CRM Analytics Increase Value and Software ROI
Business Intelligence Brings a Second Wave of CRM Software Benefits
Your new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software system is finally deployed and working well after months of research and implementation effort. So you think that you now have some time to relax a bit? Not exactly.
Now an equally important project begins – getting the most out of this new high-performance application so that your business gets all the critical information necessary to help decision makers make better decisions. Simply installing customer relationship management software provides little competitive advantage. However, harnessing data, getting information to the right people at the right time and leveraging business intelligence delivers real competitive advantage.
You have to collect, sort, interpret, distribute and actually use the detailed and illustrative information the systems are automatically gathering for you about your marketing campaigns, sales successes, service results and customers behaviors. Then you have to get that invaluable information into the hands of the people inside your company who can make it actionable and use it for growth.
That's where the customer analytics and business intelligence come in, and this is a primary reason why you built this helpful CRM system in the first place. Information is the name of the game.
The more information you have about what your customers need and want, what they buy and when, and what they will likely need and buy in the future, the healthier your bottom line can be. Now the information that's being collected needs to be delivered to the marketing managers, sales people, support people and others inside your organization that can use it.
Much of the customer analytics information will come directly from the CRM software but be aware that other data such as customer purchase and payment histories reside in the accounting software or enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. Most packaged CRM products offer built-in analytics that will deliver insights into your customers and their buying and spending habits. Use the built-in reporting and analytical capabilities and fine-tune them to get to the granular levels of information you need and be amazed at the wealth of information that is at your fingertips.
If you have a particular data need not satisfied with the CRM package tools, consider third-party data warehousing, OLAP (online analytical processing) and business intelligence analytics applications that can plug in and help you dive deeper into your information. It's common that one product may not satisfy all your reporting challenges, and that's where well-integrated products can be brought in to help you reach your goals.
Analytics tools are often purpose built for specific objectives and business cases. They also vary by industry, geography and size of company. Not all of the analytics tools in your new CRM system will meet your needs - and you likely won't have all the tools you'll need. However, with the availability of pre-integrated BI tools from a host of third party suppliers and ecosystem partners, you'll have the opportunity to review and bring in add-on applications that will help you mine the information you are seeking.
So you see, the work didn't end with the completion of your deployment project. Now the data mining is just beginning.