Don’t Get a CRM Yet (Do This Instead)

Before you drop precious cash on a CRM (customer relation management system), let me tell you something: you don’t actually need one right now.

During the earliest stages of your business, I want you to save money and put your time directly into what matters most: selling and delivering.

A close friend of mine once started a business. He had a great list of contacts who were likely to buy his service.

Starting a business like this is like having it served to you on a silver platter.

But he wasted it all.

Instead of contacting these leads and pitching to them, he decided to hold off until he got a CRM, so his sales process was more organized.

I met him two weeks later. He said he was still researching.

Some four weeks later, he was still attending demos.

Then I met him eight weeks later, and he still hadn’t bought a system, because he had gotten caught up with marketing, setting up the LLC, and figuring out pricing models.

This entire time, he could have been selling and delivering his service and bringing money in.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m the biggest fan of CRMs.

We were early adopters back in the 2000s and have continued to use them.

As your company grows, CRMs become essential for organizing data about your leads and clients, and your interactions with them, with the goal of improving relationships and boosting sales.

But you don’t need to invest in one right away.

Before buying a CRM, you can start building the habit of managing your interactions with clients and leads by using my do-it-yourself solution.

Over the last twenty years, I have built seven businesses, some of which have reached seven or eight figures in revenue, and I have used this DIY tool at the beginning of every single one of them.

So, the DIY CRM is creating a Google or Excel sheet to track your sales data.

I’ve included a template in the description.

This sheet will get the job done for now and is straightforward to navigate.

Just note that, it will be too much to maintain if you have more than say 50 or 100 qualified leads and clients all at once. At that point, it will be right time to implement a third-party CRM platform.

Before that point, however, keep client data management simple, and focus instead on actual selling.

Feras Alhlou

Feras Alhlou

Feras has founded, grown, and sold businesses in Silicon Valley and abroad, scaling them from zero revenue to 7 and 8 figures. In 2019, he sold e-Nor, a digital marketing consulting company, to dentsu (a top-5 global media company). Feras has served as an advisor to 150+ other new startup businesses, and in his current venture, Start Up With Feras, he's on a mission to help entrepreneurs in the consulting and services space start and grow their businesses smarter and stronger.

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