One of the most important topics in Customer Relationship Management or CRM that can have the biggest impact on your business is known by several names. Some people call it "Business Intelligence" or "BI". Some people call it "Analytics" and some people just call it "Dashboards".
Microsoft is referring to it as "Actionable Intelligence".
But what is it and why should you care?
For many organizations, perhaps I should say most, putting information into their CRM system is like putting it into a black hole. You know it is there but it can be tough to find. More importantly, it can be darn near impossible to use that information to quickly make sound business decisions.
Virtually all businesses can be made more profitable if the management team know their essential 5 to 10 core business drivers, or metrics, and can instantly access that information.
These core business drivers vary business to business but some common ones include:
Year to date sales compared to this time last year.
Sales pipeline opportunities with an 80% likelihood of closing in the next 30, 60 & 90 days broken down by region and sales rep.
Sales quota versus actual sales broken down by region and sales rep.
Which marketing activities have been successful and which have duds with hard numbers to back up those findings?
Which marketing activities have produced the highest number of closeable leads and what was the cost of per lead?
What is the average lifetime value of a customer?
Number of open support tickets.
Number of open support tickets that have been unresolved for over 3 days.
What are the top 5 support issues along with the solutions?
Again the key is to know what your key business metrics are and to be able to quickly access that information.
The most common starting point is reporting. Many organizations need to improve reporting whether this means speeding it up, making it more flexible or reducing the reliance on internal or external IT experts to provide this information.
This white paper describes a step by step approach to building business intelligence (BI) capabilities starting with reports and ending with a combination of dashboards, what if analysis as well as automatic alerts when certain key conditions arise.
To read this white paper click here.
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