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CRMs vs. Manual Spreadsheets: How Automating Processes Help SMBs Grow

CRMs Versus Manual Spreadsheets: How Automating Processes Helps SMBs Grow

Don’t hold back your business with manual data processing and disconnected spreadsheets. Level-up with a small business CRM that gives back time to work on what matters most.

Are the fundamental building blocks of your business kept in spreadsheets? Fast insights into sales pipeline and dashboards, revenue forecasting, customer information, and lead management are crucial to a sustainable business. Learn why it may be time to move beyond spreadsheets to position your small to medium-sized business (SMB) for growth. 

There comes a point in the growth of a SMB when the business owner will look at the vast amount of spreadsheets that contain critical data and think: there must be a better way. 

This reality check comes quicker to leaders during times of change as they’re forced to juggle competing priorities. According to Salesforce’s latest Small and Medium Business Trends Report, leaders say the shift in customer expectations for online transactions have driven 63% of SMBs to now manage an ecommerce presence. Investing in digital capabilities has become the keyfocus for many SMBs — 71% of SMB leaders say their business survived the pandemic because of digitisation. Their top motivators to focus on digital transformation are increasing productivity, improving business agility, and enhancing data security. The use of technology not only helps them establish a foundation for growth but also build better relationships with their customers and stakeholders. For businesses that are still using spreadsheets such as Excel to host important data, it is now time to move beyond manual processes and choose automation. Here’s why. 

CRMs give SMBs what matters — time and efficiency

Creating one-to-one relationships with customers is what sets a SMB apart from its competitors.

Without a customer relationship management (CRM) system that efficiently manages business data, SMB leaders will often go to bed feeling anxious about customers and prospects they haven’t responded to. For any interactions that day, they’ll need to manually add details to the right spreadsheet on what was covered and when to follow up.

The change from spreadsheets to a CRM software is when business leaders can step out from working within the business and find the time to work on the business. With intelligent automation processes, they will have the ability to build a diverse and comprehensive customer reference database that supports marketing, sales, and service. Unlike spreadsheets, a CRM makes it easy to automate certain tasks so your team can focus on high-value business.

All those hours of manual data entry and the stress of remembering previous customer conversations will be taken away, giving business leaders back the resource that matters — time.

The costs of using spreadsheets over CRM systems

To put this into perspective, how much does one hour cost to a business leader who is working with a customer? Think about the hours per week spent updating, collating, and organising spreadsheets. Is the reliance on spreadsheets and monotonous data entry detrimental to revenue and growth? What if all these manual tasks could be integrated in one system? How would that change the cost of one hour? 

CRM 101: The Small & Medium Business’s Guide to build your business strategy and maximise ROI

Salesforce’s small business CRM gives leaders the tools to capture new leads and effectively manage their prospects, right through the sales cycle to becoming an active customer. The personalised email templates provide consistent messaging and intuitive activity tracking ensures that no conversation is lost or forgotten. Combined with CRM analytics, it allows SMBs to seamlessly access, collaborate, and share insights from anywhere. As such, businesses can win deals and keep their customers happy in one unified 360 platform. 

With these features easily accessible on desktop, laptop or mobile devices, Salesforce enables small to medium-sized business leaders to focus time and energy on marketing their brand, strengthening relationships with key customers, and looking at future growth opportunities for the business. 

Don’t hold back your business with manual data processing and disconnected spreadsheets. It’s time to reassess whether your processes are driving growth or holding you back. Level-up with a CRM software that gives you back time to work on what matters most. 

  Download the free Small and Medium Business's Guide to boost your business growth. This post was based on the original at the A.U. Salesforce blog.  


Salesforce is the #1 CRM, bringing companies and customers together in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, blockchain, voice, and artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers in a whole new way. They are coming to us as their trusted advisor, and together we are transforming their businesses around the customer.

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