Analytical CRM Software
So you’ve gathered up some data, but how do you get real value out of it? Enter analytical CRM applications.
Software in this category works to make data available, intelligible, and actually relevant to your business needs. It allows for the analysis of sales data, finance data, and marketing data. The net benefit is customer acquisition, customer retention, and data management.
What analytical CRM applications do
Generally speaking, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool does sales, marketing, service, and support. Part and parcel to that are collecting heaps of data in one place so you might make sense of it, and subsequently make hay with it. That’s where CRM analytics come in.
There are three main features of analytical CRM tools: data warehousing, data mining, and online analytical processing (OLAP). Data warehousing ensures data is available, while data mining analyzes giant amounts of data to find meaningful patterns, so instead of trying to piece together scraps of information like some plucky detective, you can just have everything interpreted automatically. OLAP tools offer sophisticated slicing of data, so you can combine sales region, product type, time of sale and more to find very specific information.
Analytical CRM solutions make your business smarter, achieve better relationship management, and boost customer satisfaction.
They offer a lot of help when it comes to turning a lead into a customer. A CRM solution of this kind can anticipate shopping habits and determine how likely a person is to buy something, and if they’ll be likely to buy it again. Through data collection, customer information of all descriptions can be collected and analyzed, giving you a helping hand with future marketing decisions and financial forecasting.
Predictive modeling helps use big data and business intelligence to anticipate customer behavior. Market trends and client preferences help you plan for the future based on the past. That’s useful for running your business on a day-to-day level because you’ll have a better idea of what’s working and where to direct resources.
Customer segmentation grouping, a fancy way of saying sorting out customers, is important for growing your business. By identifying and separating your customers based on needs or buying behavior, you can better focus your marketing and fine-tune your product offering.
You can also use analytic tools to find meaningful data on customer churn and help minimize it. By figuring out what type of customers leave your business and why you can take steps to stop it from happening. Instead of spending resources on maintaining existing revenue, you can take steps to work on increasing it.
Profitability analysis draws out deep information on the profitability of a given customer. It also makes it available for company-wide review in a legible way, unlike old school, labyrinthine accounting programs where you need a specialist (or perhaps a local minotaur) to figure out what the numbers mean.
Event monitoring lets you help secure your business. You can keep track of user activity over time, and find out if anything fishy is going on. For example, if someone just logged in a hundred times in one hour, it’s probable that there’s a security problem that needs fixing.
One caveat to be made about CRM analytics software is that is has a bit of a learning curve. That’s not to say analytical CRM systems are hard to use, but rather that you’ll need to allow some time to get your team using them in an effective way. You’ll also gain more benefits from using analytical tools over time, as you accumulate more and more useful data.
With that said, now’s as good a time as any to get started. Crunch some numbers with an analytical CRM and you may well grow yours.
“Developer’s own” analytical CRM tools
Here are a few analytics tools that plug into a suite of programs (including CRM) by the same developer.
In the HubSpot product ecosystem, the HubSpot CRM is the foundation for all other tools, acting as a data repository where all inbound information lives. Their CRM, which is free for up to 2 people by the way, has analytics and reporting metrics built into its various dashboards. These features can be further beefed up when paired with HubSpot’s all-in-one Marketing Hub, which includes more advanced marketing analytics.
HubSpot Marketing Hub is designed to help improve all aspects of the marketing funnel, from lead acquisition to deal won. The marketing analytics dashboard works by trawling data from third-party databases and your CRM to find and interpret key metrics and generate reports.
HubSpot is a massive name in the CRM world, and its eponymous platform has tools for pretty much everything sales, marketing, and support related you could ever need. With that in mind, you may find it comforting to have an analytics tool that readily slots into such a vast work management platform, one with super strength in inbound marketing techniques for scaling up your business.
These analytical tools have everything you need to track trends over time, from company-wide aggregate data to individual contact histories. Website analytics tools help you find out what metrics are driving traffic and focus on marketing campaigns accordingly.
HubSpot’s free version of Marketing Hub gives you traffic and conversions analytics for free, but if you want, or need, truly advanced analytics, you’ll be looking at quite a serious price bump for the Professional level (i.e. from $0 to triple digits).
Nextiva offers an analytics tool for marketing, sales, and customer support as part of its full-stack NextOS platform. Built for customers, NextOS folds CRM, chat, telephony, analytics, and surveys into one tidy package. It’s available from $35 a month.
Nextiva Analytics comprises voice analytics, survey analytics, and CRM analytics that boost the capabilities of Nextiva’s Service CRM. If you don’t want to go all-out, you can buy the Service CRM by itself (priced from $10 a month). It has super basic analytics ala the equivalent HubSpot product.
It’s worth noting the obvious here—the price difference between the entry-level version of Nextiva CRM and the full NextOS suite isn’t big at all in comparison to Hubspot CRM and Marketing Hub. That’s certainly a significant point in its favor.
Nextiva Analytics features a handsome, intuitive user interface that lets you to quickly float from a general to a hyper-specific view of your various business stats, with trend and predictive analysis and other business intelligence tools to increase your data interpretive powers.
Full spectrum analytics tools promote intra-team collaboration and offer excellent visibility on all the key metrics of performance (deals won, calls taken, time spent on the phone, etc.) to promote transparency. Gamification features make work less work-like and promote a spirit of healthy competition.
Voice analytics gives you visually-rich, actionable insights into your call data. You can view incoming calls by region, check out call summary reports, and playback voice calls.
Sentiment analysis, meanwhile, lets you quickly sift out which customer interactions were positive or negative. That can help you prioritize call-backs to keep deals alive and determine what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.
Both the free and paid versions of Zoho CRM come with analytics features for tracking sales performance. The Standard version ($12 per user per month, billed annually) tracks a range of KPIs. The Enterprise version ($35 per user per month, billed annually) adds more sophisticated tools, like stage-by-stage tracking of the sales funnel and customizable data comparisons across teams, users, regions, and more.
Like HubSpot and Nextiva, Zoho also provides a ‘serious business’ dedicated tool for analytics, which (to the surprise of no one) is called Zoho Analytics. It’s designed to seamlessly integrate with Zoho CRM.
Zoho Analytics uses business intelligence and advanced on-demand reporting features to give you fresh, actionable insights into your customer data. It allows you to aggregate information from disparate sources like apps, cloud storage, web feeds, and databases, then churn out dynamic reports on everything from sales funnel to win/loss reports in a flash.
With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a wide array of visualization options, customizable dashboard, and permissions/access control features for team management, it’s both approachable and easy to implement.
Zoho offers a free version of Analytics for up to 2 people, which is great, although the freebie has some serious limitations. These include a low cap on how many rows of data you can save (only 10,000), as well as a pronounced lack of app integrations.
You’ll pretty much need to shell out for a paid version, as the Basic package ($22.50 per month, billed annually) is required to get Analytics to work with Zoho CRM. Climbing the ladder up to Standard, Premium, and Enterprise versions allow you to pump up your data storage capacity, number of users, customizability options, and number of app integrations.
Third-party analytics tools for CRM
While the following tools may not be CRMs, they’re dedicated analytics platforms that link to your CRM (and a bunch of other apps) to make your data extra useful. They’re independently developed and made to work with software from a range of companies.
Grow offers business intelligence solutions for small and scaling businesses, making actionable insights from deep data-diving accessible to virtually anyone. Their M.O. is all about clearly defining and then unifying data, metrics, and analytics to produce clear visualizations and smart predictions.
The platform applies “transforms” to datasets, meaning it takes raw data and then applies transformational actions such as sorting, filtering, and grouping, as well as summing and making ratioed comparisons. Then the Smart Builder dashboard comes in, separating data and charts and using business intelligence to arrange and chart information.
Social media, Google Analytics, and sales platform (ex. Salesforce) integrations expand the scope of data collection. Ditto for CRM integrations with Zoho, Pipedrive, and many others, which ensure all your business information can be converted to data-driven intelligence.
Mixpanel offers user analytics tools designed around a simple premise: if you can clearly decode the behavior of visitors, leads, and customers on your website, you can make smarter business decisions.
The tool puts a twist on standard web page analysis by emphasizing customer engagement, rather than page views.
Mixpanel is less about volume metrics and more about refining user experience to bump up conversions with detailed, data-driven insights. By showing you what actions people take and what features they like best, you can focus on your strengths and refine your offering.
Integrations with Zendesk, Salesforce, Zoho, and a host of other CRMs ensure MixPanel can slot into your existing workflow.
Mixpanel offers a free ‘core analytics’ version with storage limitations, designed to get you hooked. When that happens, you can upgrade to the fully featured version, which will set you back $999 a year.