If you have a CRM, you should use it to generate reports. These documents will allow you to assess the efficiency of your team, make improvements and maximize your profit. In this article, we'll tell you about the five most important types of CRM reports that should come in handy for any industry. Plus, we'll share a step-by-step guide on composing custom reports.
In a nutshell, you need CRM reports to better understand what's going on in your business. They enable you to make more sales, achieve your goals more efficiently, measure ROI, understand your ideal customer profile and promptly detect problems. In this article, we'll analyze the step-by-step process of creating any type of report. They are all built on similar principles and differ only in details.
First, you should decide whether you need to create a report at all. Alternatively, you might want to use a ready-made one. Most probably, your CRM features a lot of handy templates that you can use for free. You can either customize them a bit or use their default variants. The biggest drawback of ready-made reports consists in the fact that they might be too generic. They might fail to include metrics that are essential for your industry and company. Their custom counterparts are much more helpful and allow you to get insightful answers to specific questions. Below, we'll analyze the process of creating custom reports for any type of business.
Let's start with the statistics:
Around 30% of data that businesses have about their clients is inaccurate
40% of consumers switch to a new email address once every two years
Every year, businesses lose $32,000 per a sales representative because of outdated client information
To avoid losses and maximize your revenue, you should update your customer database systematically. The most common reason for mistakes in the database is human errors, followed closely by a lack of internal communication between company departments.
You should decide which team members will have the rights to access customer data and edit it. If something goes wrong, you'll quickly find out who is responsible for it. Ideally, only a small group of people should be in charge of the database with your client information. Centralizing ownership of customer data is the most efficient way of adding value to this data. But business processes of some companies are organized so that almost the whole staff needs to work with the CRM. If this is your case, you should:
Educate everyone about your security measures
Make sure all staff members invent complex passwords
Appoint a supervisor who will ensure everyone works with the CRM correctly
Explain to your teams how to handle phishing attempts via phone calls or email
You'll need to set a schedule for reviewing and updating the information. Plus, it would be wise to inform your team members about the most common errors connected with working with customer data:
Incorrect tagging or custom field errors
Automations that change the wrong things
Forms that double-submit
To avoid these issues, you should choose a good CRM and explain to your employees what and how they should do manually.
If you have never used a CRM before, you might struggle to fill it with data. Here is what you should do to collect exhaustive information about your customers in one place:
Import data from Excel, Google Sheets or other spreadsheet programs
Check your old emails
Get the information from printed documents in your file cabinets, if you use them
Integrate your payment processor, forms tool, project management tool, support tool and other software with the CRM
If you tick all these boxes, you'll import to your database the detailed history of your past transactions with each of your clients.
If you end up with too much data, you should leave only those facts that are relevant to your sales. For instance, you should know how often this person used to buy your products in the past and how actively they used your promotional offers. But if this person loves to discuss politics with your reps after finalizing the purchase, you can delete this information from the database.
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It's not enough to collect the data. To be able to monetize it, you need to interpret it — and that's exactly what reports do. All reports can be classified into three categories:
All of them should help you make data-driven decisions.
In this article, we'll focus on five types of reports that we consider the most important:
CRM pipeline report. It enables you to assess the state of affairs in your sales pipeline. You'll be able to detect new sales opportunities, set goals for your sales team and forecast your revenue. You can filter your sales by territory, time period, type of consumer and other parameters.
Goal progress report. When you set a goal for your team, they will need to complete multiple stages to achieve it. The report allows you to monitor the productivity of your employees at each phase of achieving the goal. You'll understand which measures you should take to boost your team's efficiency.
Sales conversion report. Your team might generate a lot of leads but not all of them will convert. You should always strive to improve your conversion rate and the report will facilitate the process of achieving this goal. You'll identify the percentage of customers who failed to convert, analyze their behavior patterns and detect methods that will let you motivate consumers for the purchase.
Profitability report. You'll find out which products bring you the most profit, at which time period and through which sales channels. You'll detect those products that perform worse than others and will either fine-tune them or modify your sales strategy for them. You'll be able to set more realistic profitability goals for your team.
Sales forecast report. Forecasts make sense only if you compare the actual results with what was predicted. The report will enable you to see to which extent and in what aspects your forecasts turned out to be true. You'll use this data to improve your sales strategy and set more realistic goals for your sales team.
A CRM can generate many more types of reports — for instance, about your sales cycle, sales performance, campaign performance, lead source effectiveness, lost sales and so on.
To be efficient, you need to set goals for your team members and track their progress in achieving these goals. Here are a few examples of metrics that you might find helpful:
Amount of new revenue
Sales stage duration
Sales cycle duration
Revenue generated by a campaign
User goal completion rate on the web
Time per website visit
Customer lifetime value
Email list growth rate
Average time to resolution
Average number of service calls per day
Complaint time to resolution
Average service cost per service interaction
Percentage compliance with SLAs
Calls lost before being answered
Average call handling time
Plus, you might want to know the number of your:
Sales calls made
Sales calls per opportunity
Clients acquired by campaign
Web page views
Cases closed the same day
This list is far from being complete. To facilitate the process of selecting the most relevant metrics, you might want to classify them all into three buckets:
All the metrics that you use should fit your overall strategy. For each department of your company, you should set only those metrics that are relevant to its activities. However, it doesn't mean that you should set to your marketing team all the metrics that are related to marketing. Instead, you should define your goals. Let's use an example to explain what we mean.
Let's imagine that your goal is to minimize the expenses of acquiring and managing clients. Here are the metrics that you should consider:
The number of new clients — How much does it cost you to attract a new client?
The number of retained clients — This metric will enable you to discover the difference between acquiring new clients and retaining those whom you already have. You'll see on which points you'll need to focus more effort.
The sales cycle duration — How much time do your sales reps now spend on each client? Do they need to devote more time to each person to sell more? Or do they need to reduce the time they spend on each individual to be able to communicate with more clients?
These metrics will help you learn how much time and money you need for your existing expenses as well as forecast what else you'll need to do to keep scaling.
Now, let's consider another example. Let's imagine that you strive to reduce the length of your sales cycle timeline. In this case, you should focus on the following metrics:
Sales cycle duration — How long is your current sales cycle? How much time does each of its phases take? Will the performance of your sales team improve if you decrease or increase the duration of specific stages of the pipeline?
Number of sales calls per opportunity — The fewer calls your employees need to make to motivate the client for the purchase, the better. How can you reduce the number of calls you make?
Number of new clients — You should calculate the number of acquired clients within limited time intervals, such as each quarter.
In our third example, let's imagine that you'd like to expand your email list. Here are the key metrics for this goal:
Number of campaigns — Do you need to send more or fewer emails to the recipients?
Number of new clients acquired by campaign — Which campaigns deliver the best results and which ones the worst? How can you fix the performance of your weakest campaigns? How many new clients can you expect to get after each campaign?
Email list growth rate — How many new subscribers joined your email list in the last fixed period of time? How many campaigns did you carry out to reach this number? What are these campaigns?
To improve your clients' follow-up process, you can resort to these metrics:
The number of calls handled per sales rep per day — That should enable you to define the right workload for each professional
The number of cases closed the same day — This should allow you to detect the gaps in service and identify the average lifespan of your current follow-up process
The number of client callbacks — How many times did your sales reps need to contact each client?
Once you define optimal metrics for each of your goals, you should stick to them. Use them to measure your success systematically and compare your results over time.
Among all the solutions that are available on the market, you might want to opt for Bitrix24. It features ready-to-use reports that you can customize and lets you build tailor-made ones. This software enables you to use all the metrics that were mentioned in this article and many more. You can try the basic functionality of Bitrix24 for free. It's available as an on-premise or cloud solution and a mobile app for iOS and Android.
Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you have a better understanding of how to make the most of CRM reports. This information will help you make data-driven decisions with the help of your CRM. The most important reports are those focused on your pipeline, goal progress, sales conversion, profitability and sales forecasts. To compile them, you might want to use Bitrix24.