Relationships are complicated. And I don’t mean just couples; even simple friendships can take a turn for the worse with a wrong step.
Spreadsheets are almost as complicated as relationships, but they were never made to handle the relationships you have with your leads and customers.
Spreadsheets Weren’t Made to Handle Customer Relationships
Spreadsheet programs like Excel, Numbers, and Google Spreadsheets are fantastic tools for two things: spreading and sheeting.
Ok, so they’re great for numbers, they can help calculate amazing amounts of data, they can chart, they can graph, they can even do great with accounting.
The problem is, spreadsheets play a numbers game.
We’ve already discussed that humans aren’t numbers, so we need to stop treating them as such.
It’s time for you to have real relationships with real people and that means learning more about them, keeping track of communications, and meeting individual wants and needs.
Spreadsheets are human relationship assassins
Spreadsheets aren’t really people people. In fact, they aren’t people at all, which makes it really hard for them to help manage customer relationships.
While all numbers are the created equal, people come from all walks of life and have specific wants and needs. Your product or service must meet those wants or needs, but you have to dig deep in order to build a solid engagement strategy.
This isn’t about the first interaction, or even the first sale. A worthwhile customer relationship encompasses the entire lifecycle of your product or service, including repeat sales and customer referrals.
If all you know about your customer is their basic contact information, you’re doing it all wrong and missing out on big, recurring, evangelizing money.
CRM: The logical, correct tool for the job
The alternative to numbers-only spreadsheets? Why, Customer Relationship Management software, of course.
Remember that part where it talks about managing customer relationships? Yeah, that’s the important part of CRM and the reason it was built in the first place.
If you use a CRM faithfully and congruently to your customer base, you will be able to follow the entire buyer’s journey. You’ll know who they are, where they came from, why they came, what they are looking for, what of yours interests them, who they’ve communicated with, what’s been done, what has yet to be completed, and how to engage them in the future.
That’s a lot of stuff, but the right CRM for the job will make all of this so much easier than it sounds.
Things like workflow automation will help move the process along; email integration helps you stay in contact and keep track of communication history; custom fields allow you to personalize the CRM data to your specific company; and much more.
Stop bleeding money; make the jump from spreadsheets to CRM
It’s the only thing that can plug the gap that is gushing money and opportunity away from your company.
Start building real relationships with your customers and watch your line charts go up, up, and away.