Having a good knowledge of CRM data enables businesses to develop better, more precise marketing strategies that target specific customer needs, increase sales and improve customer service. But gaining these deeper insights is not so much about how much information we enter information into the CRM, but rather how best to use and interpret data in a way that allows us to better connect with customers and nurture these important relationships.
And, before we get into the talking points, it really should go without saying that clean data will ensure the reliability of the insights. Otherwise, poor data quality can lead to higher marketing costs and the potential to seriously misunderstand customers. So assuming we’re dealing with clean data, let’s discuss some ways you can make better use of the information you already have.
Make data and tools accessible to everyone
Too often, CRM systems are just rolled out to sales staff and companies end up missing out on other opportunities to gather data and build customer loyalty. For CRM data to reach its maximum potential value, all staff should have the ability to cross reference information from department to department. Putting analytical tools in everyone’s hands is another way to deliver insight from data. And doing so can be quite liberating. It’s truly the best way to gain a full perspective of each individual customer.
Integrate multiple (or all available) data sources
Companies must find and use tools that allow them to recognize customer behavior at multiple touch points. Otherwise, it can become impossible to get a true sense of each customer’s profile. The more you understand your customers, the easier it is to target new prospects and boost sales. If your marketing database, your sales pipeline and customer service processes all connect in one platform, you can monitor each relationship and accurately measure ROI. When data is used effectively, it can significantly help drive sales from an existing customer base, rather than spend a lot of money on trying to attract new clients.
Marrying multiple data sources together also keeps business users from relying on analysts or other internal experts for insight into business trends and issues outside their wheelhouse. Plus, integration of data makes the analysts’ jobs easier because users can access and interpret information themselves more quickly.
Measure metrics that matter
Most if not all CRM softwares are equipped with modern analysis and reporting tools. However, even though these easy-to-use features can help save time, they can be as much a blessing as they can be a curse. Anyone can create hundreds of meaningless reports with the click of a mouse. Instead, we recommend spending the time researching, planning and defining how success can be evaluated. Stick to that plan of analysis from start to finish and avoid the urge to go overboard by trying to capture dozens of metrics with no understanding of how they relate to one another.
Learn from both the bad and the good
Analyzing all information should happen regularly. Don’t try to learn only from good news and nice numbers like profit growth. Studying customer losses, reports of negative experiences and what makes the customer abandon a website (for example) can be even more insightful than a glowing quarterly sales report. The answers may provide far more value than the good news about what the business isn’t doing right and how they can improve their offering in the future.
A well-integrated CRM system can be a powerful tool in your business armoury. Ultimately, it is up to each business how they will leverage the information they collect about their customer base to deliver the exceptional experiences that keep them coming back.