Like Hansel and Gretel dropping bread crumbs in the forest, consumers generate pieces of data with every digital action they take. An estimate from IBM suggests that consumers generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Most businesses interact with their clients by utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) but they struggle to exploit the vast pools of data that accumulate in their CRM software. An overwhelming 71 percent of CMOs told IBM that they feel completely unprepared for the rapid growth of customer data.
Compliance + Technology
Half of the equation for success is, of course, getting your employees to comply with data entry policies. You can’t draw insight from data that is fragmented, incorrect, or missing. The other half of the equation lies in employing the best tools for mining, evaluating, and organizing your data. This article will focus specifically on CRM systems with built-in or addable analytics tools designed to turn raw data into insight.
CRM analytics tools help you organize your data into decipherable sections and develop a working knowledge of the bigger picture. Common features include:
To that end, here are five of the best CRM analytics in use today:
- Forecasting (sometimes called “predictive analytics”)
- Automatic notifications (triggered by events, such as purchase patterns)
- Real-time analytics (the most sought-after business intelligence feature, according to our recent buying trends study)
- Benchmarking (to keep you apprised of performance)
- Profitability analysis
- Visualization tools
Some CRM analytics tools are fully functional out-of-the box. Other products are purchased separately and integrate with compatible CRMs. We’ll look at some examples of both.
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In all probability, you’ll need CRM analytics beyond these five. “CRM Analytics at their most useful are the ones that reflect KPI (key performance indicators) — if you own a bakery, your KPI could be how much product volume you move, or how many times your best accounts buy from you a month, but that is in stark contrast to what your KPI should be if you were a law firm or a dental office,” says Adrian Sanders, CEO and Chief Value Migration Architect of VM Associates, a cloud-based business development consulting firm.
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