Essential CRM reports you need to create and monitor

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Using your customer information to make business decisions is widely considered a good idea. Be it for designing a marketing campaign, launching a new product, or making alterations to your website, what better way to figure out how to orient yourself than by considering your customers. But, as you will soon learn, customer information can mean a lot of stuff. The current technologies allow us to collect all kinds of customer data both through their behavior, and their direct input.  So much so that the problem isn’t finding the data, but figuring out what kind of data you need. Well, to help you out, we are going to explore 5 essential CRM reports that you need to make and monitor in order to make effective business decisions.

5 essential CRM reports

There are two main types of CRM reports that CRM platforms can provide you. Canned, and custom. Canned reports are premade according to standard business needs. Similar businesses usually need similar customer info. Therefore, it makes sense to provide them with reports that have been tried and true. But, sometimes companies wish to go outside the box. And to do so intelligently, they need specialized customer data. For that, they will have to resort to custom reports. While these can be more difficult to set up, they can provide a much more nuanced input into your customer base.

BIG DATA.
As data becomes more and more important, the more essential CRM reports will become.

Whether you opt for canned or custom reports, there are six distinct types that they will probably revolve around. So, let’s explore these types, and hopefully give you input into the type of info they provide.

1. Profitability reports

Knowing which customers are most profitable can sometimes the cornerstone of a business decision, especially for B2B companies. After all, by knowing who to cater to, you can orient your business and make the right calls when it comes to marketing efforts. Well, to get this type of information, you need to rely on profitability reports. These tell you where your revenue comes from.

2. Sales cycle reports

Sales data shown on a laptop, representing one of the essential CRM reports.
Even a relatively simple sales cycle will have a substantial amount of data for you to digest.

Figuring out sales cycles can be quite complicated, especially if you try to engage your customers on different platforms. There are a ton of metrics to keep track of, and different variables that can have substantial effects. So, to make heads and tails out of it, you need to keep track of your sales cycle reports for a long time. Doing so not only shines a light on whether your current sales strategy is working. But, can also highlight where most of your customers lose interest, and what you can do to win it back.

3. CRM pipeline reports

Getting leads is one of the problems that businesses have to face at some point. And an even bigger problem is converting those leads into profitable customers. Their journey from engaging your company to becoming a full-fledged customer is called a CRM pipeline. Therefore, it stands to reason that you should have keed insight into it. By being familiar with it you will know what to expect from your sales campaign and what opportunities you can take advantage of. A careful reading of the CRM pipeline report can give you the necessary input to launch a marketing campaign and increase your conversion rate.

4. Sales forecast reports

While, theoretically, everything is possible in the business world, you still need to have sales forecasts in order to make cost-effective decisions. Luckily, this is precisely what sales forecast reports are all about. They serve to collect previously gathered data and give you estimates on how effective your sales will be in the next quarter. The more forecasts you make, the better you will know how reliable they are and whether they need any alterations.

5. Goal progress reports

And, finally, the most complicated reports you can get are goal progress reports. In essence, these can be anything, as you can set any goal for your business to achieve. But, in practice, they are mostly related to a specific campaign. Be it marketing or sales, you need to know whether your campaign is successful. If it is, you need to verify that it because of your decisions, not simply because of luck. And, if it isn’t, you need to have a firm understanding of why it is so. As you might have guessed, orchestrating a decent goal progress report is far from easy.

With so many moving parts and so many variables, it can be surprisingly difficult to first figure what your business goal is. And, once you do, what precisely it means to achieve it. This is why most business owners rely on more experienced professionals to set up and elaborate on goals.

Two people going over business paperwork.
Outlining your business goals with a more experienced business consultant is always a good idea.

Luckily, the more often you outline and interpret goal progress reports, the better you will become. So, even if you are unsure of how to tackle them, don’t shy away from doing so. Do your research and start interpreting your goals. In essence, that is the only way for both you and your company to grow and develop.

Final thoughts

People with experience usually realize the importance of CRM reports and why they are necessary for effective business decisions. But, the people that are inexperienced, often consider not dealing with CRM until their business develops, or until they have more experience. After all, what good are CRM reports if you don’t know what they mean, or what business conclusions to make out of them? Well, essential CRM reports are not only necessary for business decisions, but also for your growth as a business manager.

Before you can run, you need to walk. And before you can walk, you need to crawl. So, don’t expect that your reports will give you genius business ideas right off the bat. Instead, understand that the business climate is becoming more and more reliant on data, no matter what industry you are situated in. And the only way to tackle this increased complexity is through objective retrospection, also known as CRM reports.

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