Director, Content Marketing
Let’s face it, anyone who runs a small or medium-size business knows firsthand that the struggle to grow is real (and, of course, trying to accomplish this during a global pandemic is yet another layer of complication).
We understand that faced with tight budgets, lack of time and limited staffing, SMB owners are likely stretched to the max, making it difficult to stay on top of industry best practices — let alone genuinely building authentic relationships with prospects and customers.
But if all your energy is going into advertising campaigns, lead generation or lead management, you could be neglecting at least one extremely important pillar of small business growth: data analytics and reporting.
But remember what they say about the devil and the detail...
Finding the truth behind — and building an accurate story around — the health of your business is absolutely vital to the future of your business. And thanks to tech advances in the past decade, small business owners now have access to simple, intelligent and powerful reporting tools that can act as a single source of truth, tell these stories, drive informed decisions, cut costs, and increase revenue.
Because having the right tracking and reporting tools in place allows you to turn a bunch of data — oftentimes a raw, unorganized batch of information — into actionable insights.
Why it’s tough for SMBs to adopt analytics and reporting tools
We’ve already mentioned a few reasons why small business owners — or any C-level type who’s charged with growing and scaling a company — might be hesitant to embrace data-centric solutions.
But there are other understandable objections they often cite when it comes to utilizing the business intelligence components we’ve been discussing.
Do any of these ring a bell?
- I don’t have enough staff to handle this
- I lack the technical expertise to take this on
- I just don’t have any room in the budget
- I don’t have enough time to deal with this
- I have other priorities I’d like to focus on
- We’re getting by with free tools already
If any of this sounds familiar, that’s OK! There are ways to overcome these challenges while still leveraging the power of reporting and analytics.
How using data solutions keeps a business nice and healthy
Knowledge is power, right?
That’s especially true for small businesses, whose ability to show hockey-stick-like growth will depend in part on how well they leverage their own proprietary information.
But if you’re not tracking and analyzing the proper data, it can be really tough to gauge what’s working and...what’s not. (For example, sometimes companies focus on vanity metrics like Facebook likes or Twitter followers to measure value. But will those social stats really help you build a better customer experience?)
Luckily, good data reporting and analytics tools — combined with best practices — help you pull everything together and monitor the overall health of your business.
Here are some of the ways SMBs can use these kinds of solutions, improving everything from financial tracking to team collaboration:
- Staying on top of your income, expenses and cash flow
- Organizing and segmenting important customer data
- Making your business's proprietary data a lot more secure
- Combining multiple data sources into a centralized location
- Visualizing data to make it more accessible and actionable
- Facilitating communication and collaboration amongst staff
Being able to execute along these lines will go a long way towards making your small business operation more efficient and cost-effective. And the benefits also extend to your team, helping increase their collaboration and productivity.
Much of this reporting power can be found in a robust customer relationship management system, more commonly known as a CRM.
Valuable analytics and reporting insights from CRMs
Did you know that utilizing a CRM can increase conversion rates by as much as 300% and boost revenue by up to 41% per salesperson?
The power lies in CRM reporting. Check out some of the different ways you can use this type of business-tracking tool to get instant, relevant insights and data across your organization.
Don’t miss an opportunity
Track opportunities and leads across your company’s pipeline for high-level visibility into top-of-the-funnel and overall sales performance.
Keep the forecast sunny
Reduce the uncertainty in your sales operation with proper forecasting, which can help your company prepare, course-correct and close the deals to hit those end-of-the-month goals.
Lost and abandoned
Increase retention and cut down on churn by closely monitoring your abandoned and lost sales. Finding out what things went wrong and why is a big part of the success equation.
Stay sales focused
Keep a closer eye on how your sales department is performing by tracking important KPIs and analyzing the metrics to get a really granular view of everything.
The source of everything
Discover the exact source of your opportunities and how they’re performing, which is great if you’re wondering whether that new email campaign or social media push is worth all the effort and resources. (Get ready for a lot of high fives from your marketing team!)
Unlock the power of CRM tracking and analysis
Now that you know what kind of reports a CRM tool can generate and how you’re able to measure success or failure across a range of categories, it’s time to put that knowledge into action.
Using a CRM like Copper CRM to track the health of your SMB, harness the power of your data, and connect more deeply with your customers is a total game-changer. Our newly updated Reports feature offers powerful reporting to help you track all of the analytics mentioned above (And with the recent acquisition of Sherlock, an engagement analytics and scoring platform built to help SaaS businesses integrate their product data into CRMs, Copper is well positioned to continue building the relationships that build your business.)
Let’s do this together!
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