What Is Analytical CRM? (& 10 Best CRM Analytics Tools Examples)
You’re doing business, and that business is generating troves of data. Each iota of info may contain key insights to help your business grow,
That’s why you need the best analytical CRM tools. Software in this category works to make data available, intelligible, and actually relevant to your business needs. The top CRM with analytics allows for the analysis of sales data, marketing data, and customer service data. The net benefit is customer acquisition, customer retention, and smooth data management. If you need a primer checkout our what is a crm article.
What is analytical CRM? Our definition
The analytical CRM meaning is that it works behind the scenes to improve your business. It does not directly handle customer interactions or 'front-line' operations. Instead, the Analytical CRM definition is that it quietly takes the information your business is generating about customers, stores it securely, and analyzes it so you can learn how to improve operations, both internally and externally.
All this cross-channel information is fed into the CRM as complex, massive piles of data that no human could decipher in any reasonable amount of time. This information is then processed to deliver intelligible insights. That lets you move from insight to tangible action so that you can streamline your business processes—like your sales pipeline, for example.
An analytical CRM system thus offers a structured, 'systematic' aid to business decision-making. Most significantly for businesses concerned with making more money and scaling up, it aggregates customer information to build customer knowledge through data analysis, and scouts new sales opportunities.
Analytical customer relationship management makes your data work for your business. This data can come from many different channels, like social media, live chat, phone calls, your company website, face-to-face convos, purchase records, and so on.
All this data is collated in one place by analytical CRM, providing visibility on your customer base and their preferences. This helps you segment customers, predict trends, and plan your marketing and targeted sales strategies for the future.
What CRM analytical technology can be used for
There are many important example areas of application of analytical CRM. From planning operations or campaigns, to gaining deeper understanding of your customers and markets, analytics CRM is a necessary tool in your business SaaS kit.
Discover new trends and forecasting
Sometimes the most important trends are hard to see. An analytical CRM tool looks at past sales trends, as well as your current leads and opportunities, and locates patterns in purchasing behavior.
This allows you to do sales forecasting and predict trends, including the speed and geographical location(s) at which they will develop, even before they take place. This can, of course, give you a big edge.
You can assess things like the likelihood of conversion within a specific customer segmentation, based on time of year, time spent shopping, which channel the consumer learned about your product/service. Algorithms, machine learning, and business intelligence (BI) combine to clean up and refine your data, giving you the best business results with the least manual effort.
This category of CRM lets you analyze data and use it so that individual customers will see a benefit.
Customer information of all descriptions can be collected and analyzed from multiple channels. You'll be able to build up customer profiles and understand their values, preferences, and determine demographic and geographic information.
Being able to understand the customer life cycle in terms of quantitative data offers holistic benefits for how to engage leads, convert leads to customers, and retain them. When you know your customers well-and-truly, it leads to improved customer experience and, in turn, more customer loyalty. That means more breathing room for your business to scale.
Marketing campaign optimization
An analytical CRM will allow you to rationalize your marketing efforts by showing where to put your resources and effort. By showing you which marketing campaigns are working, and which aren't, you can achieve the best results with the lowest expenditure of time, money, and human resources.
Track leads across channels like email, web, voice, etc. and break them down into individual customer profiles. Lead scoring tools will allow you to achieve super-specific metrics on customers at different levels (i.e. regional and national) and rank them. In turn, that lets you run boutique, hyper-targeted campaigns.
You'll be able to avoid outdated, ineffectual mass-blast marketing once and for all.
Optimization of marketing & sales activity
Predictive modeling for marketing helps use big data and business intelligence to anticipate customer behavior. Market trends and client preferences help you plan your marketing for the future. Based on past and current trends, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working in marketing and sales, and what's not, and be able to direct resources accordingly for best results.
Being able to monitor sales activity in-depth will likewise create highly legible feedback on how to refine the sales process. You'll be able to see which sales reps are doing what, and what their results are like. This will help you manage tasks and delegate them accordingly.
Data warehousing and data mining
Data warehousing ensures all your data is securely stored in one place and available for analytical purposes. Information from call centers, billing/invoices, website, feedback forms, and a wide range of databases can, therefore, be accessed quickly, without the need to fish around in multiple siloed databases to come up with a complete picture.
Data mining analyzes your giant amounts of warehoused 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. Relevant information can then be deployed quickly in the service of plotting effective marketing, sales, and customer service strategies.
Online analytical processing
Online analytical processing, or OLAP, allows you to unify different datasets in one place. OLAP contains “multidimensional” data, unlike a flat 2D spreadsheet.
OLAP ensures your data is more flexible, and hence more useful, and more effective for real-time decision making. You can “roll-up” data to aggregate it and get a big-picture view, or drill-down to get hyper-detailed information on one small aspect. You can also slice, dice, and pivot different sections of your data to get specific, comparative insights.
It's all about being able to select and use all the relevant information you need to make more hyper-rational decisions.
Benefits of analytical CRM systems
The features of analytical CRM systems each provide crucial benefits to your business growth potential. In the end, CRM analysis is all about expanding your network, closing more deals and fostering long-lasting customer relationships.
Customer analytics can generate reports on customer behavior. This type of reporting helps you know and understand your customer base inside and out by generating profiles.
Analytical CRM finds patterns, then drills down and identifies the specific customer segments that offer the best business opportunities. It segments markets and directs your sales and marketing accordingly, and can also inform your future product and service offerings.
Sales analytics look at your organization's overall sales processes, letting you understand the sales cycle, refine the sales pipeline, and rework strategy according to visible patterns. This information will also allow you to plan and predict your future sales volumes and profitability.
Furthermore, sales reports can shed light on where to re-shuffle organizational priorities and assign sales reps.
Marketing analytics allows you to plan, manage, and scale up your marketing campaigns. You'll get information on where to place resources for new marketing campaigns, which products/services to market, and insights about how and where to market any new products.
You'll also get information on new marketing opportunities that you may not have thought about.
Service reports aggregate information from polls, customer sentiment analysis, and other channels to find out how your customer satisfaction is looking. This lets you work on your customer service offering as well as direct resources to the right places. You can also break down service costs and work on the balance between service costs and revenues earned.
Channel analysis shows you how you're doing across different channels like email, social media, live chat, voice, etc. and where customers and leads are interacting with you the most. Having detailed information on cross-channel behavior will allow you to figure out customer preferences and refine how you communicate with your public.
Examples of the different types of data analysis in CRM
There are several different types of CRM analytics techniques. The big three are descriptive, predictive and prescriptive, though there are overlaps among them. Before going over CRM analytics examples, it’s wise to briefly touch upon the common analytical CRM tools of each type of such CRMs,
Descriptive analytical CRM
Descriptive analysis is when you collect data on past activity and use various metrics to try and get an idea of how things are going in your business. Using filters and a variety of visual graphics, charts and lists, you can turn these analytics into shareable reports.
Features of descriptive analytical CRM
Marketing campaign analytics
Profit and loss analysis
Descriptive analytical CRM examples
Diagnostic analytical CRM
Diagnostic analytics not only gives you a picture of how your data is shaping up, but attempts to explain the outcomes of certain events. For example if a marketing campaign fails to translate to many sales, diagnostics can point out the exact pain points in the customer journey.
Features of diagnostic analytical CRM
Sales funnel analytics
Diagnostic analytical CRM examples
Predictive analytical CRM
Predictive analytics picks up where descriptive and diagnostic analytics leaves off. It isn’t only a look at the past, but uses that data to try and forecast the future. This is great for planning marketing campaigns and sales pushes.
Features of predictive analytical CRM
Predictive analytical CRM examples
Prescriptive analytical CRM
As it may seem obvious, prescriptive analytics goes one step further than predictive analytics. It won’t just paint a picture of the future in which you make decisions, but actively offers recommendations for your plans and strategies.
Features of prescriptive analytical CRM
Machine learning simulations
AI workflow builders
Prescriptive analytical CRM examples
IBM Prescriptive Analytics
CRM analytics tools comparison chart (top 10 highest rated applications)
It’s always nice to start with a chart. Here you get an instant idea at the best analytical CRMs, as well as the most affordable CRMs that include analytics, and a few excellent 3rd party add-ons that specialize in business intelligence tools.
Pricing starts at
Best CRM analytics software overall
$50 per user per month billed annually
HubSpot Marketing Analytics
Top CRM data analysis for marketing
$45 per month billed annually
Great analytical CRM for small teams
$24 per month billed annually
Great CRM analytics tool for customer support
$49 per user per month billed annually
Good CRM for sales process analytics
$15 per user per month billed annually
Good CRM for workflow analytics
$25 per user per month
Top analytical CRM for medium and large business
$49 per user per month billed annually
Good CRM for social media ad analytics
$39 per month billed annually
Great analytics tool for business intelligence
$1,500 per month
Top tool for software as a service analytics
$25 per month
What are the best analytical CRM tools? Here’s our top 10 software list:
After wading through all this above intro chatter on the benefits of CRM with analytics, it’s time to check out the leading brands in analytical CRM software. This list may not be exhaustive, but it’s sure to have something for all kinds of businesses.
Salesforce Einstein (best analytical CRM overall)
Salesforce is a giant in the CRM and sales force automation biz. Einstein is their analytics tool which works in Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Salesforce Platform, Analytics Cloud, and more.
As an advanced cloud-based business intelligence (BI) analytics platform, Einstein’s machine-learning is pre-trained with predictive models from Salesforce and adapts as more of your own data becomes available. This makes it a powerful analytic tool from the start, and it gets even smarter over time. Einstein can help show you the most important tasks, track KPIs plus other important metrics, and identify deals most likely to be closed. Storytelling feature allows you to automatically generate slide/presentation graphics, saving time and making info easy to share.
It’s quite expensive per user, putting it out of reach of some small businesses. Customer service is not always responsive.
Sales Cloud Einstein is $50 per user per month billed annually
Service Cloud Einstein is $50 per user per month billed annually
Einstein Predictions is $75 per user per month billed annually
HubSpot Marketing Analytics (Top CRM data analysis for marketing)
HubSpot is famous for a lot of things, chief among them is being early on the scene in the inbound marketing movement. Analytics has always been part of their core tools, and now they have Marketing Analytics and Dashboard software.
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 by the way, has analytics and reporting metrics built into its various dashboards. These analytical CRM features can be further beefed up when paired with HubSpot’s all-in-one Marketing Hub, which includes more advanced marketing analytics. It’s great for measuring the success of marketing campaigns and planning new ones.
There is a fairly significant price jump between HubSpot's Marketing Hub Starter and Professional plans.
HubSpot CRM has a free version
Marketing Hub Starter plan starts at $45 per month billed annually
Marketing Hub Professional plan starts at $800 per month billed annually
Marketing Hub Enterprise plan starts at $3,200 per month billed annually
Zoho Analytics (Great analytical CRM for small teams)
Zoho is host to a massive suite of business optimization software. Their business intelligence module includes some top notch analytics.
Zoho Analytics offers in-depth reporting, data analysis, and automatic or scheduled data sync from apps, servers, and any other places it might be (.CSV files, Microsoft Excel, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.) The platform provides a drag-and-drop, highly visual user interface, with deep analytical tools and collaborative features.
UI is visually attractive and generally effective, but not as customizable as it could be. Reporting data is served on Zoho servers, so you can't access your data outside of the app.
There is a free version good for 2 users
Basic plan is $24 per month billed annually
Standard plan is $48 per month billed annually
Premium plan is $115 per month billed annually
Enterprise plan is $455 per month billed annually
Zendesk Explore (Great CRM analytics tool for customer support)
Zendesk is the platform best known for customer service and helpdesk tools, although they have sales now too. Their service analytics goes by the name Explore.
Zendesk Explore is an analytics and reporting tool in the broader Zendesk toolkit. It’s built to pull data from support and service operations to help you measure and improve customer experience. Omnichannel analytics and intuitive dashboards make it easy to keep track of KPIs.
Your Zendesk numbers are imported and refreshed in Explore every hour, as opposed to real-time, up-to-the-moment sync. Generating complex reports can be tricky.
Zendesk Service Suite is $49 per user per month billed annually
Zendesk Service Growth is $79 per user per month billed annually
Zendesk Service Professional is $99 per user per month billed annually
Grow (Great analytics tool for business intelligence)
Grow isn’t a full on customer relationship management tool in itself. It is a dedicated analytics and business insights tool that integrates with most major CRMs, like Salesforce.
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. You can connect Grow to your Google Analytics data, and use this data in tandem with in-depth business information stored on your CRM of choice.
Lack of customization options. Highly visual UI can get laggy sometimes.
Grow starts at $1,500 per month
Mixpanel (Top tool for software as a service analytics)
Mixpanel is another business app that works alongside the best CRM systems for analytics, like Zoho. It specializes in digital product analytics, like SaaS.
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. Features include correlation analysis, look-alike modeling, and other data science techniques. Measure user behavior and make the correct product/service offering decisions in relation to business goals.
Somewhat complex to learn. Team collaboration options are lacking.
There is a free version of Mixpanel
Growth plan starts at $25 per month
Freshworks Neo (Good for sales process analytics)
Freshworks is the umbrella company for a large number of products, including Freshsales, Freshmarketer and Freshdesk. Freshdesk Neo is their analytics tool which works in many of their products.
Freshworks Neo is an analytics tool designed to get you valuable insights from the first point of contact with a new customer on through the entire customer lifecycle. It gets you large aggregate data insights and also lets you dig in for more detailed data. Reporting is easy to set up, and the dashboard is very clear.
The more robust analytics tools that are part of the platform’s Neo set are in the higher pricing tiers.
There are free versions of Freshworks apps
Freshsales starts at $15 per user per month billed annually
Freshdesk starts at $15 per user per month billed annually
Freshmarketer starts at $19 per month billed annually
Creatio (Good for workflow analytics)
Creatio is a platform that enables anybody to set up business automations without knowing any code. They have modules for sales and marketing, both of which have decent analytics tools.
Creatio for marketing has business process management which is for setting up automations. You get good monitoring and analysis on the efficacy of these workflows. Creatio for sales gives you customer database analytics. It collects a range of customer data giving you better ideas as to how to move them through the pipeline, showing you top priority customers.
Creatio offers both cloud and on-site set ups. The on-site version is a bit more affordable, which may irk some users who prefer the convenience of the cloud.
Marketing Creation starts at $3,008 per year
Sales Creatio starts at $25 per user per month
Insightly (Top analytical CRM for medium and large business)
Insightly is a pretty popular CRM system. It has a strong marketing automation focus. Inside their marketing set you find some serious analytics tools.
Once you’ve used Insightly to plan and execute your marketing strategies including email marketing campaigns, you can turn to their analytics to assess their success. Insightly’s analytics also run on the CRM data at the heart of their system. The visual dashboards are also neat looking.
Insightly is not one of the most affordable CRM systems, especially as you’ll need the more premium version for the analytics.
CRM Professional is $49 per user per month billed annually
CRM Enterprise is $99 per user per month
Marketing Plus starts at $299 per month
Marketing Professional starts at $599 per month
Bitrix24 (Good for social media ad analytics)
Bitrix24 is a CRM made for team collaboration. It has a free version which is great and it includes some basic analytics, mostly for marketing and sales.
Bitrix24’s sales intelligence tools are many. They include data on the customer journey from first contact in your CRM on through to closing deals. You get ad payback, traffic and key word analysis too. More advanced versions let you analyze ad activity on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
As expected, you’ll have to be ready to shell out more for the real robust analytic features with Bitrix24.
Bitrix24 has a free version
Basic starts at $39 per month billed annually
Standard starts at $50 per month billed annually
Professional starts at $159 per month billed annually
Analytical customer relationship management case study
Here's how one organization used analytical customer relationship management (in conjunction with other CRM tools) to improve sales over time, like a fine wine.
Interestingly enough, the company in question is a Californian winemaker called Bespoke Collection (it encompasses four brands). As the company grew, they faced problems with keeping track of customer data.
Using analytical CRM tools, Bespoke Collection was able to do intelligent lead tracking and customer segmentation, finding the right clients to focus resources on, and in turn building lasting connections and customer loyalty.
Analytical CRM cross-channel analytics are also used in order to trawl the web and social media for key decision-makers in Bay Area companies, allowing Bespoke to network, grow brand awareness, and encourage corporate philanthropy in their area.
In the above case, Salesforce was the analytical and operational CRM solution that worked. But for many businesses, the answer may well be a different vendor.
Which of the analytical CRM applications is right for me? Our final takeaways
If you’re hesitant to take out your wallet just yet, try one of the free trials offered by one of the above analytical CRM vendors and start poking around to see what these tools might be able to offer your business.
It should be said that CRM software of this type does have a bit of a learning curve involved. That’s not to say that 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. Thankfully, many vendors now offer quality tutorials and live support, so you should be able to get up-to-speed pretty quickly.
Apart from getting better at using analytical CRM tools over time, as you accumulate more and more useful data, you’ll also gain more benefits from using analytical CRM over time. And with that said, now is as good a time as any to get started. Crunch some numbers with an analytical CRM today, and grow your bottom line tomorrow!