Have you hit a brick wall with your CRM system? We adopt tools like CRM and spreadsheets to solve a problem, until we discover they create yet another silo of information in the business. And when it comes to turning orders into cash, these silos just slow you down.
We’ve all been there, copying data out of one system to paste into another. Often spreadsheets become the glue of most businesses, bridging data between departments. Its natural to make do with an approach like this, it’s works, kind of. It works because the people in your business know the steps and tricks needed. It works as long as someone doesn’t overwrite that formula in the excel.
And maybe you put up with it because you believe there isn’t a system that can handle the whole process.
But apart from the inevitable errors, and the wasted time, the bigger problem is that a ‘Franken-system’ can’t give you the reliable information needed to get control, never mind serve customers better and grow your business.
Don’t get me wrong, basic systems and spreadsheets are great when you need something fast and flexible to capture and work on data. They don’t care what you’re asking them to do, but that flexibility also means risks. Typically one person knows how the spreadsheet really functions, if they leave, they take that knowledge with them.
These systems typically fail because they don’t bring your people and processes together.
- Are you wasting time and money fixing inaccurate order details?
- Are you quoting off the latest cost prices to calculate margins effectively?
- Are you working off correct stock levels or scrambling to buy to meet customer promises?
- Are you in the dark about sales forecasts and planning fulfilment and production?
- Are your competitors serving customers faster?
- Do you feel in control of the information that drives your business?
CRM systems have evolved to support more than just contact data and sales pipeline reports.
Software is now available that handles the steps of the order process in one seamless flow:
* Create Quotations (create accurate quotes in seconds, rather than minutes)
* Set follow-up reminders (ensure you don’t lose a sales by simply forgetting about it)
* Generate orders, dispatch and invoices automatically (less time copying and pasting)
* Integrated Bills of Materials and Purchasing (stop re-keying data between orders and production jobs)
* Built-in Inventory management (real time visibility of stock)
* Production and serial numbering (integrate order data with job cards for effective stock management)
* After-sales servicing and job tracking linked to the product sold and the customer record.
* integration with your accounts software
Joined up thinking like this puts SME businesses, managers and owners back in control. It creates visibility across the business. It reduces wasted time on manual, repetitive tasks. It gives peace of mind that nothing can be missed. And it creates a platform for growth.
Don’t ‘make do’ any longer.
CRMs should no longer fail your business, because they have evolved to support your entire business process. At Flowlens, we’ve seen customers reduce their order processing time by over 50% with our joined-up cloud software. This means that our customers get paid faster, with fewer errors.
For more information on how to select a CRM for your business, download our free ebook.