Modern customer relationship management (CRM) solutions manage huge amounts of customer data, products and sales, which if strategically analyzed can contribute to sales and marketing optimization. They assist organizations to improve their marketing campaigns and sales performance.
If put to proper use, they can be instrumental in the creation of meaningful customer interactions. For all this to happen, you must pursue and analyze those CRM reports that are truly useful to your business goals.
An integral part of any customer relationship management solution, CRM offers a detailed picture of how your sales and other critical marketing components are doing to accelerate goals actualization.
Depending on the CRM solution your company uses, there are many reports that you can generate from the system. The thing is you cannot always analyze all these reports — it would mean spending most of your time doing data analysis. When are you supposed to implement your findings?
A good way to handle this challenge is to determine the most important reports so that you can prioritize, and when you have some time, you may also consider having a look at the others.
Or you could combine your CRM reports with those of your ESP or other mission-critical solution you use. Take a look at our integrations and find out how to bring all your reports under one roof to save analysis time and get TRULY relevant insights!
Getting useful reporting from your CRM solution is, therefore, crucial. These reports generate valuable insights that, in turn, will help you improve your processes as well as generate more revenue.
In this post, we explain the top three reports that a marketer cannot afford to ignore. They include:
Top CRM Reports all Marketers Should Focus on
The Pipeline Reports
Pipeline analysis reports are designed to help marketers assess the health of their sales pipeline. Consider setting aside time to filter every CRM report by the team and then encourage every member of the team to study individual pipeline performance.
The sales pipeline report allows users to identify all open opportunities within the sales pipeline as well as potential opportunities for closing sales. Since you can see the progress or regress of leads through the decision making processes, you can also detect pending opportunities.
Use this information to set quotas for your campaigns, while helping your sales team to build their development tactics based on given opportunity stages. You can also use this CRM report to set reasonable and achievable goals for your sales team. It can also act as a base for forecasting future revenues.
Modern CRMs can help you get an in-depth view of sales opportunities classified by the user, customer territory, sales territory, product/service, rating, sales stage, and date.
To reap optimal benefits from your pipeline report, seek to understand the following:
1. The number of opportunities
Try to understand the number of deals across all stages in your pipeline. Do not overlook measures such as contracts sent, new deals and deals closed.
Having knowledge of your opportunities and how they fluctuate over time, it helps you get a sense of your pipeline’s health. The objective is to raise the total opportunities months unending and at the same time, handle challenges proactively as they arise.
A potential problem you could deal with is a shrinking pipeline that makes you think that you don’t have sufficient incoming deals to satisfy the quota. Don’t fret, though! It is a good thing that this issue has come to light sooner rather than later.
The solution is to take control of your pipeline. Consider nurturing leads that have already entered the sales funnel to increase the chances of closing deals with them. An outreach sequence will not only help you stay in touch with your leads but also make them feel cherished.
2. The size of the deal
The only way to determine the value of your present pipeline is to measure the total financial worth of all your deals, and the average deal size. To calculate the average size of your deals, divide the total financial worth of all your deals with the number of deals. Don’t worry if you are forced to use estimates while determining values for some individual deals.
Being aware of the size of the deal also helps sales leaders identify problems and act accordingly. For example, suppose a sales representative is always adding deals valued at 25 percent of the average deal size.
This may mean that they will waste time and other company resources chasing prospects who will add too little to the bottom line. That’s a problem that you wouldn’t have noticed in the absence of information pertaining to the size of the deal.
3. Win rate
A sales pipeline report should also highlight your company’s win rate. Try to find the percentage of your pipeline deals that convert to customers over a predetermined period. Get this figure by dividing the total number of deals won by the total number of created deals.
A ‘good win’ is a relative term. It differs from one organization to another and it is dependent on factors such as the product type, pricing, and the average sales cycle length. As you determine what ‘a good rate’ is in your company, check if it keeps growing, or if it’s been dropping steadily.
If it’s been dropping, it’s very likely that your sales representatives are wasting too much time on poorly qualified leads. Consider investing more in qualifying – even if it demands more upfront time. While this strategy could result in fewer total deals, the quality will make it worthwhile.
4. The average sales cycle duration
Have you ever thought of determining how long it takes your sales representatives to close an average deal? Typically, the cycle begins once a deal is created in your CRM and ends when you close the deal. Having an excellent understanding of your sales cycle offers incredible opportunities for fine-tuning the company’s overall strategy.
For instance, let’s say you just realized that your sales cycle decreased by one or two weeks. The most logical thing to do, amidst the excitement, is to analyze the numbers and establish what led to the improvement and then implement the differentiating factor you’ve discovered across all teams.
5. Sales velocity
A sales pipeline report will help you understand your sales velocity – the speed at which your company is making money. The number of opportunities, deal size, win rate and sales cycle of a given period are used in the computation of sales velocity. They are the levers of sales velocity.
Multiply together total opportunities, the average size of the deal and win rate and then divide by the average sales cycle figure.
Other important elements of the sales pipeline report include customer lifetime value, email open rate, the average customer accounts per sales representative, average close rate as well as sales-qualified-leads (SQL) to customer conversions.
The analysis of your general pipeline development will help you identify possible optimization areas. You also get a better chance of making accurate forecast projections.
Remember that your efforts in the maintenance and optimization of the final stretch of your buyer’s journey are equally important when it comes to the growth of your revenue in lesser time than earlier. Be careful not to get lost the detail-intensive task of managing your sales pipeline
The Sales Funnel CRM Report
By now, you must have realized that the sales process doesn’t follow a straight line. This explains why lead conversion often takes a unique course, besides varying from one business to the other.
Whether your business operates within the B2B or the B2C environment, marketing managers and sales representatives must understand and visualize every lead’s journey. Failure to do so can be equated to shooting in the dark.
Understanding the journey of a prospect entails following a series of steps that make up the sales funnel. Did you know this is quite an old phenomenon? The sales funnel can be traced back as far as the 1890s.
To ensure a successful understanding of the leads’ journey the sales funnel CRM report is crucial. It comes in handy in the analysis of segments of leads and deals. It can also help identify possible bottlenecks. A sales funnel report provides a detailed snapshot of the overall progress of the company sales.
Marketing managers can use the sales funnel report to determine strengths as well as weaknesses over a given time frame.
Let’s look at this example:
Suppose that over a given period, 75 percent of leads passed to qualified through a phone call. Out of this, 71 percent proceeded to the face to face meeting phase. Surprisingly, only 48 percent of the deals reached the contract negotiations phase.
What can you pick from this? You will automatically know that there is a big problem with your reps’ face to face meetings with the leads. This calls for a quick fix and may include making the necessary strategy adjustments as soon as possible.
So, what goes into your sales funnel report?
Pay attention to the following:
1. The present state of your sales funnel
A sales funnel report should seek to ascertain the present state of the brand’s sales funnels. From your CRM software, get a snapshot of your company’s total pool of all open opportunities, grouped by the different phases in your sales process.
It is easy to extract this data manually from CRM solutions like Salesforce and then use Excel to analyze it. As long as your CRM software is updated, this task is easy to handle. If you are like the majority of sales and marketing managers, you already have these figures in mind. However, if not, it’s never too late to begin tracking it.
Why does this information matter?
Well, for two good reasons!
Firstly, you get to know the number of opportunities sitting at every stage. By combining this understanding with the knowledge of your firm’s average sales cycle, it becomes easy to prioritize the efforts of your sales team. Use this information to focus your efforts on opportunities that are ready for closing with reference to their age and the stage they are in.
Secondly, having a breakdown of your pipeline by phase makes it possible for you to calculate your forecast based on deal closing probabilities. One of the primary responsibilities of sales and marketing managers is forecasting. A manager who lacks an idea of where the company will be at the end of a given period cannot set realistic expectations inside the organization.
By studying the forecasts for individual performances, sales managers can easily motivate their team members. Don’t solely rely on instinct alone to estimate your pipeline. Make use of your sales funnel report to understand exactly what to expect from all the stages to correctly project weekly, monthly or yearly deals.
2. Your conversion rates
Conversion rates can be defined as the percentage of opportunities that move from one phase to the final stage of the sales funnel. Conversion rates go beyond having a snapshot of your present pipeline. They offer historical performance insights.
Monitoring opportunities throughout the sales process gives you a full understanding of the strong areas in your sales process as well as areas of improvement. By paying more attention to conversion rates for every sales process step, sales managers can prioritize training, coaching, and the firm’s overall investments to accelerate sales.
3. Changes on your conversion rates
Every sales manager has to have a thorough understanding of how the conversions rate change over time. Note that your conversions rate can and will keep changing over time. For these reasons, you should consider tracking them on a monthly basis. Doing so will help you discover weaknesses in the way your team executes ideas and plans.
Do you get to rest after identifying this weakness? Not at all!
The next step entails taking action to repair these weaknesses and at the same time, continue tracking changes in the conversion rates.
Have an action plan and ensure agility to achieve the desired impact. Make sure that your team has access to the conversion rates reports and they are aware of the changes taking place. Do everything possible to make sure that your team has sufficient data including displaying it on big screens and sending over email.
Lastly, your conversion rate trends should play an important part in the company’s monthly management reports. While at it, keep your eyes on the discovered weaknesses. It is the only way you can ensure strong execution and an impactful follow-through to overcome them.
4. The Sales Performance Report
The sales performance report makes it possible for sales managers to keep their sales team on track as far as meeting key goals is concerned through estimations of the total and anticipated value in the pipeline.
The report allows the sales manager to view the progress of their sales representatives. As a result, they can measure performance and enhance the company’s sales strategy.
This report shows a comparison between the company’s actual sales and the expected sales. It also offers a comprehensive list of all the opportunities available over a given period.
Some sales managers feel bad about monitoring their sales reps because they don’t want to come out as micromanagers.
If you are one of them, you need to understand that sales performance reports go beyond constantly checking what your team is up to. They also entail checking the performance of the processes you’ve designed and if there is room for improvement.
Sales performance reports offer a wide array of benefits like:
- Real-time updates
A small company with approximately ten employees and a monthly lead inflow of no more than 50 can easily monitor them using a well-planned Excel sheet in the first few months. However, as your figures grow, this approach will no longer suit your business needs.
You will even find it improper to instruct your sales team to manually track their work. And if you do, you will end up inhibiting their progress and their productivity will decrease significantly.
On the other hand, having a CRM solution capable of generating sales performance reports in real-time will greatly simplify things for you and your entire team. The more your company grows, the greater the complexity of the sales process will get.
The report created via CRM software will take into account new processes and also keep track of the various activities that your sales agents perform. Real-time reports offer the benefit of making you aware of the health of the sales processes and acting fast when need be.
- Ability to set realistic goals
One of the responsibilities of the sales managers is to set goals for their team. While this role can be helpful to the team, an improper approach can lead to the ‘death’ of an otherwise productive sales team.
Generally, growth circumstances force employees to stretch themselves further. The same happens to the sales team. Fresh demands compel the sales department to stretch its goals to handle additional projects.
That’s all fine, until, somewhere along the way where things take a different turn and the temptation to make unrealistic goals begins to creep in. Unrealistic goals are usually impossible to achieve irrespective of the time and effort invested in them.
If you get to this point as a sales manager, you end up with a worn-out sales team and the unachieved unreasonable goals. A good analytics system can help you avoid this common problem.
A sales performance report will give you a clear pic of how much your team you can stretch, and in turn, help you create realistic goals that can easily be accomplished with only a little extra push. Before long, the productivity of your team will begin to go up.
- Simplified decision making
Decision making, especially in the absence of the right tools and information, can be a difficult task. Nevertheless, since it is the lifeline of organizations, it should be approached with the utmost caution. A single wrong decision could bring a company to its feet.
With so many decisions to make that it becomes overwhelming, it is easy for sales managers to get scared.
However, there’s no need to panic. Instead, consider investing in a good analytics sales system. It will go a long way in helping you make intuitive decisions on a real-time basis. You can act in good time, accordingly, when a product stops selling well, when a team member is consistently underperforming, and so on.
As you can see, you cannot underestimate the importance of a sales performance report as a sales manager. And the best part is that these reports are not difficult to extract when you have a good CRM solution.
How to Generate the Right CRM Reports
Now that you are up to speed on the most important CRM reports, how about we briefly take a look at how to make these reports and what is needed in the process?
Your first step should be to weed out any inaccurate customer data. You can effectively do this with the help of a data audit. It’s a no-brainer that bad data will give you a bad report.
Number two – identify the kind of report that is ideal for your business. This ensures that you get the data that will help your business in the long run.
Lastly, get the right CRM metrics and make sure they align with your goals.
Adoption of CRM Reporting
By the end of 2018, CRM software revenue surpassed database management systems (DMS) to become the biggest within the software market. CRM software is expected to exceed $80 billion by 2025, making it the most rapidly growing software market in the world.
About 40 percent of companies plan to increase their IT spending in 2020. This increased spending on IT and CRM software aren’t only meant for keeping up with the competitors. Rather, it is also aimed at improving sales. In fact, the additional spending is mostly going to customer-facing products as shown in the chart below.
The numbers never lie. In fact, here are some interesting stats that the adoption of CRM by organizations – irrespective of size – is a game-changer for the sales manager and their team – and more so when it comes to reporting.
Gone are the days when organizations relied upon manual generation of reports for decision making. Manual extraction of reports is not only tiring but time-consuming and is prone to a myriad of errors.
Organizations that are still stuck in the past should consider moving to the use of modern CRM to enjoy its numerous including, faster, easier and error-free reports for use by the sales and marketing managers.
Besides, CRM has made automation possible. Sales teams no longer have to deal with time-demanding routine tasks. They can now focus on more important tasks which have greatly improved their productivity, and at the same time, helping the company make substantial money savings.
That said, you must be able to identify a reliable CRM provider for you to reap the said benefits. When choosing a CRM software vendor, ask as many questions as possible. You must understand what you are investing in.
Establish the software’s ability to generate reports and also facilitate real-time updates. Seek to know if it has the potential to accommodate the growing needs of your business. And most importantly, find out its possible return on investment to help you decide if it’s worth your time and money.