Reporting capabilities are one of the most valuable customer relationship management (CRM) features. Reports pull all of the information your team spends so much time amassing and allows you to derive actionable business insights from it. CRM reporting’s usefulness goes beyond simply tracking sales; the insights they provide help you operate faster and smarter. Let’s look at the basics of CRM reports and how to use them to grow your business.
How CRM Reporting Works
The purpose of deploying CRM software is to improve customer relationships, which in turn, boosts revenue. CRM does this by providing a centralized database of critical data points like contact information, leads, and deal value. One of the most valuable features of CRM is the reporting capability, which allows you to distill all of that information into a single document.
Managers then use these reports to track performance and make tactical changes if necessary. CRM reports come in various forms and can be used by several different stakeholders within your organization. Using the reporting features found in the best CRM software, sales reps, managers, executives, and investors can gain actionable insight with a few clicks.
The steps you’ll take to generate CRM reports depends on which CRM brand you use. Luckily, generating CRM reports takes just a few clicks. CRM automates the report generation process by consolidating your CRM’s existing information into a readable format, allowing you to gain valuable business insights.
Generating a CRM report usually requires filling out your desired fields and filters and clicking a “start” button. Once the CRM generates the report, you can customize the file based on what you want to see or present to others.
Who Uses CRM Reporting
CRM software impacts your entire organization. CRM reporting isn’t limited to the sales department. Here are typical examples of how different roles within your company can use CRM reports:
- A sales rep can get a holistic view of their pipeline to analyze and decide where to focus their efforts.
- A middle manager can track their team’s performance and use the data during meetings with a senior manager. The two of them can then come up with an improvement plan that has concrete suggestions.
- An executive can gauge their success by seeing the data on the day-to-day business operations reality.
- An investor can measure the performance of their investment and judge the potential of a possible acquisition.
What You Should Expect to See in CRM Reports
We now know that CRM reports provide actionable business insights, but what information does it provide exactly? How can companies use these reports to take action toward their business goals? Most CRMs include out-of-the-box reporting, allowing you to build customized reports.
Dashboards are the easiest way to view reports because they boil critical data points down into a legible format. There are several different types of CRM reports, all offering insight into a different business activity area. Each employee will have a personalized dashboard view.
Most CRMs will provide the following basic reporting functionality:
- Sales: A holistic, visual view of the sales pipeline shows how the business performs against targets.
- Marketing: Metrics on clicks, conversions, and lead sources from email or social media marketing campaigns.
- Customer data: An assessment of customer profiles, revealing your company’s most profitable customers.
Common Types of CRM Reports
As CRMs become more advanced, so do their reporting capabilities. There are near-limitless ways to mine your customer data reports to view sales forecasts, team performance, metrics, and deep business analytics. However, basic reports contain a multitude of information as well, so they are the best place to start when choosing which reports to run and review.
Running a pipeline report will show you the quantity and value of all deals in each sales cycle stage. Pipeline reports allow you to check the health of your sales pipeline by tracking deal status. You’ll gain an understanding of whether the distribution of your deals is adding up to meet your sales targets. To view individual pipeline performance, filter each CRM report by the team, team member, and date.
- Sales funnel CRM report: This report analyzes segments of leads and deals to pinpoint potential issues in your sales funnel. The sales funnel report provides an overall snapshot of how sales are progressing toward targets.
- Pipeline development CRM report: This report enables you to check the progression of your pipeline during different dates to review all changes. You’ll select two different time frames to gain a visual of how your deals progress, stall, or regress between those dates.
Sales Performance Reports
Sales performance reports are all about determining whether you’re on track to close the deals you originally forecasted. You’ll quickly be able to see how many sales your reps have made.
- Total sales CRM report: The total sales report reveals the value of the deals you win. Knowing your deals’ value allows you to double down on where to focus your maximum revenue potential efforts. Your CRM should allow you to sort by filters such as owner, source, customer, team, and product.
- Forecasted sales CRM report: Forecasted sales shows you the amount of revenue you’ve forecasted to bring in within a set period. Forecast reports let salespeople know whether their current output and activity levels are adequate to hit their future goals.
Sales Activity & KPI Reports
Key performance indicators (KPIs), also known as sales metrics, are crucial to track using CRM reports. Measuring sales activities allows you to understand at the most basic level if your daily activities help you achieve sales goals.
Your sales activity reports will pull data on the number of calls made (and their duration), number of emails sent, and the number of visits. The report can also illuminate the success rates of these efforts. Sales managers will be able to tell which activities are worth their reps’ time.
- Activity overview CRM report: An activity overview report summarizes the sales activities you log, such as calls, emails, appointments, tasks, notes, and visits. Sort this report by the sales team or sales rep to pinpoint which team members excel or fall behind.
- Visit outcomes CRM report: Visit outcome reports give you insight into how effective each sales meeting, visit, or demo is. Some common examples of filters to use are interested, not interested, come back later, and no answer. You can also use this report to identify the best possible times to visit prospects in the future.
Lead Source Analysis Reports
Knowing where your leads come from is a valuable metric for a company’s growth. Knowing how prospective customers find you and what makes them express interest allows you to double down on those efforts to increase the number of leads in your CRM. It also dives deeper into the lead quality and demographic, helping you eliminate certain types of ineffective marketing or outreach.
- Deal source CRM report: Deal source reports allow you to pinpoint where leads are coming from. Do most of your leads come from Google search traffic to your website or LinkedIn ad campaigns? Knowing lead origin can help you determine how many inbound versus outbound leads you’re generating so you know where to invest your marketing and sales dollars.
- Incoming deals CRM report: This report analyzes the impact lead flow has on your pipeline’s deals. By tracking how lead-flow affects deals over time, you can choose the most appropriate lead generation strategy.
Call log reports are a critical component of managing customer relationships. Understanding the quality of your customer interactions directly impacts revenue and the overall success of your brand. Running a call log report on a specific customer prepares you for important meetings or conversations. Use call log reports to upsell existing customers or to improve your relationship with them.
- Call duration CRM report: This report reveals the duration of calls with customers. Longer conversations are usually a sign of more meaningful interactions. The report will compile data on the average call time per rep. If a sales rep isn’t on track to meet their target, it could be a result of their calls being too brief or of low quality.
- Call outcomes CRM report: This report reveals which calls result in actual conversations. Check how many calls go unanswered, go to voicemail, or result in a conversation. Call outcomes will depend on your product and sales process. This report gives you a better idea of how successful your cold calling campaigns are and if you need to find an alternate channel to contact customers.
CRM reporting is a core feature of CRM systems because they provide teams with relevant summaries of performance metrics specific to their role. Some of the more common CRM reports include pipeline, sales performance, activity, lead source analysis, and call data reports. Use CRM reports to gain valuable sales activity insights and to make smarter, data-informed decisions.