CRM to Excel

What is the best way to manage customer information? Any company has asked this question and you may be faced with two answers: CRM or Excel? When a company seeks to save time and make information management more efficient CRM system appears as a lifesaver. For some, especially for small- enterprises it seems that the most viable way to manage information on sales, customers and the relationship between them is Excel option.

Some reasons that support this decision may be the low cost that represents and is very likely, that everyone who has a computer within the organization has access to spreadsheets and know how to handle them. But soon the benefits of CRM system solutions appear later: reliability, automation, data integration, web-based systems, just to name a few. They will make the relationship between the cost and the ultimate benefits are worthwhile.

A?CRM or Excel?

First, your company should look for customer satisfaction. Maintain customer loyalty requires that the company collect information about them and their purchases. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system acts as a data store through which we can anticipate what a customer wants. This is always going to feel more attracted to a company that knows and anticipates your needs.

Achieving this through Excel is not an easy task, because although we can serve to keep statistics, hardly can establish relationships between tables to achieve our goal. During the making decision on which system to use, the size of the company will be one of the variables to consider. Using Excel for small businesses can be functional because it handles little data, but will still have its limitations.

Instead, a simple version of the CRM system can provide better benefits even in the case of small businesses. Moreover, a well implemented CRM system will generate a lasting business relationship.

Disadvantages of Excel

Well, consider the limitations of managing information in this system.

First, storage would not be in real time and not uniform from one department to another. Each would have its own database and would take considerable time and effort to unify them. Although some documents can be shared with other departments, this would lead to the existence of several lists and changes made in one will not be reflected in the other.

This would create confusion and distortion of information handled within the company. Technologically, there are also risks losing information as a failure on the computer. CRM adapted to Excel is used to gather information, but not to record real-time customer actions.

What CRM offers?

Now management software will streamline this work providing immediacy and replacing manual processes compulsorily have to use in Excel (to copy and paste data, for example). It also allows knowing and segmenting the market. This not only knows how to classify our customers, but also ask ourselves the best strategies to meet their needs and generate loyalty.

Through this system it is easier to know the client or potential client, therefore adapt our offer to know what they want. On the technology front, one of the main advantages is that it has support on the web. This make it difficult for data loss. It also allows several people or departments can manage information regardless of distance and all others can access it immediately.

It also helps to personalize the service offered to customers and is adaptable to the size of the company. In conclusion, use CRM business software to manage information on sales, will increase the company-client relationship to a level where both will always win and when the system is well spent.

Does this mean the of Excel as a Tool?

No need to leave Microsoft Dynamics CRM to analyze the data. You can now make a quick ad hoc analysis using Microsoft Excel Online in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

For example, if you are a sales manager, you may want to analyze the opportunities your team has and review key interest (KPI) points to see how you can help your team members. If you are a sales representative, you can open opportunities in Excel and perform scenario analyzes for different scenarios incentive. Or, you may want to quickly open the data in Excel Online to copy them elsewhere, for example in an email.

When making changes to data in Excel Online, you can save the updated CRM information. Remember to keep the existing format Excel cells to avoid problems during import. If you add additional information to the spreadsheet, such as graphs, tables or color information will not be saved.

Which are the requirements?

This feature requires Update 1 CRM 2015 or later.

This feature requires that you have a subscription to Office 365 or a subscription to an online service such as SharePoint Online and Exchange Online. For more information, see

What is Office 365 and how it relates to CRM Online?.

  • You need a Microsoft account.
  • You need to export to Excel CRM privileges.
  • Open CRM data in Excel Online
  • The option of opening data in Excel Online is not available in all types of CRM records. If you do not see the option is not available for that record.

And after installation, it synchronizes all?

The truth is, no. The updated CRM data will not be reflected immediately in Excel Online if the same view is opened in the last two minutes in Excel Online. After that time, the updated data will be displayed in Excel Online.

By default, you cannot open CRM data in Excel Online in the advanced search view. However, you can save your advanced search as a personal view and then return to the personal view to an ad-hoc analysis in Excel Online. Data for ad-hoc analysis with Excel Online are stored temporarily.

Additions, such as graphics, calculations, and columns will not be saved from the ad-hoc analysis performed in Excel CRM Online again. If you need to make many changes in the data and import them back into CRM, it is recommended to export the spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

File import might fail, if you have made many changes or modified Excel file format. If you need to make many changes in the data and then import them back into CRM, it is recommended to export the spreadsheet in Excel.

Sales prospecting: When Excel reaches its limits, should we use a CRM?

  • Organizing your market research is a faced by all companies dilemma.
  • If the paper is quickly replaced by the Excel document, it has a very long life. And let’s face it, if it lasts so long is because it has real advantages:
  • Universality: everyone knows Excel;
  • Easy to edit and configure;
  • Easy access to information, displayed on a single page.
  • Although it has many advantages, quickly reached its limits. Its format is flat, it can not connect to other tools that a vendor can use, is a board.


  • It is difficult to follow the evolution of a prospectus. The user can add columns “comment 1”, “comment 2”, “comment 3”, but knows that is not enough.
  • Comments are not dated. The user has to add to his hand. In general a single column to indicate the “date of last action” is used, which prevents the user from having full access to the history of your actions.
  • It is impossible to attach documents such as budgets or bills.
  • It is impossible to create reminders or synchronize with your calendar
  • Excel quickly limits are reached.
  • Excel document prospecting is much easier to implement a CRM

And the fact that Excel remains indispensable for many companies is that most of the solutions available on the market are too complex and are not intended for classic exploration activity.

What if it is not decided by one?

To fill the gap between the simplicity of Excel and complexity of CRM, they are creating new applications, totally focused on vendors, which brings together the best of both worlds. Among its features are:

  • They are easy to adopt
  • Create business opportunities in seconds
  • Integrated spreadsheet
  • All this on one page
  • Reminders and calendar synchronization
  • Ability to attach documents to each action
  • Search filters and export data
  • Statistics

The goal of these services is not to propose a long list of features; It is to propose the features necessary for efficient exploration activity.