CRM or Excel: what exactly makes CRM better than spreadsheets

CRM or Excel: what exactly makes CRM better than spreadsheets

Most companies start with managing their business in Excel spreadsheets. They record orders, clients, deadlines or finances in them. But over time the tables start to accumulate, they become confusing and this style of business management somewhat unsustainable. At that moment, they start considering the purchase of a CRM and ask how CRM is better than spreadsheets. We will answer that in the article.

1. Records of clients and orders

One table is not enough to manage a business. In practice, companies keep several separate tables for clients, leads, orders and other data. Tables gradually fill up, become confusing and get lost in folders or after e-mails. Because the individual data in the tables are connected to each other, traders must constantly have several tables open or click through the sheets.

CRM has the advantage that you have all the information in one place and easily accessible. You can also conveniently get data into it, which there is no space for in the tables for reasons of clarity.

For each client, you record:

  • basic data,
  • address,
  • the value of the business relationship,
  • documents and contracts,
  • contact person
  • and above all the history of all communication, offers and orders.

You then have an overview of orders:

  • how many orders and at what value you currently have in the game,
  • in what condition are they and who solves them,
  • what needs to be done to move the order to the next business phase.

And because CRM, unlike Excel, is a tool tailored to marketers, it is more clear and you can get your bearings quickly. From an event in the calendar, you can click through to a job, from a job to a client, from a client, for example, to a specific offer – everything is linked.

2. Automation of routine activities

The disadvantage of Excel is that you have to rewrite all the information manually from somewhere else. Working with Excel is therefore more time-consuming than in the case of CRM, which automates a large part of these routine activities.

Here are some examples:

  • When you add a new client, just enter the name of the company in the CRM and the system will download most of the data from the ARES register and fill it in for you.
  • When creating an offer, the client's header and the products you selected in CRM are generated in PDF.
  • Send the offer directly from the CRM to the client without opening the email application.
  • Everything you create in CRM (for example, an offer) is automatically copied to the client, the business case and other places, so you don't have to retype the data.

3. Client history and context to orders

It is very difficult to record the history of clients and orders in Excel - with more information, it becomes confusing. Finding your way around a client's history in Excel would cost you a lot of time and require digging through spreadsheets, emails and document folders.

Although you can record leads in the table, you probably don't have enough space to write down which of the salespeople called them, when and what they discussed together. You have to check with your colleagues personally to find out if the lead is still relevant or if it is already dead.

In the CRM, you can see everything you have done together for each client. From sent offers to all e-mail and telephone communications to all purchases, complaints or products in which the client has shown interest.

Your colleague can access the CRM at any time to quickly gain awareness of the client's history. And you will also quickly remember everything you have ever discussed with the client before the meeting.

Read a separate article about which customer information is worth recording.

4. Connection to other tools

Both Excel and CRM can be linked with other office tools. The difference is that Excel isn't primarily a business tool, so the few integrations offered will actually make your business easier.

You can connect CRM with, for example:

  • invoicing application,
  • a tool for project management,
  • tool for sending mass emails
  • or e-shop.

You can send invoices for completed orders directly from the CRM, record the success of e-mail campaigns with clients, or automatically receive orders from the e-shop in the CRM.

5. Reporting

Reports in Excel require manual setting of functions, macros and creation of graphs. Alternatively, the data from the tables can be calculated using a calculator, but there is no time for that in the shop. In addition, it is enough for anyone in the team to misbehave, break the set formula and the reports are no longer relevant.

CRM reports are created automatically and in clear color charts. For example, it will show you a sales funnel, in which you can see at a glance at what stage of the business process there are, how many orders there are, and how much you can earn from them. You can just as easily filter the profits for the last quarter or the income forecast for the following months.

Whether you're trading in spreadsheets or in a CRM, don't forget to track key performance indicators.

6. Storage of documents

You cannot insert documents into Excel, but you can insert them into CRM. If you have clients and orders in tables, you must register the documents separately in folders or in an online storage.

You can not only upload an offer, invoice or contract to the CRM, but also create them directly in them and in some CRMs even sign electronically with the client. For each client, you can see in the directory which documents you signed together and open them with one click.

7. Use in the field

Although Excel has its own mobile application, it works practically the same as in the desktop version. Mobile CRM has extra features designed to make field salespeople's jobs easier.

In the mobile CRM you can find, for example:

  • navigation to clients,
  • uploading photos from meetings,
  • dictating messages,
  • business card scanning
  • or inserting quick notes.

8. User Authorization

In CRM, you can set permissions for individual users as needed. So, for example, traders will see only the jobs they handle and only the features they use to work. Thanks to this, work in CRM is clearer for them.

Excel does not have these options. Access to individual documents can be restricted, but it requires a complex sorting of files and folders according to access rights, which is why subsequent orientation on the disk is confusing.

CRM or Excel

Before you switch to a CRM, try it out

Although CRM is a powerful business tool compared to spreadsheets, don't jump into it head first. First, try the demo version, on which you can test for yourself which processes CRM will facilitate for you and how.

For example, you can try our RAYNET CRM for 30 days for free and without obligations.