In the world of business, having the right system is essential. But what if you're not ready for a full-scale CRM implementation?
This episode explores alternative ways to power your sales system effectively. Discover your options, from spreadsheets to specialized CRM solutions, and find the perfect fit for your business's needs.
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The right system for any part of your business is the one that you will use and that fits your needs. It's also beneficial if it's able to grow with you. But sometimes in business, we can only do what we can do at the moment, which might mean that taking on a customer relationship management software, CRM, implementing is currently just out of the question. Not to worry. There are other ways of powering a sales system. It doesn't necessarily require a CRM, but before we go further, I will say that businesses planning to grow do need a CRM, even if you are a one designer show right now. And there are lots of different options for a CRM out there. A scalable sales system doesn't require a massive software investment. A sales system is an information management system that powers your sales process. By definition, it needs to be able to store data in a logical way that the data can be easily accessed and used. To meet these needs, we'll talk about four options for how to store your lead information. Spoiler alert, one of them is a CRM. Each of the options we discuss has an implementation option that ranges from simple to complex. So first up. Spreadsheet. Ah, the good ol spreadsheet. The go to tool for almost any business need. Used by every business function, from marketing to finance, and in this case, sales. You can absolutely use a spreadsheet to track your lead information and power your sales system. If you're just getting started and a CRM feels like too much for you, then start with a spreadsheet. Just don't stay there too long. It isn't going to be a shock when I tell you that a spreadsheet will only scale so far. Now, I have seen some monster programming in spreadsheets to get them to function as a CRM. And while that is impressive, it's not sustainable. And the more complex a spreadsheet gets, the more fragile it becomes. And stressful. Typically, the mad genius behind the spreadsheet starts out eagerly adding functionality and improving it. Then, maybe after a while, changes take longer and when things break, they aren't fixed very quickly. And finally, that mad genius might leave the company and probably never documented how any of it worked. So, spreadsheets are a fine place to start. But to prevent future issues, you'll want to move to something more sustainable before you start dumping too many resources into DIYing your spreadsheet into a CRM. Okay, so number two. More than a spreadsheet. A step up from a spreadsheet is to use a program called Airtable. They describe their software as a spreadsheet database hybrid. Users familiar with spreadsheets will feel right at home in Airtable. And then discover that they can start to harness more advanced functionality that's perhaps possible with coding in spreadsheets, but can be done without code in Airtable. Airtable even comes with a CRM template. This is a more scalable choice than a spreadsheet, as it has advanced features that enable storing, interfacing, and viewing your lead data without code or customization. All right, option number three, a project management system. Okay, well this category of software applications has massively evolved in the last five years. Most of the programs in this category are really more data management systems than project management, as the way they allow for configuring, inputting, and interfacing with data transcends just project management. A few of these types of apps are Monday. com, Asana, ClickUp, or Wrike. If you are already using one of these systems for project management, you can also start using it for your sales system. Building out your sales system in one of these apps can be challenging because there are so many different ways to do it. However, most programs also have a CRM template you can use as a starting point. This is a great choice if you already have the software in use. as it's ready to scale with you. And finally, option number four, the CRM. As you might have inferred by now, a CRM is just a specialized data management system. And the options in this category are vast. You can have a CRM app that lives inside your inbox, like Streak for Gmail or Outlook CRM. You can use a free option like Zoho CRM or HubSpot. Or you can jump in the deep end with PipeDrive or Close. And there's probably a few hundred other options I haven't named here. CRMs have the benefit of being specialized for sales, so less decision making and invention is needed from you. Choosing the right fit does take some time and effort, as well as implementing it in your business, and getting everyone trained and using the system. But, once it's in place, it scales with you. Whichever option you choose, setting up the system will take time and investment and resources. Sometimes it makes sense to get an expert in to help, as they can lessen the decision making burden by guiding you through the process and helping you with the implementation and onboarding. In the next episode, we'll talk about being on the other side of having your lead information in a system and discuss the know what of using your chosen sales system platform. Hire help. My book on how to use experts to shortcut improvement, growth, and capacity is now available. Get all the details and buy it by going to hire help book.com. Was this episode helpful? Take a moment to rate and review This podcast rating helps other kitchen and bath design owners discover our episodes.