Sure, spreadsheets are free. Using them is a method tried and tested over time. But you know what’s better? Giving your salespeople the tools they need to flourish and generate more revenue for your business!

This is where a CRM comes in. It allows businesses to organise their database and automate routine tasks. As a result, they can generate more leads and build better customer relationships. As much as 91% of companies with 12 or more employees utilise a CRM system. However, some businesses still believe they don’t need a CRM.

Do you?

Read on to learn about the eight challenges your business will face if you don’t implement a CRM system. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Eight challenges your business will face if you don't use a CRM

These challenges are more whens than ifs for companies that don’t have a CRM system. Spreadsheets can be compelling, but not in today's sales environment. Their capacities are quickly exceeded by business growth. As a result, they can become more of a headache.

Here they are: Eight challenges your business will face if you don’t use a CRM…

Your database will be cluttered and disorganised

Without a CRM, your customer database isn’t as clean as it could be — if clean at all. Spreadsheets are hard to track. There’s almost no way to trace who filled what field and you can’t ensure that all data is entered correctly, in the right section, and in the proper format.

Don’t even get us started on duplicate records. With spreadsheets, how can you ensure two sales reps did not add the same lead to the database? Duplicate records lead to duplicate messages being sent out and lost leads.

Sales are a pretty high-speed environment. Having your salespeople figure out where data should go just adds another speed bump on their way. This hurts the effectiveness of their work and, as a result, damages your bottom line. A CRM removes that speedbump by giving them an easy-to-navigate, standardised customer card.

Your data is neatly organised with a CRM. Here’s why, illustrated via the example of NetHunt CRM:

  • Standardised customer card: An easy-to-fill and navigate customer card that’s shared among the team.
  • Customisable fields: Include number fields, short answer fields, and long answer fields where needed.
  • Increased data completeness: Using required fields closes gaps in your customer's profile and ensures that your data will always have the necessary level of completion.
  • No duplicates: Any duplicates accidentally created by your sales representatives are automatically found and deleted, or merged.

Your sales process won’t be consistent

When you don't have a CRM, it's like every salesperson plays by their own rules. This can make the whole sales process messy and unpredictable. Just imagine: one salesperson might rely on scribbled notes in a diary to track leads. Another juggles multiple Excel sheets. The third one uses an overflowing inbox as their primary reference point.

When sales reps don’t have a standardised pipeline, there’s no way to devise an action plan for every deal. Management won’t be able to prepare and approve contracts on time. This lengthens your sales cycle and hurts your reputation.

If your sales process is unpredictable, how will you forecast revenue for the next quarter? How will you evaluate your sales strategy effectiveness? With a CRM like NetHunt CRM, salespeople share a workspace that helps them navigate the sales processes. This is all thanks to:

  • Clearly defined sales stages: Salespeople can refer to them when taking prospects through the sale.
  • A timeline feed: A full history of customer communications, shared files, messenger app messages, and notes left by the sales representative.
  • Automated tasks and notifications: Your salespeople are reminded about the necessary actions before moving to the next stage.
Automatic task and notification creation with NetHunt CRM

You’ll be overburdened with manual, routine tasks.

Sales has its fair share of high-octane moments, but there are also boring tasks that need to be completed regularly. Tasks like lead follow-ups, data entry while creating a client card, and lead routing can drain your salespeople's energy. The energy that we’re sure you’d prefer was spent on negotiations and closing the deals.

NetHunt CRM’s automated workflows can make those routine tasks a thing of the past, allowing you to…

  • Immediately capture webform leads and populate them in your CRM: This includes details like first name, last name, email address, company name, phone number, landing page, referring page, newsletter subscription, and more.
  • Set up drip campaigns to nurture leads: Use NetHunt CRM to create automatic email sequences to engage prospects, leads, and customers. No manual intervention is required.
  • Automatically link email conversations to client profiles: NetHunt CRM logs email interactions with customers and leads, updating real-time contact records.
  • Implement automations to move leads to the next stage: NetHunt CRM can automatically change a lead's stage from ‘New’ to ‘Negotiating’ when they respond to a drip campaign. Plus, it’ll assign the relevant task to a rep based on the stage.
  • Set up alerts to stay updated: Configure the system to send notifications immediately or at a scheduled time. With them, your team won’t ever miss a beat.
  • Control your sales workflow: Create tasks automatically and assign them to reps whenever a deal progresses from one stage to the next.
NetHunt CRM’s automation functionality for automating sales tasks

You’ll have no way of tracking sales performance

Without a CRM, measuring the performance of your sales team becomes guesswork. You're left in the dark about who's meeting their targets, how quickly leads are being converted, or how many potential deals slipped through the cracks. It's like navigating a maze without a map; you know there's an end goal, but you're unsure of how to get there.

Moreover, with the data and insights a CRM provides, it's easier to identify improvement areas or reward top performers. Managers can offer constructive feedback or spot coaching opportunities. This leads to growth.

Utilising a CRM like NetHunt CRM can effectively address the challenge of being unable to track sales team performance. NetHunt CRM manages this challenge by…

  • Integrating all data, processes, and departments under one umbrella. This makes reporting easy and consistent across the entire business. You’ll completely understand how well your sales team is performing. Do this and see the whole picture rather than just the number of deals closed or calls made.
  • Generating real-time sales reports on your pipeline, funnel, goal progress, and conversion. Analysing your sales strategy to this degree lets you easily spot improvement opportunities.
  • Integrating with Looker Studio ensures that you can view your data in various ways. Create reports to track the performance of your sales team with ease. Forget collecting the data from a million sources.

A CRM helps you backup your decisions with data rather than gut feeling. This ensures strategies are aligned with actual performance, leading to more effective decision-making.

NetHunt CRM real-time sales report generation functionality for sales team activity tracking

You’ll be wasting resources on every stage of the sales process

Think of all the time your salespeople spend organising data, transferring it from LinkedIn to a spreadsheet, manually copying and pasting every message from WhatsApp into a document, sending a follow-up email and jotting a note about it -- and so on and so on.

Sure, each action only takes a couple of seconds or minutes. However, when you do them dozens of times, every single day, for months, they really add up.

Surely, you want your salespeople to have the time to sell your product?

With a CRM, however, many of these tasks get automated or simplified. This frees up significant amounts of your salespeople's time. For example, NetHunt CRM allows you to…

  • Scrape data from incoming emails and create a new customer card for that person.
  • Automatically create customer cards from web forms
  • Scrape data from LinkedIn profiles with the LinkedIn integration.
  • Add leads from Intercom and link chats to your client profiles.
  • Scrape data from WhatsApp to create a customer card.
  • Automatically send follow-ups to your prospects.
  • Automatically move prospects from one stage to another based on email engagement.

Your customer service will suffer

Without a CRM, the full history of a client's journey with your company is rather hard to find. Forcing salespeople to dig through old chats and scroll through hundreds of emails to find documents is cruel, but there’s more to this.

Chances are your teams won’t bother to do the things we’ve just outlined. Instead, they’ll resort to asking customers the same questions over and over again to refresh their picture of the client’s business environment.

If you were your own customer, you wouldn’t like to be bothered in that way.

With a CRM like NetHunt CRM, a timeline offers centralisation of all communications and business intelligence stored. It contains:

  • Emails
  • Messenger chats
  • Documents
  • Call logs
  • Customer support chats through Intercom

Yep, finding the necessary information gets much more straightforward. Your salespeople will have a more complete picture of the prospects or customers they’re dealing with.

Communications timeline feed for salespeople in NetHunt CRM

Your customers will churn at a high rate

Customer interactions are hard to track without a CRM system. Salespeople may forget about some clients after they make the sale. If your customers aren't engaged, they will eventually churn.

When they do churn, you’ll be left wondering why they chose to part ways with you. On the other hand, CRM provides  e extra business intelligence to spot early warning signs of customer churn and stop them before they can manifest themselves!

For example, NetHuntCRM can notify you if one of your customers suddenly stops opening your emails as their renewal date approaches.

Furthermore, minor but meaningful customer interactions, such as follow-ups or check-in emails, are taken care of automatically. To this end you can:

  • Create automated workflows: They’ll send follow-up emails to customers at the intervals you define. This ensures that no lead is forgotten and small interactions don’t overwhelm sales reps.
  • Automatically “flag” the lead once they start showing early signs of churn: If a lead ignores three emails from your sales rep, they could automatically have a tag added to their customer card. A sales rep then checks on them ASAP.
  • Analyse why previous customers churn. Find out what you need to do to change to improve retention.

As a result, customers feel you do care about them. They’ll stay with your company for longer, boosting ARR.

You’ll have trouble understanding what your team is doing

Without a CRM, knowing who’s done what is rather tricky. How do you track what records have changed? Stop chasing a long trail of all the edits made to a spreadsheet. Do it with a CRM instead.

With NetHunt CRM, all of your salespeople’s interactions are visible, so you’ll know how the progress on sales is moving along. Having this level of increased visibility allows you to…

  • Spot when a sales rep is having difficulties. If a lead is stuck on the same pipeline stage for too long, it might be time to speak to the salesperson to check if they need assistance. It’s difficult to track with a spreadsheet. But a CRM presents your entire sales funnel in a visual, intuitive pipeline.
  • Track salesperson activities. You can track who’s performing all of their daily tasks and activities and who’s not meeting targets. Track the number of emails sent, calls made, demos held, and new leads added.
  • Identify coaching opportunities. With a CRM, you can spot opportunities for coaching with a clearer view of the results your salespeople are bringing. See that a salesperson's emails aren’t getting opened? It’s time to coach them on writing subject lines. Notice that a sales rep keeps losing leads in the negotiation stage? Coach them on closing techniques.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I continue using spreadsheets instead of a CRM system?

Using spreadsheets leads to cluttered and disorganised databases. You’ll end up with inconsistent sales processes and waste resources on manual tasks; tracking sales performance becomes guesswork. Customer service suffers, leading to higher churn rates.

How will my sales team benefit from having a CRM?

A CRM system standardises and automates sales processes, freeing up time for selling. It ensures consistent customer interactions, provides insights into sales performance, and helps nurture leads. With tools like NetHunt CRM, routine tasks become efficient, enhancing overall productivity.

Why should I try NetHunt CRM?

NetHunt CRM offers a targeted solution to the challenges of relying on spreadsheets. It organises data, automates mundane tasks, and presents sales funnels visually. With features like automated workflows, custom fields, and real-time reporting, NetHunt CRM empowers your sales team to excel, fostering growth and efficiency in your business.

The bottom line

In this article, we’ve covered eight challenges your business faces if you rely on spreadsheets in your sales process. Having a CRM like NetHunt CRM offers a solution. A CRM transforms cluttered databases into powerful assets, makes sales processes consistent, and automates mundane tasks.

Want to ensure your business is equipped to thrive in a competitive marketplace? Implement a CRM, and you'll invest in efficiency, accuracy, and growth.

You’ll empower your sales team to excel as a result.

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