Spreadsheet CRM is the latest offering from the developers over at ToutLabs.
The spreadsheet system, which was created to work in conjunction with Toutapp, claims it will allow users to focus on selling instead of complicated CRM software. And sure enough, when you sign up, you’ll see, “Remember: it’s just a spreadsheet”’ written on the very first page.
But if it’s just a spreadsheet, what sets it apart? Is it really enough to be taken seriously as a customer relationship management system?
As a regular excel user, I was dubious.
So I signed up to Spreadsheet CRM as a beta tester (as the platform is in beta at the time of writing) and decided to try it out for myself. Read on for a breakdown of how this new CRM works and whether it’s the right choice for your business.
As previously mentioned, Spreadsheet CRM is still in the Beta phase, so you’ll need to request access to join. Once you’ve filled in your details (name, email address, company, title), you’ll receive a welcome email detailing the next steps.
The signup page has a note advising users who need faster access to get in touch via social media – but I checked this out and Toutapp don’t seem to be the best at getting back to tweets.
My welcome email hit my inbox within a few hours though, so hopefully that’s the case for everyone who signs up.
In the welcome email, you’ll find a link to an instructional video and an invite to join the CRM user group on LinkedIn. I applied to join the group 3 days ago but haven’t received access yet, so I can’t really say whether it’s a good resource yet.
There are 69 members at present and it should be a good community once it gets going – so let’s hope it does.
Setting Up Your Spreadsheet
After you’ve watched the instructional video (not compulsory, but I recommend it), you can add the CRM file to your Google account and share it with your team. If you’ve used excel or Google Sheets in the past, this will all be pretty familiar territory for you.
The main difference between your own excel setup and this offering from Toutapp, is that it offers some pretty nifty time saving formulas alongside ToutApp integration.
Once you’ve added the file, you’ll see 3 tabs on the bottom of the template – dashboard, leads, and opportunities.
When you start adding in your contacts and companies to the leads tab, their website domains and Linkedin profiles will be autofilled for you. ToutApp claims that this is accurate 90% of the time, which makes sense considering not every email address will tally with the company website and not everyone will be on LinkedIn (although, you should be).
There are also columns for extra info such as follow ups, revenue, notes, etc. The default template allows for 100 contacts and Toutapp recommends that users with more than 100 leads should invest in a more extensive CRM system.
Moving on to the opportunities page, you can add in columns to track what stage of the sales process this lead is in – such as ‘initial contact’. The filters here are also pretty handy when it comes to managing your prospects.
Every time you update the spreadsheet, all of this information will be automatically reflected in your dashboard.
If you’re a ToutApp user, you can insert a script which will pull all of your ToutApp data into the spreadsheet also, giving you access to recent emails and other useful information. For $30 a month, ToutApp will track and analyse your Gmail and OutLook data – so it’s worth looking into, but if it’s not essential. If you’re on a budget, you can always do this manually.
Is Spreadsheet CRM Worth A Try?
You know what? I think Spreadsheet CRM has a lot going for it.
Every sales person out there will be familiar with excel and I’d say it’s one of the most utilized lead management tools around, even when a ‘proper’ CRM system is in place.
I was in a company a few years ago who installed a great new CRM but were a bit slack on the training side of things, and as a result they had 80% of their sales team using both their own excel sheets and the CRM database to manage their contacts. Not exactly productive, right?
I think Spreadsheet CRM could be a really good stepping stone for companies who want to invest in a CRM system, but don’t have either the resources to provide adequate training or the extra money to spend.
Sure, you could put together your own spreadsheet, and like I said – lots of people do. But that’s hassle, and who needs hassle when you’re trying to make sales? Spreadsheet CRM makes customer management simple and it will save you a lot of time in the process. If you’re running a small business, I definitely suggest trying it out.
What’s your experience with SpreadSheet CRM, have you tried it out yet? Let us know in the comments below.