certainly is.
At Flawless Inbound, we swear by HubSpot for reasons we already talked about here, but there are various solutions available for B2B organizations looking to grow. Generally, what having this software will do for you is open up a whole new world of efficiency and automation.
- Store everything in one, cloud-based location that anyone can access anywhere
- Integrate your sales and marketing efforts around this centralized data
- Make sophisticated analyses of the data to act and optimize upon patterns
- Glean valuable insights about your customers
The Power of CRM in B2B Sales
Let’s say your customer drops by your site a few times, reads a couple of articles, checks out an offer, then subscribes to your blog.
With your CRM, you can tell what problems they’re facing, how long they were reading each article (and thus, how engaged they may have been with each topic), what solutions they may already be interested in and perhaps even how they feel about pricing. You’ll know when they first found you, how they first found you and how often they’ve been coming. In short, when it’s time for sales to reach out, they’ve got a solid starting point for a meaningful conversation.
Your Excel spreadsheet, on the other hand, looks like this:
Not the most informative
A Good CRM Costs Money — But Missing Out on Sales Costs More
Yes, you’re going to have to invest some money in adopting a CRM. And yes, that’s also going to come with the cost of training and transitioning.
But the cost of losing out on sales because your would-be customers end up going with competitors that create a better, more engaging, more attractive buyer’s journey through a more robust pipeline?
It’s a lot higher.
So, if you’re in B2B sales and you’ve got growth in your sights, it’s long past time to transfer that Excel data over to a better home, and toss those spreadsheets behind you.
And that’s where Flawless Inbound comes in! We’ve helped more than 70 B2B organizations across Canada and the US break free of their old, inefficient systems and embrace the potential of the HubSpot CRM in securing their sales success. Want to know more? Check out this inbound sales enablement eBook we wrote!