5 ways spreadsheets are holding your business back


So, you’re ready to grow your business. As far as you know, your sales team are ticking all the boxes and the wheels are in motion. But what lies beneath the surface of the countless spreadsheets holding your business together?

Creating a scalable, sustainable business requires more than just spreadsheets. Your business cannot grow safely and smoothly without great visibility into your sales performance and revenue, and flexibility in your systems to accommodate a growing customer database.

Let’s examine the many disadvantages of a spreadsheet-based customer relationship management system and how you can better equip your business for growth.

Remember: no customer wants to work with a salesperson who’s losing to their processes.

1. Spreadsheets waste your sales team’s time

First and foremost, the work of your sales team should be unhindered by manual processes, clunky systems or disparate data if you want to help them thrive. Storing your customer data across numerous spreadsheets and Google docs may seem like a low-cost, functional process, however the cost in human time required to access and operate these documents can be significant.

When staff are working against slow, hefty spreadsheets, they’re forced to create new worksheets and spread customer data and call cycles across countless documents. With your business growing, this can quickly create silos, impede your sales team and negatively impact your customer experience.

Remember: no customer wants to work with a salesperson who’s losing to their processes.

Held back by spreadsheets, your sales people lose valuable time.Held back by spreadsheets, your sales people lose valuable time.

2. Spreadsheets open your processes to great risk of error

Almost 90 per cent of all spreadsheets contain at least one error, according to a literature review from the University of Hawaii.

A spreadsheet can quickly become the work of a sole salesperson – particularly after a long time with certain customers. When that salesperson eventually leaves, it’s possible their spreadsheets will become a single point of failure for your business systems. The spreadsheet may not be up to date, or the salesperson may have left without explaining their individual processes.

Similarly, even with numerous integrated spreadsheets, a single break in the chain can influence countless datasets and require a lot of manual hours to find the source of the problem.

3. Spreadsheet integrations aren’t a long-term solution

On the note of integration, it’s important to remember that these often are not scalable, long-term solutions. Rather, integrating your spreadsheets with third-party plug-ins is more often a point solution that ignores the wider needs of your business.

Integrated spreadsheets, even on cloud-based systems like Google docs, risk duplication of data entry, process and functionality and can quickly lead to a tangled mess of applications and plug-ins that are costly, poorly implemented or relatively unsupported by developers.

Freedom from spreadsheets means you salespeople can focus on meeting quotas.Freedom from spreadsheets means your salespeople can focus on meeting quotas.

4. Spreadsheets don’t provide a clear picture of your revenue and sales performance

Visibility is a crucial issue when growing your business. In order to create accurate forecasts for your business, you need to understand what’s happening out in the field and be able to identify processes that are holding you back.

With all your customer data and sales team activities scattered over numerous spreadsheets, it becomes increasingly difficult as your business grows to know how you’re tracking. Even with reporting applications tied to your spreadsheets, unless you can be certain at all times that your data is up-to-date, correct and in the right places, your performance reports can be dangerously lacking.

5. Spreadsheets put your customer data at risk

Finally, as you welcome more customers on board, the value of your database grows. You’re collecting potentially sensitive information about your customers, whether that’s billing details, communications or sales notes. Holding all of this within spreadsheets increases your risk of data breach, whether through human error or malicious intent.

Without a secure repository for your customer data, it can be much easier for spreadsheets to be misplaced, misfired or otherwise improperly accessed.

Start having better sales meetings with CRM.Start having better sales meetings with CRM.

Prepare for business growth with Rhino

Where spreadsheets represent isolated, disordered data sets, Rhino stands for consolidation, clarity and simplicity.

As a single repository for your customer data, Rhino gives you and your sales team immediate insight into customer needs and sales performance. Updating customer data is straightforward and efficient, with a secure cloud-based platform and both online and offline functionality. Without the burden of manual data management, your sales team are freed up to easily organise an efficient call cycle and keep your customers satisfied.

Additionally, built-in smart reporting systems and supported integration with existing enterprise resource planning software ensures presenting and manipulating data to forecast your business growth is intuitive and easy.

To learn more about how Rhino can save your business from the sluggish drain of spreadsheets, request a free demo today.

Customer relationship management just got simpler.