Regardless of the size of your business or the industry you happen to be in, managing leads and customers is par for the course. If you’re still using spreadsheets, folders crammed with paper records or saved emails to keep track of your customer interactions, you’re not only wasting precious time and energy, but you’re also missing out on opportunity to increase your profitability. If you’re still not convinced that there’s a better way, here are five telltale signs it’s time to invest in a CRM.

Your data is everywhere.

What steps do you have to take when you need to reach out to a customer? Pull a paper file? Dig through pages and pages of email messages? Search for that sticky note you left somewhere in your office? If your data isn’t stored in one centralized location, it can easily get lost – along with the chance to close the deal with that hot lead. With a CRM, everything you need can be found at the click of a button.

You can’t keep up with your leads.

If you’re lucky enough to have a number of leads coming in, but you’re struggling to keep up with them in a timely and effective manner, what’s the point? An intelligent CRM can handle all of this legwork for you, not only making it quick and easy to track down and follow up with your leads, but also automatically sorting and prioritizing them so your sales team can optimize their workflow.

You have no idea what your sales team is up to.

The goal of every successful company is to improve sales. But how can you accomplish this if you aren’t easily able to track what’s working and what’s actually a waste of time, money and resources? A CRM provides real-time insight into the activity of your sales team, enabling you to determine how your reps are spending their time and what activities can and should be optimized to win more business. It’s the easiest and quickest way to fine-tune your sales process.

Your customer service is underperforming.

Landing new clients is difficult enough. Keeping them for the long-haul is even more challenging. But retaining existing customers is far more cost-effective than constantly chasing new leads, so customer service should be your top priority. Unfortunately, without a formal system in place, things can easily fall through the cracks, leaving your customers feeling less than satisfied. A CRM prevents this by keeping you in touch with everything you need to consistently exceed your customers’ expectations

You’re unable to scale.

Using an Excel spreadsheet to manage your customers may be fine when you’re just starting out, but as your business grows, this method is wrought with potential errors and miscommunication problems. And what happens if you get a sudden influx of new business? Will your current system be able to handle it? A CRM keeps data centralized and up-to-date, can be remotely accessed by any team member and is capable of scaling alongside your business.

The future success of your business depends heavily on developing and maintaining good relationships with your customers. A CRM system standardizes the lead management process, provides visibility into sales and marketing and enables you to deliver a better customer experience overall. If you can relate to any of the above signs, it’s time to look into investing in a CRM solution.