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Every business should evaluate its operations and performance. An evaluation is a chance to improve the efficiency of a business. However, many companies overlook end-of-year Customer Relationship Management (CRM) audits.

A CRM audit can provide you with valuable information you can use to assess your business operations. In this article, we’ll look into what exactly constitutes a CRM audit. We’ll also give you tips on how to do it the right way.

» What Is a CRM Audit?

In simple terms, a CRM audit is a comprehensive review of your CRM tool or framework. A CRM tool is an efficient way to manage leads. A good CRM platform helps you track your interactions with leads while giving them the best experience. It also allows you to automate some aspects of your relationship with them.

The goal? To get them to easily make their way down the sales funnel.

A CRM audit allows you to assess your CRM system so you can determine the strengths or weaknesses of your marketing efforts as a whole. It allows you to unveil issues in your process to improve customer satisfaction and increase more sales. It also tells you if it’s time to move on and choose a CRM that’s a better fit for your organization.

CRM audits come in different types. Here are a few:

Usage audit: With a usage audit, you can analyze and report metrics about the frequency with which sales teams are using your CRM. That’s because an effective CRM strategy involves the constant use of CRM tools by a sales team.

Data audit: Many marketing professionals consider this as one of the most important kinds of CRM audits. A data audit determines whether or not the data floating around your CRM is accurate. Pointers like data quality, depth, and rate of decay over time guide this kind of audit.

Effectiveness audit: You determine the overall effectiveness of your CRM strategy with an effective audit. You usually do this by measuring the achieved results against the goals set ahead of CRM implementation.

There are other CRM audit types, but these are the most commonly used. They provide the widest-reaching data set on your business marketing efforts.

» Steps to Performing CRM Audits the Right Way

Now we’ve got a definition for a CRM audit, let’s go over some tips on how you can perform one the right way. Set a date (preferably at the end of the financial year) to carry out the audit. This is the best time to do it because business operations are winding down by then.

1. Define the Founding Purpose of the CRM

You use tools to solve a certain problem or drive a certain set of results. The first step to performing a thorough CRM audit is knowing what those problems are.

Ask yourself why you implemented a CRM system in the first place. You want to define the goals you set out to achieve to see if the CRM tool is working as it should. You can find these goals in your implementation documentation if you have one (and you should).

Recall how you foresaw these goals being enabled by your CRM. Businesses evolve over time, and so do your goals. Try to account for any shifts or changes in your objectives along the way.

2. Assess the Data and Review Your Team’s CRM Usage

You can now proceed to make a concrete assessment of your CRM strategy.

This step is firmly tied to data audits. Here, you assess the quality of your data against industry-wide stipulations and your implementation documentation. This step also helps you assess the quality of your CRM data. You will be able to see if the data is decaying or irrelevant at that point in time.

You should also ask your team about their CRM usage. The people who use the tool will know where it falls flat and where it delivers. Here are some questions you can ask:

Does the tool qualify leads correctly?
Can you access all the information from customers?
Are there things you don’t have access to but wish you had access to?

Set a meeting for this. You have to make sure all the members of your team are there. Use suitable scheduling software to determine their work schedules and find the best date and time for everyone.

3. Remove Redundancies in the System

Redundancies are a problem. When data appears more than once in a system, it can stall processes and lead to inefficiencies. Businesses that don’t regularly update their software tools usually encounter this issue.

Clear up redundancies in your CRM to ensure everything runs smoothly. For example, if you have two people with the same first and last name in your database, but each with slightly different email addresses, send emails to both. Remove the email address where you send the email that bounces. Merge the two records.

All data should be clear and should only appear once in the system. Make sure the data is easily accessible, too.

4. Optimize Your CRM for Conversions

In the end, the goal of any business is to make profits through conversions. So your CRM strategy has to be fine-tuned to convert leads at a high rate. You can only consider your CRM tool useful if it helps you meet your predefined conversion metrics.

Evaluate your current framework for how it works towards your conversion goals, with those metrics in mind.

Look at your conversions and the inaccuracies in the sales data, too. If you find issues in the data your tool is giving you, it might be time to replace it.

5. Ensure CRM Compliance

Regulatory compliance across the different aspects of a business can be a tough maze to navigate at times, but it has to be done.

First, you need to conduct thorough research on current compliance laws within your business’ jurisdiction. You have to make sure your CRM tool is meeting them.

For example, the European Union has the General Data Protection Regulation. The legislation regulates the processing of data for people in the EU. Check out the rights of an EU individual under the GDPR below:

Data Protection Regulation

Source: SuperOffice

Based on those, according to Readwrite, your CRM tool should allow the following:

Creation of GDPR-compliant opt-in forms
Subscription management
Data management

Make sure your CRM tool has those. Regulatory compliance helps boost your reputation in the eyes of both the government and your customers.

6. Final Recommendations

Your auditing team should now consolidate its assessment of your CRM. It then makes recommendations for improvement.

Recommendations might contain different items, but their degree of importance and urgency will probably vary. CRM auditors usually classify them from “essential” to “desirable”. For example, an essential recommendation might relate to API integrations. A “desirable” or optional recommendation might be rewording metrics for precision and easy communication.

Although CRM audits focus on the present, the more proactive auditors might make suggestions for the future. If your business is in the second year of a five-year business plan, for example, your audit team might give suggestions, based on current performance, on how you can optimize your CRM over time to meet your business goals.

Even the best systems can be improved. Final recommendations contain valuable advice on how to improve yours. The key is to do something about them.

The bottom line

A comprehensive CRM audit is a must in any business. Through a CRM audit, you can look for data inaccuracies and inconsistencies. That reliable data can help you build good relationships with your leads. It also helps increase your chances for conversions.

CRM audits also help ensure you are compliant with regulations. They give you an overarching view of your business’s outward-facing and internal performance. Are you optimizing your marketing efforts? Are there inefficiencies along the way? CRM audits help you answer these questions so you can make adjustments for improvement.

In other words, CRM audits are critical to your business success. Conduct yours, and you’ll reap maximum benefits.

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