Excel vs CRM

Excel and CRM compare

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Often novice real estate investors do not understand the benefits of CRM. They try to compare Excel and CRM.

Greg Scott wrote at BiggerPockets.com:

I hope get soon to the point of where I feel I need Podio or Salesforce. I'm using the Excel sheet that my purchased leads come with. I simply add a column for call notes and use wrap text formatting.


A benefit of Excel is seeing many notes at a glance. CRM's tend to be a contact per page kind of thing.

CRM contact viewing varieties

Let's take Podio as an example.

1) Yes, Podio's tend to be a contact per page kind of thin. That's true. But that's a quarter of the truth. The full truth is that Podio views the table 3 times richer than Excel.

2) Podio can show many records in one table like Excel:

Podio table view

Podio can also show many notes in other ways Excel does not know.

3) Like "Badge":

Podio badge view

4) Like "Card" (Kanban-style board):

Podio card view

You can drag and drop the card:

  • Above and below the column
  • Column by column

Move Podio card

Number of tables

Excel table's good for counting. But it's not convenient to keep relationships with clients in Excel. 

For example, in SuiteCRM, customer relationships are described through 124 tables. Some of them:

  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities
  • Leads
  • Quotes
  • Calendar
  • Documents
  • Emails
  • Spots
  • Campaigns
  • Calls
  • Meetings
  • Tasks
  • Notes
  • Invoices
  • Contracts
  • Cases
  • Targets
  • Targets - Lists
  • Projects
  • Projects - Templates
  • Events
  • Locations
  • Products
  • Products - Categories
  • PDF - Templates
  • Maps
  • Maps - Markers
  • Maps - Areas
  • Maps - Address Cache
  • Reports
  • WorkFlow
  • Knowledge Base
  • KB - Categories
  • Email - Templates
  • Surveys
  • ...

Each table presents the record in a separate convenient form, which is typical only for this table. Each table is responsible for its own side of the relationship with clients. All tables are tightly interconnected. 

Each table has an average of 7 fields. In total, SuiteCRM has 868 fields. CRM gives an 868 degree view of the client relationship.

It's impossible to implement such a structure in Excel.

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