6 Things You Can’t Do With Excel Spreadsheets

By Ida Virnes

Excel Spreadsheets can be a wallet-friendly and powerful tool for small businesses to get their business to run and stay on top of their pipeline. 

Spreadsheets are not the end-all of customer relationship management. In fact, there are some serious drawbacks, especially for larger teams or companies to scale their effectiveness. 

However, companies are growing, the number of leads are increasing sooner or later, but if you are still using an Excel spreadsheet in case of trying to scale your business, there is a problem ahead; spreadsheets contain a lack of functionality and can hold you from reacting to the optimal potential. 

The truth about Excel Spreadsheets, explained 

Normally when using Excel Spreadsheet, there is a column for the assignee, the person who is taking care of the lead or the customer, and managers need to consider that can’t maintain or control what’s happening on their team. 

Spreadsheets don’t contain information such as: 

  • Recent communication between the sales team and prospects. 
  • Meetings or demos that have scheduled with the prospect. 
  • Tasks that need to be completed. 

These are 7 things you can’t do with an Excel spreadsheet: 

  1. Excel Spreadsheets are missing a timeline of interactions with the prospect.

It’s obvious that you can’t remember everything when working with many clients. In the case of an Excel spreadsheet, you have no clear view of the interactions your team has had with individual prospects and customers, and that’s the moment when mistakes take place.  

Salespersons’ might send the same questions, proposals, and contracts to the same client over and over again, while this may lead to a bad experience for leads. 

Since 96% of customers say that the quality of a brand’s customer service is an important factor in winning their loyalty. 



  1. You are missing a bigger picture of your team’s performance. 

In the same way, as your team grows, using an Excel spreadsheet to track sales rep activity is literally impossible. 

In a practical manner that means you have no clue about the activity your sales reps are performing for getting more sales such as: 

  • Phone contacting 
  • Email contacting 
  • Proposals 
  • Follow-ups
  • Contracts signed 

For this reason, the fact is that as a manager you can’t see what kind of activities create the smoothest path to sales for your prospects. 


  1. Excel Spreadsheets does not give you the right data to set the goals. 

To set realistic goals it’s important to have up-to-date data for the sales pipeline. With spreadsheets, there is no way to capture or control the data. 

These are the things spreadsheet are missing: 

  • How many deals were closed in the last quarter? 
  • How many in the last year? 
  • Is the number going up or down? 
  • What factors are affecting changes in these numbers? 
  • How will these factors change in the next quarter? 
  • What will that do to your pipeline? 

All of the following info needs to fill out manually; it leaves a lot of room for human errors.  

  1. There is no smooth integration with other sales tools. 

There is no way to smoothly integrate your Excel spreadsheet with other important tools that every salesperson needs; emails, lead generation or calling tools. 

This means again that nearly all the information in your Excel Spreadsheet needs to be done manually. 

Also, the info can’t be kept in one place because. Your sales reps will have information spread out between the Excel spreadsheet, long email threads, voicemails, documents 

 in Dropbox, meeting notes, and whatever they can remember about that phone conversation they had last week. 

  1. Problems of collaborating.

Because of the lack of access to important data that we just mentioned, your sales team will have a much harder time collaborating.  

This requires that another team member needs to know what is going on. You’ll need to send them a copy of the whole email thread or call them on the phone to explain the situation. Documents will need to be sent, resent, and triple sent to everyone who needs them. 

  1. Excel Spreadsheets don't allow you to set reminders. 

 It seems obvious, but it’s still a huge functionality gap. Since your Excel spreadsheet can’t act like a calendar or reminder system, there’s no way for you or your team to keep track of important meetings, calls, or tasks that need to get done. 

In conclusion: 

Excel Spreadsheets have some big holes for using it as a Sales management tool. Thankfully there are some better options for teams and companies to stay updated, control and scale their business. A solution is a sales software. 

Tags: Sales

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