You know the value of data-based decision-making. But, do you know how valuable your CRM data is—and how you can use your customer relationship management tool as a data source?
Any company with a sales team operates with some form of CRM, mostly to monitor and manage sales and leads.
A data-driven business, however, can pull far more value out of a CRM. If you can plug your CRM data into your business intelligence (BI) tools, it can help you identify sales trends and make smarter, faster decisions.
How can you leverage your CRM data, and what considerations should be made to ensure that data is as valuable and predictive as possible? Let’s take a look
3 Ways to Leverage Your CRM Data
1. Groom tour CRM for business intelligence.
To start making your CRM a key data source that can contribute real value to your decision-making processes, you need to be sure that the data it yields is accurate and detailed enough. Answer the following key questions:
Is your sales team staffed and trained in CRM use?
First, analyze your headcount for Sales. Do you have a sufficient number of salespeople to establish and follow up on leads in your CRM? Your CRM data won’t be useful unless you have people who can act on it. Similarly, confirm that every member of your sales team can properly use your CRM and are aware of your CRM processes.
Are employees following CRM processes and using the CRM to record interactions?
Even the sharpest CRM processes are worthless if Sales isn’t actually following them. Conduct an in-depth audit of your CRM use to discover how well Sales is maintaining the database. Explain to your team that the value of the CRM data extends far beyond just managing sales.
One of the most common reasons Sales fails to make proper use of a CRM is lack of time. Ensure that your sales team understands the importance of following CRM protocols and is given enough time to follow them.
Are there any unnecessary steps or roadblocks in the customer journey or CRM process?
If your CRM is producing valueless data, you’re just making work for yourself. Eliminate unnecessary steps in your CRM process and look for bottlenecks and roadblocks. Removing these ensures Sales has time to input the information they need.
What data are we looking for?
Start by identifying what questions you’d like your CRM to answer. This will help you establish and locate the most important data points that the system can yield. Then, take any steps required to ensure that data makes it into the system.
Different metrics are important to different industries and individuals. Resist the temptation to follow another company’s protocol (even your competitor’s); work with your team to identify what data points will help your organization make more informed decisions.
2. Choose tools to help you access, prepare, and act on your CRM data.
Once you’ve ensured that your CRM system is producing accurate, timely data, decide what to do with that data and put systems in place to extract as much value as possible.
At the very least, you’ll need solutions to access and process the data from your CRM. If your company has an established BI system, consider feeding your CRM data into those existing platforms.
If this is your first foray into building a data stack, however, you’ll need to invest in some tools.
Firstly, you’ll need a way to pull your CRM data from the platform. (Sure, you could hire a database manager to generate reports using SQL, but Kloudio’s Adhoc Query feature allows you to run SQL in Google Sheets.)
Kloudio allows you to pull your CRM data without any coding or database knowledge at all. Moreover, you can connect Kloudio to your Salesforce system. It’s unlikely you’ll need or want to pull the entire database, which is why Kloudio’s report builder allows you to set up filters to get just the data need.
Finally, once your data has been pulled directly into Google Sheets, you can analyze it, feed it into your BI systems for visualization and further processing, or send it back to Salesforce.
If you aren’t yet using a BI tool, review Gartner’s exhaustive list of reviews to see which tool may be a good fit.
3. Start making data-driven decisions.
Once you’ve constructed your CRM to BI pipeline, you can put your data to work to help your make smarter decisions.
A word to the wise: be prepared for some harsh truths and tough decisions. Objective data is notoriously good at unearthing operational and systems issues you never knew existed.
While you might need to make some fundamental changes to how your business operates, rest assured that it’s all in pursuit of a stronger, more sustainable business that’s built on data—not gut feel.
Here are a few benefits of CRM data you may see:
- Improved targeting: Your CRM can provide a clearer and more realistic understanding of your customer and their needs. If you want Sales to focus on prospects that are most likely to convert, this is invaluable.
- Improved marketing ROI: When you know what’s most effective for moving prospects through your sales funnel, you can dedicate resources to improve ROI. Moreover, you can identify and eliminate wasteful marketing costs.
- Improved customer experiences: Your CRM can help you realize what channels and touchpoints are working for customers and apply those learnings to other leads and profiles.
Over to You
Whether you’re a data-driven business or not, you’re competing against other ones right now. If your business can’t find ways to extract insights your CRM data, you’re at risk of growing stagnant and losing customers.
Visualize your CRM data in real-time with Kloudio.