Since their introduction almost 40 years ago, spreadsheets have played a vital role in allowing businesses to keep track of sales data and customer contact details.
But despite spreadsheet packages like Excel and OpenOffice being still widely used, the advent of online systems and the digitization of business processes have offered new opportunities for sales teams to work smarter and more efficiently.
Let us take a look at some of the reasons businesses looking to expand their footprint should consider migrating from a spreadsheet system to a dedicated business application.
Spreadsheets do not provide a scalable solution
Spreadsheets do not lend themselves to scalability. While they might be an intuitive choice for a start-up with few financial and human resources, they can quickly become cumbersome as the business matures.
The risk of different team members adding, altering and saving their own versions of what started out as ‘the master customer contact file’ is high and leads to multiple and mismatched sources of truth. As a company scales, processes that rely on a fragmented system become clumsy, errors are made and opportunities are missed.
Difficult to draw valuable insights
With a cluttered layout and endless rows and columns of raw data, a spreadsheet denies managers the ability to extract key points at a glance.
Despite being able to quickly whip-up the odd colourful graph in Excel, this manual method of reporting becomes a laborious matter of copying and pasting charts into presentations, no match for the dynamic dashboards and data filters that a dedicated sales platform offers and which allow managers to select meaningful views and draw valuable insights into what may underlie their data.
Better insights lead to more informed management decisions and allow business leaders to concentrate resources where they are truly needed.
Spreadsheets don’t facilitate mobile business models
Despite being possible to view a spreadsheet on a mobile device, it certainly isn’t easy on the eyes. In the sales scenario, reps and customer care managers have to wait to gain access to their laptops in order to input new figures and update contact information, paving the way for inaccuracies, omitting important details and ultimately serving a negative customer experience.
With a cloud-based sales platform, entering data directly from a user-friendly mobile app whilst out on the field becomes a simple and instant method of updating sales data.
Lack of departmental integration
Another disadvantage of using spreadsheets for data management is that integration with other departments is difficult. An organization with multiple offices dotted internationally that relies on siloed sources of sales data, for instance, will find it difficult to grow its customer base as effectively as a scenario in which all sales management teams have access to the same information.
Technology can power a more robust sales team
Despite being an easily attainable and lightweight tool, the lack of scalability and difficult integration into the modern way of conducting business mean that spreadsheets soon become an obstacle to businesses aspiring to expand their customer base.
A well-designed business app that combines intuitive digital forms and workflows that match the business requirements has the potential to scale infinitely as the business expands, builds new teams and enters new markets.
Sophisticated dashboards allow for deeper insights and more effective reporting, helping business leaders and managers to make smarter decisions on how to approach a new market or geographical area.
With all teams accessing a single data source, records are reliable and up-to-date, data alteration trails are created and legacy information is not lost.
With low- and no-code technology, it is now simpler than ever for businesses to take the lead in building business apps that respond to their requirements. Velocity IT aims to empower organisations and we believe that anyone can now create their own business apps with the help of technology.
Here at Velocity IT we design and develop business software applications using low- and no-code, SharePoint and Microsoft .NET technologies. Our software solutions enable organisations to significantly increase their responsiveness to customers, provide a higher standard of service, gain a competitive advantage and better manage and grow their business.
Download the guide to learn how to get started with a digital transformation project.