What to Use as Your Central Database Spreadsheets vs. CRM

What to Use as Your Central Database: Spreadsheets vs. CRM

What to Use as Your Central Database Spreadsheets vs. CRM

A traditional spreadsheet might be enough for managing your client relationships at the early stages of your business. However, as your business scales, you’ll soon discover that traditional spreadsheets no longer work for tracking deals and customer interactions. Storing and processing large volumes of data on spreadsheets becomes problematic and can cost you opportunities.


When this happens, it’s time to upgrade to customer relationship management software. Let’s dig deeper into how CRM software improves customer relationship management for growing businesses. 


The Problem with Spreadsheets


Switching from a spreadsheet to CRM software initially seems like a time-wasting venture. After all, the last thing you want to deal with is learning how a new tool works instead of focusing on your business. 


But relying on the limited capabilities of spreadsheets leads to long-term problems like:  


1. Loss of Business Opportunities


When tracking customers and deals over multiple spreadsheets, it’s easy to miss important information.  You end up losing valuable clients, which will hinder revenue growth. 


2. Lack of Tracking Features


To scale your business, you must know what’s working for your company and what’s not. Even if you successfully close deals using spreadsheets, there is no concrete way to know what made the client choose you.


You can’t track strategic flaws, which makes constant improvements impossible. Calculating metrics is also tricky since you have to be proficient in different Excel formulas and data manipulations. 


3. No Support for Scalability


Spreadsheets are not built for scalability. You can store and track bits and pieces of data in them. But when you scale to managing large data sets, they fall short and start to break. 


Growing a business is hard work. With a spreadsheet as your data management solution, the process becomes even more complicated and error-prone. 


4. Poor Sales Performance Monitoring


Regular performance evaluation of your sales team is critical to building and sustaining a profitable business. But with spreadsheets, you can’t monitor how your sales reps interact with customers. 


You enter data manually to record how many calls and deals each sales rep has made. There is no way for you to identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Task delegation also becomes difficult. 


What Makes CRM Software Better than Spreadsheets?


Here’s why you should choose CRMs over traditional spreadsheets for your business: 


Customization Options


CRM tools offer a range of customization options that allow you to set up your dashboard to suit your business needs. For example, Pipeline CRM lets you add up to twenty-five custom fields to capture granular data from your customers—including industry and currency type. 


Customizable CRM tools also offer better customer segmentations, enabling you to choose different demographics according to your business needs. Spreadsheets don’t support such personalization features. 


Easy Integrations


There’s only so much you can do with traditional spreadsheets. For example, while Excel spreadsheets might integrate with specific platforms, you can’t schedule a follow-up call via a spreadsheet. Google Sheets, however, is easier if you’re integrating with Google Workspace—but this solution still comes with its challenges. 


CRM tools work seamlessly with other productivity platforms. For example, calendar integration makes it easier to keep track of scheduled appointments. Some sales pipeline tools offer direct accounting integrations. 


Analytics and Reporting


Spreadsheets have limited capabilities when it comes to really analyzing customer data and metrics. You have to put hours of manual effort into processing spreadsheet data. 


However, CRM platforms offer various data analytics features that generate accurate reports on your team’s performance. In Pipeline CRM, for example, you can track your sales reps’ activities and deal insights in one central hub.  


Centralized Data


Companies need to keep several spreadsheets. So, accessing specific information becomes tedious and chaotic. CRM software lets you operate and access customer information from a single window. 


For example, Pipeline CRM brings all of your sales activities — online and offline — and shared data into one central hub place. It gives shared visibility into an otherwise offline sales process. With this setup, you can avoid shuffling through multiple spreadsheets to find what you need. 




Manual customer relationship management is time-consuming. Analyzing spreadsheets, creating relevant marketing campaigns for each customer segment, and manually sending them follow-up emails and offers is a lot of work. 


CRM tools eliminate repetitive tasks and let your team focus on the customers. Your marketing department can qualify leads and automate email drip campaigns without investing a significant chunk of their day. 


Improved Customer Relationship Management


CRM tools help you understand customers better


CRM tools help you understand customers better. Businesses can track consumers’ purchase patterns, pain points, and requirements based on different demographics like age, gender, location, etc. This empowers them to create an accurate buyer persona and tailor customer experience accordingly. CRM tools also offer sales funnel templates to help you nurture leads effectively. 


The absence of redundant manual labor frees up the team’s time to focus on customer interactions. This way, they engage customers better and create meaningful relationships with them.


Targeted Campaigns


Customizable CRM facilitates better lead segmentation. You get a precise idea of what diverse customers want and design campaigns accordingly. Targeted marketing lets you tap into the unique desires of different audience segments with tailored content, relevant offers, and customized pitches. 


You can create appealing promotional messages, detect suitable marketing channels, and reach new audiences quicker. This way, CRM systems keep your sales and marketing team on the same page and increase your conversion rate. 


Data Security


Spreadsheets store customer data locally in your system. This poses several data risks including: 


  • Loss of data due to malware attacks
  • Manual data theft 


CRM software keeps your data safe by storing backups on the cloud. So, even if your system faces a data breach or an internal failure, your valuable data is safely backed up on remote servers.


Spreadsheets vs. CRM: Comparison Table


Spreadsheets CRM
Data Entry Manual with limited automation options CRM tools offer automation and integrations with popular productivity tools, eliminating manual effort.
Efficiency  Low. Manual data entry takes time and reduces productivity and efficiency. CRM automation eliminates processing errors and enhances efficiency.
Collaboration The absence of a centralized database means you work in silos — making collaboration difficult.  All necessary employees get access to a clean dashboard and collaborate on the platform.
Analytics You have to analyze each data set manually. Sales CRM software regularly analyzes large data sets and generates insightful reports without human intervention. 
Scalability Spreadsheets become insufficient as you grow your customer base.  CRM tools seamlessly accommodate new team members and a growing client list.
Customer Experience (CX) It takes time to find historical data on spreadsheets, slowing down client communication.  Find all your deals and client interactions in a central hub. With holistic customer engagement tracking, you can elevate customer experience and create long-lasting business relationships.  


Grow Your Business with the Right CRM Software


Growing a small business takes time, diligence, and the capability to keep up with constant shifts. Spreadsheets offer a single source of truth, which isn’t enough to sustain startups and scaleups growing aggressively. 


CRM tools fill that gap with better efficiency and data accuracy. They eliminate redundant tasks like data entry, automate marketing campaigns, and keep track of our team’s performance. 


You understand which customer segments have the most promise, leading to better targeting and conversion. This empowers you to create lasting customer relationships and bring positive outcomes. 


Pipeline offers a powerful end-to-end CRM solution with an easy setup, a centralized dashboard, and seamless integrations. Equip your team with the best data management system, accelerate growth, and turn your small business into a notable brand. 


Ditch spreadsheets and start your free trial with Pipeline today!

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