Do All Organizations Need CRM Analytics?

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The future of customer relationship management software is difficult to predict. However, one of the most highly anticipated and sought-after features of platforms is CRM analytics. According to Enterprise Apps Today, it's very likely that 2015 will be the year when CRM and analytics software will become integrated into a single platform.

"Predictive applications that harness ambient data together with data in the business application, identifying insights which make individual users more productive and enhance the execution of critical business processes will drive the next wave of business application innovation," explained Mike Ehrenberg, Microsoft Technical Fellow and chief technology officer, Enterprise Apps Today reported.

Harnessing the insights of historical data from a multitude of touch points with CRM analytics has the potential to give organizations a better understanding of their existing and prospective customers.

Objective closer than it may appear
Destination CRM, an online affiliate of CRM Magazine, recently looked at the future of sales, and CRM software will likely be a big part of it.

Among the various topics discussed in the post, predictive analytics and CRM software was central to the conversation. Here's why: Citing data from TeleSmart Communications, Destination CRM explained just 13 percent of prospective customers feel that sales executives have a firm understanding of their needs. In previous eras, this would seem like a tall order. How could a sales rep know what the customer wants before they even talk to them?

Analytics can help businesses identify trends and similarities between different consumers. With the right data, an organization can learn from past experiences to implement more informed strategies to earn the trust and confidence of potential customers.

There are real financial outcomes of doing so. Destination CRM highlighted the case of Farm Credit Services of America, a credit union with 50,000 members. This financial institution leveraged the data held in its CRM software and analyzed the interactions with past customers to improved cooperative loan assets by $12 billion - jumping from $9 billion to $21 billion.

Who is getting ahead of the curve?
Research and consulting firm Aberdeen Group looked at the priorities that independent software vendors, including CRM providers. The top goal for these organizations is to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating their software applications. The second most critical objective is improving end user experience by adding value to existing solutions.

The most powerful CRM platforms give companies the opportunity to leverage the insights from customer data to develop for effective products and marketing, strengthen the finance department with budgetary planning and even managing supply chain issues. This is primarily accomplished with the help of analytics embedded into CRM software.

However, there are big differences with how businesses deploy their CRM software. The most prominent trend among CRM vendors is to offer their solutions as a cloud-based service, as well as a mobile-optimized platform. The latter demonstrates the major investment many companies are making to adapt to the needs of their workforce. With increasing regularity, today's employees are mobile, meaning they're more likely to benefit from software they can use anywhere.

How are tools being delivered?
There are multiple strategies that businesses can use to give their workers the interfaces they need to access CRM and analytics tools. According to Aberdeen, 63 percent of CRM providers deliver their analytics solution through a dashboard. Another 41 percent use interactive visualization and discovery tools.

The reality in many companies is that there is a massive amount of raw data being collected in their CRM software, which doesn't go to good use if it's not put into an intuitive structure. Therefore, a business needs to consider what type of data is most relevant and applicable to its needs.

By The TM Group

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