Her writing is often focused on small business issues and best practices for organizations. To effectively coach and mentor, sales managers need to have visibility into the daily actions and pipelines of their reps. Too bad this is all but impossible to do through spreadsheets. Especially if you don’t anticipate any entropy. In this article we look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of MS Excel, and why Google Sheets might now be the better option for your business. Typically, spreadsheets are not that secure and therefore are at greater risk for data corruption or mismanagement of information. This means customer and contact management is often tracked through spreadsheets. Before long, you'll have several versions of the "single" spreadsheet — all with slightly different data. For most businesses, spreadsheet software is readily available and often free. That's quite a messy sales process. Disadvantages of using Google forms. Sure, users can create charts and graphs in spreadsheets. 1. Once your company -- and your customer list -- starts growing, sales spreadsheets will need to as well. The fact that spreadsheets are able to be shared may be a boon or a con to your company. If you're hoping for accuracy, don't expect to get it from spreadsheets. So how about testing spreadsheets to mitigate the risks of items 1 … It's hard enough compiling all the various versions of a spreadsheet into one master copy, but then managers have to assemble meaningful reports based on the data. Be aware that, in both cases, there is no file history. Hey, life happens. A CRM database is a tool that stores all of your client and customer contact information in one central place that can be easily accessed by your entire team across multiple devices. But for the easy retrieval and updating of data, efficiency, data consistency, data integrity, speed, and security, relational databases are definitely the structure to opt for. For example, if the spreadsheet is set up to calculate your gross profit, when any variable such as cost per unit, shipping costs, or sales discount are changed, the software automatically recalculates the new gross profit based on the new information. Software. Many organizations like to think that spreadsheets such as Excel are a great budgeting decision. Other types of data collection software therefore may be a more suitable option. 1. Advantages of macros Problems with macros; Dragging out a laptop each and every time you need to enter or change customer data gets old in a hurry. What is a spreadsheet? This system can organize all of your contact related data included emails, phone calls, and live chat with customers and prospects. Spreadsheets have their advantages as well – they are an excellent tool that allows us to carry out extensive analysis. The advantages of using a spreadsheet are; your date is organized and is setup in such away. Give the advantages of electronic spreadsheet over the traditional ledger book. Not prepared for disaster. This makes it a lot easier to create totals and tallies that can be used to create metrics, monitor them, or determine other data points that are necessary. The difficult part for many users, is that the calculations must be entered into the spreadsheet as formulas. Advantages and disadvantages of Google sheets. Another spreadsheet disadvantage is the lack of security for your files. When used strategically and regularly, spreadsheets can abolish the need for expensive software for any department it serves. Whether your company uses Microsoft Office and can easily access Excel or runs on G-Suite where Google Sheets are readily available, most people with an internet connection can access a spreadsheet. Using a spreadsheet rather than a calculator or pen and paper offers the following advantages: More effective data handling Formulae can be used to instantly recalculate totals. On the other hand, Google sheets has other advantages and some people may find it as a better solution to Excel. Free and premium plans, Customer service software. Both reps and managers will quickly become frustrated with the seemingly endless cycle of uploading, downloading, attaching, and emailing. Outside of building complicated formulas, recording information in spreadsheets is fairly intuitive and does not require intensive training to get the hang of. Whether you’ve used a spreadsheet to manage your personal finances, or have spent countless hours building pivot tables for previous roles, chances are you’ve had some hands-on experience using spreadsheets. As opposed to a dedicated system that requires access to log in, spreadsheets can be disseminated to anyone, anywhere with the simple send of an email. Viruses: In Microsoft Excel File, the viruses can be attached to through macros.Macros are mini-programs that are written into an MS Excel spreadsheet. 18 Biggest Advantages and Disadvantages of Teamwork. Final word: databases vs spreadsheets. Now let’s discuss some of the disadvantages of using spreadsheets to track customer and contact information. This makes spreadsheets an accessible option for teams that are scaling fast and don’t have time to train new employees to use complicated software. But "create" is the key word. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, 'cce8490b-7fa9-414a-956e-8a5372564a32', {}); Let’s break down some of the advantages of using spreadsheets to track customer and contact information. Efficiency: You need only enter values, variables and formulas into a spreadsheet once to calculate … Her work has appeared in the business sections of bizfluent, azcentral and Happenings Media. See all integrations. Every time a rep makes a change to the master spreadsheet, they'll need to upload it to a central repository for the edits to be communicated to the rest of the team. The forms are integrated with Google spreadsheets therefore we can access to a spreadsheet view of the collected data. As your question suggests, it’s not the only tool in the tool box. Disadvantages of Microsoft Excel The viruses can be attached to an Excel file through macros which are mini-programs that are written into an Excel spreadsheet, Using only one file can make the file size very big and the program run slowly, So, you might have to break it into smaller files, So, There is an increased risk in Excel data being lost. Forbes.com: Excel Reporting: 5 Reasons Why It Is Bad For Business, Forbes.com: 8 Tips For Keeping Spreadsheets Secure, Software Required for Databases in a Small Business. That it is easy for any one to read and understand. Over time, spreadsheets can become more trouble than they're worth. Even for a small company, managing customer information through spreadsheets is at best unproductive and at worst downright dangerous for a variety of reasons. Information can easily be placed in neat columns and rows and then sorted by information type. 2. Therefore, no matter who makes changes at any time, when any changes are made, the previous information history is lost. Outside of building complicated formulas, recording information in spreadsheets is fairly … Written by Emma Brudner It was created to facilitate people who needed to store their accounting information in tabular form digitally. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. I can think of several downsides of using Excel. When you only have a handful of customers, it seems logical to simply pop their information into a spreadsheet and share it with the one or two salespeople on staff. A spreadsheet allows for instant calculations using formulas and is easy to use, alter, store and print data. It is an electronic ledger, an electronic version of paper accounting worksheets. What are the advantages of using electronic spreadsheets? Disadvantage: Lack of Security Another spreadsheet disadvantage is the lack of security for your files. You can sign up for Google and gain access to Google Docs here. But presenting a spreadsheet rows and rows long is guaranteed to make reps' eyes cross. If local copies are made and updated, other users will not have access to the new data. Excel is an extremely versatile application and one that I use every day for a variety of tasks. So, it is possible to create tables […] March 12, 2020 March 17, 2020 by Louise Gaille. Marketing automation software. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. When a data file is too large, it can make the Excel program run very … Spreadsheets have the advantage of being easier and cheaper to set up. Spreadsheets are popular among accountants and among those who like to collect and track data, yet there are some limitations, which may not make them the best choice for every office application. The arrangement of data into columns and rows creates intersections called cells. This makes it scary easy for a disgruntled or dishonest employee to share leads and customer data with external contacts (read: your competitors). She has done public relations work for several nonprofit organizations and currently creates content for clients of her suburban Philadelphia communications and IT solutions company. Google Sheets offers the solution of file sharing and allowing multiple users to access and update a single form. Startups devote all of their cash to their product — and make do with the equivalent of duct tape on the operations side. Difficult to Process. Some disadvantages of using spreadsheets are that the data can be easily manipulated, which can be a problem when making financial documents, it can be hard to troubleshoot problems in spreadsheets, collaboration may be difficult and human error can occur with data entry. When a company first starts out, the money isn't exactly rolling in. But if it does, and the sales side of the house is operating on spreadsheets, there's bound to be crossed wires and miscommunication. Despite the complexity, an DBMS keeps you informed of your data over time. Microsoft Excel Disadvantages: Time Consuming: In Microsoft Excel, when we entering the data manually it can take a very long time especially if you have a lot of data to enter. Typically, spreadsheets are not that … Whether you’ve used a spreadsheet to manage your personal finances, or have spent countless hours building pivot tables for previous roles, chances are you’ve had some hands-on experience using spreadsheets. Databases often have automation capability that helps organizations save time on manual entry. Additionally, if users input the wrong data, even in only one cell of the spreadsheet, all related calculations and cells will be affected and have incorrect data. Advantages of Google sheets (when to use it) Real time collaboration: if you work with a team on the same matter, you can use Google sheets to add data at the same time, wherever you are Databases are programs that are designed to store, organize, and retrieve data. If there are no best practices put in place for proper spreadsheet storage … -Automatic re-calculation: if a change is made then all related formulae and values change. Granted, your company might not even have a marketing automation system in place. According to a study from the University of Hawaii, 88% of spreadsheets contain some type of error. A study of over 45,000 pageviews indicates that for every extra 100 words you … However, the bigger the spreadsheet, the more likely it is to contain errors and broken formulas. Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news. Google Docs is an internet based document processor that supports simplified file creators, such as documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. Everyone might start out working from the same data ... but it probably won't stay that way for long. For more information, check out our privacy policy. Free and premium plans, Content management system software. Cloud technology allows for more “always on” access When the sales team is comprised of one person, a single customer contact spreadsheet will do just fine. For example, in a spreadsheet, a user might sort a column of information and may inadvertently cause related information, such as first and last name, to become out of sync. Advantages -'What-if' questions can be asked without rebuilding a model from scratch each time a test is run. Other Options. If the syntax is incorrect, the program will not return the correct information when the calculations are run. Let’s compare working with a database to working out of a spreadsheet. A lack of integration means that customers and prospects might receive redundant information... or none at all. Mobile access to sales systems has been proven to increase rep productivity — by as much as 24%, according to some estimations. Lack of control and security. As a productivity tool that can also be used to improve communication, spreadsheets offer benefits to a diverse range of departments within a company. Premium plans, Connect your favorite apps to HubSpot. In business, strategic planning is essential and requires valid information in order to make key decisions. Potentially, a spreadsheet could work for you. But what happens when you start hiring additional reps to meet demand? Although a large collection of data may be overwhelming to view in its raw state, tools within the program allow the user to create presentations where the data is analyzed and plugged into pie charts or tables for easy viewing and interpretation. Spreadsheets are frequently the go to tool for collecting and organizing data, which is among the simplest of its uses. If using Microsoft Excel, the spreadsheets can be shared, but only one user can change data at a time. Neither of these scenarios translates into sales. Not to mention that unless you train your reps to take meticulous notes and follow a rigorous documentation process, there's no indication of who last reached out to a customer or prospect, what the content of the message was, and when the interaction took place. While spreadsheets may be sufficient for startups in the very early stages, these advantages are often short-lived. Teamwork is the process of having two or more people working cooperatively and collaboratively on a specific task. Spreadsheet applications include a range of graphs that can greatly enhance the utility and readability of reports and presentations — and if used electronically, the graphs will automatically update themselves should the values of the cells they are based on change. These are certainly valid reasons — especially for a small company without cash to burn or training resources. “The cloud” is a metaphor used to refer to how storage, servers, applications and other computing resources no longer need to be on-site, or in a physical location. It is necessary to have internet to be able to use this tool. In this video, we will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of spreadsheets vs databases. Managers could opt to skip the visuals altogether — after all, they're not necessary. Data that lives solely on your company's servers can be lost forever if a natural disaster strikes. As we mentioned above, the main benefit of using spreadsheets to run your sales operations comes down to two main factors: They're free (with a Microsoft Office or G-Suite implementation), and they don't require training. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are effective at storing basic quantitative data and are often maintained manually. Establishing an orderly system to divvy up leads and customers when you're working from spreadsheets is tough. For companies that are scaling, or rapidly acquiring new customers in a short period of time, upgrading from spreadsheets to a CRM database can help your company sell to more customers in an efficient manner. It makes it easy to create instant calculations. Learn about the benefits of a CRM. Unfortunately, traditional spreadsheets still have weak security and can be compromised too easily. On the other hand, databases are more effective at storing qualitative data, which is why they are ideal for complex businesses with a large customer base or complex sales process. Not to mention large spreadsheets are exponentially more unwieldy for users and administrators alike. With tons of built-in features to make advanced calculations easier, it has set the bar high for many business users for years. They come standard with most recent operating system models, and that’s very cheap! Elisabeth Natter is a business owner and professional writer. In contrast, a database will keep all parts of a record unified, thereby ensuring better data integrity. Ouch. That it is easy for any one to read and understand. Additionally, a CRM database can be seamlessly integrated with your company’s other business systems, including marketing software which can help improve synergy between your sales and marketing organizations, ensuring your prospects don’t receive the same information or get missed altogether. One of the components within software productivity suites is the spreadsheet. Once a formula is written and the program has a set command, complex calculations can easily be computed for the related data that has been input. Sharing. Answers (i) Unlike manual spreadsheets, electronic spreadsheets have sophisticated analysis tools as well as graphical presentations of data. @emmajs24. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. As anyone who has ever tried to report from Excel knows, it's not for the faint of heart. Spreadsheets save time and provide both flexibility in presentation and accuracy of calculations as compared to the use of calculators or pen and paper. By employing a number of powerful functions, users can quickly and easily assemble comprehensive reports and lay the groundwork for advanced analysis. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, 'f1ec2fbb-806b-4c72-8201-743353690938', {}); Originally published Dec 20, 2019 4:00:00 PM, updated December 21 2019, 15 Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Spreadsheets for Business, 88% of spreadsheets contain some type of error, 15 Key Integrations Between CRM & Your Other Business Processes, 8 CRM Processes That Make a Sales Team Way More Efficient. Assembling any kind of data visualization in a spreadsheet is time-consuming and frustrating. It could be a project at work, a marriage, or finding the correct directions to the movie theater. Below, five advantages and five disadvantages of Google Docs are listed. To make reporting of data more user friendly and comprehensive, companies are choosing to use reporting tools such as Tableau and Qlik, instead of relying solely on the spreadsheet. The advantages of using a spreadsheet are; your date is organized and is setup in such away. - Importing data from another program e.g. -Graphs can be produced: values are changed on the graph as any other values change. The great appeal of spreadsheets is that the program does all the math for the user. Difficult to troubleshoot or test. An advantage of sharing spreadsheets means that you ... Snapshots. How will you know which one is right? Although many classes are available to learn the skills necessary to use these formulas, many users still find them difficult. Why Does My Excel Worksheet Say Read Only? No one likes to spend all their time at work doing repetitive calculations. Improved Data Presentation. Choosing the right tools for inputting, tracking, analyzing and storing data will help business owners and managers make the best choices for their company's business. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Temple University. Data that lives solely on individual computers can be lost forever if your laptop takes a tumble or gets doused in coffee. However, the downside is that only the information that the user chooses for analysis is included in these presentations, and therefore, other pertinent information that may influence decision making might be excluded, unintentionally. Not actually saving you resources. -Variables and constants can be used: the entire… In today's collaborative work environment, multiple users within an office often need access to the same documents. Sharing and updating a single master spreadsheet across an entire team can become a logistical nightmare fast. Files that contain sensitive financial information may not be safe from hackers, even if password protected. It is a free online tool, that allows you to collect information easily and efficiently. Using equations and coding, you can set cells to calculate data for you in a number of ways. This requires learning the correct syntax for each type of calculation you wish to make. Uh oh. But I'll let you in on a little secret: HubSpot CRM is totally free and completely intuitive. Whether you’ve used a spreadsheet to manage your personal finances, or have spent countless hours building pivot tables for previous roles, chances are you’ve had some hands-on experience using spreadsheets. Spreadsheet applications provide computer users a convenient way to collect, track and report data. Please comment on your experience with Google Docs. Access, Oracle or some other form of relational database has built in safeguards that protect data integrity and prevent the reorganization of information. Microsoft Excel has been one of the best platforms for spreadsheet creation and analysis. But regardless of the other virtues of spreadsheets, they're not exactly mobile-friendly. Outside of building complicated formulas, recording information in spreadsheets is fairly … We're committed to your privacy. Extras. Advantages of using Google forms. In sales, the most common type of database used is a client relationship manager, also known as a CRM. Some of the most useful features of using spreadsheet is: Ditch the spreadsheets along with all their various problems, and get HubSpot CRM today. This allows users to ask "what if" types of questions and to easily get the answers they need without the need to rework the calculations. And the more complex your data, the harder reporting becomes. And if they forget to do that? Spreadsheets offer a range of advantages, particularly to business users. Free and premium plans, Sales CRM software. 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