Keep an eye on this data to gain a competitive advantage.
For businesses today, customer relationship management (CRM) systems play a central role in collecting, organizing and leveraging information. Simply having a CRM system though is no guarantee of success. It’s only when we’re familiar with key CRM analytics that we can utilize these systems to their full potential.
For those who are unfamiliar with CRMs, trying to extract valuable insights can sometimes feel like wading through alphabet soup. CACs. NPSs. CLTVs. These are all common metrics that businesses use every day to drive productivity and profitability. But let’s face it, they aren’t the most comprehensible of figures – especially when lacking appropriate context. Never fear though. We will break them down one at a time.
Top CRM metrics
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): First up is customer acquisition cost, which relates to the associated costs with bringing on new business. CAC is essential information for any business for a host of reasons. Without it, making accurate and objective assessments about your sales and marketing efforts is much more difficult. And optimizing your strategies? Next to impossible!
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Another must-have metric is customer lifetime value or CLTV, which is important for long-term planning and determining the potential profitability of your customer base. By gaining this deep knowledge, you can better focus on customer retention.
- Conversion Rate: Unsurprisingly, being aware of the conversion rate of your sales and marketing activities is very important. Referring to the percentage of leads or prospects that you convert into paying customers, conversion rates allow you to better understand your overall ROI. Use this figure to optimize your sales processes, bolster your leads’ experience and ultimately make more sales.
- Customer Churn Rate: Just as important as understanding how many customers you are gaining over time is discovering the exact opposite. “Customer churn rate” is the metric that provides this information, reflecting the percentage of your client base that stops doing business with you over a given amount of time. When your churn rate is low, that means something is going right in how you are delivering your services. When it is high, you need to delve into what might be going wrong and ask some hard questions as to why.
- Length of Sales Cycle: The next metric we want to cover is “length of sales cycle,” which tracks the time from when you create a prospect in your system and when you close new business. A business needs to have visibility into this process to know when to engage with a partner and when they can afford to leave them alone. As any marketing expert will tell you, the way a prospect responds to a piece of content will depend heavily on where they are in the sales cycle. Sending a conversion asset when a prospect is in the awareness stage, for instance, is one of the last things you want to do. Monitoring the length of the sales cycle can help you avoid this problem.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Net promoter score is another way to understand how your customers are feeling about you in the long term. Collecting and tracking this data through a survey can provide you with incredible insight into whether your customers would recommend your agency to others. Since word of mouth is one of the most compelling ways that people find services to trust and do business with, the value of learning your NPS speaks for itself.
Relationships make the business world go-round
Strong customer relationships are a cornerstone of long-term business sustainability. By utilizing your CRM’s metrics to their fullest, you can gain a much deeper understanding of your agency’s costs and ROI, while finding tangible ways to improve your marketing and sales and deepen your customer base’s loyalty. In a competitive business environment like ours, these are advantages you just can’t pass up.
Take the next step. Learn how to select a CRM system that will compliment your business.
Digitization has changed business; how can you take advantage?
If you spend any time on technology websites or blogs, then you have probably heard the term “digital transformation.” In the broadest sense, digital transformation or “DX” refers to the adoption of digital services to replace non-digital or analog applications and tools. When digital transformation is done well, it has been shown to increase innovation, customer experience, productivity and bottom-line profitability. For agents, there are numerous areas where you can deploy digital technology for business advantage. In this blog, we will examine what you can gain from going digital, as well as some best practices for a successful transition.
Benefits Of DX
Let’s look a bit closer at a couple of the potential benefits DX holds. First, digital tools can streamline incoming communication, letting customers effortlessly navigate to a specific department or agent. Switching to a digital phone system like voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) also give agencies additional functionality like automatic call-back features, call volume management, call monitoring and more. These tools contribute to happier customers, higher productivity and better brand awareness.
Next, DX can help you develop a well-rounded, 360-degree view of your customer base. Flexible, scalable tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software serve as a strong foundation for a modern, interconnected tech stack. Other services can be layered on top of a CRM to create an even more comprehensive digital suite. Integrate your email marketing service to better target prospects. Interweave collaboration software to align your departments or agents. Whatever you choose, it is now more than possible to unify your external and internal operations for maximum efficiency through the power of technology.
DX Implementation Best Practices
To ensure your digital transformation is a success, never assume that the technology itself is a magic bullet. Just like any business initiative, DX must be approached strategically. The first step is to get a clear idea of the problems you’re trying to solve. Second, you must have the right culture in place. There is a wise old saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and that certainly holds for digital transformation. DX is a complex process. Without a culture that embraces change, experimentation and open-mindedness, it won’t be easy to adapt to new systems, solutions and tools.
Measuring the ROI of DX
Measuring your DX’s ROI is also a critical piece of the process. Unless you have clear metrics in place, it is difficult if not impossible to determine if your investment has paid off. Begin by determining the cost metrics of your digital transformation. This includes not only the direct expenses for new digital technology, but also indirect costs related to business network infrastructure, consulting activity, and staff onboarding and training time.
Equally important is stacking these costs up against your value metrics. These could include bringing in more prospects, building out better customer personas, improving staff productivity or expanding company profitability. As with any business goal (IT-related or not) you’ll want these metrics to be SMART – that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely – so you can weigh them easily against your costs.
DX is Your Path Toward a Future-Proof Business
Digital transformation is the way forward for any business looking to better engage with customers, collaborate well internally, while also safeguarding against future disruption. While not a cure-all, a well-executed DX can give you a clear advantage over competitors.
Learn more about digital transformation.
For many people, automation can feel a tad unnerving, evoking dystopian fears of robots replacing humans in the workplace. While there is a kernel of truth here, the reality is that workplace automation has also already been helping businesses reduce inefficiencies and net higher profits for generations – going back all the way to the Industrial Revolution. Today, automation continues to move full steam ahead, providing future-thinking business leaders like yourself with the chance to optimize your operations and gain a competitive advantage.
What do we mean when we talk about workplace automation?
Automation means different things depending on the industry. But when you boil it down to its essence, all automation is really referring to is technology that reduces or eliminates the need for human involvement in a series of tasks.
Automation plays an important role in our sector, with new and emerging technologies like machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and more helping complete tasks with greater speed and dexterity. And when you add in an increasingly stringent regulatory environment, it is easy to see why title insurance professionals are turning to automation to push back against competitors, navigate cumbersome regulations and unlock value.
Of course, for independent agencies, gaining the benefits of advanced technologies can be challenging. But even when dealing with finite time and money, there are solutions agencies of any size can implement to ratchet up their profitability and create better processes.
- Customer relationship management (CRM): CRMs are essential for any agency looking to build out their tech stack. Not only do CRMs make it easier to generate sales leads but they also help agents manage their roster of existing policyholders. Learn more about CRMs on our blog.
- Meeting scheduling: Modern business is full of meetings. Make it easier by deploying a free, automated tool like Calendly to streamline scheduling and avoid the annoying back-and-forth that can occur when trying to pin down a meeting date. Review some of 2022’s top scheduling applications and tools.
- Expense tracking: When running a small agency, every dollar and cent matters. Business owners need an easy, low-cost way to track organizational spending. Here are some of the most popular platforms for managing your spending.
- Invoice management: We have previously discussed automating your invoice management processes on this blog, and we will reiterate here how important this is. Whether tracking invoice delivery and payment status or reducing missed payments and simplifying accounting processes, this is an excellent automation tool to have in your toolbox.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Automation can be an intimidating and even unsettling topic, but at the end of the day, we are all trying to work smarter, not harder. Automation has played an important part in that process for millennia now, harkening back to innovations like Johann Gutenberg’s printing press and Eli Whitney’s cotton gin. In our industry, automation can make a complex enterprise easier. From better customer management and easier file sharing and collaboration, the benefits speak for themselves.