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CLOUDEXTEND BLOG

Learn About Industry Trends, Best Practices, and Current Events

When we say that Salesforce is a favorite as a CRM tool, we’re not kidding: It’s used by more than 150,000 businesses worldwide, including about 80% of Fortune 500 companies, and has the largest market share in CRM apps. 

Salesforce helps a diverse range of organizations—from startups to large multinational corporations—across a wide variety of industries including finance, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing. Its tools give users the ability to track customer interactions, manage sales opportunities, and execute marketing campaigns within a centralized platform. All this combined with adaptability and scalability contribute to its popularity among organizations. 

Salesforce is a pretty big deal in the CRM world because of its range. And yet, many users are still combining Salesforce with Excel to perform data analysis. While some may still be doing this via static spreadsheets, integrating Salesforce and Excel can significantly enhance business operations by leaning into the strengths of both platforms. 

Why Does Everyone Love Excel?

Excel’s advanced tools such as pivot tables, complex charts, and conditional formatting are excellent for helping uncover deeper insights into data, which is why many Salesforce users will manually export information into Excel for reporting and analysis. Not to mention, most everyone in the business world has at least a passing familiarity with Excel, making this a very familiar and intuitive place to work. Working with Salesforce data in Excel also makes it more accessible for executives and other leaders who may not have regular access to Salesforce. 

On top of all this is the added benefit of Excel enabling the ability to include data from multiple other systems to create the unified view of data across the organization. 

It all sounds like a positive experience. But then there’s the process of actually assembling and manipulating the data in Excel. For many, this is still a manual and intensely time-consuming process. To that, we say: It’s 2024—time to find a better way through integration. 

Better Together through Integration

We’ve never believed that a need for integration reflects any lack in either tool. As mentioned above, integration creates the opportunity to lean into the strengths of both platforms and link them together for better processes and outcomes. 

In the case of Salesforce and Excel integration, Salesforce has robust strengths in managing customer relationships and sales processes, while Excel offers superior capabilities in handling complex calculations, extensive data manipulation, and detailed statistical analysis. Integrated together, the two platforms are nearly unstoppable. 

Complex Calculations and Custom Formulas
Using Excel’s proficiency at complex mathematical calculations integrated alongside Salesforce data, the reporting opportunities are endless. For example, a sales manager could use Excel pivot tables and charts to track sales performance across different regions or product categories over time, adjusting the views to forums on specific periods or trends.

What-If Analysis Dashboards
Data Tables, Scenario Manager, and Goal Seek are all “what-if” tools built into Excel that promote complex sensitivity analyses. Using these tools with integrated Salesforce data in Excel means a financial analyst could build a dashboard to showcase how varying levels of sales growth or cost reductions could impact net income. Changing the input values then lets them see how the changes directly influence the outcomes. 

Data Manipulation and Cleaning
Excel is an ideal platform for preparing and cleaning data before it is uploaded to Salesforce. Sorting, filtering, and search capabilities help clean and organize data, while functions such as VLOOKUP, INDEX, and MATCH support reconciling data from different sources and correcting data discrepancies. 

Advanced Statistical Analysis
For the more advanced Excel users in the house, statistical functions and add-ins like Excel’s Analysis ToolPak will provide regression analysis, histograms, and correlation matrices. Built for the more rigorous statistical analysis needs, these Excel tools will prove essential for businesses that need detailed statistical insights from their Salesforce data. 

Pivot Tables and Dynamic Charts
Used for data summarization and exploration, Excel pivot tables and charts help users quickly aggregate and analyze large data sets, identify trends, and make comparisons. While Salesforce offers report and dashboard functionalities, what Excel provides are more dynamic and interactive experiences for manipulating views and drilling down into the specifics that the business needs to know. 

Coming Soon to CloudExtend: Salesforce + Excel Integration

You might wonder why the CloudExtend team is talking about Salesforce to Excel integration when our focus has traditionally been on NetSuite to Excel integration. We’re glad you asked. Over the past several months, our engineering team has been hard at work expanding our integration capabilities to include more of the platforms you use every day across the organization to effectively run and report on your business. And yes, Salesforce is one of those integrations. 

The big announcement won’t drop until July, but you could be first in line. Get an exclusive sneak peek with a FREE early trial!