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Analyzing your CRM data – a continuing story

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Over the past several months, I have written a couple of articles talking about drilling down into your customer data.  No matter what tool you are using (and I hope you are using something), keeping track of daily interactions with your customers is crucial to knowing what they need, what they are asking for, and what is trending in your world.  It allows you to be nimble and responsive if there is a sudden downturn in the economy.  This is an election year – we always see businesses put projects on hold while they wait to see what is going to happen in November.  Factor into that an already shaky economy and you start seeing drops in sales.

You can try to stay ahead of this downturn by looking back at data and finding opportunities.  We get caught up in the day to day minutia and cannot see the forest for the trees.  It is important for you, as a business person, to step back and look at your customer base from 50,000 feet.  That is where data analysis can help.

You can either do this yourself, with some tips on what to look for or you can find a CRM Analyst.  I have not used that term in any of my blogs, but more and more that is what we are becoming.  We do tend to focus on one product, SAGE ACT, but what we do works for any application used to keep track of customer interactions.  In fact, I just spent a few days building a really slick Excel “reporting engine” for lack of a better term.  It goes out and pulls in data from ACT into Excel where pivot tables allow the end user to slice and dice the data any way they like.  Pivot tables can show interesting things very quickly.  It’s that 50,000 foot syndrome.  Instead of looking at a single contact record, you can now look at it from a higher level.  You can do year to year comparisons.  You can quickly spot trends or notice areas where you are missing contacts.  I call this mining for data gems.

Examples of trends and things to watch for are:
Finding customers likely to buy again – have they bought in the last 2 years?
Which customers generated the most closed sales?
Why were opportunties lost? Is it a trend in price, quality, competition?
Which customers have not been contacted in 6 months?
Do you have customers who have reached a certain dollar level?
Do you sell more in certain months? If so, what can be done for the lower months?
Which customers have not been contacted in 6 months?
Do you have customers who have reached a certain dollar level?

Recently we are helping customers set up drip marketing campaigns.  Those are important but equally important is going back and analyzing the results of the campaigns.  Were some more effective than others? If so, why?  Was it the right subject matter?  Did the subject line entice them enough to open the email?  That’s why we love using the eMarketing aspect in Sage ACT – it will tell us open rates, and even how often they opened the emails.  That’s very telling all by itself.  They were interested enough to open the email more than once.  But you need to be able to see that quickly so you can react quickly.  It’s all about looking for the data

Data analysis is an ongoing effort.  You don’t do this once and stop.  The economy changes, peoples requirements shift and in the technology space, it’s a rapidly moving target.  Constant review is necessary to ensure you are ahead of a downward trend.

CRM Analysis doesn’t have to be rocket science.  For example, using Excel is a very good and inexpensive way to find data gems.  You will either need to spend a little money with a CRM analyst to set this up for you or take a stab at it yourself.  Everybody has that “Excel” or numbers guru in their organization.  You know who they are.  And YOU know your business, so you will work with the Analyst to advise them of what you sell, and where you want to be.  The Analyst will know how to go look for the data based on your requirements.  If they are really good, they will have ideas of their own and recommendations and approaches on looking for data trends that you may not have even thought of.

As we do more and more of this type of work, I am realizing it’s not just ACT that is the driver.  It’s the data.  It’s the interactions with the customer and how to turn that into increased revenue.  I want Patricia Egen Consulting to become known as people to trust for doing data analysis.  We really like watching companies succeed by doing simple things like watching their data and reacting correctly.  Stay tuned for more articles on how to find data gems.

Written by pregen

July 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

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