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CRM Dashboard: The Key to Better Business Insights

Using a CRM dashboard gives you real-time insights that can supercharge your business intelligence. Learn how to set one up today!

Using a CRM dashboard can be the key to unlocking top-tier analytics that help take your business to new heights.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, don’t worry. This article will explain what CRM dashboards are, why they’re beneficial, and how exactly to set them up to get the most out of them.

Let’s dive in.

What is a CRM dashboard?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is one of the most useful tools available for gaining crucial insights into your business performance. There’s a wide array of CRM solutions on the market, many very reasonably priced. In fact, CRM software is one of the most popular low-budget software solutions commonly used by small businesses.

One big upside to CRM tools is that they’re designed to play nicely with other business management software.

If you’re thinking of stepping up to using a full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, you’ll find having a CRM platform in place won’t create any issues with ERP implementation, because it takes the same kind of well-organised approach to real-time data management that ERP tools also focus on.

The CRM dashboard, which is the central visual focus of CRM software, really demonstrates this approach. It gathers together all of your key performance indicators, sales data and other business-critical information and displays it in an easy-to-view format.

Benefits of using CRM dashboards

Let’s take a look at some of the standout benefits of using CRM dashboards.

Provides real-time data view for easy tracking and trend identification

A big plus of a real-time data view is that it offers the most current information available. This can be incredibly valuable when you've got decisions to make. If you're interacting with customers or analysing performance metrics you want the latest data.

It also helps you run operations smoothly because it allows for immediate action. For example, if a customer has just purchased a product, a CRM system can immediately update their profile and automatically trigger other systems to prepare the order for shipping.

What’s more, if there’s a problem – a sudden drop in sales for a particular item, let’s say – you’ll be able to see it immediately. You can begin to investigate what’s going on and hopefully resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Overall, having real-time data at your fingertips helps you respond to emerging trends fast. This can give your business a substantial competitive edge.

Image sourced from plecto.com

Image sourced from plecto.com

Automates time-consuming tasks involved in analysing data

CRM dashboards give you customisable, automated reporting. All you need to do is set it up with the metrics you want to track and it’s ready to go. This cuts down massively on manual data collection and analysis and frees up your staff to focus on more important work.

It also means there’s less room for human error to creep in, so you can be sure of consistent and accurate results.

There’s also the question of scalability, which is one of the fundamental reasons for the popularity of cloud solutions in general. As your business grows, the amount of data you collect will likely grow as well. Automated data analysis can easily scale to handle larger datasets, something that’s much more challenging with manual analysis.

Improves financial decision-making with cash flow insights

Knowing when to make big financial decisions isn’t always straightforward. Maybe you run a small business selling jewellery on craft sites. How do you know when the right time will be to start buying more raw materials, so you’re not left out of pocket?

Or perhaps you’re a factory manager considering switching to the kind of manufacturing software small business owners need to grow a customer base while keeping a lid on costs.

In both of these cases, and plenty of others, seeing your cash flow situation at a glance on a CRM dashboard can be incredibly helpful as a starting point. It’s not the end of the story, of course. Any big decision comes with a lot of due diligence to follow.

But being able to see the data clearly set out on the dashboard is a good first step towards assessing your financial circumstances.

Free to use image from Unsplash

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to create a CRM dashboard

So it’s easy to see why using a CRM dashboard can benefit your business. But how do you set one up in practice? Here are the main steps you need to take:

Identify your business goals and the right metrics to track

The first step in creating a CRM dashboard is to identify what you hope to achieve using it. Are you seeking to increase customer retention, improve sales conversion rates, or maybe monitor customer service interactions? Your business goals need to form the foundation of the metrics you choose to track.

Make a comprehensive list of all the metrics that could help you measure progress towards your business goals. This could include:

  • customer lifetime value
  • lead conversion rates
  • customer satisfaction
  • sales growth
  • net promoter score

Make sure to choose the metrics that really matter to you. Don’t just clutter the dashboard with 30 different figures. Doing that is counterproductive because it obscures the important facts. You’re aiming to create a dashboard that will give you genuine insights that you can grasp at a glance.

Organise the metrics into tailored dashboards for different users

One of the great strengths of CRM dashboards is that they’re customisable. You can adapt them to suit individual employees depending on their role.

For instance, your sales team will probably want to see information such as monthly sales figures and conversions, whereas your customer support department may be more interested in customer satisfaction data. It’s easy to set CRM dashboards up to show whatever you want.

Sort the metrics you choose according to the roles of the people who are going to use them. Each staff member should have a set of metrics tailored to their specific needs and goals so that the dashboard is genuinely useful for them.

Share the dashboards with specific users or in your team

It’s a good idea to set user permissions so that each dashboard is only visible to people with the relevant roles within your organisation. That keeps things simple and prevents any confusion.

Think about rolling out the dashboards internally in stages. If you start with a small group, you can then get feedback that will help you fine-tune the settings. Then, you can roll the improved version out to a wider audience. At this point, offer training sessions in how to use the new dashboards so that everyone gets the most out of them.

Compile documentation that explains the meaning of each metric and why it’s important. Doing this makes it easier for your team to understand the purpose of each part of the dashboard and help them use the data to its best advantage.

Free to use image from Unsplash

Free to use image from Unsplash

Best practices for using CRM dashboards

Once you’ve set your CRM dashboard up, it’s crucial to optimise it. There are a few best practices to follow to achieve this.

Use various visualisation tools like charts, graphs, and tables

Never underestimate the importance of effective visualisation. It’s one of the supporting pillars of the power of brands and it’s just as powerful when it comes to understanding data.

The user experience should be foremost in your mind when you’re designing the dashboard layout. This means that important metrics should be easy to locate and understand. Use a variety of graphs, charts, and tables for effective visualisation.

Make sure your visual design is consistent across all visual elements. Similar metrics should use the same type of visualisation for easier comparison and interpretation.

You may be tempted to create very intricate visuals, but it’s best to avoid that since these can sometimes make data harder to understand. Ideally, you should be aiming for a balance between providing detail and maintaining clarity.

Add filters and drill-down options for detailed data exploration

Add customisable filters that allow users to select the data they see by parameters such as time period or customer segment. Set up the dashboard so that you can start with high-level metrics and then drill down into more specific data points.

For instance, it should be possible to begin by looking at total sales and then to drill down to see sales by region or individual store.

You also need to incorporate a search function. This will allow your team to quickly find the data they’re interested in, rather than having to navigate through multiple layers to get to it. Allow users to save their filter settings and custom views so they can easily revisit them later or share them.

Free to use image from Unsplash

Free to use image from Unsplash

Review and update your dashboards regularly

Regular reviews are key. Set up a schedule for appraising the dashboards and checking that they still align with your business goals. Make it easy for users to give feedback on how useful the dashboard is and make changes based on what they say.

As your business develops, your KPIs and metrics may also need to change. It’s vital that your dashboard remains aligned with any new goals or strategies. Conduct regular reviews of your data sources to make sure they’re accurate and up to date.

It’s good practice to keep a record of the changes that you’ve made to the dashboard. This will be valuable both for current users and anyone who might use the dashboard in the future.

Final thoughts

The value that a CRM dashboard can bring to your organisation can’t be overstated. It simplifies the task of finding and reporting business-critical data and presents it in a way that is very easy to use. You’ll benefit from real-time insights that help your team reach a new level of productivity.

In fact, once you’ve got it set up, you’ll probably wonder how you ever did without it.

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