It seems that by and large, nothing significant is accomplished without the pain of stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s no different with CRMs. You currently have methods and procedures in place and they work for you. You’ve reached a level of efficiency, you know what you’re doing and things flow well. But, given that you’re looking at CRMs, you know that what you have is not good enough. It works, but it’s slow compared to what a CRM can do versus your paper lists.
This transition forces you to change those procedures. That makes anyone uncomfortable, but more importantly it slows you down and that makes it even more frustrating. Be aware that in the beginning, it will cost you time you don’t feel you have and it will throw everyone into a sense of losing control. You want to be ready for this so you can take it in stride. You’re making this decision after careful consideration. Stick to your guns when the going gets rough and trust that you will come out on the other side after you get over the hump in the learning curve.
When first learning a CRM you’ll notice that in some cases, that initial entry of the data takes longer than just writing it down in a paper address book, or popping it into your phone. This confuses people into thinking using a CRM requires more work than paper and it’s easy at that point to re-consider. It does take longer, but one reason it does is because you are typically putting more than just the name, email address and phone number in, as you probably would if you’re using paper. What you may not realize though, is that although the initial act of inputting the data may take a few seconds longer, it will now be far faster to find information, and there will be more to find. You’ll be able to group people for mailings, search notes made in the contact record, do quick bulk emails or bulk postal mailing labels, have the contact info ready for when they sell or buy, and on and on. The efficiencies are woven into everything you do in the CRM. It’s called a relational database for a reason. It ties everything together for you to make it possible to do a host of things you can’t do on paper, such as easily sharing information with your team members without having to play find the file.
When I started doing this in 1999, it was a topic of debate whether you needed a CRM. Now pretty much everyone agrees that it is necessary and helps your business in more ways than can be counted. The dollar price is what people tend to focus on, but the investment of time and effort is the real cost. The question is whether you’re willing to pay it.
6) Which calendar should I use?