A Bigin Deepdive

Gene Marks
3 min readMay 30, 2023

Getting Information from Bigin

In the first installment of this series about small business CRM I described a CRM system as being nothing more than a database. No matter what all the software companies say and no matter how many features or bells and whistles they include, the fact is still the same: you’re putting data into a shared database that can be used to better service your customers, manage your prospects and, in turn, grow your company.

In subsequent installments I’ve written mostly about putting data into a database. Email activity, events and tasks, leads, contacts, companies. I’ve talked about building workflow rules around this data to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and people are on the same page. I’ve discussed how the cloud has allowed us to integrate our databases with other databases and how today’s integration and developer tools enables us to import and export data to and from our CRM database.

All of this has mainly been about putting data in. But a database really isn’t valuable unless you can get data out. You need analytics. You need to be data driven. You need to leverage your data to run your business.

When people ask me how to their users to actually use their CRM system — a very common challenge — I always recommend having a core set of analytics from your CRM system that management uses to run their business. If these analytics are inaccurate or incomplete, then managers can zero in on the users who are not making use of the system and help them. Once business owners and their teams recognize this and then start relying on the data coming from their CRM systems usage will soar. I’ve seen this and I know this.

Every good CRM system needs good analytics. Without this, you’re going to succeed. I’ve learned this as fact.

Bigin, for example, comes with out-of-the-box dashboards and the ability to create your own custom dashboards. A connector is bundled with the application that allows access Zoho Analytics, which has more than 75 pre-built reports and dashboards to give deep insights of your CRM data.

For example, there’s call and email analytics and call activities by your users. These are critical KPIs and Bigin comes with three pre-built dashboards to analyze this information. These dashboards can also serve as learning templates for you to then create and share additional dashboards for easier visuals into your data. What kind of data? My clients track their sales pipeline which includes open deals, tasks, sales stage, ownership and value. You can also monitor similar metrics for your marketing and service activities.

And it’s not just dashboards. This same data can also be used for pie, bar, funnel and even heatmap charts to better track more details. All of these visuals can be custom-sized based on activity and priority.

All of this is easily setup and configured.

If you want to be like my best clients who truly get the most value from their CRM systems, you’ll spend the time to configure a few important dashboards and charts that’s using the data in your system. This will keep you and your team current on your sales and business operations. You’ll also be able to quickly identify problems and resolve them. And, most importantly, those users that may not be taking full advantage your CRM can be easily identified and mentored.

I’ve learned that whether you have two users or twenty users your CRM system is all about the data that’s driving your company’s profitability. And if any member of your team isn’t doing what they need to do, everyone can suffer. A great reporting mechanism allows you to manage your team much better. People always think that setting up analytics is difficult. It’s not. And with small business CRM applications like Bigin, the process has become much, much easier.

Click here to sign up for a 15-day free trial with Bigin: https://zoho.to/bigingenemarks

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Gene Marks

Columnist on smallbiz, economy, public policy, tech for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Wash Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur. Small Business owner and CPA