Why pay for CRM when I have Excel?

The Collaborating Game

“Software #1, are you available in the cloud?”

Someone once asked me, “Why should I pay good money for CRM when I have Microsoft Excel® and a shared folder?”  Well, that is a valid question.  It is true that Excel has features that would allow you to track information about their customers/clients, contacts, prospects, marketing events, etc.  You could easily have one workbook for all of these or separate workbooks.  You could even go to the extreme of hiding certain columns or rows and locking it down if those shouldn’t be seen by others.  Instead of emailing it out, it could be placed on a shared folder or someplace where everyone could have access to it.  This would definitely save you money…

What CRM provides is not just a way to spend money, but a way to save time and help support your business in ways that many don’t consider.

There are many ways that any CRM would make a value-added investment. Two of the foremost ways are: 1) A CRM connects and relates different records together as a part of the normal way the data is entered. You don’t have to remember to do this… it prompts you to do it! 2) It helps you remember to do activities you might have forgotten to do or document.

Let’s dissect Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM® in some more detail and understand some of the most important ways it offers you a return on your investment!

“A picture tells 1,000 words…”

The human mind can more quickly interpret and make decisions when seeing a picture than when reading.  This is why CRM has built in Dashboards to help get a visual understanding of your data.  You can analyze and drill down on your data graphically or quickly get to the underlying data too.

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Available in the cloud or on your desktop!

CRM is available when and where you need it. You can work how and when you want.  As of the December 2012 release, it is now even available on web browsers other than Internet Explorer so you may use it in the cloud the way you want to!

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Automatic associations/relationships between records

CRM is all about relationships… it is designed to prompt you to specify them.  No more wondering which account is connected with an opportunity or prospect.  Knowledge is power! Here are just a few of the related relationships:

Accounts related to one another:

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Opportunities related to an account:

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Contacts related to an account:

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“I totally forgot to do that…” or “I didn’t have time to do that…”

Forgetful?  Limited time?  Don’t worry – it happens to everyone.  CRM’s Workflows can automate tasks to make you more efficient.  It can also provide reminders for you so something is not overlooked.  You can always adjust them or make new ones too…

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Get everyone on the right page

CRM allows you to have multiple custom screens so that only the most appropriate layout and fields may be seen by a user… you can have multiple views of records too!

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CRM uses Dialogs to provide scripts so that users are all following the same process and/or asking the same questions

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Provides a medium to track back results based on activities

Ever launched a marketing campaign and you don’t know if it was worth the money?  CRM allows you to connect related responses to your campaign along with the prospects and opportunities it generates.

By following the opportunities to wins, the revenue generated relates back to the campaign allowing a 360-degree picture of the work

Successful campaigns can be duplicated to bring in more revenue and less successful campaigns can be retired to not waste precious time and resources on those rotten ventures…

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As you can see, CRM can bring value and Microsoft Dynamics CRM has some of the greatest value-providing ways to help you do more business with less time and waste.  Do you miss your excel though? Not to worry; you can still have your Excel!

At any time, you can export the data from CRM to Excel

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Now you decide… Would you consider paying for CRM over just using Excel?

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