I can always tell when my boss is working on a spreadsheet – you can see the frustration on his face.
I’ve asked him why we haven’t switched to a more advanced and easier to navigate system. He’s always claimed that spreadsheets are easier to work with than more complex models and they are less expensive, too.
But do spreadsheets provide us with all of the amenities of other modes of data organization? Can you keep all your information in one place? Integrate your communications within your spreadsheet? Or create a standardized sales process?
No, you really can’t. Here’s why spreadsheets are moving on out:
Working in them is a hassle.
You have to keep multiple sheets for different tasks. Searching for data through exhaustive spreadsheets takes time away from other important tasks. Your team is busy doing manual work, which can easily be automated with any CRM. Do you spend time washing dishes by hand if you have a dishwasher available to you?
They’re missing features.
A spreadsheet is just an organizing tool. It doesn’t offer additional features, such as integrating your email and calendar. Spreadsheets are a separate record you have to maintain by hand.
This can impact sales, customer relationships, and time management. Why use different tools to keep track of multiple things when you can use one?
They don’t show data trends.
Because you have to manually create sales reports to analyze sales and other metrics you might be missing key information. When a program collects and analyzes the data for you it can help you see patterns or areas for improvement you may not have noticed. You can find a new key ingredient to sales success.
They’re don’t allow for easy collaboration.
Spreadsheets don’t offer an opportunity for your team to collaborate. It’s a static document that lives on one person’s computer. With a model that multiple people can access and contribute to, you can get your whole team on board with keeping up with your company data and impacting your business positively.
They aren’t a scalable solution.
As your business grows, so will your need for staff to keep up with your spreadsheets. More data, metrics, and customer connections means a growing number of hours spent on maintaining the information you put into your spreadsheets. An organizational model that can grow with your business will save you time and money and a one time investment in a CRM will be more profitable than hiring additional staff.
Many businesses and organizations are shifting toward a more advanced and efficient data management system and you can too. Tomorrow isn’t too early to find the right CRM for your business and break free from the tedious spreadsheet.
Today we have five generations that make up our population. Because these generations have different experiences, they have different ways of analyzing situations and making decisions.
Generational differences can have a big impact when making purchasing decisions. Take a look at how one family approaches buying a new car to see this in action:
Grandfather, the Silent Generation
This is David. Tradition is important to him and he makes decisions based on past experiences or advice of trusted friends and family. He appreciates a company with a long history of quality and customer satisfaction.
You can influence his decision to become your customer by providing good service and showing that customers trust your company.
Father, the Baby Boomer
This is Adam. He is focused on making the right decision for his family, and product quality and value for money are most important to him. David does thorough research (primarily offline and some online) before buying.
To help him feel confident in purchasing from you, tell him why your car is the best among others by pointing out the additional features, such as safety or an efficient gas mileage that might be lacking in other cars. He will appreciate the opportunity to try the car out for himself through a test drive or demonstration.
Son, the Gen Xer
This is Jason. He researches extensively online using search engines, social media, and online reviews. Quality is most important to him and he wants to know he’s buying the best. Adam compares brands before buying to make sure he’s making the right choice.
Help your brand stand out by having an active online presence along with offline showroom outreach to help Jason feel confident in purchasing from you.
Daughter, the Millennial
This is Rachel. She appreciates the convenience and information available when online shopping. For her, positive online customer testimonials are a more trusted way of knowing the product. She’s tech-savvy and will look for more advanced features.
Be active in your customer reviews, respond thanking customers for feedback, and show on your website how you’re applying it. Using advanced technology such as AR/VR for showcasing your car will show Rachel how you stand out from your competitors.
Granddaughter, Gen Z
This is Emma. She’s the youngest prospect and may not be a direct decision-maker, but she could be an important stakeholder. She appreciates how social media can clue her into trends and provide information on first-hand customer experiences.
Show Emma how you stand out from the crowd through a stellar social media presence. Partner with trusted influencers and engage with customers on all popular social media platforms.
Use this information to create an impactful presence online or in your local community. When you know what the buying process looks like for each generation you can better tailor the experience to your customer. Different customers will want individualized experiences, but one thing is common among all the generations: the importance of great customer service.
Developments in technology have changed the way organizations work today. Tools like video calls and project management software have decentralized the workplace. Now, team members can be located in different time zones or sitting at their kitchen table and still be doing work together.
Maintaining a remote team requires more than just sending out a video conference invite. Teams need consistent communication, support and a positive team culture to stay engaged. How can this be achieved?
Here are our top eight tips
1. Establish Strong Brand Values
Values help your team feel personally connected to the work they do. Having clear brand values helps your team know how to approach their work in service of your company goals.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This is pretty obvious, right? Without a physical work environment, the daily communication of an office can fall by the wayside. Research available platforms for remote communication and choose the one that best fits the needs of your team. Consider polling your team to see what features would be most important to them.
3. But Don’t Micromanage
Having regular communication is good, but once you’ve set your expectations and assigned the work, stick to pre-scheduled touch bases to check in on progress. Show your team you trust them to accomplish their tasks.
4. Manage Your Time
Remote work requires sincere collaboration from each team member. Otherwise, the project may never get completed. An efficient project management platform is a must for remote teams to share their work. Ensure that the goals are updated regularly with a clear timeline. Having regular touch bases is a very effective way of getting updated info from your team. You can even get your team sharing their top tips for time management with each other!
5. Nurture Your Culture
Your team is full of valuable resources. Instead of falling into group-think, consider what each individual can add to your group. When working remotely we can all get a little stuck in our individual routines, so take some time to brainstorm together and talk through new ideas.
6. Have a Little Fun
Set time aside for optional team hangouts. A weekly virtual happy hour where team members can laugh, share, and say hello to each other’s kids and pets can be a great way to stay connected as a team and decompress.
7. Don’t Forget their Faces
Giving a face to a voice or written message creates stronger team connections. Text conversations may not always convey the exact message and may often be misinterpreted. Give video platforms a try as much as possible!
8. Give Kudos
Whether a centralized office team or a remote team, positive feedback is essential. Thank your team for their hard work and encourage them to thank each other. Setting up monthly calls to celebrate accomplishments is a great way to do this! Give yourself some kudos, too. Make sure you’re also recognizing your hard work.
With the right tools and a fluid and flexible team that values collaboration, creating a positive and efficient remote working environment is totally within reach. Keep these tips in mind for a smooth transition into a virtual office space.