It’s easy to get stuck using Excel in the early stages of founding your business, after all it’s an economical tool that does not need much introduction to most employees. While managing your customer relationships through spreadsheets might suffice in the initial stages, one of the most important business decisions you will have to make is when to move on from Excel to a more secure, sophisticated tool to really help you stay on top of your business.
Salesforce supports businesses in managing customer relationships as efficiently as possible, can be adapted to different types of businesses and complexities, and can easily be synced with Excel to migrate all your data. If any of the following situations are familiar to you, you might want to consider switching from Excel to Salesforce sooner rather than later:
Business data is getting more complex
As your business grows, complexities increase and at some point, you may find yourself working with many different spreadsheets and investing a lot of time in maintaining them because you cannot store all your data in one spreadsheet. Once your database gets bigger and more complex, Excel is no longer suitable to store the information as you need. As a result, a lot of important data for your business can become lost, leaving you with limited visibility of your business.
In Salesforce, you can build tens to thousands of objects, one object being the equivalent to an Excel table, and easily create different types of relationships among them.
Issues with data security
The more people that access a spreadsheet, the more risk there is that data gets messy, lost or is even shared with people who should not have access to it. You need to find a very flexible and easy way of allowing and blocking access to data, as too many employees have access to read and/or edit the same spreadsheet. Knowing who has done what has also become quite difficult and you cannot hold anyone accountable for any errors you spot.
In Salesforce, it is very simple to grant users access to read or write an object, a record and even a specific field within a record. You can always decide who can see which data and who can perform each action, e.g downloading a report or clicking on a button. In addition, you can see who created and last edited each record and you can download an audit report with the recent setup changes made by any of the administrators in your org.
Difficulties supporting your company growth
You are selling more and, consequently, your team is growing; however, your processes are not built to scale and, paradoxically, the more you sell and hire, the more inefficient your business gets. It’s imperative that you have a platform that you can rely on that will support your team as it grows.
Business data cannot be found in a single place and you are failing to coordinate your marketing, sales and support teams. You have little information as potential customers go through the sales funnel, so it is hard for you to forecast sales.
Team performance is hard to track until sales deals are closed or service cases are solved, so you are not able to identify in advance productivity issues that you could be able to solve with more training and support.
If you switch to Salesforce, you will be working with the most powerful CRM system to help you grow your business: it can host most of your business processes and can also be smoothly integrated with many other external applications and websites.
Not acting on your business intelligence
Analysing data has become painful because your spreadsheets can no longer properly store all the information that is relevant for your business. Making a report takes a long time and you are not even sure that the data you are looking at is right. Consequently, your business decisions are not funded on real data and you might be failing to take action before it is too late.
Finding out which products are the most sold, who the top sellers in your team are or which customers are most valuable to you has become very time-consuming. All customers fall into the same process, no matter how much value they bring into the company, and, as a result, you might have even lost the loyalty of some of them. As you lack insights to segment your customers, your marketing campaigns are not well-targeted.
On the other hand, Salesforce allows you, in very simple steps, to build real-time reports with different levels of complexity, manage access to them and aggregate their data to display it graphically on a dashboard.
Wasting time on processes that could be automated
Have you witnessed how a customer request was not answered as quickly as it needed to be? Are your employees manually creating every single invoice and sending them to the customer afterwards? If so, your team is wasting a lot of time in repetitive tasks that could indeed be automated, which not only affects productivity, but also increases the likelihood that your business data will contain errors. Investing in automation will result in more efficient operations as well as big savings in hiring: the more scalable your business process is, the more productive your team will be and the less people you will need to hire as you grow.
In Salesforce, you can automate your business processes in a few steps with one of the point-and-click tools available for it. Having the possibility to also code on the platform, there are almost no limits to automate any type of process.
Even though all the above issues can be very overwhelming, the good news is that they can be solved with a professional Salesforce implementation. Partners like EMPAUA can make a real difference in building or improving your Salesforce org, as they have gathered the best practices from the expertise of having successfully delivered many projects for companies of all sizes and industries. Your investment in Salesforce will definitely translate in huge efficiency gains.
Author Bio: Maria Benavent – Maria is a freelance Salesforce Consultant with a crush on clean data.