This is the fourth post in a five part series looking at the 5 Big Questions of CRM Systems.

If you missed the first three posts, you’ll want to check out Who should use a CRM, What is CRM and Why You should use CRM.

This post will discuss when you should implement CRM into your business.

CRM System

As a small business, you probably use an organizational process that has worked well up to this point. Maybe you’ve used Excel to keep track of new purchases and contact information, or maybe you use several different apps for your data.

Whatever your process has been, you’re looking for something more. (or you wouldn’t be reading this!)

In research conducted by Gartner, it mentions eight essential building blocks of CRM initiatives: vision, strategy, customer experience, organizational collaboration, processes, information, metrics and technology.

CRM systems are a part of these building blocks and can be implemented once vision has been established. CRM Systems are part of your overall strategy and will help with organizational collaboration, processes, customer experience, information and metrics.

In a recent survey, CRM users shared the timing of implementing a CRM system for their business.
CRM System

So, what if you have a process that seems to be working well and you’re just curious as to why anyone would need a CRM System?

Here are a few indicators to help you decide when it’s time for you to use a CRM System.

  1. You wish you had your contacts organized by industry, groups…etc.

  2. The “find” search in Excel doesn’t find your customer’s information easily.

  3. The information on your spreadsheet is constantly needing to be updated.

  4. You have no way of tying your email marketing campaign results to your customers.

  5. You’ve started running Google AdWord campaigns and don’t know if any of your recent phone calls came from your campaigns.

  6. You’ve hired your first sales person and can’t keep track of their pipeline.

  7. You’ve started doing marketing to acquire more leads.

Using a CRM system in the early stages of business growth  will help you setup ongoing sales processes, manage customer relationships and stay on top of important deals. So, as you build your sales team, you’ll have systems in place to track their pipeline in order to meet business growth goals. 

In the next post, we’ll talk about where you go once you’ve implemented a CRM.