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CRM Metrics That Work: 10 Ways to Measure ROI

Measuring the performance and ROI of your CRM system can sometimes feel like a guessing game. There are many different metrics to consider, making it difficult to know what’s important to keep track of.

This guide is designed to help you avoid all the guesswork. Whether you’re an existing BuddyCRM user or not, the metrics below will let you determine whether your current CRM implementation is a success, making it easier to get the most out of your investment.

How to Measure CRM Success

In the landscape of CRM, there’s no shortage of advice, best practices, and recommended metrics. But how do you sift through the noise to find what works? That’s where our extensive research comes into play.

By analysing over 50 trusted sources, we’ve distilled the collective wisdom of various industry experts to provide a holistic view of CRM performance metrics for easy reference. We’ve also included formulas to ensure that what we discuss is both relevant and actionable.

10 Most Popular & Effective CRM Metrics + How to Compute

After reviewing the top 50 sources on the subject, we’ve found the top ten most popular and effective metrics to measure CRM success:

1. Lead and Conversion Metrics

  • Increase in Conversion Rates
  • Decrease in Cost Per Lead
  • Increase in Revenue Per Lead

2. Productivity Metrics

  • Shorter Sales Cycle
  • Rep Productivity Gains
  • More Time Saved
  • Better Marketing ROI

3. Customer Value and Retention Metrics

  • Improved Customer Retention Rate
  • Higher Customer Lifetime Value
  • Lower Churn Rate

Lead and Conversion Metrics

Increase in Conversion Rates

Conversion rates stand as one of the most direct indicators of a CRM system’s effectiveness. When we talk about conversion rates, we’re essentially measuring the ability of your CRM to turn potential leads into actual customers. A higher conversion rate not only signifies a more efficient sales process but also indicates that the leads being generated are of high quality and relevance.

Improving conversion rates directly impacts revenue without necessarily increasing marketing or sales costs. For instance, if previously only two out of every ten leads converted, and now four out of ten leads convert due to better CRM practices, you’ve effectively doubled your sales without increasing lead acquisition costs.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Extract data from your CRM on leads and conversions for a specific period.

2. Compute for the Current Conversion Rate.

Conversion Rate = (Number of Conversions / Total Leads) x 100%

3. Compare the results against the conversion rate for a past period. A positive value indicates improvement, while a negative value suggests decline.

Increase in Conversion Rate = Current Conversion Rate – Past Conversion Rate


Increase in Revenue Per Lead

The revenue generated per lead is a pivotal metric that offers insights into both the quality of leads and the effectiveness of the sales process. When we see an increase in this metric, it suggests that each lead is more likely to convert and more valuable in terms of potential revenue.

An increase in revenue per lead can stem from various factors: better lead qualification, more effective sales strategies, or even upselling and cross-selling opportunities. By focusing on this metric, businesses can ensure that they’re not just chasing any lead, but the right leads that bring in more revenue.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Extract data from your CRM on revenue and leads for a specific period. Sum up the revenue from all sales to get the total revenue for the period, including details such as the number of products/services sold, the price point of each sale, and any discounts or returns.

2. Compute the Current Revenue Per Lead by dividing the total revenue by the total number of leads for the specific period.

Revenue Per Lead = Total Revenue / Total Leads

3. Compare the results against the Revenue Per Lead for a past period. A positive value indicates improvement, while a negative value suggests decline.

Increase in Revenue Per Lead = Current Revenue Per Lead – Past Revenue Per Lead


Decrease in Cost Per Lead

Cost Per Lead (CPL) is another critical metric that quantifies the cost associated with generating a new lead. It provides insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. 

A decrease in CPL indicates that you can acquire leads more cost-effectively, which can mean that your marketing strategies are becoming more efficient. A decrease in CPL suggests you’re getting more value for your marketing spend, whether it’s due to improved targeting, better ad placements, or more compelling content. This improves profitability and allows you to generate more leads within the same budget.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Retrieve data from your CRM or marketing platform on the total amount spent on marketing campaigns, including advertising costs, content creation, marketing software subscriptions, and any other related expenses. Also, account for overhead costs such as salaries of marketing personnel, agency fees, and other operational costs.

2. Compute the Current Cost Per Lead by dividing the total cost by the total number of leads for the specific period.

CPL = Total Marketing Spend + Overhead Costs / Number of Leads Generated

3. Compare the results against the Cost Per Lead for a past period. A positive value indicates a decrease in CPL, suggesting more efficient lead generation.

Decrease in CPL = Past CPL – Current CPL


Productivity Metrics

Shorter Sales Cycles

The Sales Cycle Length represents the average amount of time it takes for a lead to progress through the sales funnel and convert into a customer. It provides a clear picture of the efficiency of your sales process. A shorter sales cycle can lead to faster revenue generation, while a longer cycle might indicate potential bottlenecks or inefficiencies.

Understanding the length of the sales cycle is crucial for forecasting revenue and managing resources. This can help you streamline your operation and lead to quicker deal closures, better cash flow, and improved customer satisfaction. 

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Retrieve data from your CRM on the number of leads and the dates of their entry and conversion for a specific period.

2. Calculate or estimate the Current Sales Cycle Length.

Sales Cycle Length = (Date of Conversion – Date of Lead Entry) / Total Number of Converted Leads

3. Compare the results against the Sales Cycle Length for a past period. A negative value indicates a shorter sales cycle, suggesting more efficient sales processes.

Change in Sales Cycle Length = Past Sales Cycle Length – Current Sales Cycle Length


Time Saved

Time Saved measures the reduction in hours or days spent on key tasks due to the CRM system. It quantifies the efficiency gains and showcases the tangible benefits of a streamlined process.

By quantifying the time saved, businesses can allocate resources more effectively, focus on strategic activities, and ultimately drive better sales results. Moreover, time saved can translate into cost savings, especially when considering employee wages and opportunity costs.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Estimate the number of hours it took to complete key tasks and workflows before the CRM was implemented. There are different ways to do this, but you can start by looking into the following:

  • Historical Data: Refer to historical data from the time before the CRM was in place. Look at how long tasks took on average.
  • Task Analysis: Break down tasks that are now managed or automated by the CRM. Estimate the time each task took without the CRM’s assistance. This might include manual data entry, lead tracking, report generation, etc.
  • Surveys & Feedback: Ask team members to estimate how long they spent on specific tasks before the CRM was implemented. Their insights can provide valuable data.

Estimated Hours without CRM = Sum of (Average time per task x Frequency of task)

2. Compute the Actual Hours with CRM now that your CRM software is active. Your CRM should have time-tracking and time-stamping, which can provide insights into how long specific tasks take.

Actual Hours with CRM = Sum of (Average time per task with CRM x Frequency of task)

3. Compare the Time Saved.

Time Saved = Estimated Hours without CRM – Actual Hours with CRM


Rep Productivity Gains

Rep Productivity Gains measure the improvement in the output or efficiency of sales representatives due to implementing a CRM system. It quantifies the tangible benefits of streamlined processes, better lead management, and enhanced sales tools.

By measuring and improving this metric, you can improve the way your team interacts with customers and address common sales challenges they encounter. Enhancing their productivity can lead to more closed deals and better customer relationships, leading to a higher ROI on personnel costs.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Extract data from your CRM on the number of tasks or activities completed by sales reps for a specific period.. looking at the following metrics:

  • Sales Data: Retrieve data from your CRM on the number of deals closed or revenue generated by each sales rep for a specific period.
  • Active Working Hours: Calculate the number of hours each rep actively spent on sales-related activities. This could include lead follow-ups, demos, proposal creation, and closing deals.

Current Rep Productivity = Number of Deals Closed (or Revenue Generated) / Active Working Hours

2. Retrieve past productivity data from a previous comparable period to determine the productivity rate from that time.

3. Compare the results against the Rep Productivity for a past period. A positive value indicates an improvement in rep productivity, while a negative value suggests a decline

Rep Productivity Gains = Current Rep Productivity – Past Rep Productivity


Better Marketing ROI

Marketing ROI (Return on Investment) quantifies the return on marketing investments relative to the marketing costs. It provides insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and strategies in generating revenue.

Understanding Marketing ROI is crucial to ensure that your marketing spend is being used effectively. A positive ROI indicates that marketing efforts are generating more revenue than they cost, while a negative ROI suggests the opposite.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Extract data on all marketing-related expenses for a specific period. This includes advertising costs, campaign expenses, content creation, marketing software subscriptions, and any other related costs.

Total Marketing Cost = Sum of all marketing-related expenses

2. Retrieve data on the total revenue generated from marketing campaigns for the specific period, then compute the current Marketing ROI. Get the total revenue generated from leads and customers acquired through marketing campaigns.

Marketing ROI = [(Revenue from Marketing – Total Marketing Cost) / Total Marketing Cost] x 100%

3. Access data from a previous comparable period to determine the Marketing ROI for a past period. Compute for the Improvement in Marketing ROI.

Increase in Marketing ROI = Current Marketing ROI – Past Marketing ROI


Customer Value and Retention Metrics

Improved Customer Retention Rate

Customer Retention Rate (CRR) is a pivotal metric that reflects the percentage of customers your business retains over a specific period. It’s not just an indicator of customer satisfaction but also a direct measure of how effectively you’re using your CRM system. A rising CRR suggests that the CRM is capturing customer preferences and feedback efficiently, leading to enhanced customer experiences and repeat business.

When implemented and used correctly, your CRM should streamline communication, offer personalised interactions, and ensure timely follow-ups. A consistent or increasing CRR indicates that customers are having positive interactions managed through the CRM, leading to their continued loyalty.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Measure the total number of customers at the start and end of a specific period, as well as the number of new customers acquired during that period, then calculate the Current Customer Retention Rate.

CRR = [(Number of Customers at End of Period – New Customers Acquired) / Number of Customers at Start of Period] x 100%

2. Access data from a previous comparable period to determine the CRR from that time.

3. Interpret the results. A positive value indicates an increase in customer retention, suggesting improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Conversely, a negative value indicates a decline in retention, which might warrant a review of customer relationship strategies.

Change in CRR = Current CRR – Past CRR


Higher Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) represents the total revenue your business can expect from a single customer throughout your relationship with them. It’s a metric that combines the average purchase value, purchase frequency, and customer lifespan. A higher CLV indicates that customers spend more and are loyal to the business over time.

A CRM can significantly influence a customer’s lifetime value by centralising customer data, tracking purchase histories, and facilitating personalised marketing campaigns. Implemented correctly, a CRM can lead to more targeted marketing, better customer service, and increased sales from repeat customers.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Extract customer purchase data from your CRM on the average purchase value, purchase frequency, and average customer lifespan for a specific period, then calculate the Current Customer Lifetime Value:

CLV = Average Purchase Value x Purchase Frequency x Average Customer Lifespan

2. Access data from a previous comparable period to determine the CLV from that time.

3. Compare the Results. A positive value indicates an increase in CLV, suggesting that customers are becoming more valuable over time.

Change in CLV = Current CLV – Past CLV


Lower Churn Rate

Churn Rate measures the percentage of customers who stop using a product or service during a specific time frame. It’s a critical metric for businesses with subscription-based models, providing insights into customer satisfaction, product fit, and potential areas of improvement in the customer experience.

A high Churn Rate indicates that customers are not finding enough value in your product or service, leading to lost revenue and increased acquisition costs. Understanding and reducing churn is crucial for sustainable growth, as retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.

How to Compute and Compare:

1. Retrieve data from your CRM on the number of customers at the start of a specific period and the number of customers who churned during that period. Compute the Current Churn Rate:

Churn Rate = (Number of Customers Churned / Number of Customers at Start of Period) x 100%

3. Retrieve data from a previous comparable period to determine the Churn Rate from that time.

4. Compare the Results. A positive value indicates an increase in Churn Rate, suggesting potential issues with customer satisfaction or product fit. Conversely, a negative value indicates a decrease in Churn Rate, highlighting improved customer retention and satisfaction.

Change in Churn Rate = Current Churn Rate – Past Churn Rate


Intangible Benefits: Other Measures of CRM Success

Not every benefit of a CRM system can be neatly measured or boiled down to a number. Some advantages, while harder to quantify, are just as vital in determining the success of a CRM implementation.

Let’s explore some of these benefits:

  1. Increased Departmental Collaboration: CRMs should foster inter-departmental collaboration, bridging gaps and ensuring seamless cooperation between teams like sales, marketing, and customer service.
  2. Enhanced Internal Communication: Centralised databases and tools in CRM systems promote clear communication, reducing misunderstandings and promoting a cohesive work environment.
  3. Higher Quality Insights from Reporting: CRM reporting tools should offer valuable insights into customer behaviour and sales trends, aiding strategic decision-making.
  4. Better Data Integrity, Security & Regulatory Compliance: Your CRM should ensure data safety with features like encryption and access controls, helping you stay compliant with data protection regulations.
  5. Improved Customer Experience: CRMs centralise customer data, enabling businesses to offer personalised experiences, boosting satisfaction and loyalty.
  6. Enhanced Forecasting and Planning: The data in CRM systems should aid in accurate sales and revenue forecasts, leading to better planning and resource allocation.

Wrapping Up

Implementing a CRM system offers a wide range of measurable and intangible benefits. While tracking specific metrics to gauge the system’s effectiveness is crucial, it’s equally important to recognise the broader advantages that enhance daily operations and long-term planning.

In today’s competitive business environment, a robust CRM system isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity. BuddyCRM is tailored to provide businesses with the tools they need to track progress and achieve their goals. Discover the difference by scheduling a demo with us today.

See how BuddyCRM can work for your industry.

Call us on 0121 288 0808.