What is a CRM Audit and Why Should You Perform One?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a core business application. It helps you add structure to customer engagement, automate customer journeys, monitor lead generation and more. But ultimately, it should help you reach sales, marketing, and customer service goals. If your CRM isn’t enabling you to achieve objectives, or you’re struggling to establish ROI, a CRM audit can help you understand why.
The Aim of a CRM Audit
The main goal of a CRM audit is to establish whether your CRM system and strategy are delivering the value you need. It allows you to analyse how your CRM is set up and being used in your business. This includes things like user adoption levels, automation, and integration with other applications. Do users understand your platform? Can they easily access and find information they need? Is your CRM disconnected from your other core systems? Are you reliant on manual processes?
A CRM audit should also consider other areas such as compliance, security, and cost. Is your CRM centralised and secure? Are you confident it meets industry and regulatory requirements? Do you feel like you’re spending a lot of money on licensing your CRM software with little benefit?
By asking these questions and performing an in-depth analysis, you can uncover the underlying cause of any issues you’re facing. When you know what is causing your problems, it’s a lot easier to fix them.
The insight gained through a CRM audit will enable you to make more informed decisions when it comes to your overall CRM strategy, helping you reach your sales and marketing goals. A comprehensive review will also help you find opportunities to mitigate compliance risks, streamline processes, and reduce costs.
What Should You Assess?
Usage and Adoption
Your CRM system is a powerful tool– but only if people know how to use it. Your CRM won’t deliver results on its own. A CRM audit can give you better visibility of how and when employees are using your system, considering the quality and consistency of that usage. In our experience with clients, CRM systems are often under-utilised for a number of reasons, such as:
- The importance or benefits haven’t been effectively communicated by business leaders.
- Users lack the skills or training needed to fully adopt a new platform.
- Poor implementation or configurations have made completing tasks unnecessarily complex.
To gain a full picture of usage and adoption, a CRM audit shouldn’t just look at the system design. It should also involve speaking to end users directly to understand their thoughts and experiences of using the platform. This can be done through surveys or feedback forms which invite users to provide an overview of their thoughts and concerns.
Compliance and Ensure Security
Weak security can come at a cost. Your CRM system holds an abundance of private and confidential data, and as a business you are responsible for protecting that information. A CRM audit can help you validate whether your CRM set-up and processes comply with data protection laws and software regulations – or if changes need to be made to assure compliance. It’s important that your organisation has implemented procedures that ensure data is handled, protected, and processed responsibly.
A siloed CRM system increases the chance of inefficiency and error. When your CRM is integrated effectively with the other core applications in your business, you can boost productivity, collaboration, and visibility. Integrations help users spend less time switching between apps, and more time on meaningful tasks. It also helps to improve data accuracy, simplify system management, and close information and communication gaps.
A CRM audit should evaluate how well your system works with other business-critical applications, and find ways to prevent siloed systems from becoming a bigger problem. For example, do your CRM and ERP applications work together, or as standalone systems? Integrating your CRM and ERP platforms enables you to centralise your data, encourage cross-departmental collaboration, and eliminate business efficiencies.
Processes, Workflows, and Automation
Are you using automation to simplify sales cycles and customer journeys? Or are current processes tedious and time-consuming for users, creating higher risks for human error? A CRM audit should consider your existing workflows and CRM processes, to see if they are optimised for both users and customers. This can help you identify opportunities to improve efficiency, accuracy, and experiences.
Not all data is good data. Dated, inaccurate, or incomplete data is low quality and of little value to your business. It can limit productivity, waste time, and cause users to make mistakes – it can also adversely impact your business’s credibility. To improve decision-making and ROI, data must be consistent, timely, and accurate. That’s why it’s important that you have procedures in place to mitigate issues surrounding data quality and processes.
A CRM audit can look at the completeness and accuracy of the data stored, assessing how data is updated and cleansed to ensure it is useful to the business. You can then work to implement processes that ensure good data practices are woven into everyday tasks.
Reporting and Analytics
How do you measure and report success? Interactive dashboards and analytics can help you turn data into something meaningful. A CRM audit can help you validate if your approach to reporting is helping you drive decisions and business outcomes. If generating reports is a long-winded process, or dashboards are difficult understand, you will find it hard to create a data-driven culture.
If you’re struggling to harness the value of your business data, a CRM partner can help you automate reporting processes and improve the way analytics are utilised within your business. They can help you set up workflows and automated dashboards that offer real-time, easy-to-understand insights that inform business decisions. With the right metrics you can more accurately measure performance, improve sales forecasting, track engagement and more.
A CRM audit isn’t just performed to resolve systems issues and improve strategy. It should help you understand whether you are paying the right amount for your system. In a time where cost is a key concern, it’s critical your budget isn’t being waste on idle services. If not monitored closely, software costs can quickly spiral out of control. You can quite easily end up paying a lot more than you need.
A software licensing expert can review your licenses to identify areas you may be overspending, recommending where licenses can be consolidated, reduced, or removed entirely. Read how we have helped clients reduce their license spend by 25% in this customer story.
Things to Consider Before Conducting a CRM Audit
Before you conduct a CRM audit, it’s important to think back to the initial reason you set up your CRM system. What objectives were set and why? What outcomes did you expect, and have these been realised? If things haven’t quite gone to plan, a comprehensive CRM audit will give you the insight you need to resolve issues and improve your CRM strategy.
Next, it’s important to recognise that a CRM audit isn’t a one-off exercise. As the business environment changes so often, your CRM strategy and needs are constantly evolving too. Ideally, you should conduct a CRM audit of some kind at least once a year. This ensures you’re continually addressing and adjusting your approach to meet changing business, customer, user, and regulatory requirements. Giving your CRM ongoing attention will prevent you from working with outdated processes, data, and practices, so you don’t miss any opportunities or fall behind.
Lastly, a CRM audit should be performed by someone with an in-depth understanding of CRM systems, technical implementation, processes, and strategy. Employing an experienced CRM Consultant to perform your audit will provide assurance that all aspects are covered. Beyond just identifying the root cause of any issues, they can recommend changes and enhancements based on best practice to help you optimise your CRM environment.
Get More Out of Your CRM
Your CRM platform should make creating, building, and improving customer relationships easy for end users. If you’re CRM isn’t quite delivering the value you’d expect, a CRM audit is a great activity to help you understand why. The 848 Group has a dedicated business applications practice, with a team of consultants specialising in the design, delivery, and optimisation of CRM and ERP systems.
We can help you identify the root cause of your issues, and offer clear recommendations to improve your CRM implementation, processes, and strategy. Our team have proven experience in helping clients get more value from their CRM systems, enabling them to automate processes, integrate with other applications, save money and more.
To learn more about the value of a CRM audit, contact one of our experts today. You can set up a no obligation consultation with an experienced CRM specialist to see if you are the right fit for a CRM review with 848 by contacting us on [email protected]. In the meantime, you can learn more about the benefits of a CRM audit here.
Abbie is technology-focused marketing manager with a passion for all things cloud, security, sustainability and automation. She has created content in collaboration with global names including Microsoft, Cisco, HP and Google, and turns technical jargon into clear messaging that explains how IT can be used to overcome business challenges.