Sales Reporting: How to Leverage Tags in Your CRM

Most, if not all, CRMs use tags. A quick and generic definition of a tag is “a unique identifier that can be added by a CRM user to any given contact, company, blog, or deals within a CRM.”

Tags are also known by other names, such as categories, contact types, classifications, groups, and buckets. Tagging lets you quickly sort, filter, and segment targets—contacts, companies, blogs, etc.—with campaigns and scheduled actions designed around specific interests, activities, or workflows.

Tags are critical to managing most things within a CRM. HubSpot, Infusionsoft (now Keap), Salesforce, Pipedrive, and EngageBay use tags to help categorize and cross-classify deals, blogs, contacts, and more. Creative marketing and ambitious sales leaders can go crazy with tags, which makes it a mixed bag of good and not-so-good.

The challenge of tag reporting

Yet, while tags can provide a lot of detail about deals, customers, and events, they have a downside. They are constrained to the limitations of the CRM.

For example, some of Salesforce’s tag reporting features include:

  • View tag library
  • Browse tagged records (deals, customer, prospects, etc.)
  • Rename or delete tags
  • Merge tags
  • Filter list by tags or tag dates

HubSpot’s tag reports include:

  • Blog tag usage
  • Edit, combine or delete tags
  • List tag records
  • List tagged by date created
  • Single and cross object reporting

Did you notice that the Salesforce and HubSpot list of tag reporting options are very similar?

In fact, if you search for equivalent lists from Pipedrive, Infusionsoft, and others, you’d get comparable results. The problem is that no matter which CRM app you use, all tag reporting lacks historical perspective, relationship reporting, cohort reporting, and the ability to know when and how events took place.

The Relevance of Your Pipeline

A recent post in a HubSpot user community spoke to the need for better tag reporting. The author of the post was a sales leader and wanted to be able to get data about how long a delayed deal had been sitting without movement and how long a hot deal had been sitting without being closed.

But he couldn’t get any reporting to help him out. He wanted to obtain a valuable yet relatively simple sales KPI, the answer to the question: “What is the relevance of my pipeline?” But the inherent problem with CRM tag reporting is that you don’t get data about the timeline of events, and you don’t get what you need to compare performance. You don’t get what you need to find out the relevance of your pipeline in real-time. You need a historical context to do that.

Popular CRMs use “current state” reporting when reporting on tags. They will let you know what objects—customers, contact, blogs, prospects, etc.—have a specific tag, and they might tell you how long the tag has been in place. But they’ll tell you little if anything, more. They won’t tell you anything about what has occurred in the past. That means you can’t maintain any historical context about an object’s tag history once a given tag has been removed or changed. Since tags are used as event markers, classification buckets, and status holders, so much more insight would be available if you could just find out more than just the current state.

Get an infinite number of details

If you use a data visualization tool with an integrated data warehouse, you can collect an infinite number of details from your tags—those in place and those no longer assigned.

As a result, you’ll be able to wrap the context around your data, giving it more depth of meaning and usability. Your sales dashboards will include the ability to understand the relevance of your pipeline and your sales leaders will be able to easily analyze the difference in behavior between your rock star sales reps and your underperformers.

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Here are just a few more metrics that your sales leaders will be able to see at a glance in their dashboards:

  • How each stage of a sales rep’s pipeline compares to their peers
  • The average age of deals within any given pipeline stage
  • How a sales rep’s pipeline and stage age compare to their team
  • The age of the oldest deals
  • The number of deals that are older than the age of the average closed deal
  • The number of deals that have pushed from one month to the next
  • The pipeline value of the “pushed” deals
  • The value of deals over X number of days old
  • The average pace a rep moves deal from stage to stage vs. the team
  • The speed-to-close of certain lead types vs. the average
  • Deals that were committed and then were lost
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

The simple way to optimize the value of your CRM and its tagging features is to connect it to a data visualization + integrated data warehouse business intelligence tool. Once you understand that the reporting of your CRM doesn’t have to limit your options, you can access more meaningful metrics to manage your pipeline more effectively as well as the performance of your reps.

Dig deeper into your prospects and customers’ data

The good news is you can build your custom sales dashboards with ClicData BI platform. We have all the connectors and data management options you need to make informed decisions.

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Your CRM application is loaded with precious data. Are you able to extract it out and compare it to your objectives? A good dashboard reveals a lot about your business’ day-to-day progress.

Whether you’re setting up a dashboard for the first time or restructuring your current one to be more comprehensive, take time to find a dashboard tool that will help you measure and share the insights that you need easier. Try ClicData BI platform to make the most out of your CRM data.

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