Stop Using Spreadsheets To Track Clients and Leads
As the owner of a growing business, you know it’s important to track leads and clients. When it comes time to consolidate all the information, many people turn to the trusty excel spreadsheet. It seems to make sense at first, and probably works for a time. But, as your company grows, it becomes more and more time consuming to use. If that sounds like you, it’s time to stop using excel to track your leads and clients and get a real solution!
In many cases, using a dedicated CRM or other lead tracking solution is going to save you and your sales team a ton of time. With a plethora of options out there, and different price points to match, there’s definitely one out there to fit your business. If you’re still on the fence, here are some of the top reasons why ditching the spreadsheets is the right choice.
They’re Hard To Keep Updated
Be honest, how many client/lead related spreadsheets do you have on your hard drive? If you’re like many others, you probably have a couple half used spreadsheets you started for some purpose or another. Maybe you created one to record leads for an email campaign, and then another for a tradeshow your company attended.
Unfortunately, this quickly ends up wasting a lot of your time as you have to sort through various sheets to find info on a client or lead. Lost information, missed opportunities, and forgotten clients are just some of the common issues that crop up from poorly managed leads.
This problem becomes even more prominent when you need several people working on a give spreadsheet at once. Now the information is stored across several sheets, on different computers; keeping all that in sync is a pain and waste of time.
They’re Not Accessible
One of the biggest issues of using excel spreadsheets is accessibility. Having a file saved to your computer is not the easiest way for your sales team to collaborate. Having to share your file through email or other means to your various sales staff is time consuming and prone to errors.
Now, once you’ve sent over spreadsheet to your sales staff, imagine having to keep all copies updated. A nightmare to say the least!
You’re also having to invest extra time if you want to split your lead list among your team. Say you have two sales people, and each should get half of your leads to work on. With a spreadsheet you’re going to have to spend the time manually pruning the list, sending off the specific sheets your sales people, and then potentially getting updates to your own copy as they come in. Time consuming, prone to errors, and easy to forget.
Even if you use a cloud base storage system like Google Drive or Dropbox, you still run into segmenting issues. Either you create multiple spreadsheets, one for each member of the team, or you combine them into a list and create a way to denote who’s assigned to who. Either way, the solution is less than ideal, and amounts to wasted time.
It’s Difficult To Find Where To Invest Time
Another difficulty of the spreadsheet is it’s difficult to track interactions and determine which leads need your attention.
For example, Simple Lead Tracker lets you enter specific interactions such as a phone call or email, and then lets you sort your leads based on who hasn’t seen any love in a while. It also lets you set upcoming interactions and tasks, so you can easily stay on top of your leads. Now, try doing the same with a spreadsheet.
The time saved here is enormous, and it also helps in determining who your hot leads are. If you’ve had a lot of positive interactions with a lead, it’s a good sign that things are moving forward, and perhaps it’s time to push for the sale. With spreadsheets, this data is either missing, or requires a ton of manual entry.
It’s Hard To Know Where To Market
Another difficulty of using spreadsheets is understanding where your marketing dollars go. If you spend $1,000 on Facebook Ads, it’s essential to know how many leads that brought in, and how much revenue they generated.
Without that information, it’s impossible to know whether your marketing dollars are being well spent, or should be moved to a different avenue. Unfortunately, storing this type of information in a spreadsheet is going to prove difficult.
A solution like Simple Lead Tracker however makes this super simple. You can easily assign leads to a marketing campaign, and see which deals were a direct result of it. This way, you can more accurately assess the success of your marketing efforts.
It’s Time Consuming To Get Data
Lastly, excel spreadsheets are notorious for being difficult to get the data you need out of them. Sure, there are a bunch of advanced features for setting up reporting, but these generally require specialized knowledge of excel and how to set up your sheets correctly. Making sure your entire team is trained on how to do this, and how do it in sync with everyone else, is time consuming and error prone.
It’s much easier to use a solution that’s built with this in mind. Most lead management solutions come with some sort of built in reporting. In addition, they likely also have some way to record interactions or touches with potential clients.
With tools like this, it’s easy to get data out of your sales process which helps you make better business decisions.
Ditch The Spreadsheets
It’s clear to see that there are many benefits to using a dedicated lead tracking application, and the time savings over using spreadsheets are enormous. As mentioned above, there are a lot of different software with varying levels of features and cost. With such a large pool to choose from, there’s bound to be one that clicks with your business and processes.
If you’re still on the fence, give Simple Lead Tracker a try. We built it specifically for businesses that are teetering the edge of using spreadsheets and needing a CRM, which amounts to it being super simple and easy to use. With a low learning curve, you can be up in running in only a few minutes!
We offer a no strings 7 day free trial. If you’re interested try us out and see if you like us with no risk!