Excel is great for analyzing data and making projections but when it comes to the storage and retrieval of critical business information there are a few reasons why Excel does not have the same capabilities as a CRM Database system.
Here are some of the common complaints and most notable limitations of Excel as a customer relationship management tool:
- Lost Sales Revenue
With Excel you are unable to capture key information, segment & target clients, acturately schedule followup & reminders missing sales & losing revenue.
- No File Storage
In Excel what you see is what you get, you can’t attached invoices, emails, letters, quotes or any other important files relevant to that record. You need to store these documents elsewhere, which can lead to them being forgotten, corrupted or lost completely.
- No Sharing
Multiple people can’t read and write in Excel at the same time. This isn’t a problem if you only have one sales person, but if you have a sales team it can create confusion and in worst cases lead to poor customer service and lost business.
- Limited Field Control
In an Excel spreadsheet all the fields must be created and organised manually. Due to the layout of Excel you might feel limited to the number of fields you can use comfortably. For example first name, last name, phone number, email, last call date, notes, invoices, quotes, lead categorization etc all in the one row, is not easy.
- Managing relationships
In Excel you can’t manage relationships between your customers and their data. It is best left to a database driven application. Excel cannot understand dependencies like customers and orders and opportunities.
- No calendaring features
Excel does not have any calendaring features that are critical to alerts, follow ups and scheduling. Even the most basic CRM application will beat MS Excel hands down in this area.
You can’t send out marketing materials directly through an Excel spreadsheet. With a CRM system you are able to segment contacts to target them in specific campaigns. A CRM database will also keep a track of which campaigns have been sent out to each contact and record who has opened and responded, helping to make marketing more tangible.
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