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How CRMs can improve SaaS reporting to track business health

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Author photo: Katrina Oko-Odoi

Katrina Oko-Odoi

Content Marketing Manager

The tech stack at many SaaS companies could rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa, if you could physically pile them all up. And this plethora of tools spits out a mountain of data, which doesn’t always bode well for clarity, when it comes to SaaS reporting. Sometimes trying to sort through and pinpoint metrics can feel like searching for an elusive pearl inside a million clams.

It’s especially painful when your sales forecasting is completely out of sync with your actual results—and it’s even worse if this puts you below your target numbers for the quarter. Any SaaS company that wants to scale will want to be able to rely comfortably on their data to accurately predict near-term earnings and keep investors’ confidence high.

To stay on top of the health of your business, accurate and reliable SaaS reporting will do your company good. And that’s where a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play. CRMs that are equipped with powerful reporting features can offer simple, intuitive solutions to give SaaS companies a clear picture of business health.

The right CRM for your unique organization (keep in mind that every CRM is not created equal) can breathe life into your business and keep it healthy. Let’s jump in.

Get useful insights about prospects

“C” stands for “customer,” but in reality, CRM reporting can offer SaaS companies incredibly valuable insights into prospects, like info about:

Inactive prospects

With a streamlined workflow that automatically adds prospects to your CRM and triggers actions like sending trial welcome and schedule demo emails and simplified activity recording across teams (from sales calls to follow-up emails and activity/status notes), you gain full visibility into each prospect’s journey—and can quickly catch anyone that falls into inactive status using these metrics:

  • Total number of interactions with a person or company
  • Date of last interaction
  • Number of inactive days (days since last interaction)

Sales or marketing can quickly pull a report on inactive leads and identify any high-potential accounts for a re-engagement campaign or direct follow-up from a rep.

Prospect profiles

Create more accurate prospect profiles with first-party data straight from your CRM—helping marketing target more effectively and sales qualify easier. Simplified SaaS reporting from your CRM system can help you gather data on a prospect’s:

  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Position at company
  • Territory
  • Region
  • Time zone
  • Plus, custom fields from your contact/trial sign-up page

Generate custom reports in your CRM to help you identify patterns and refine buyer personas or create new prospect profiles for improved lead generation efforts.

Increase customer satisfaction & reduce churn

Being able to easily pull reports around critical customer metrics plays a big role in retention and churn reduction.

With a CRM that tracks inactive status, as shown for prospects above, customer accounts that go beyond a certain inactive threshold (say more than 60 inactive days) can trigger follow up from customer success and/or a customer touchpoint email campaign to make sure your solution is still on their radar, and give them an opportunity to share any challenges they’re facing with your software.

SaaS companies can also use CRM reporting to:

  • Identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling, like upgrading a monthly subscription account into an annual account for a quickly growing company that needs more seats.
  • Get a clear breakdown of your customer base by industry, company size, number of seats, account size, MRR or ARR, duration on platform, etc. to inform prospecting and lead generation efforts. If you learn that 65% of accounts with over 3 years using your software are e-commerce companies, you might want to sink more resources into targeting that vertical.
  • Identify accounts with an upcoming contract expiration date to start renewal efforts at least 90 days in advance.
  • Track customer churn rate over time to gauge the effectiveness of retention efforts.
  • Get customer engagement and product usage data when you sync your software with your CRM using an analytics tool like Sherlock.

More data means more opportunities to build rapport, deepen relationships with customers, and grow your team’s network of opportunities, instead of approaching your SaaS business as transactional and your potential buyers as if they’re all on the same, cookie-cutter journey.

Improve sales efforts to boost revenue

Business revenue is at the core of any business’ health. It’s not just about seeing whether sales are up or down. SaaS reporting helps you understand why. You’re then able to act fast and appropriately.

When sales are down, timely insights can enable you to adjust strategy quickly. When sales are up, you know what’s working so you can keep it up. SaaS businesses can start with pre-built reports templates, and then generate custom reports for more specialized CRM reporting around company-specific metrics.

Common reports around revenue include:

  • Sales forecasting: See open and won opportunities, monthly forecasts, and how close you are to meeting your sales goals
  • Sales performance: Deeper overview of sales KPIs, including the average size of won opportunities—plus breakdowns by owner, pipeline and source.
  • Sales lost and abandoned: Learn from losses to improve efforts moving forward. See the number of losses, value of the losses, percentage of losses and the reasons behind each loss.

Forecast like a pro

Sales forecasting has typically been done the same way, well, forever. Each month, quarter or year, directors simply copy and paste the same metrics with updated numbers. But is that good enough?

Chances are, your sales forecasting process could use some updating—especially in volatile moments like after a public health crisis or economic downturn (here’s looking at you, 2020!). We dive deeper into sales forecasting during uncertain times in this article.

The first step is to make sure your data is reliable. SaaS companies that use their CRM tool faithfully across departments have had success generating reliable metrics to inform their monthly or quarterly forecasts. On top of the sales forecasting report we already mentioned, the opportunity pipeline report is incredibly valuable.

Also known as a total opportunities report, it shows you how the top of your funnel is performing for a slightly longer-term outlook into what’s on the horizon in terms of potential deals, including the value of opportunities, for more accurate projections.

Support marketing efforts

When your marketing team has accurate data to work from, it makes their job easier. They can be more strategic about how they generate interest in your offerings and who they target to create more qualified leads that can be nurtured and pushed down the funnel.

For SaaS companies using a CRM reporting tool, the source performance report is a marketer’s best friend. This report gives you a breakdown of the total number of opportunities, won opportunities and the conversion rate for each opportunity source—from email to website to social, and so on. This CRM report attaches opportunities to specific sources or channels for deeper insights into what’s working and what isn’t.

Marketing can then refine campaigns and develop new initiatives based on this data, coupled with the anonymous data generated from Google Analytics and other channel-specific tools.

Use accurate CRM reporting to grow your business

The data tells us that most small-to-midsize businesses don’t have a single source of truth for data analytics and reporting. And frankly, that’s difficult to achieve in a world filled with martech, salestech, adtech and apps galore.

But better, more accurate SaaS reporting is possible inside a CRM that offers a robust reporting suite capable of providing the metrics we’ve covered here. With a combination of pre-built reports templates, easy-to-implement customization and seamless integration with other tools like engagement analytics platforms, Copper is a trusted CRM solution for many SaaS companies.

Try us free for 14 days and see how easy tracking and reporting key SaaS business metrics can be.

Try Copper free

Instant activation, no credit card required. Give Copper a try today.

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