Data has value. After all, how do you think companies like Google make money? Google’s product is not a search engine, or a web browser, or email; their product is you.
They get value from the data they collect from your use of their search engine, browser, email, and so on. They generate revenue from analyzing that data, and using it wisely.
They are the masters of turning data into actionable insights. Now it’s your turn.
What you can learn from big data
Big data has grown into such a monster industry that it was valued at $138.9 billion in 2020, with experts predicting it will hit $229.4 billion by 2025.
Wow. That’s impressive. But what does it mean to you, and how can you get a share of those billions?
Let’s talk customer management systems, or CRMs.
If you’re currently a CRM user, you should be aware of how important the data stored in your CRM is. Or at least you’ve probably been told that the data in your CRM is valuable.
And it is. Very valuable.
Clean, accurate data about your clients that can be used to generate revenue is the reason your company invested in a CRM in the first place.
But… how exactly do you use the customer data to unlock information about your clients that would help you close more deals?
You do what Google does: turn that data into actionable insights.
Going all the way back to first principles, we’ll begin with that word “data.” What does it really mean?
Let’s get old school for a second. According to Oxford Languages, data is “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.” And of course, the facts and statistics we’re talking about as CRM data is information about your customers. This kind of information includes names, companies, dates, revenue, relationships and other behaviours.
Sitting there in your CRM, that data hasn’t shown any value yet. You can do all you want to get nice clean data into the CRM, and work hard to keep it pristine and accurate, but just by existing that data has no value. Not until you can do something with it, like draw insights.
That knowledge you get once you’ve analyzed the data, in reference to your goals, is where the value comes in.
What is an actionable insight?
The most important thing you can do to get true ROI from your CRM is turn its data into actionable insights. An actionable insight in this context means connecting with clients in a way to generate revenue (selling) based on the insights the CRM data revealed.
It’s what Google does when they feed you ads tailored to what their algorithms determine are your specific interests based on your past interactions.
It’s what you can do too if, say, you notice a buying pattern with a certain client where they make a larger order to max out their spending budget around their year-end. That’s the insight. The action would be to get in touch around that time of the year and make the big sale.
That’s just one example. There are, in fact, lots of ways to turn data into actionable insights, including breaking down silos, measuring the right things, using segmentation, learning to recognize patterns, having a great team, and planning ahead for optimization.
6 ways to turn data into actionable insights
There are a lot of things you can do on your own to help reveal the value hidden in your CRM, and here are the top 6:
- Break down silos
- Measure the right things
- Use segmentation
- Learn to recognize patterns
- Have a great team
- Plan ahead for optimization
Break down silos
Make sure that your CRM data is a single source of truth for everyone at your organization—meaning everyone has access to the same information. This helps the entire company stay on the same page by identifying who knows who, breaking down communication silos, and creating organizational synergy.
Measure the right things
Data can’t be turned into actionable insights if you’re not asking relevant questions or measuring the right things. Look at your overall goals and the kind of data needed (i.e. name, company, the average value of purchase, etc) then set up the right data sets. The right data can then be analyzed to reveal what actions you need to take as a seller.
Not every client’s information or behaviours can be analyzed in the same way. To truly be able to draw actionable insights from your data, use segmentation in order to discover the context of your data.
Learn to recognize patterns
Being able to spot patterns in client data is highly valuable. This allows sellers to tap into the best-timed and informed selling opportunities based on client behaviour. Anticipating client behaviour through patterns can really put you ahead of your competition.
Have a great team
This one might sound easy, but having a great team with people who understand the value of accurate data definitely helps. If your sales team can buy into turning data into actionable insights they’ll become excited about using the CRM to reveal information that helps them do their jobs better.
Plan ahead for optimization
Let’s face it. Tracking and analyzing data isn’t exactly part of everyone’s job description. And as teams grow and revenue increases, there’s an ever-growing amount of data to get through. Plan to scale with your team’s success by optimizing how you turn data into actionable insights. There is relationship intelligence software out there that already exists to help analyze CRM data in this way—and it works, we promise.
Don’t dump your CRM
Just because you’re not seeing the value from your CRM yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t. In fact, it’s easier than you think.
Just remember that data is only valuable when it’s used in the right way, to reveal the right things. To get the most ROI from your CRM, you need to learn how to turn its customer data into actionable insights.
While the tips we’ve provided are a great start, the easiest way to really grab what you need from your CRM is by using relationship intelligence software. It will analyze the data for you and provide these actionable insights using AI technology. It’s all part of the Revenue Acceleration journey that you take when you use revenue intelligence and operations tools.
To learn more about how to get the most out of your CRM, check out our guide for how to make the most of your CRM.
Or, let us help guide you on how relationships intelligence software like Introhive works by getting in touch. We’ll handle it.