CRM vs Spreadsheets: 4 Signs It's Time to Make the Switch

June 24, 2020

Budgets, timetables, planning – these are all great reasons to use spreadsheets! However, when it comes to tracking leads and nurturing prospective families, a dedicated customer relationship manager (CRM) for your school is best. If you've been wrestling with the decision to move your data into a school CRM, the following four signs might help you realize that it's time to make the switch.


1. You struggle to keep on top of your leads

It's no secret that your leads are your school's most valuable commodity, especially when it comes to growing your enrollment numbers. But, in our current climate, where enrollments have fallen by up to 30%, your leads are more important than ever! Your Admissions team is there to ensure that leads are nurtured from their very first touchpoint with your school, all the way through to enrollment. 

The problem with managing this process in a spreadsheet, is that it provides too many opportunities for your leads to slip through the cracks. Ensuring that all information about your leads is entered into a spreadsheet is tricky at the best of times, let alone if that spreadsheet is being edited by multiple team members. 

One prospective family can have up to eight different touch points with your school before submitting an enrollment application. Knowing exactly how and where families are engaging with your school is essential for your team to be able to nurture them effectively. It's also important to know which touch points lead to the most conversions – unfortunately spreadsheets just don't provide you with the in-depth data needed here. 


2. You spend more time on data entry than nurturing your prospects

If you find that your team is spending more hours in the day drowning in administration and data entry instead of connecting with prospective families, you've got a problem. If you're interested to see just how many hours are taken up by menial tasks, we recommend recording how long it takes you over a week – this will give you a good indication of the amount of time and resources that could be used else where (like on nurturing your leads). 

A major issue for many schools (and businesses too) is dirty data. You might be surprised, but dirt data – data that's out of date, incorrect, or a duplicate – can cost your school up to $100 per dirty record. A key benefits of a school CRM is that it you're able to ensure that all data about your prospective families in in a single, streamlined system, reducing the likelihood of duplicates. Not to mention, a CRM also provides you with tools like task-setting and bulk communications functionality so that you can be even more effective with your time.


Case Study: How Concordia Lutheran College Doubled It's Enrollments With Funnel


3. You rely on post-it notes and email chains to communicate with your team

Schools are fantastic environments to work in because they offer plenty of flexible working arrangements. Take your Admissions team for example, it's likely that you have multiple staff members job sharing on different days throughout the week. But, things can get tricky if you don't have an efficient process in place to assign tasks and share information. You can't exactly leave detailed notes on a spreadsheet, which leaves many teams relying on email chains and post-it notes to remain up to speed. 

Now, you might have your system down pat, but for most people, manually assigning tasks and relying on email notes often leads to tasks being missed all together. Leads are lost all the time to tiny oversights such as these, so it's important to ensure all tasks are kept in one, centralized location. 


4. You can't easily produce the reports you need

For all of you excel wizards out there, manipulating data sets and pulling reports might be a walk in the park, but for the rest of us mere mortals, reporting can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate. There's no way around it: reporting plays an essential role in your team's ability to forecast enrollment targets, compare year-on-year growth, and understand your leads on a deeper level

If you're working off a spreadsheet, reporting becomes a manual tasks that often requires you to work across multiple platforms. You need to be able to manipulate your data and then present it in a visually appealing and easily digestible way so that other departments are able to read it too. With a school CRM like Digistorm Funnel, you can manage and track data, view critical insights, run custom reports, and set up your own dashboard to keep track of the information that's most important to your school.


We could go on and on, but these are just some of the reasons why swapping your spreadsheet for a CRM can help boost efficiency at your school. Still need convincing? Take a look at the additional resources below to learn more about getting started with a school CRM.