Friday, September 24, 2010

Measuring Business performance through CRM

These days any business be it large or small is expected to have a repository for recording information about its customers, some businesses use whatever is on hand such as their Email software address book, a spreadsheet or maybe a combination of the two.

Other businesses however take this concept to the next level and record their customers information in a properly designed database (be it an off the shelf CRM system or a database built from the ground up).

Having your data stored in a proper CRM system gives you access to a wealth of information which you can utilize to measure the overall performance of your business, whether its done through the use of reports , Dashboards or even by eye balling your database records, as long as your data is accurate and as long as it is being updated consistently then you should be able to measure your business’s performance with very little trouble.

So why is this important? The answer is simple, in order for your business to achieve growth you need to be able to see where you are at now in order to be able to setup a growth target and formulate a plan to hit that target.

Without an accurate view of your current state it is very difficult to determine the best way to move forward and this day and age if a business does not keep on moving forward then it will simply loose out to the competition.

With all of that in mind, one might wonder where does CRM fit in this picture? the answer is simple, most CRM systems excel at keeping track of the business sales funnel history and tracking the day to day business activities (e.g. Sales Calls, internal meetings, client meetings etc).

In terms of sales performance tracking, CRM systems introduce the concept of Sales & Opportunities (Sales Opps for short). Sales Opps encompass a process which can be defined by the business, for each Sales Opportunity the process can go through multiple stages, with each stage the sales person in charge of managing a particular opportunity can update its status and probability of closure (e.g. 80% chance this opportunity would result in a sale or 45% chance this opportunity will be lost to a competitor).

As a result, with all of this information being recorded, business analysts can draw on this data to see how their business is performing in terms of sales, it becomes very easy to answer such questions as “How many sales have we lost to a competitor?” and more importantly “Why did we lose X number of sales to a competitor??” Or “Why did X number of customers did not like using one of our products?”

On the other side of the coin, you can use CRM to measure your internal business performance, most CRM systems provide the tools to manage and schedule daily activities, you can usually customize the types of activities and track their outcomes (e.g. a Sales Call to a Prospect was made or a Meeting with a client was cancelled etc).

Say you wanted to setup a number of KPIs to determine if the business is performing as it should, your sales team might need to make at least 4 Sales Calls per day, your On the road staff might need to do at least 3 product demonstrations per week. By providing your staff with the tools to record all of this information you ensure that you are always up to date on how close or far the business is from meeting its performance targets.

This knowledge can greatly assist in the decision making process when it comes to working out how your business should adjust in order to meet its performance targets.

The above is just a fraction of what you can do with CRM in order to keep on top of what is going on within your business, we hope this article has given you insight into the power of CRM and how it can help you take your business to the next level.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to know more about CRM in general then feel free to contact us or visit our website at

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