10 Disadvantages of Using Spreadsheets To Run Marketing Campaigns

Dominic Banguis
3 min readOct 21, 2022


1. Spreadsheets are not user-friendly.

There’s no way around it. Spreadsheets are simply not user-friendly. They’re customizable and familiar, but when you need to handle a lot of data, you’ll find yourself scrolling through hundreds, if not thousands, of rows and columns. It’s difficult to make spreadsheets easy to ingest and easy to read.

2. Spreadsheets are not secure.

As opposed to a dedicated system that requires access to log in, spreadsheets can be disseminated to anyone, anywhere with the simple send of an email. This makes it easy for a disgruntled or dishonest employee to share leads and customer data with external contacts

3. It’s hard to tell who edited the spreadsheet.

While spreadsheets are excellent collaborative tools that allow anyone in your team to add information, it’s hard to tell who edited a cell. This can make it difficult to pinpoint the appropriate party if an error happens or if something else goes amiss with the sheet.

In sales specifically, establishing an orderly system to divvy up leads and customers when you’re working from spreadsheets is tough. Unless you train your reps to take meticulous notes and follow a rigorous documentation process, there’s no indication of who last reached out to a customer or prospect, what the content of the message was, and when the interaction took place.

4. There will be multiple versions of the truth.

Everyone might start out working from the same data … but it probably won’t stay that way for long. Every time a rep makes a change to the master spreadsheet, they’ll need to upload it to a central repository for the edits to be communicated to the rest of the team.

And if they forget to do that, you’ll have several versions of the “single” spreadsheet — all with slightly different data. How will you know which one is right? That’s a sure recipe for creating a messy sales process.

5. Spreadsheets are prone to errors.

Well, spreadsheets aren’t prone to errors, but its users certainly are. (Guilty.)

With so many people having their hands on a single spreadsheet, and with so many edits and calculations happening at once, it’s natural that spreadsheets will contain some type of error. If you’re hoping for accuracy, don’t expect to get it from spreadsheets.

6. Reporting is painful.

It’s hard enough compiling all the various versions of a spreadsheet into one master copy, but then managers have to assemble meaningful reports based on the data. As anyone who has tried to report from Excel knows, it’s not for the faint of heart. And the more complex your data, the harder reporting becomes.

7. Visualizing data is difficult.

As mentioned, users can create charts and graphs in spreadsheets. But “create” is the key word. Assembling any kind of data visualization in a spreadsheet is time-consuming and frustrating. Managers could opt to skip the visuals altogether — after all, they’re not necessary. But presenting a spreadsheet thousands of rows long is guaranteed to make your team members’ eyes cross.

8. Critical customer data is at everyday life’s mercy.

If you’re using Excel, you risk losing data. Lots of data. Data that lives solely on individual computers can be lost forever if your laptop takes a tumble or gets doused in coffee. While Google Sheets is a great alternative, it can also be subject to data loss if you lose your internet connection.

9. There’s no native integration with other platforms

If you want to connect your spreadsheets to the other systems you use, you’d have to hope that an integration exists on Zapier or a similar tool. If it doesn’t, you’re out of luck, and you’d have to manually transfer the data over to the other systems.

A lack of integration means that customers and prospects might receive redundant information… or none at all. Neither of these scenarios translates into sales or growth for your business.

10. Spreadsheets make it harder for managers to manage team members.

To effectively coach and mentor, managers need to have visibility into the daily actions and processes of their team members. This is all but impossible to do through spreadsheets. Both team members and managers will quickly become frustrated with the seemingly endless cycle of uploading, downloading, attaching, and emailing spreadsheets.

A much better alternative is an influencer campaign management platform that keeps everything running smoothly.



Dominic Banguis

Scaling Startups with Data-Driven Marketing Strategies | Web3, AI, Crypto, Blockchain, SaaS, and FinTech