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Why are all CRMs complicated? [3 observations]

How can that be?

Everybody wants a simple CRM. And every vendor wants to provide a simple CRM. Why don’t these ends meet?

It’s a very strange reality in the CRM market these days. If you need a software soluton, you usually just go and choose one, and use it. But NO. Of all the people looking for a simple CRM, most will end up using Excel. The wrong tool for the job wins the market!

How does it work? A person looks for a CRM. Browses the internet. Checks out several CRM soutions. Even starts a free trial at a few. Invests his time, money and energy. And in the end? The CRM proves to be ineffective and is abanodoned. How can such a thing happen, given the vast value that CRM vendors are trying to demonstrate for their products?

Is there value in CRM products?

Given the ubiquity of a spreadsheet for customer management, and the fact that most small businesses don’t use a real “CRM”, one may wonder whether there really is a value in a CRM solution. Does it really affect the bottom line? Does it help to close more deals?

The answer is not obvious

We believe that for most businesses, a CRM solution MAY help close more deals. But at what cost? And does it really help all kinds of businesses? Do small businesses really need a CRM? Just like when moving from handwritten paper to the typewriter, and from the typewriter to the PC with a word processor, it wasn’t an easy nor an overnight switch. In fact, for this change to happen, a really great product must emerge. There were many kinds of typewriters, and not all saw immense success. There were many types of word processors, with varying level of success. In the CRM realm, there’re way too many products, but none seem to have a great success to actually make small businesses use them.

It takes a great product to succeed

The answer is clear: product excellence, accompanied with excellent marketing, wins. It takes a really good product to affect the ROI (return of investment) for small businesses. You don’t want to spend all your time fighting with a nonresponsive CRM, making it do what you want it to do. You want it to be super-easy for you to use it and get the underlying benefits.

For small businesses, the verdict is not clear. Do they really need a CRM? We believe that they do. But at what cost? And by cost we don’t mean the monthly cost for the product they buy, but the organizational cost. The cost of deploying the software in their organization. Teaching everybody how to use it, tracking all the data in the system, and more.

Wouldn’t it be better just to the let the salespeople keep doing what they’re doing and live in a chaos? A chaos, yes, but a chaos with sales and happy salespeople.

The market is broken

Today, the market is saturated with all kinds of products. Every software category, from project management, to inventory management, to recruiting software, to cybersecurity, and all the rest, is already saturated with hundreds of products. And that includes CRM software. But what is common to all of them? They’re all trying to reinvent the wheel. Make a great user experience. Make a great product. Make great buttons. Choose great colors. But all these “great” experiences come with a cost – the learning curve.

Which product will win?

We believe that the best products that will win are those that let the user keep using whatever he’s already doing and is familiar with – such as using Excel, Word, Gmail, etc., and gain the benefit of the software without the hassle of actually using a new software. Instead of a learning curve, let the user dictate the rules. Let him keep using his familiar tools, and let the software figure out how to provide him the benefits. If that is not possible, the best tool is that tool that at least provides the experience that is the closest to what the user already knows. And of course, provides lots of benefits on top of that.

How can this be applied to CRM?

In CRM, the most ubiquitous familiar alternative is the spreadsheet. When designing a CRM, we tried to adapt as many of the great things about spreadsheets right into our interface. So we ended up with a spreadsheet interface! A spreadsheet is the simplest way to handle your contact list. Need a new contact? Just add a row. Need to modify a contact? Just type in the spreadsheet. Need a new field? Just add a column and type in the new data. But while the spreadsheet interface is great, it lacks all of the benefits of modern CRM systems. So what did we do? We integrated them right into the spreadsheet. So now you can set reminders and appointments, send e-mails, attach files and more, all from inside the spreadsheet that you love! Contact us to get your spreadsheet template and get your sales going.

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Why are all CRMs complicated? [3 observations]
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