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Updated Feb 15, 2024

How CRM Analytics Work

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Jeremy Bender, Business Operations Insider and Senior Writer

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Even if you believe you’ve developed the best product or service in the world, you must find people who agree enough to buy what you’re selling. With customer relationship management (CRM) analytics, you can determine who’s buying, who might buy soon and how you can retain your customers. Below, learn more about CRM analytics, how they work and why and how your company should collect them. 

What are CRM analytics?

CRM analytics are data that demonstrate your company’s sales and customer service performance. CRM analytics provide customer data that can inform smarter business decisions. Typically, you’ll use CRM software to obtain CRM analytics and automate all your data collection and report generation.

What types of CRM analytics should you track?

CRM software platforms offer a wide breadth of measurable analytics. The below metrics are the most important.

Presale CRM analytics

Customer relationships are largely built before anyone purchases anything. Customers rarely buy a product or service before investigating the offering and brand. For this reason, tracking presale analytics is crucial. 

Consider the following presale CRM analytics you should track:

  • New leads: Your sales and marketing teams likely spend significant time generating leads, calling prospects and, if applicable, submitting proposals. Tracking lead nurturing activities can help you evaluate how and why specific leads become customers.
  • Prospects: Sales teams identify prospects before they officially become leads. They likely call, email and chat with prospects often. It’s crucial to track prospecting activities to determine what is and isn’t working.
  • Personal interactions: It’s one thing to call or email a lead. Reaching them is another thing entirely. It’s essential to track data about how many calls or emails lead to conversations, how often these interactions happen, and (for phone calls) how long talks last. You should also track if and when conversations lead to immediate customer action.
  • Website engagement: Some CRM programs include tools that track website visitors, monitor who signs up for your newsletter or identify prospects who engage with you on social media. This data yields many promising leads.
  • Additional engagement: Free samples and product demos are excellent ways to win first-time customers. You can also invite potential customers to online or in-person events. Track how often these approaches convert to sales to gather valuable data that informs future decisions. You may also want to track this metric for each sales rep to determine what underperforming reps could learn from higher-performing reps.
Did You Know?Did you know

CRM analytics tools can help you track audience engagement and focus on the most promising qualified leads.

Post-sale CRM analytics

After a lead becomes a customer, it’s time to focus on customer retention strategies. Gathering post-sale CRM analytics can help you keep your customers and foster long-term relationships. 

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Crucial CRM metrics to pay attention to after the sale include the following:

  • Problem tracking: Record the problems customers raise about your products, and fix recurring issues to achieve maximum customer satisfaction. The fewer active issues a customer has with your products, the more likely they are to continue buying from you.
  • Additional purchases: Leads may be interested in products that complement previous purchases. Pull information from your CRM about your customers’ other purchases to determine additional items they may find useful.
  • Purchasing patterns: If a customer buys your products or services on a subscription basis, look for order consistency or variance to determine how likely they are to remain active customers. If you sense a customer might stop purchasing from your company, try to retain them by offering discounts, coupons, promotions or other customer loyalty benefits.
  • Segmentation: Use post-sales data across your entire list to segment customers who are most likely to buy from you again. You can focus personalized marketing efforts on these customers to entice them to purchase additional items.
  • Spending: No two customers spend in exactly the same way. A customer on a $10 monthly subscription plan might not impact your revenue as significantly as a customer who makes an annual $1,500 purchase. Determine each customer’s impact on your revenue to decide what resources you should allocate to each relationship.
  • General project management: When one sale is over, another can begin. Use your CRM’s project management capabilities to craft successful sales campaigns so you can target current customers for future purchases.

CRM software can help you implement a sales cycle that continually brings in new customers while keeping current customers satisfied and loyal.

CRM analytics reporting

CRM analytics reporting can help you take the data yielded by your CRM analytics tracking and compile it into actionable insights. Consider the following helpful CRM analytics reports:

  • Profitability reports: Turn your spending analytics into reports that reveal which loyal customers significantly impact your overall revenue.
  • Sales forecasting reports: Sales forecasting reports help you predict how many sales you’ll make in future months. This revenue knowledge can be vital for budgeting purposes.
  • Sales conversion reports: How many leads and prospects actually bought your products? Sales conversion reports can reveal this information and help you refocus your sales efforts.
  • Sales cycle reports: Most sales aren’t made overnight. Use sales cycle reports to learn how long it takes for your team to make sales. Once you understand the sales process, you can structure your sales and marketing activities accordingly. However, remember that your sales timeline may fluctuate based on the customer, time of year and other factors.
  • Sales pipeline reports: Sales pipeline reports can tell you precisely where in the sales funnel your leads are currently located. With this information, you’ll know who needs what kind of push to go from being a lead to a customer.
  • Goal reports: You can set up your CRM software to compare your progress to your goals. Goal reports can help you identify where you’re falling short and redesign your campaigns to address these discrepancies.

How do you track CRM analytics?

CRM software is crucial for managing customer relationships. You can integrate most CRM software solutions with the business software you use daily to extract vital information that informs business decisions.   

Tracking CRM analytics requires three elements: 

  • CRM dashboard: While every platform has different features and interfaces, they all present a comprehensive CRM dashboard you can customize to track and display select performance indicators. Your CRM dashboard is the central hub of your customer relationship management system. Managers, analysts, executives and reps can all view the same updated metrics, sales performance information and other vital data. 
  • Preset data to track: The data your CRM dashboard displays must be accurately tracked and gathered. Typically, businesses can configure their CRM solution to automatically ingest and track predetermined analytics. Potential sources of data that CRMs can automatically track include the following:
    • Email interactions, including email open rates
    • Website visits, including total webpage visits, time spent on a page and clicks on links within a page
    • Customer support tickets, including tracking common customer complaints and ways to track customer experience improvements
    • Sales pipeline progress, including identifying potential sales bottlenecks
  • Data extrapolation: After the platform gathers crucial data, many CRM systems use proprietary algorithms and machine learning to extrapolate meaning from the data. The insights the system reports can help businesses more easily identify patterns and long-term trends. These insights can inform your business strategy and improve crucial elements of the customer relationship process. 

In addition to robust CRM analytics capabilities, you should look for a platform with must-have CRM features like sales force automation and marketing automation functions.

What are the best CRM systems for tracking analytics?

The best CRM systems make tracking analytics effortless and provide additional features to improve customer and lead management. Consider the following top solutions for small and midsize businesses: 

  • Pipedrive: Pipedrive is an excellent, sales-focused CRM that provides a clear overview of a business’s sales pipelines. Pipedrive allows for easy drag-and-drop dashboard customization with a focus on sales performance, reporting tools, communication tracking and workflow automation. Our Pipedrive CRM review highlights additional features, including Pipedrive’s mobile app and AI functionality.
  • monday Sales CRM: monday Sales CRM is a highly customizable project management-based platform. Businesses can integrate monday with productivity tools like Slack to improve internal communications. Our monday Sales CRM review details how the platform’s CRM workflows can help you record customer interactions, prioritize sales opportunities and communicate via email. 
  • HubSpot CRM: Hubspot is a standout CRM solution that supports integrations for over 1,000 software applications. Hubspot’s vast integrations allow businesses to sync and log customer communication across various productivity and communication tools, including Gmail, Outlook and social media platforms. Read our HubSpot CRM review to learn how it captures sales funnel data points, activity insights and performance points across sales activities. 
  • Salesforce CRM: Salesforce CRM boasts the industry’s largest third-party app marketplace. Its app integration options help businesses ingest analytics from various sources, including Mailchimp and Dropbox. Check out our Salesforce CRM review to learn about its CRM workflow builder, which allows businesses to customize automations to take the burden off employees.    

What are the benefits of CRM analytics?

CRM software benefits are many and varied. However, CRM analytics are particularly valuable in the following areas: 

  • CRM analytics can improve customer service. Analytics-driven support evaluations can help you dramatically improve customer service. CRM analytics reveal your customer service team’s performance, highlighting successes and areas where you can improve.
  • CRM analytics provide accurate customer data. Accurate customer data is incredibly valuable when analyzing customer and lead demographics and designing personalized email marketing campaigns. CRM analytics help ensure you reach the right people and present them with compelling messages. 
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Jeremy Bender, Business Operations Insider and Senior Writer
Jeremy Bender is an experienced writer, researcher, reporter, and editor with a decade of experience in the digital media and private intelligence industries. He previously reported on geopolitics and cybersecurity for Business Insider's Military & Defense vertical, before becoming the vertical's editor. More recently, Jeremy has worked as a threat intelligence editor at the Business Risk Intelligence company Flashpoint and as a security intelligence writer at NTT Security, where he covered topics such as ongoing cyber attack campaigns and critical threat intelligence.
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