Why Startups Need a CRM

Ryan Baer

December 22, 2022
you notice your sales data is out of date
you feel like you lack clarity on current pipeline
you want to see reports on booked and forecasted revenue but can’t
you missed an important action item for a potential customer
you expanded your sales team and it’s hard to see who owns what account
you’re seeing duplicates in the data
What does “CRM set up” mean/involve?
When is the best time to set up your CRM and why?
What are the costs if you wait?
What are the benefits if you move quickly?
How do most companies implement their CRM?
Should you get Salesforce or another CRM?

A 2021 study from Forrester found that 89% of companies saw an increase in revenue after implementing a CRM, with 4 out of 10 companies experiencing an 11-20% increase. For founders who haven’t been through a CRM implementation (or even used it as an end user), it may not be immediately obvious why a CRM is worth the investment over using spreadsheets. Let’s take a closer look:

The tl;dr here is that CRMs allow for better reporting and analysis, which leads to a more effective sales process. The CRM is a single system and source of truth for tracking the companies and people you want to sell to. You can sync in emails for full context on each person you’ve reached out to, build notifications on important tasks or changes to your data. By leveraging automation, you can spend less time manually filling out data and more time working directly with prospects.

Spreadsheets aren’t built to capture all of the data about your sales process. A CRM can help you answer questions like:

  • What is my win rate for qualified opportunities?
  • How many demos does it take to acquire 1 customer?
  • What is my average sales cycle, and how long does it take to move through each stage of the sales process?
  • Where are my highest quality leads coming from?
  • At what stage in the process am I losing deals?
  • What are the most common reasons I’m losing deals, and when should I reach back out to re-engage?
  • What renewals do I have coming up this quarter?

Even if you have columns for all of these data points, you can’t build requirements for those fields to be filled out. You can build those requirements in a CRM, as well as automations to populate values, leading to more complete data and less manual entry.

Being able to report on all these metrics allows you to run a more efficient sales process by doubling down on what’s working, and throwing out what doesn’t. This is especially relevant for startups and founder-led sales teams who are in the process of building out their sales process. In an economic recession where the growth outlook is less positive than it was at the start of the year, your investors will likely ask for these types of metrics. At Swantide, we just went through this process ourselves. If the data isn’t tracked in the first place, it’s next to impossible to recreate it.  

How Swantide Can Help

Migrating from spreadsheets to a CRM is an inevitable and important milestone in a startup’s development. The most common objection we hear for pushing off a CRM implementation is the amount of overhead and cost required to set up and manage it. That’s where Swantide comes in - we handle the configuration of Salesforce for early-stage startups, and our workflows are embedded with sales operations and engineering best practices. Our tooling and understanding of what startups need in Salesforce dramatically cuts down on the cost and overhead required to implement Salesforce. We’ve onboarded and trained customers on their fully configured Salesforce instance the same wee ask they signed their contract, all for a lower price point than working with another third party who has to build everything from scratch.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Swantide can help, please reach out to hello@swantide.com.

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