What the Heck is BI from My CRM?

Business Intelligence from your CRM Solution

In the software world we are always trying to come up with new catch phrases in order to catch your eye when reading articles.  The new industry buzz word is "Business Intelligence".

What is business intelligence?  It is defined as the technique in which software identifies, extracts, and analyzes business data such as sales revenue by state or potential sales by account managers.  So if you are currently using your CRM system effectively by creating sales opportunities and recording the information relevant to your business, you are then able to create custom reports or potentially custom dashboards.  These additional tools will then in turn provide the business intelligence that could help guide your marketing and sales teams.

How does one obtain this business intelligence?  The first thing to do is take a step back and review the data you currently have.  Is the data up to date and valid?  If not, maybe a simple exception report emailed to the different account executives to update the required information would resolve this issue.  Remember your ability to generate valuable business intelligence is limited to your business's ability to record the necessary information in its CRM system as this is a two-step process.  From there you identify what your business would deem valuable, such as sales pipeline reports, company exception reports or maybe a dashboard letting you know who your sales team hasn't contacted within the last 90 days.  These types of potentially automated reports or dashboards are the first step in introducing business intelligence to your business.

So while "IT Geeks" work on finding the next catch phrase maybe it's time your business takes a look at business intelligence to see how it can provide you with the "intelligence" that will allow you to guide your decisions in a more efficient method.