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Best Practices | Business & tech | Sales

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a vital tool for managing and analyzing customer interactions and data. However, regular audits are necessary to ensure its effectiveness, accuracy, and compliance with regulatory requirements. In this blog post, we will outline the key steps to perform a comprehensive CRM audit.

Performing a CRM audit is a crucial step in ensuring your business is on track. But what is a CRM audit? It’s a process of examining your CRM data, identifying gaps and inefficiencies and making the necessary changes to improve your business performance. If you were to hire a business consultant to review the systems and processes within your organization, a CRM audit would be high on the list of recommendations. Conducting a regular CRM audit can identify the gaps and make improvements for higher business success. So if you haven’t done a CRM audit yet, it’s time to think about it!

What Should You Look For In A CRM Audit?

Performing a CRM audit can help streamline your business operations and increase efficiency. When conducting an audit on your CRM, there are several things to look for. First, consider your current CRM project ideas and protocols to identify areas for improvement. Also, compare CRM vs project management tools to ensure your team is using the right systems for their needs. 

Your audit should take in consideration the best CRM for your business size (e.g. CRM for small businesses, CRM for midsize business, CRM for enterprise) to ensure your tools are scaled to fit your needs. In addition, search for the best CRM for project management to optimize your workflows. As you perform your audit, examine real-life CRM project examples to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. By focusing on these areas, you can improve your CRM processes and performance and keep your team on track.

CRM Audit checklist

Blue checklist

These are the 6 key steps that should be on your CRM audit checklist:

CRM audit checklist item 1: Documentation Review 

The first step in auditing your CRM is to review the documentation related to its implementation, configuration, and usage. These are the ‘rules of engagement’ within your CRM. Gather all relevant documents, including user manuals, system requirements, data flow diagrams, and security protocols. Pay attention to any customization or integration details specific to your organization. This review will help you understand the system’s intended functionality and identify any gaps or discrepancies. If no one knows where this documentation is, or no one refers to it, you may have an issue. Oftentimes, in smaller companies or start-ups, this is not documented, but rather shared via word of mouth (which is clearly not a good practice.)

CRM audit checklist item 2: Data Assessment 

Even the cleanest CRM implementations have data issues, so don’t avoid this important step. Evaluate the quality, accuracy, and completeness of the data stored in your CRM system. Start by examining a sample of records across different modules, such as contacts, accounts, and opportunities. Check for duplicate entries, missing or incorrect information, and inconsistencies. Additionally, assess data security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and backup procedures. This assessment will help identify data integrity issues and potential vulnerabilities.

CRM audit checklist item 3: Review Usage

Analyze how the CRM system is being utilized within your organization. Review user access levels and permissions to ensure they align with job roles and responsibilities. Identify inactive or dormant user accounts that may pose a security risk. Evaluate user adoption and engagement levels by assessing login frequency, data entry consistency, and system utilization. This review will highlight areas where additional training or support may be needed. Again, this could be informal, so use the audit as an opportunity to formalize the process. 

CRM audit checklist item 4: Test Integrations 

Your CRM is not an island. It must work well with the other tools in your tech stack via integrations. If your CRM system is integrated with other applications or systems, it’s crucial to test these integrations. Identify all connected systems and verify if data is flowing accurately between them. Test various integration scenarios, such as importing data from external sources, syncing data with marketing automation tools, or sharing information with customer support platforms. This testing will help uncover any integration failures or data synchronization issues.

CRM audit checklist item 5: Observations 

Observe the CRM system in action by conducting user interviews, surveys, or focus groups. Gather feedback from users on the system’s usability, performance, and functionality. Pay attention to common pain points, user suggestions, and requests for enhancements. Observe how the system supports various business processes, such as lead management, sales forecasting, or customer support. These observations will provide valuable insights into user satisfaction and potential areas for improvement. It’s great to do this in person but working ‘over the shoulder’ with different user types. It can also be done via screen share. Another remote-friendly option is to ask users to create short videos about their usage and gather them in a central location for the audit team to review.

CRM audit checklist item 6: Regulatory Compliance 

Ensure that your CRM system complies with relevant regulations, such as data protection laws (e.g., GDPR, CCPA), industry-specific standards (e.g., HIPAA, PCI DSS), or internal policies. Evaluate if the system collects, stores, and processes personal or sensitive data in a compliant manner. Assess data retention and deletion policies to ensure compliance with legal requirements. Review system logs and audit trails to monitor access, changes, and data exports. This step will help mitigate legal and compliance risks associated with CRM data management.

CRM Audit Report Format

Your CRM audit report will be full of learnings and actionable insights. It should highlight areas where your team is doing well, and should point out areas of improvement, including the urgency around each area for improvement so it’s clear which factors are vital to improving your business process vs. those that are a ‘nice to have.’ The format should be a full report for the team, and a summary one-pager for circulating to other interested parties within your company. 

Your team will then face the task of determining which items to begin work on. Give yourself a reasonable timeline to act on the feedback. 

Remember that auditing your CRM is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Create a schedule for regular audits, considering factors such as system updates, organizational changes, or regulatory updates. Keep track of audit findings and create action plans to address identified issues. By regularly reviewing and optimizing your CRM system, you can ensure its reliability, security, and alignment with your business objectives.

By following these step-by-step guidelines, you will be well-equipped to conduct a comprehensive audit of your CRM system, leading to improved data quality, enhanced user experience, and increased compliance with regulatory requirements.

CRM Audit Report Template

Letters spelling report.

Formatting a CRM audit report is essential to ensure that the information is presented clearly, concisely, and in a structured manner. Here’s a recommended format for a CRM audit report:

  1. Title Page – Include a title that clearly indicates the purpose of the report, such as “CRM Audit Report” or “Audit Findings for XYZ Company’s CRM System.” Add the date of the report, the name of the organization, and any other relevant details.
  2. Table of Contents – Provide a table of contents that lists the main sections and subsections of the report, along with their page numbers. This helps readers navigate through the document easily.
  3. Executive Summary – Start with an executive summary that provides a concise overview of the audit findings and their implications. Summarize the key points, such as strengths, weaknesses, risks, and recommendations. This section should be brief but informative, allowing stakeholders to grasp the main findings at a glance.
  4. Introduction – Provide an introduction that explains the purpose and scope of the CRM audit. Describe the methodology used, including the audit steps followed and any limitations encountered during the process. This section helps set the context for the report and provides an understanding of the audit’s objectives.
  5. Audit Findings – Present the main findings of the CRM audit in a clear and organized manner. Structure this section based on the audit steps outlined in the previous request, ensuring each finding is categorized accordingly. Use subheadings for each audit step to make the report easily scannable.
  6. Analysis and Recommendations – Analyze each finding in detail, highlighting the implications and potential risks associated with it. Provide recommendations for addressing the identified issues, improving the CRM system, and enhancing overall performance. Support your recommendations with rationale, best practices, or industry standards. This section should be actionable and practical for implementation.
  7. Conclusion – Summarize the key points discussed in the report and restate the significance of the audit findings. Emphasize the importance of addressing the identified issues and leveraging the recommendations to improve the CRM system.
  8. Appendices – Include any supplementary information that supports the audit findings, such as data samples, screenshots, or additional documentation. Use appendices to provide detailed technical information, reference materials, or any other relevant materials that may help stakeholders better understand the findings.
  9. Glossary (if necessary) –  If the audit report includes technical terms or acronyms, consider including a glossary at the end of the report to define these terms. This helps ensure clarity and understanding for all readers.
  10. References (if necessary) – Include a reference section to cite any external sources, standards, or regulations that were used during the audit process. This adds credibility to the report and allows readers to access further information if needed.

When preparing your report, consider formatting and styling. Use clear headings, subheadings, and bullet points to organize the report and enhance readability. Maintain consistency in font styles, sizes, and formatting throughout the document. Use tables or charts where appropriate to present data or comparisons visually. Before finalizing the report, thoroughly proofread it to correct any grammar or spelling errors. Review the content to ensure it accurately reflects the audit findings and recommendations.

Remember that the specific format of a CRM audit report may vary depending on the organization’s preferences or reporting standards. It’s important to tailor the report to meet the needs and expectations of your audience, such as management, stakeholders, or compliance teams.

CRM Audit Return On Investment

A CRM audit can be expensive, but the return on the investment (or ROI) is usually immediate. You can quickly see areas where your processes may be inhibiting the growth of your organization. You can identify waste and rectify it, often paying for the audit with one change! 

Perhaps you have seats to your CRM that are not in use, or service plans, connected apps, and integrations that you are paying for and no longer need. This can be a huge source of waste in your CRM line item in your budget. Your CRM audit may also show that you need to increase (or decrease) CRM staff in order to get the most value from it. Are you using consultants? Would it be less costly to hire a teammate instead? Your CRM audit can tell you all of this and more.

Performing a CRM audit can be vital for assessing the efficiency of your current customer relationship management strategy. This analysis comprises examining the effectiveness of your CRM tools, customer relationship management process, and ensuring that you are receiving the most favorable CRM return on investment. After carrying out a comprehensive audit, you can evaluate the particular role of customer relationship management in your business and optimize your tactics to provide better customer satisfaction. 

Additionally, it’s critical to closely monitor your CRM budget and ensure it aligns with your objectives. By doing so, you can ensure that your investment is indeed yielding the desired results.

What is CRM Full Form?

If you’re not familiar with what CRM stands for, it means Customer Relationship Management. CRM software is an essential tool for managing and organizing your business contacts and interactions. Conducting a CRM audit is crucial to ensure that you’re using the best CRM software for your business. There are many CRM software examples available in the market that can help you streamline your sales, marketing, and customer support processes. Some of the best CRM tools available in the market include Salesforce and HubSpot CRM. By performing a CRM audit, you can get a better understanding of what works best for your business and optimize your processes accordingly.

Choose the right CRM for ROI

Your CRM audit will help determine if you’re getting ROI from your CRM. Choose Insightly CRM to get started with the right CRM in the first place. Insightly passes the Modern CRM test. Born in the cloud, Insightly is built with growing businesses in mind; it’s a modern CRM that your teams will love. 

Add on Insightly Marketing, a full-featured marketing automation platform, and Insightly Service, a customer support ticketing tool to equip your service team with the tools they need to keep customers happy. Choose AppConnect, a drag and drop integration tool for low-code/no-code integrations with the other applications you use every day, including HR tools (ADP, Bamboo HR), accounting apps (Xero, QuickBooks, Docusign), communication tools (Slack) and more.  

Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, watch a demo on demand, or request a personalized demo to see how Insightly can help your company achieve its business goals.