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How to perform a CRM audit at the end of every year (8 precise steps included)

How to perform a CRM audit at the end of every year (8 precise steps included)

A Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) is one of the most efficient methods for managing leads. A good CRM platform allows you to track how you interact with leads. You can also automate some aspects of that relationship, which allows you to push leads down your sales funnel.

Setting up your CRM processes is time-consuming. Once everything is set up, though, you should have a better system in place for managing clients. However, just because you have these systems in place does not mean you can ignore your CRM.

To ensure the best results, you must periodically review and update your processes. This guide will show you how to perform a CRM audit at the end of every year.

What is a CRM audit?

A CRM audit is a chance to review how you use a CRM, both in terms of the automation systems that you have set up and how you are managing customers. A comprehensive audit will help you get the most out of your CRM by reducing gaps in the data and removing processes that waste time and resources.

Through a CRM audit, an audit team takes a close look at your CRM, searches for flaws in your CRM usage, and reveals issues with your sales process. The ideal outcome of a CRM audit is to improve customer satisfaction and close more sales.

Here is a checklist many companies use when they conduct a CRM audit:

CRM usage

The audit’s initial phase looks at CRM’s usage rate and its adoption rate among your salespeople. The audit team will look at the following factors:

  1. Number of daily records per user
  2. Number of calls, SMS, emails, discovery meetings, and site visits per week
  3. Number of tickets created and deals closed during the year
  4. How many users have accounts in your CRM out of your total sales team
  5. The proportion of sales activities logged versus those that aren’t logged

If your CRM usage rate is low, you might be wasting money on a system that doesn’t have buy-in from end-users. It might be time to switch to another CRM or educate them on the benefits of the one you’re currently using.

Data quality management

The second stage of a CRM audit is a review of data quality. During a review of data quality, the audit team will search for the following:

  1. Missing, incomplete, or incorrect names, contact details, and email addresses. You can use an email ID finder to update incorrect information
  2. Incorrect or missing product details, locations, customer types, and sales stages
  3. Incorrect classification of deals, requests, and inquires

A data quality review can help you identify potential customers. You might locate miscategorized transactions. Finally, a review could help you identify problems with your systems or issues with personnel who are managing the CRM.

Process quality and compliance

A CRM audit can also be used to discover issues with your process. The audit team looks for the following problems:

  1. Data assigned to the wrong user or a non-existent user
  2. Deals and request tickets that are about to go overdue
  3. Missed deliverable dates

Based on the CRM audit team’s findings, you can identify gaps in your process and make relevant improvements. You can also address any issues with compliance.

How to perform CRM audit: A step by step process

The following section of this guide will take a closer look at how to conduct a CRM audit. I’ll share the eight steps to go through, alongside the relevant information you need to complete each step. Let’s dive in.

Documentation review

When you set up your CRM, you likely created a document where you listed what you expect your CRM to do and what you want to achieve. Both of these lists are important. Within the context of a CRM audit, review the projected benefits you expected. Projected benefits are sometimes referred to as Key Performance Indicators.

Source: Essential Impact

A KPI review will help you determine if you are making the best use of your CRM. If there are problems, consider how to align your business goals with CRM usage better.

Data review

GDPR and other local laws similar to it specify a set of procedures and processes to govern the use of personal information and data privacy. A data review is an opportunity to identify issues with compliance. If there are issues with how you are managing data through your CRM, remedy them.

Second, the data audit should check whether the data stored in your CRM is still complete and detailed. Contrary to what many people think, data has a shelf life and can get “contaminated” as your records accumulate through multiple systems or get pushed down by newer records.

There is also the matter of customers changing their address, contact details, and ownership information. Sending an email to a procurement manager who no longer works with a client is a waste of time and resources and results in your marketing falling on deaf ears.

Taking actions like verifying emails, for example, will help improve data quality. You should conduct activities like this as part of your CRM audit.

Usage assessment

A usage assessment is a review of how employees are using your CRM. Even if most businesses conduct training, some employees will refuse to use it. Some people might be misusing CRM.

You can track different metrics as you do usage assessment, such as the frequency of logins, number of transactions logged per user, and the number of deals closed. Getting a usage assessment of your CRM will help you identify ways to identify issues and improve employee uptake.

A usage assessment is a vital part of your CRO audit for larger companies. After all, you can’t rely on the accuracy of data from your CRM if only 50% of your sales team is using the system.

End-user observations

Part of the usage assessment involves observing the experience of end-users and discussing their experiences and opinions. This process could take the form of interviews with employees, solution satisfaction surveys, and job shadowing, where the auditor sits beside an employee and observes how people use the CRM.

You can identify problems faced using the CRM and what they like most about the system through observation and feedback. The insights you gain will guide you as you try to improve how people use CRM.

Source: Product Tribe

In addition to interviews with employees, you should also conduct interviews and send surveys to customers. A better understanding of their experiences will help you understand how the CRM is being utilized, and where problems arise from both sides of the table. You need to understand your customer journey and their needs for your business to grow.

Integration testing

Your CRM is probably integrated with other software solutions. The most popular CRM integrations are email marketing solutions like Outlook, accounting software such as Quickbooks, calendars such as Google Calendar, marketing automation software such as Marketo and Mailchimp, and even video conferencing software like Zoom.

A CRM audit will test any solutions that you have integrated into your CRM and determine if they are working as designed. The audit could also give you ideas for process improvements that will maximize the integrated software features or suggest a better solution.

Reporting

Most people think of CRM reporting as the high-level dashboards that executives review weekly. A CRM can also provide internal operational reports that end-users review to check their performance and determine daily activities.

Examples of reports you can generate from most CRM’s include:

  • Profitability reports, which help you target the most loyal customers based on purchase history
  • Pipeline reports, which show where your leads are in your sales process
  • Sales forecasts, which use historical data to help you predict future revenue
  • Goal progress reports, which measure sales campaign performance against their goals

A CRM audit will examine whether these reports reflect the business’s state accurately and whether they provide actionable insights that help shape business decisions.

Your organization runs on data. You need to ensure that data and reporting are accurate.

Regulatory compliance

Depending on your location, the clients you serve, and your industry, your CRM will need to comply with relevant legislation. For example, GDPR, HIPAA, SOX, that deal with personal information, document retention, and financial reporting.

An audit will inspect your CRM for gaps through which you could lose sensitive information. A CRM audit can also identify compliance issues.

For instance, when a former customer requests that they be removed from your mailing list, you have an obligation to remove them from your records. Trying to “game” the spam filters and forcing your email communications through to their inboxes could lead to lawsuits under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Recommendations

A CRM audit team does more than just point out errors or items that are non-compliant with regulations or best practices. Suppose your business’s CRM users do not record transactions properly or do not follow regulatory requirements for CRM use. In that case, they might also have the same attitude towards regulatory compliance as a whole.

Compliance issues can be a reflection of a culture of poor corporate governance and low self-accountability.

On the other hand, when a CRM is used and maintained properly, the chances are that your business is really serious about protecting and updating its customers’ data. A CRM audit also allows you to initiate customer profile analysis and improve conversion rates.

A CRM audit can also provide insights on how your organization is being managed.

Audit recommendations can also apply to the longer term. Suppose your business has a long-term growth plan. In that case, your audit team will look at your CRM and give you recommendations for regular data maintenance, improving system adoption, and streamlining sales processes.

Bottomline

While the ideal scenario for CRM maintenance involves keeping track of inaccuracies and inefficient processes all year round, we recognize that not all businesses have the capability to do that without compromising their operations. The end of the year is when businesses are winding down their operations, making a CRM audit more possible.

This season is also when your business is likely preparing its financial documents in preparation for tax season, including sales figures and sales in the pipeline. As your business heads into a brand-new year, an up-to-date CRM that has only valid customer data will help you build and develop customer relationships and increase your revenue.

Whether you do it in-house or get outside help from professional CRM auditors, you should make cleaning up and auditing your CRM one of your top priorities before the year ends.