Business audits are a necessary but often complicated part of life for many companies, for example, those that operate within the financial services sphere. They provide an external double-check that your processes are efficient, comprehensive and being implemented as they should be.
For many, preparing for such an audit can be a daunting task. They can require hours of sifting through data to make sure you can approach the checks you’ll face with confidence. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Properly-implemented technology, especially a powerful CRM, can save you hours of manually organising and digging through data ahead of your audit.
In this article, we outline the four main ways that CRM solutions can help your audits go more smoothly and seamlessly.
1. CRMs collate all of your data in one place
The primary cause of a complicated business audit is having to track down data points across a range of different platforms and data management tools. For instance, If you have your marketing, sales, customer service and retention data all scattered and siloed across different data banks, it’s much harder for your auditor to see the full picture of how they all play into one another. Brands that have all their data integrated into a single customer view automatically have a significant advantage when it comes to approaching an audit.
This is where a CRM like Salesforce can be invaluable, eliminating siloes and collating all your information in one easy-to-audit location.
We worked with Belgian voucher-publication brand Monizze to solve this exact problem. Previously, they used a number of different technology platforms for sales, marketing, supporting, quotation management and billing - tools that were not integrated together. The solution was to set up a consolidated CRM set-up, combining Salesforce Sales Cloud, Pardot and Service Cloud to keep everything under one digital roof. This not only made it easier for them to analyse and assess their performance when needed but hugely increased their sales efficiency to close more deals.
2. Complete transparency
Gaining that sought-after 360-degree view of your customer, processes and successes also comes down to having full visibility over your business. When preparing for an audit, that means having complete transparency over incomings/outgoings and knowing what’s working/what isn’t.
Given their powerful and intuitive nature, CRMs make this noticeably easier. With a CRM, the data you need for your audit is much easier to identify and segment. You can use automated data visualisation tools to create custom tables, charts and graphs that tell the whole story. This means that, in advance of your audit, you’re able to dedicate your time and effort to interpreting rather than finding data.
3. Forecasting capabilities
Oftentimes, passing an audit is not just about being able to show that what you have done in the past has been working, but that your current endeavours are on-track to perform. If you can showcase, ideally on an individual project/process basis, that your focuses are data-driven and likely to drive impact, it will make it much easier for the auditor to see that you’re on top of things and working with the customers’ best interests at heart.
CRMs like Salesforce are well-equipped to enable this. Once your data has been consolidated into one none-siloed, transparent location, you’re then able to implement powerful forecasting processes and run simulations. Salesforce Analytics Cloud is particularly strong for forecasting, as a CRM that has been custom-designed with business intelligence at the forefront.
4. Automation of manual tasks
One of the biggest ways that a well-implemented CRM can improve your processes ahead of an audit is to automate much of what was once manual. Being able to set up rules, dynamic dashboards and scripts to sort through your data means that you’re able to reserve your manpower for more creative and interpretive tasks.
If an upcoming audit has highlighted your business’s needs to streamline your digital processes or invest in a CRM, contact 4C. Our business consultants are experts at fixing tailored technical solutions that will help you manage and make the most of your data.