Sr. Content Marketing Manager
There’s something incredibly satisfying about hitting that SUM function button on your spreadsheet and watching it spit out your revenue for the month. But what if you could skip that step altogether and know your revenue automatically? Yes, it is possible.
Imagine seeing all your data in beautiful, easy-to-digest reports instead of having to navigate a maze of seemingly endless, monochromatic rows and columns. And forget about learning another formula or creating another CRM template.
This is exactly what you get with a CRM integration with Google spreadsheets. Rather than tossing out your spreadsheet entirely, your CRM works seamlessly with your spreadsheet software.
Look, we get why small businesses love spreadsheets. But even though they’re budget-friendly and easy to use, using spreadsheets to organize your entire backend processes can get a little unwieldy as you grow.
It can get especially messy when you’re using spreadsheets to track customer details and leads. Still, the thought of moving away from spreadsheets completely makes you nervous. You trust your spreadsheet reports and your team knows how to use them.
Thankfully, there’s a happy middle ground that gives you the best of both worlds by integrating your Google Sheets with an easy-to-use CRM.
What is a CRM integration with Google Sheets?
In the simplest terms, software integration relates to the process of bringing different software solutions together to create a single, unified experience.
In this instance, a CRM integration with Google Sheets is the ability to have your CRM work with your spreadsheets like they’re part of the same system.
So, instead of relying on Google Sheets as your sole source of information, why not integrate it with a CRM? Many people try to create a CRM in Google Sheets, but you don’t even have to do that.
A number of CRMs today can work in tandem with your existing Google Sheets. Some CRMs even synthesize the Google Sheet information natively. Others might require using an automation or connector application like Zapier, but the benefits of a CRM integration are clear.
Is it really worth changing things up, though? Let’s break it down.
Using a CRM vs. spreadsheets
CRMs and spreadsheets can both organize your business data, and they both present a place for your team to collaborate on leads, information and more. But their similarities stop there.
When you’re just using a spreadsheet, you lack many core usability features and automation. For example, just trying to find information can require clicking through endless tabs and sheets. And any automation (like turning cells green when a lead converts) requires complex formulas.
You also lack a lot of relationship context. For instance, when you look at customer data in a Google Sheet, you aren’t going to see past emails, tasks and events (unless your team manually updates the sheet after every interaction).
And pulling reports? Forget about it. Unless you’re an Excel or Google Sheets wizard, creating reports and tables from spreadsheets can be an incredibly time-consuming and frustrating task.
When your Google Sheets is integrated into your CRM, though, it’s a much more powerful and streamlined experience. You get all the benefits of a CRM system without having to let go of Google Sheets — which really gives you the best of both worlds.
What are the business benefits of CRM integration with Google Sheets?
Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of a CRM integration with Google Sheets.
(1) Self-updating data
When you have a CRM integration with Google Sheets, you don’t have to create reports manually to make sense of your data anymore. You also don’t have to use formulas or pivot tables to update your data.
For example, with Copper CRM, your Google Sheets (and Excel) data is automatically turned into easy-to-digest reports. But the data updating works both ways. You can also update the data in your Google Sheet based on your Copper data with one simple click.
(2) Greater collaboration possibilities
The entire Google Workspace suite is known for its collaboration capabilities. Your team members can easily work inside your Google Sheets simultaneously, communicate in chat, leave notes for each other, and more all inside Google Sheets.
CRMs take this collaboration to the next level. From the ability to log messages, calls, tasks and lead status changes to displaying every stage in your pipeline, CRMs allow your entire team to work together, pick up projects for each other, and collaborate as a team to hit revenue goals.
When the two software solutions are integrated, the collaboration potential is multiplied. For instance, your management team can work the numbers and set revenue goals inside Google Sheets and have that information relayed in a CRM report for all the team to see and use.
Your sales team can track their tasks, update lead statuses in the CRM, and leave questions about specific leads in the Google Sheets for your sales managers to answer. Using both tools together just doubles your collaboration abilities.
(3) Future forecasting without formulas
When you plug your Google Sheet data into your CRM, you can turn those unwieldy rows and columns into actionable insights.
For example, with a CRM, you can make sense of your historical data to get insights on past trends and accurately calculate future sales forecasts. Rather than having to sift through thousands of rows and columns, when you integrate your spreadsheets with your CRM, the software does the heavy lifting.
(4) Better ongoing relationships
When you’re using Google Sheets or Excel as your CRM, you might be able to log something like a closed deal into your spreadsheets. But, what about after that?
Spreadsheets aren’t the best for managing long-term relationships. Too often, once a lead is converted to a sale in a spreadsheet, the relationship and work end. What about upsells? And how about building an enduring customer relationship?
When you integrate your spreadsheet with a CRM, you no longer have to worry about leads and future opportunities falling through the cracks. Instead, once a deal closes, you can move those contacts to a follow-up pipeline or set up future tasks inside your CRM.
(5) Workflow automation
Automation and functionality are the primary benefits of a CRM integration with Google Sheets. When you’re working in a spreadsheet, everything is manual, and nothing happens automatically.
As a result, your workflows can get hung up, and leads and tasks can fall through the cracks. So workflow automation and streamlining your sales and business pipelines is a big deal.
In fact, 88% of SMBs say that automation enables them to close leads quickly, move faster, reduce errors, spend less time on busy work, and offer better customer service, which ultimately helps them to compete with larger companies.
When you integrate your Google Sheets with your CRM, you get to experience these benefits firsthand. But, how does a CRM integration with Google Sheets actually work?
How does a CRM integration with Google Sheets work?
A CRM integration with Google Sheets usually entails some importing and exporting of data. If the CRM has a native Google Workspace integration, getting the two software solutions to share data will be a breeze.
If your CRM doesn’t natively integrate, you can usually still find workarounds using connector automation tools, like Zapier. Ultimately, the goal is to get your sheets connected to your CRM pipelines so information is importing, exporting, and updating automatically.
Every CRM will have its own process for integration, but we can tell you a little bit about how ours works here at Copper.
Copper + Google Sheets
Copper is the Google-recommended CRM because we natively integrate with all your favorite Google applications — including Google Sheets.
Our CRM automatically connects with all your Google applications (including Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive and more), and when you’re ready to move that Google Sheet data over, we make it easy with our Google Sheets Add-On.
1. From the add-ons dropdown menu, simply select “Copper CRM” and “import data.”
2. Then, sign in to your Copper account and select the types of records you want to import.
Using your information from Google Sheets, you can easily create customized reports and dashboards so that the most important information is always available in an easy-to-view format. Then, just hit refresh anytime you need the latest figures. Read more about using Copper’s Google Sheets Add-On here.
Getting started with a CRM for Google Sheets
With a lightweight CRM like Copper, moving from spreadsheets to a CRM isn’t a complex, daunting process. Once you get started, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
And don’t worry. We know it’s intimidating. That’s why with Copper, you don’t have to dive in with both feet. Instead, dip your toes in with a 14-day free trial to see how it all works.