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Poor Excel Skills Can Block Your Next Promotion

By | Cory Bray | 8x Author | MD @ ClozeLoop | Partner @ 2.12 Angels

Over the last 10 years, I’ve observed a strong correlation between people who earn rapid promotions and their Microsoft Excel skills. Some think Excel is just for accountants and analysts…not true. If you’re in sales, marketing, customer success, or other positions, there are high-value activities you could be doing with Excel…and these activities could [help] make you a superstar.

Here are a few examples of what I’ve seen, alternating between good and bad.

Good: Compress Time

I know multiple analysts who inherited clunky month-end financial reporting processes and sped them up substantially. One person took a 3-day process down to 4 hours. Another took a 5-day process and accomplished it with ONE CLICK.

The one click used a large macro he wrote that automatically pulled data, updated pivot tables, and formatted cells…but it was all initiated with one click. And when I say he “wrote a macro”…he’s a business major from a lower-tier school…not a computer scientist.

If you’re in sales, imagine never having to send the file to an analyst in the first place? You’ll get it done faster, and your insights will likely be better due to your familiarity with the data.

Bad: Poor Formatting

My first boss HAMMERED me on formatting. If you send someone a worksheet that looks like garbage, they’ll assume that the content is garbage. Best case it’s good content but hard to read, which isn’t really helpful…

I’ve seen several sales development reps build spreadsheets that logically displayed what was in their head, but looked like a pile of colorful numbers. Exhibit A of “why doesn’t my boss take me seriously?”

Good: Add Value

If you are junior or mid-level individual contributor and have to delegate your Excel work to someone else, you’ll be cut out of the project. If it’s a MASSIVE project, it might require multiple hands, but if you’re delegating small tasks because you have no skills…you’re toast.

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