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Salesforce is one of the most popular CRMs used by businesses today. It is the go-to resource for all data concerning contact info, leads, customers, sales, vendors, contracts, invoices, documents, images etc.

As part of their workflows, businesses regularly migrate data from Salesforce to ERPs or other business applications.

Connecting Salesforce to Excel is often the first step in such complex data migration workflows. On Excel, it is easy to manipulate data into the formats required by ERPs or other downstream business software.

In this post we show you how to set up the Salesforce to Excel connector; a convenient method of importing Salesforce data into Excel spreadsheets.

We also cover the challenges and limitations of connecting Salesforce to Excel.

And finally we show how Nanonets can help automate data flows from Salesforce to Excel or any other software.

Major Ways to Connect Salesforce to Excel

Here are some major ways to connect Salesforce to Excel

1. Excel Original Interface:


  1. Open a blank Excel workbook.
  2. Navigate to the Data tab.
  3. Click on Get Data → From Online Services → From Salesforce Objects.
  4. In the opened window, choose between connecting to Production or a Custom environment and sign in to Salesforce.
  5. After signing in, select the objects you want to export in the Navigator window. For multiple objects, use the Select multiple items checkbox.
  6. Preview the selected data on the right and click Load to export it to the Excel worksheet.


  • All-in-one solution.
  • No need for third-party tools.
  • Direct data export without using intermediate CSV files.


  • Higher price for a single-user license.
  • Inability to load modified data back to the source.


2. Excel Add-Ins:


  1. Install the Excel Add-In for Salesforce.
  2. Open Excel and locate the Salesforce tab or menu added by the Add-In.
  3. Connect Excel to Salesforce using your Salesforce credentials.
  4. Choose the Salesforce objects you want to work with in Excel.
  5. Load data into Excel or refresh existing data directly from Salesforce.


  • Direct data export/import without using intermediate CSV files.
  • Seamless integration into the familiar Excel interface.
  • Easy data modification and refreshing.
  • Obligatory data validation.
  • Possibility of composing queries manually.


  • Paid tool.
  • Specific to Excel; not usable with other applications.
  • Requires add-in download.

3. ODBC Drivers:


  1. Install the appropriate ODBC driver for Salesforce.
  2. Set up an ODBC data source pointing to your Salesforce instance.
  3. Open Excel and use the Data tab to import data via the ODBC connection.
  4. Configure the ODBC connection to select Salesforce objects and load data.


  • Support for ODBC connectivity across multiple third-party products.
  • Mapping of Salesforce data types and functions to ODBC equivalents.


  • Inability to load modified data back to the source.
  • Availability of only third-party ODBC drivers; no Salesforce original ODBC driver.
  • Installation required.

4. OData Endpoints:


  1. Create or obtain an OData endpoint for your Salesforce data.
  2. Open Excel and navigate to the Data tab.
  3. Click on Get Data → From Other Sources → From OData Feed.
  4. Paste the OData endpoint URL and click OK.
  5. Provide necessary authentication details and connect to the endpoint.
  6. Select the Salesforce objects you want to import into Excel and load the data.


  • Endpoint authentication for controlled access.
  • No need to share Salesforce credentials.
  • Open standard approach.


  • Manual API creation or reliance on paid services.
  • Inability to update Salesforce data from Excel.

How to set up the Salesforce Excel Connector

Here are the steps to connect Salesforce to Excel:

Step 1

Open Excel >> click the "Data" tab >> select "New Query" >> click "From Other Sources"

Step 2

Next, select "From Salesforce Objects" >> select either Production or Custom and login to Salesforce (if prompted to)

Step 3

Select a Salesforce Object. OR click “Load To” to create a table or a connection.

Creating a table will provide a one-time import of all current Salesforce data. A connection, once set up, will import the latest Salesforce data every time it is accessed.

Alternate solutions

Much like this in-built connector on Microsoft Excel, there are various third party plugins, connectors and add-ons that can help connect Salesforce data to Excel.

Popular ones include XL-Connector and Xappex.

While these tools offer similar, often better, results with respect to data flows from Salesforce to Excel, they also have similar limitations.

Limitations of the Salesforce connector for Excel

Setting up a Salesforce Excel connector is ideal when dealing with moderate volumes of data that don't change over time.

But it can get challenging in more complex use cases.

Here are some limitations in attempting to connect Excel to Salesforce:

  • Microsoft Excel uses an ODBC driver to access Salesforce. And for this driver to function, you require API access enabled on your Salesforce account.
  • The connection to Excel can't handle very large Salesforce objects, files, or data. If you're a medium or large business, this might be difficult to look over.
    • In such cases, establishing a connection might throw errors.
If your workflow requires real time transfers of data from Salesforce to Excel or Excel to Salesforce multiple times over, the connector method will just not meet your requirements!

Integrate Salesforce to Excel with Nanonets

Nanonets is an intelligent data extraction tool that can help automate data workflows.

Nanonets can import data from any source, process the data, modify it, and finally send it to any destination of your choice.

In this case, Nanonets can import all data from Salesforce, modify it as per your requirements and finally export to Excel in the prescribed format.

You could even skip Excel and directly export Salesforce data to any ERP, accounting software or other business applications.