- Customer relationship management metrics help companies more accurately measure their progress toward achieving their ultimate goals as a business.
- Part of deciding what metrics are important to your company means also ensuring that the data you're analyzing is accurate.
- Before choosing what metrics are essential to your company, consider each metric and determine if it pertains to business performance, user adoption or customer perception metrics.
- This article is for small business owners looking to learn more about how they can use CRM metrics for their business.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an essential small business product. With the right kind of CRM software, you can track your overall sales process, log customer information and monitor company goals. CRM software also offers a treasure trove of data about your company.
By isolating and tracking specific CRM metrics, you can ensure that your company constantly has eyes on the data that matters. Before diving into specific metrics you should track, it's a good idea to first review and consider how to keep data accurate and the overall types of CRM metrics to be aware of.
Keep in mind that as your company begins using CRM software, you should tie your findings with your overall business goals. CRM software isn't effective, and CRM metrics aren't illuminating, if you can't frame them in the overall context of your business strategy.
What are CRM metrics?
Before diving into which CRM metrics are worth tracking, it's important to first understand how these metrics can help your business. CRM metrics are marquee data points for you to identify and follow while keeping your business goals in mind. Depending on your business's situation and overall goals, you may have several key metrics you've identified and want to highlight to motivate your team and help explain your business's overall goals.
Properly using CRM software can result in higher sales and more engagement with customers. Identifying key metrics can allow you to draw in more customers, enhance sales and create further success for your business. It can provide context on sales as they are completed.
In today's data-driven society, CRM metrics play a vital role in establishing benchmarks for a company. By defining what metrics are important to your business, your company can glean important insights and understand what strategies are working, and what ideas need to be changed.
Key takeaway: CRM metrics allow small businesses to better track important data points related to overall business strategies.
How to ensure your metrics are accurate
Bad initial data leads to bad metrics and reporting. Studies show that bad data costs companies money: Marketing companies lose approximately 550 hours and as much as $32,000 per sales rep from using bad data. So, before you can identify and track important metrics, it's important to confirm that the information you're receiving is accurate and relevant to your business goals. Attaining good data is as simple as reviewing your collection processes, ensuring sensitive data is being treated properly and staying vigilant.
The most important step you can take to maintaining good data is combing through existing customer data. Work with those in your company who have access to data collection processes. Ensure that customers are not entered twice into your system, and ensure that the information being collected about each customer is accurate. The same applies to your sales data. Talk with your reps about how they're tracking important sales metrics. By monitoring the data collection process, you can prevent potential mistakes and limit inaccurate data collection and analysis in the future.
Another important step you can take is limiting people in your organization who have access to data and data collection processes. That way, if there are mistakes, you can work closely with a few individuals in your company to remedy them. More importantly, it makes staff training easier on the best practices for handling sensitive data. This can reduce your company's risk of data breaches and phishing attacks from occurring.
Key takeaway: Bad data can be costly for companies. By limiting the number of employees who have access to your company's data collection processes and training that select group in the best practices of collecting and storing data safely, you're setting your CRM metrics – and company – up for success.
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Types of CRM metrics
Bill Band, a CRM thought leader, classifies CRM metrics into three categories. The number of CRM metrics can be daunting; using Band's classifications can help you decipher which metrics are relevant to your business. On a macro level, Band recommended that smaller companies analyze internal operations-based metrics with customer perception metrics. By doing so, Band said, small businesses can gain insights about how internal operations are affecting customer perception, and vice versa.
When considering which metrics are worth tracking, it can be helpful to organize them into the following categories:
- Business performance metrics
- User adoption metrics
- Customer perception metrics
Business performance metrics
These metrics comprise a wide range of data, including pipeline, sales performance and other sales-based metrics. Overall, these types of metrics measure your company's overall performance and progress in relation to your company goals.
User adoption metrics
This metric focuses on how your organization is using its CRM software, such as how your workers are using the system, and leveraging the data that is being collected.
Customer perception metrics
These metrics speak to how customers interact with your business. They highlight data about the customer journey through your company's sales pipeline, whether your customers are satisfied, and which customers are return customers. By combining this data with information about internal sales processes, companies can better meet their customers' needs.
Key takeaway: By viewing and classifying CRM metrics into the categories of business performance, user adoption, and customer perception, small business owners can pinpoint the metrics critical to their businesses and make their companies more competitive.
List of potential CRM metrics
Depending on your company, business model, industry, etc., one or more of the metrics below may be worthwhile for you to track. Among the metrics that can be tracked include the numbers of prospects, new customers or retained customers. You can also examine close and renewal rates. How many sales calls were made, new revenue amounts and the number of open opportunities are other metrics to consider tracking.
From a marketing perspective, you might evaluate how many campaigns you are running, the number of responses each campaign produces and how much revenue the campaigns generate. When considering your website, you might look at how long each person spends on your website and how many visitors make a purchase.
On the customer service side, CRM metrics you might track include how many cases your support team hands, how many cases they close each day and how long it takes them to resolve the situation.
5 essential CRM metrics to track
Here are five marquee metrics your small businesses may want to track using your CRM system.
1. Net promoter score
The net promoter score measures how satisfied customers are with your business. Throughout the buyer's journey, you can ask them to rate their experience on a scale from one to 10. This can help further delineate how customers perceive your business. Engage Bay recommends viewing those scores on the following scale as:
- 0-6 ratings: These scores come from consumers who could be considered as "detractors" for your product or service.
- 7-8 ratings: These ratings come from consumers that can be classified as "passives," or people who enjoy your product but who don't have a strong attachment to it.
- 9-10 ratings: These scores come from customers that can be classified as "promoters" of your product, or people who will recommend your product or service to others.
Regardless of how you define each rating, having some sort of feedback system linked to your CRM solution can help you better understand your customers' experiences.
2. Customer effort score
This metric, referred to as CES, also measures customer satisfaction. It drills down into the customer experience, however, and measures overall satisfaction based on customer effort. The CES reflects how easy or difficult customers find working with your company to be. The CES can have multiple ranges, such as zero to 100 or zero to 10. If a customer, for instance, has to continually follow up to get answers on something product- or service-related for your business, the lower your CES score.
3. Rate of renewal
This CRM metric measures growth, which is especially relevant for subscription-based businesses, as it tracks how many customers decide to continue using your product or service once they've signed up. Much like customer churn below, this is an essential metric for any small business looking to understand its overall growth compared to its business goals.
4. Customer churn
Customer churn, also called customer turnover and customer attrition, informs you how many customers you're losing during a given time period, e.g., monthly, quarterly or yearly. This is an easy and incredibly useful metric to track for your small business. By tracking this type of metric, you can understand why customers are leaving and strategize how to keep them.
5. Customer retention costs
Customer retention is essential for any small business. However, measuring it against the costs involved with running your business can provide major insights into how – and where – your company can become more efficient. Your customer retention costs should be less than the average revenue coming from permanent customers. When calculating customer retention, make sure to set the right time frame – be it monthly, quarterly or yearly – to ensure you're measuring the proper cost per customer.
Key takeaway: Depending on your business, among the key metrics you should examine and track are your net promoter score, customer effort score, rate of renewal, customer churn and customer retention costs.