Overrated CRM metrics (and how to make them more relevant)

91% of companies with more than 11 employees now use CRM software. Data insights are one of the biggest assets of these systems. Most of the major systems come with hundreds of metrics that you can track, analyze, plot, and report. That said, some are more worth your time than others.

What’s the point of tracking metrics and measuring results? To find ways to improve performance. And while some metrics might be interesting to look at, they’re out of your control to change.

Metrics related to business results, such as revenue and market share are great to use in a presentation to your boss, but they don’t offer insights into things you can actually change. The same goes for metrics related to sales activities.

The metrics that will really give you actionable insights are those related to sales objectives. These you can influence. Here are some of the most important ones to measure:

Number of sales calls

Sales closing rate is the number of leads that were converted into customers during a set time period. You can look at this metric for individual sales representatives and overall to measure performance.

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Compare sales closing rate to a metric like number of sales calls. Increasing the number of sales calls doesn’t necessarily lead to more ROI, but improving your sales closing rate does.

Customer acquisition rate 

It’s common knowledge in business that it costs more to get a customer than keep one. This should be reflected in the CRM metrics you track - acquisition rate is of limited value if you don't know whether your new customers stick around. 

Pay attention to customer retention rate and you’ll see how well your employees are managing relationships with your current customers. If customer retention rate is poor, maybe there are some barriers to renewal or customer service issues you can address.

Prospecting success rate

We live in an interconnected world, and not all sales come from prospecting. Some inquiries will come in through social media, your website, or other inbound efforts. Track the volume of these inquiries and their origin to look for more marketing opportunities.

You should also pay attention to metrics like time to close by channel to see which platforms are most efficient for prospecting and inbound efforts.

Take your CRM metrics further

Those are the major ones, but there are plenty of more nuanced sales metrics you can measure and learn from, such as:

  • Number of prospects
  • Number of new customers
  • Number of open opportunities
  • Length of sales cycle 
  • Number of sales calls made
  • New vs recurring revenue

According to Forbes Insights, 53% of top-performing companies are investing in CRM to drive sales productivity. Choose the right data points to analyze to make the most of CRM for that purpose.

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Courtney Danyel

About the author…

Courtney is a business writer, content marketing expert, Twitter addict (@danyeltravels) and recovering academic. These days she works with marketing agencies and SaaS companies to create content that engages audiences, generates buzz, builds relationships, and drives sales.

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Courtney Danyel