Many companies face an internal battle when it comes to data administration and management. Departments such as Sales or Finance prefer to work in spreadsheets, while others such as IT or Sales Ops need a CRM system to be the only source of truth. The pro-spreadsheet departments need the speed and ease of use of Excel to get integral business tasks done: forecasting, scheduling, budgeting and planning. However, CRM-oriented teams distrust spreadsheets because they can act as a data repository, making the CRM system irrelevant because it no longer holds all data. Not only is the CRM investment going unused, but spreadsheets are risky, insecure and can be emailed to anyone. These countering arguments can stall and confuse the business.
Enterprise businesses want to move forward with a cloud-based CRM application, and yet many company functions currently take place on spreadsheets. Importing data from spreadsheets to CRM, while possible, involves a duplication of effort, and doesn’t address the underlying issue of spreadsheets not being an enterprise-class application.
Does This Sound Familiar?
Pace Industries, North America’s leading full-service aluminum, zinc and magnesium die casting company, wanted to move away from spreadsheet-based quote worksheets and do cost-modeling in a cloud-based solution integrated with Salesforce. Since not all departments in the company are on Salesforce, there wasn’t a corporate overview of the existing quote process.
“Before Apttus, we were kind of overwhelmed and didn’t know how we were going to enter all the data on Excel spreadsheets into Salesforce to do advanced cloud-based cost modeling.”
John Wisdom, Director of Marketing, Pace Industries.
Pace Industries looked a several options before selecting X-Author for Excel by Apttus. The primary reason they chose Apttus was the capability to create enterprise applications out of the same legacy spreadsheets their employees were already using by connecting Salesforce with Excel through X-Author. With this bidirectional data flow, the quote worksheets now have current rate structures and opportunities in Salesforce are always up to date. Pace Industries also gained a level of data security and integrity they were previously lacking as their stand-alone spreadsheets became secure enterprise applications stored safely behind the permissions and access controls of Salesforce.
The top 5 reasons Pace Industries included X-Author for Excel in their quoting process:
1. Elimination of silo spreadsheets and increased Salesforce adoption
2. Greatly accelerated business performance through automatic creation of required reports
3. Streamlined communication through a single data source easily dispersed to approved persons
4. Added a layer of accountability, improved visibility, and control over entire process
5. Prevented data leakage with bidirectional sync between Excel and Salesforce
While not all businesses may need to sync their Excel-based quoting process with Salesforce, there’s often some type of business function that is taking place in spreadsheets, while others may want that data to reside in the CRM system. For these business processes, there are infinite reasons to include X-Author for Excel.