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The 10 Most Important CRM Reports: Page 2

By Jennifer Schiff     Feedback
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6. What the Most Profitable Customers Are Buying: As Taber explained, the Most Profitable Customers CRM Report tells you who you should be taking extra care of — and helps you better target products and services to these valuable customers. Similarly, if you can "get the product mix right, maybe you'll be able to find some more of these customers," he said.

7. Discounting Effectiveness: The Discounting Effectiveness CRM Report can tell you when or which kind of discount pricing is working and when and where it isn't. "Your list price doesn't matter," said Taber. "Your list price is something that you'd like to maintain as real, but the actual transaction price is the one that really matters. So if your list prices are really ridiculous, you need to know that." Put another way, if your salespeople or channel partners are reflexively discounting your products or services, "it means that they either don't understand the value or they don't know how to sell it." So running this report can help you understand where discounting works and when you don't have to discount. "In many companies, if you can raise your actual price by one percent, that will increase your profitability by 10 percent. So discounts matter," said Taber.

8. Customer Loyalty: The Customer Loyalty CRM Report tells you which products your repeat customers buy the most. The report is an important tool for sales and marketing "because repeat customers have much lower marketing and sales costs than first-time customers," said Taber, and it can help you attract more profitable customers.

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9. Initial Response Time: The Initial Response Time CRM Report shows you how long it is taking your salespeople to respond to customers after initial contact (for example, meeting them at a trade show). This report is critical because "customer research studies have shown that if you don't get back to somebody within 48 hours after they contact you in any way, the likelihood of their buying is way lower than if you got back to them in that first 48 hours," said Taber. So the amount of time it takes for a sales rep to get back to a customer really matters — and, said Taber, many sales reps are dropping the ball (or the lead).

10. Pipeline or Deal Regression: "Everyone looks at the pipeline: how many deals are in the works," said Taber. "What they don't look at are how many deals, as they go out in time, moved down in probability or moved down in value since the last time they looked." That's why it's important to run the Pipeline or Deal Regression CRM Report, because it shows you what deals were in the pipeline two months ago compared to last month and this month. "All too often, the pipeline is garbage, because your sales reps are playing games with you. And it's only by looking at what in art we'd call negative space — what are the deals that aren't there anymore, or what are the deals that seem to be receding into the horizon" that you can get an actual picture of your pipeline and potential revenue and profits.

Have a must-run CRM report we didn't include or you would like to add to the list? Leave the name of the report and a brief description in the Comments section below.

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a regular contributor to Internet.com and runs a blog for and about small businesses.

This article was originally published on October 27, 2010
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