Working as a salesperson today, you have a wide array of customer relationship management (CRM) software platforms to choose from. While the majority of these platforms offer many distinct features and are effective in helping you do your job, they possess the same features and capabilities that you can get in a free, already familiar application – Google Sheets.
Whether your small to medium size business can’t afford paying premium prices for specialty CRM software, or your budget recognizes other purchases as priority, Google Sheets Sales Tracker may be good for you and others in your team.
Today, we’re going to walk you through using Google Sheets as a completely free to use CRM platform.
Create Your Own
When you feel confident that you can easily create a simple CRM within Google Sheets on your own, you can certainly do so.
By creating a list of contacts and structuring columns to include their name(s), phone number, email address, notes, further action, status, lead scoring and more, you can perform basic lead management through Google Sheets. Additionally, with added capability, you can easily import an existing list of contracts from Microsoft Excel and/or Outlook.
If you are working as a one man team and are only managing a handful of clients/customers, this will easily meet your needs. However, as you add more names to your list and more people to your team, you will need a better, more practical solution. This is to cut down any wasted time spent manually entering data while effectively keeping high amounts of data organized.
Download A CRM Template
If, however, you feel that you need help from an outside blueprint, you can find a multifaceted template to use in setting up your sales funnel. Ensure that the template you choose possesses the right functions for you, from tracking contacts, relationship management and/or analytics.
You will find a wide selection of well-designed CRM templates online, but remember that while Google Sheets is available for free, some templates are not.
For example, SalesForce, a popular CRM platform, charges it’s users anywhere from $25/month to over $300/month! Add this up over a course of a year, and you may reconsider if this monthly expense is right for you at this time. However, HubSpot, a completely free CRM application, offers a Google Sheets template available for you to download when you provide your name, email address, phone number, company name, and other basic information.
While there are many online CRM templates to choose from, it’s always recommended that you research and try out several to find which ultimately works best for you and meets your specific needs.
Form To Fit Your Needs
A prominent benefit to using Google Sheets (other than it’s free price) is that it’s completely customizable to meet your needs. We all do things a little differently, and rather than using a one-size fits all approach offered by most software applications, your CRM database will focus where you choose while your sales spreadsheet will display pertinent information.
As you continue using Google Sheets to track contacts, information, and your interactions with clients, make adjustments as necessary. Our team at MCDA CCG recommend that you add columns with important information, while eliminating those you spend too much time filling in and without value.
Regularly evaluate how you leverage your free CRM resource and continue to make adjustments until you’re entering in as little data as possible while maximizing the functionality of the data you have.
Similar to many successful operations, simplicity is key. Avoid adding in too much data to your CRM sheets; it diverts your focus from the important information while significantly wasting your valuable time with manual entry.
Use Caution When Sharing
Once you have your CRM up and running, you may need to share it if you are working with others. Google Sheets recognizes this universal need, and allows you to easily share with it’s “Share” button in the top right. Here, you can choose to share with individuals or with anyone who has the link.
Always use discretion when sharing, especially with sales CRM. You may unintentionally create issues if several people are reaching out to the same sales leads and contacts. While most paid for CRM platforms provide features to prevent these scenarios, Google Sheets does not.
To avoid this on your own, carefully determine who should have access to and editing capabilities. You may wish to create separate sheets within the shared spreadsheet with a different list so you and others can work simultaneously without getting in each other’s way.
3 alternatives to using Google Sheets as your CRM
If you don’t like using Google Sheets and prefer a simple CRM alternative, keep reading. The three we have listed will allow you to the most basic features of Google Sheets, from sales pipeline, lead qualification, and analysis.
Everyone is familiar with Microsoft Office and its spreadsheet application – Excel. Fortunately, Excel shares a lot of similarities with Google Sheets. It’s a proven platform that will get the job done and offers lots of extra features if you’re willing to learn the software. However, unlike Google Sheets, you do have to pay for it. The basic version starts at $5/month per user and the Business Premium version will cost you up to $20/ month.
OpenOffice’s Calc spreadsheet tool offers most of the features of Microsoft Office, but it’s completely free and open-source. This is a good option if you’re on a strict budget and just need a basic spreadsheet platform. All you need to do is download it, install it, and start creating your CRM in the spreadsheet.
LibreOffice’s spreadsheet tool, also called Calc, is also a free and open-source spreadsheet program. It offers the simplicity of other spreadsheet programs, but it also has a lot of good tools for crunching the numbers. If you’re stuck, there are tutorials to help you learn how to use the more advanced features.
Get the most of your CRM
Whatever choice you make to maintain your Customer Relationship Management, you should always ensure that you’re seeing the biggest return on your time. Here at MCDA CCG, Inc., it’s not uncommon that our clients come to us wondering why they are dedicating so much of their valuable time trying to generate sales and are failing to see applicable results.
When we later come in for evaluation, we almost always find one or several unnecessary redundancies in their activity.
Either this, or their monthly expenses in maintaining their paid for software application is too much in their current position.
To make the most out of your CRM, whether you are a one man team or part of a team, you want to ensure that your efforts and resources are effectively translating into more relationships and sales. This is why we encourage you to call our team of business and CRM professionals at MCDA CCG, headquartered in Placentia, Orange County, California, to provide an objective analysis of your sales process.
With demonstrated, industry-wide knowledge and business size intelligence, we can assess and further help replace nonessential activities with effective solutions for you at this time. Furthermore, we can provide ongoing assistance with and support to meet your growing CRM needs at an affordable price.
Don’t wait as Q4 comes to a close, call our office today!