Companies are finding it more and more difficult to run without a CRM. With Microsoft Excel you can create a a low cost customer database. This is of interest especially for small companies and start-ups for customer management. We tell you the advantages and disadvantages of Excel as a CRM system and present a simple solution by partnering with Open as App.
What is CRM?
CRM means customer relationship management. It is a strategy for systematically managing a company’s relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers.
A CRM is not limited to customer relationships. Contacts who are not yet customers, but who have filled out a contact sheet, for example, also count, just like other important stakeholders (employees, sales partners, suppliers, etc.).
The goal is to ensure personal communication and good service in order to increase customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and customer experience.
Why your company needs a CRM system
When people talk about CRM, they often mean a CRM system. This is a tool for managing customer data.
Typical functions are:
- Maintaining contact information (name, email address, phone number, etc.)
- Documenting the contact history
- Customer selection
- Document management
- Task management
- Calendar and appointment management
With a CRM system you can maintain the relationship with existing customers by contacting them on a regular basis. The contact history is recorded. This prevents you from forgetting customers or contacting them too often. In addition, all employees in your company can quickly access customer data. This is especially useful for customer service, who can thus provide fast and helpful service.
A CRM system also has advantages when it comes to acquiring new customers. When you collect and analyze data from a potential customer – in other words, a lead – you can use it specifically on the customer journey and improve the conversion rate. A CRM ensures accuracy and efficiency and, considering the large amount of data, is crucial for companies in marketing, sales as well as other areas.
Excel as CRM tool
An Excel spreadsheet is widely used and simple to handle. It allows you to collect data and information, manage and evaluate them with the help of database functions. This is why it is suitable for using as a CRM. You can create a table with different tabs and apply formulas for sorting and analyzing. There are many Excel templates available on the Internet that already provide a structure and important analysis. However, as your company grows, you may reach your limits with Excel. Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of Excel as a CRM solution.
The advantages of CRM tools with Excel:
- Excel is easy to use and very common. This increases the acceptance of CRM Excel spreadsheets and reduces the effort required to learn how to use a new system.
- Excel is low-cost. There is only a one-time license cost for Microsoft Office. CRM templates can usually be downloaded free of charge online.
- Only one file is required for all data.
- Tables can be individually modified. You can customize fonts, sizes and colors.
- Via Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Sheets or internal servers, several employees can work on Excel lists at the same time and different versions can be avoided.
The disadvantages of CRM tools with Excel:
- All data must be filled in manually, which takes time and is prone to errors.
- CRM Excel spreadsheets do not offer automations.
- Templates from the Internet may contain incorrect formulas and do not offer interfaces to other databases or systems.
- Excel spreadsheets do not offer encryption of data. Data security cannot be guaranteed.
- If you save an Excel file locally, there is a risk of data loss.
Excel vs. traditional CRM software
As an alternative to Excel, you can use a CRM software to manage your customer information. The system supports the CRM process with helpful features and automatic workflows. This reduces the amount of work and saves resources. Such tools are user-friendly and offer a high level of security. Through automatic statistics, they provide an easy overview of your customers and businesses and minimize errors.
In addition, CRM tools can be connected to other platforms via interfaces. All of your company’s departments can work closely together via CRM software, with an overview of who is currently working on which tasks. Even with high data volumes and many users, you can rely on the software.
The most popular CRM tools are:
- Zoho CRM
- Creatio CRM
However, compared to Excel spreadsheets, CRM tools are expensive and too complicated for many employees to use. In addition, you may be paying for features you don’t even need. An app can bring together the advantages of Excel and the CRM software. This makes it easier to edit, personalize, and share customer data across the company.
Upgrading Excel as a CRM with Open as App
Of course, you can create such an app with an own code. This requires programming skills. If you don’t know any programming languages, don’t worry we still have a solution for you: by using a no-code app from Open as App.
With our user-friendly no-code platform, you can easily turn your spreadsheets into a smart app yourself, with all the data you have. Our software recognizes the logic and formulas of your existing spreadsheets and pulls them into the app. You don’t have to recreate anything. This way, you enable your team to work more efficiently, effectively, regardless of their location.
Want to try Open as App for your business? With our App Creator, you can design your first app now for free.