When comparing Excel to CRM, you don’t have to hide your feelings – we get it: Excel will always have a special place in your heart when it comes to manage customer contacts. And not without a good reason: it has been for a long time the faithful fellow sufferer who has accompanied you against wind and tide, from those first struggles with its most basic formulas until becoming an expert in the most beloved spreadsheet ever. But…
…The great but is that, as time passes, new needs begin to be a top priority in the management of your business in terms of control, customization and profitability of your Marketing investment.
When and why do I need a CRM over Excel?
Think about it for a moment: each new day there is more information (and infinitely more valuable) available to manage your business; every week new ways of reaching your users -much more complex and precise- emerge; and yet, while all this is happening around you at a dizzying pace … your Excel sheets remain almost the same as years ago.
Currently, your users expect to be much more than simple entries for your business in an Excel cell. They may not expect it consciously – although some are already beginning to have remarkable knowledge about the management of their own information- but it is certainly a loyalty factor that they have very much in mind: “This company knows exactly what I need when I need and how I need it”. And this level of attention, folks, you will not get with an Excel table.
To put it bluntly, if an Excel allows you to store information, a CRM tool allows you to work wonders with that information.
CUSTOMIZE THE USER EXPERIENCE
A CRM tool allows you to bring information about each of your potential and current users to previously unimaginable limits (meaning previously as in the Excel era). And this is something that users themselves value very positively: the information giant SAP says that 73% of consumers prefer to buy where they use their data to provide them with a better shopping experience.
EXCEL LACKS SEGMENTATION
Not only do we talk about differentiation of your users by demographic variables, but also by something much more significant for the sales process: their behavior during the purchase, AKA conversion funnel. This data is really important, since sending out communications via e-mail based on user behavior has been shown to generate up to 50% conversion compared to a traditional 20%.
CRM HELPS YOU SELL MORE, AND BETTER
A CRM tool will allow you to plan your sales based on key information that you could hardly manage with an Excel: to those users who have spent a certain time viewing a product sheet you can propose an offer on that product; to those who bought an A product, you can offer a complementary B product. And so, a long list of options to direct the sale the right way
If this has not yet convinced you about the need to make the leap from traditional Excel to a current CRM tool to manage contacts, consider these other direct implications of modernizing your customer management system:
- Lead generation: the right CRM tool will facilitate the generation of leads from visits to your website. Offering valuable content in exchange for your users’ data (from offers to content adapted to conversion funnel), the automated CRM system will allow you to optimize lead generation process.
- Process automation: this is the pearl of the CRM, something that will save you valuable time of dedication. It´s all about processing the information collected about your users to automate the delivery of content based on the particular needs of each one of them. Are you still missing Excel? Surely less and less.
- Loyalty of your users: there is nothing that consumers value better than those companies that care about understanding their needs. With the right CRM technology, understanding what your users really need will never be a mystery again.
And the list of benefits does not end here with the integration of a CRM tool for the management of your contacts: higher recommendation ratios, a higher return on investment in Marketing and an easier integration with other systems commonly used in your Company are other advantages of CRM over the classic Excel sheet
It was nice while it lasted, but your business (and your customers) deserve much more from you. The time has come to say goodbye to Excel to give way instead of CRM technologies when it comes to manage customers and convert them to qualified leads.
Written by: Toni Alcántara