Enhancing Business Intelligence With CRM Software

Not all companies are aware that within them they resides their greatest asset – their customer database. Just like a diamond in the rough, it patently waits to be discovered and polished. Until then can you view its true value. With CRM Software, harnessing this hidden asset can mean a hefty change for your business.

By using these data in your CRM system intelligently, you gain a competitive edge. Referred to as BI or Business Intelligence, it is the management of a company's internal data which involves the extraction and transformation of data so that it comes out as intelligent information. Basing on a database's stored information, companies are able to make better decisions and forecast possible trends in the future. As a result, it improves business intelligence as well as competitive intelligence.

Forrester Research quotes that "Business Intelligence is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making."

So, how is Business Intelligence relevant to Customer Relationship Management?

Business Intelligence plays a vital role in establishing a successful CRM system strategy within a company, wheree each and every employee work together to create and maintain the relationship that the company has with each and every individual customer. Business Intelligence can be seen as a tool to enable the CRM system strategy in a company.

Business intelligence has some requirements although before you can start improving it. A few of said requirements are:

1. Data Integrity
Start with a clean database. Business intelligence can only be achieved if there is data integrity. Filter out information for duplicate entries. Duplicate data entries can greatly affect future management decisions. Any errors in data entry or missing data can have far-reaching effects in the quality of information being extracted from the database. It could also mean profit loss. Resolving these inaccuracies can mean a very tedious job of matching one list against another, contacting clients and companies to update contact details, and could be extremely money-costing and time-consuming, but it can provide significant advantages for a company in the long term .

2. Data Collaboration
Proper data collaboration and integration across departments is very important. You may have all the information in your database but that is not enough. Even though all data resides within the company, it may remain un-meaningful or without use if data is scattered across different departments. Proper sorting and integration of information can be greatly beneficial by the sales team in terms of delivering individual customer needs and wants. Additionally, it is a must to update data in your CRM software in order to avoid duplication of tasks; sparing employees from embarrassing moments.

3. Data Analysis
A detailed analysis of customer data in your CRM software will generally help you shorten response time to market changes. Being able to identify customer needs and wants helps you determine your customers' next purchase. This will allow you to better align your products and services with your customers' needs.

Business intelligence also relates to results of daily business decisions and does not merely encompass analysis of data itself. Your CRM Software would help you monitor customer interactions such as past and present purchases, product or service inquiries through buying patterns, etc. This will enable you to monitor your business performance; giving you the edge to be always on top of the situation, anticipate customer needs and avert customer attrition before it even happens.

Updated, accurate information in your CRM Software will guarantee that your sales and marketing staff is always in the know, enabling you to acquire more customers. That way, you will be able to develop campaigns effectively, achieve a higher response rate from marketing campaigns, and identify reasons for customer attrition, and find remedies to prevent further occurrences of attrition.

Last but not the least, being aware of external market conditions is essential. Being aware of market trends allows you to react swiftly to possible changes in market trends. Understanding customer behavior through the use of your products and services will enable your company to improve its service to its current customer base as well as to target new business more effectively.

Source by Pete Kilby

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