Getting the Most from your Zoho CRM Analytics and ReportsOct 19, 2022
While we are huge fans of using a customer database tool such as Zoho CRM for your business, one of the biggest pain points can be CRM analytics and reporting. After you and your team have gone through the process of dutifully inputting data and keeping things up to date, how do you measure sales and marketing success?
This article aims at preparing CRM users, especially those using Zoho CRM, for how you can slice and dice your data to make the most of your CRM analytics.
What is your goal for CRM Analytics?
Yes, this may initially seem like a silly question but we promise it is important. When we've asked clients this question, often there is a long pause. Sometimes the client will tell us they need to think about it more and get with the team. Why? Frankly, people know that data analytics is important but without a goal in mind it's just a bunch of random numbers.
We have a few suggestions for goals you may consider, or at least get you thinking about how it applies to your business:
1. Overall Sales vs. Profit.
If you have a Deals / Opportunities module in your CRM that you are using to track sales, then obviously you want to know how you're doing. On a quarterly basis, you can set a KPI that leads to your annual goal.
One big specific thing to consider is the difference between revenue and profit. If you have a simple calculation for your profit (i.e. 30% of the total), then we recommend adding that formula field to your Deals / Opportunities module. This will make it easier for an analytics platform such as Zoho Analytics or Tableau to calculate overall success.
2. Sales Cycle and Duration (Sales Velocity)
It's certainly helpful to understand the length of your sales cycle - how long it takes from the time you create a Lead / Prospect to the time a deal is set to closed and won. Understanding your sales cycle or the time to conversion can be a huge help to both your marketing and sales departments.
Sales velocity measures how fast you’re making money. "It looks at how quickly leads are moving through your pipeline and how much value new customers provide over a given period."
3. New Vs. Existing Customers / Clients
Especially for B2B companies, it is important to understand where your revenue is coming from. Are you generating more revenue from existing clients? Or are you dependent on finding new clients? And what is the cost of acquiring a new client verses nurturing an existing one?
A second layer to the concept of evaluating new vs existing clients is Key Accounts. Which accounts produce the most revenue for your business?
4. Lead Sources
Do you know where your best, most qualified leads come from? So many small business owners are guessing and assuming they know their lead sources. Be sure to properly track this information in your CRM - either through a Lead Source field or a CRM "campaign". Perhaps you want to use a combination of these two options. A general grouping in the Lead Source field may be "Website" or "Web Form", but you can track the specific form or lead magnet using the campaigns module.
TIP: We often suggest renaming the campaigns module to Initiatives because the terminology can be confusing when you also use Zoho Campaigns for broadcast emails.
5. Industry Specific
Every company and industry has specific parameters for measuring potential and success. For an attorney, it may be the kinds of cases (i.e. Child Custody, Divorce, Custody Modification, Adoption). For a financial institution, it may be regions of the country where they are lending money. In a coaching company, you may want to measure based on the type of coaching program or "product" purchased; or perhaps the duration of the coaching is more important.
BIG RECOMMENDATION: You do not need to measure everything. Choose your top 3-5 items that actually impact your business and success.
Why we love Zoho's CRM Analytics
While there are built-in reports in Zoho CRM that allow you to see many of these reports, the ability to manipulate and combine data is somewhat limited. For this reason, we recommend using Zoho Analytics to produce more detailed reports and dashboards that you can share, email, export, or even embed. They even have a robust AI to further help you with your business intelligence.
Reading and understanding your CRM analytics within Zoho Analytics is...well, it's fun if you like charts and data. You can create dashboards with multiple charts and reports including widgets for tracking your KPIs. For us, one of the other big selling points is that you can blend and compare data from various sources. For example, you may want to see how your broadcast emails sent out of Zoho Campaigns impacted sales in Zoho CRM. The screenshot below shows the option for Data Blending between Zoho Campaigns and Zoho CRM where the contact's ID is used to connect the two data sets.
Zoho is constantly releasing improvements and updates to all of their apps. One of the exciting releases this year was integration with LinkedIn Pages (finally) with Zoho Analytics. Check out the latest updates on what has been added: Release Notes
While the reports and dashboards are created with fairly simple drag-and-drop tools, there are definitely nuances to learn as you go. Some of the automatically generated formulas (such as Stage Velocity) are not labeled or clearly defined. If you are not very familiar with the ways data interacts, then the way you combine data may be confusing at times.
Recommendations for Using Zoho Analytics for CRM Reports
It is easy to get lost in the sea of possible reports and charts in any analytics platform. And Zoho tries to make things easy for you by automatically generating charts, which can often lead to the feeling of overwhelm. So here are a few tips for getting exactly what you need:
1. Take it Slow.
When you first add Zoho CRM as a data source in Zoho Analytics, go through the process slowly. There are several small things to notice while connecting such as the time zone, which fields you want to sync, and how often. This may sound obvious, but it can drive you crazy if you expect data to be up to date in real-time when the sync can only be as frequent as every 3 hours.
In the screenshot below you can see there are many different things to review before you click that "Create" button including what fields you want to sync, importing and retaining data, timezone, and frequency of syncing the data. And, of course, deciding if you want to create default reports.
2. Stay up to date.
Any time you add a new field or integration with the CRM, you will need to update the data source setup to include those fields (if you want to report on them). One great example was the Lifetime Value field. We added a simple custom function to our Zoho CRM that adds up the amount of every won deal into a field in the Account record. If we want to report on that, we needed to update the setup in Zoho Analytics.
3. Folders are your friends.
One of the helpful ways to keep yourself organized in Zoho Analytics is by fully utilizing their folder system. By default, your raw data will be put into one folder and the automatically generated charts will be in another. We recommend making your own folder called Goals or KPIs or Important - whatever name makes sense for you. Move the reports that you want to regularly check into that folder and move it to the top.
Another helpful way to track what matters most to you is by adding a star to either a report or folder. This marks it as a favorite so you can click on the star at the top (next to search) and it filters out just the favorites.
4. Manipulate the Default Reports and Dashboards.
Rather than building all of your reports and dashboards from scratch, you can save time and energy by working with what is already there. As previously mentioned, when you import data from your CRM, Zoho Analytics will automatically generate reports and dashboards for you. Sometimes the idea is right with the report, but you might want an additional data point or a different filter. That is so much easier to do that building from a blank canvas.
The other tool to be aware of is Zia. There are three functions you can possible use: Ask Zia, Zia Insights and Auto-Analysis.
Ask Zia is like an AI chatbot to help you create reports by asking questions.
Zia Insights is an option within an existing report to recap or summarize big takeaways from that report.
And Auto-Analysis generates a dashboard of charts for you from a data set.
Are you ready to dig into your CRM Analytics now?
Here are a few more resources to help you get ideas about what to analyze and how to handle it from the team at Zoho:
- Sales Pipeline Optimization through Stage History Analysis: zoho.com/blog/analytics/stage-history-analysis.html
- Using Zone Analysis: https://help.zoho.com/portal/en/kb/crm/analytics-and-dashboards/analytics-or-dashboards/articles/zone-analysis
- Advanced Analytics for Zoho CRM: zoho.com/analytics/help/connectors/zohocrm-solution.html