If you are like most of us, you probably have post-it notes littered around your work desk and computer right now. And more stacks of paper on your desktop. And you probably have additional notes stored in your cell phone or a note app like Evernote, a list of tasks and appointments in Outlook, emails sorted into folders and flagged for follow up. You probably have a series of Excel spreadsheets tracking expenses or new business, some manila folders in your brief case filled with important project documents, and maybe even a printed calendar that you carry around with you or one that you post on a white board or wall in your office to see the coming months at a glance.
And most likely, your personal system is working well for you. It may not be the most efficient or organized, but it’s designed around how you like to work and you know just where everything is. You like your personal post-it note CRM (Customer Relationship Manager).
But what if your post-it note CRM and the post-it note CRMs of your co-workers are actually getting in the way of your organization’s growth, how would you know?
Here are 4 quick ways to tell if you are ready to move from post-it notes to a full-fledged CRM system:
1. Shared Common Processes
If you have shared processes for regularly occurring tasks, but you have no means of ensuring consistency within your organization as to how these tasks are carried out, then you are limiting the scalability of your processes...limiting your growth.
2. Overuse of Spreadsheets
If you are regularly meeting to discuss spreadsheets of information compiled from contributions by individuals all tracking information in personal spreadsheets, then your tracking and reporting system will eventually grow unmanageable and prevent valuable information from being shared across departments...limiting your growth.
3. Things Are Falling Through The Cracks
If you find that common customer and prospect follow up is falling through the cracks, then you are losing both new and existing business through the cracks of your existing processes...limiting your growth.
4. Knowledge About Your Customer Is Spread Too Thin
If you find that knowledge of your customer’s history, preferences, and products and services is spread among many departments and individuals, then your processes are not customer-centric which will eventually hurt customer retention...limiting your growth.
So, while you may like your personal post-it note CRM, it does not scale. It does not report well. It sometimes let’s things fall through the cracks. And it does not play well with others. In fact, if we removed you from your system, then your post-it note CRM would come to a screeching halt!
The ability to scale work processes is perhaps the number one reason why CRM systems exist.
No one else would know where anything is, or how to make use of the information stored in your system. The ability to scale work processes is perhaps the number one reason why commercial CRMs exist.
A good CRM will allow you to:
- create common work processes (e.g. referral tracking, sales pipeline management, customer activity history)
- share these processes with others so that you can scale your business while still maintaining a high level of consistency and efficiency to your work.
If you are still using a post-it note CRM and any of the 4 tell-tale signs above resonated with you, then it’s time you considered upgrading to a real CRM system -- one that will allow your business to scale and grow without limits.
If you found this interesting and might also like 9 Signs Your Bank Needs a CRM.