Why You Should Think Twice Before Trusting Your CRM Reports
It is hard even to imagine a company that offers any products or services without a decent CRM behind the scene. From the tool used by sales reps chiefly, it has now been converted into a robust system that gathers together the data on marketing and/or technical support activities. It is very convenient as it helps to see the “whole picture” of where the company is moving and at what pace. At least, it is supposed to do so.
But what if the “picture” you receive in the form of various reports is distorted? It certainly would produce a great harm to the business, and therefore it is best to check whether your CRM mechanism works exactly as it should. In this post, we’ll dwell on CRM reporting, discuss why it may be flawed and work out the ways of solving the problems.
1. CRM Technology Is Outdated
We aren’t going to talk about any updates here. The thing that a lot of CRMs share today is the traditional technology of selling they were created for. Developed back at the beginning of the century, or even at the end of the previous one, customer relationship management systems have been made to fit the typical scheme - it was a sales person who would find a prospect, contact him/her, make an offer and - if everything goes well - close the deal.
But today, when social media plays an important part in our everyday lives, the situation has changed. Lots of buyers reach out to the sellers themselves after doing their research. There are a lot more sales channels now, and therefore it’s become much harder to use a CRM that may be not quite fit to accommodate the new business needs.
2. CRM Reports Accuracy Totally Depends on the Data Entered
It is common for many CRM systems to be looked upon by employees as one more unwelcome chore rather than a tool to speed up the work and make it more effective. It is especially true at the implementation stage. Staff members tend to either forget to enter the data in time or make up some numbers to “look good”. The result - reports are based on inaccurate information, and the longer it goes on, the further from real your “picture” will be.
3. It is Hard to Keep Track of all the Sales Activities
Well, keeping track isn’t that hard if your sales take place over the computer, preferably over the phone. But with field sales reps, it’s another story. It is next to impossible for a person to continuously maintain the log of the time and types of activity carried out on the path to a new closed deal, and it diverts attention from actually selling. Therefore, the information entered in the CRM by such employees may affect the reporting accuracy.
As a consequence, the report that indicates what is the number of actions (calls, emails, meetings) carried out by a sales representative before the deal is closed makes no sense if each of these steps isn’t tracked automatedly.
4. Semantics in Big Companies May Be Imperfect
What is meant here, does an “opportunity” in one of your company divisions mean exactly the same for the other? What about “prospect” or “qualified lead”? If there is even a slight difference in understanding these notions, the aggregated information from all divisions will need serious clarification before it can be used. Even a couple of odd data fields can spoil the credibility of CRM reports.
It is strongly recommended that at the very initial stage of implementing a new CRM the semantics is worked out and approved by all offices to avoid confusion later on.
5. The Report on ROI May Be Misleading
Typically, this report would indicate what types of marketing activities engaged how many prospects and how many of them went to the very bottom of the pipeline and brought revenue. However, it is virtually impossible to find out which action triggered the steps on the customer side. In case of dealing with a company, it often remains unknown who was making the decisions. Finally, you cannot be sure that any of the marketing efforts hit the spot - probably it was just a timely recommendation and not the elaborate campaign that brought you one more client.
Surely, reporting is one of the most important aspects of using the whole customer relationship management system. Therefore it is essential that your CRM strategy is carefully thought over. Keeping in mind the potential flaws, you’ll be able to refine your reporting to be your powerful weapon on the way to the top.
Probably the info above made you think that your CRM reports leave much to be desired, and it’s next to impossible to set things straight, in fact, it’s easier than you think. You can switch to a new and more sophisticated CRM that will be able to meet your demands. However, there’s no need to start all over again or risk of losing all previously gathered data. With Trujay online migration service all your relevant information will be imported over to the new system fast, accurately, securely and without any strain on your side. Go ahead and set up the free Demo to see how it works in a matter of a few minutes.