Remark is an industry-specific digital integrator. Since 2007 we have been helping companies to be as efficient as possible in the digital environment by automating the processes of marketing, sales and internal interaction between employees. Our main expertise is in real estate, but years of experience and competencies allow us to work with companies in all industries.
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CRM audit: how and why

Your company has a CRM, but your employees are not happy with it, it doesn’t speed up the work and is perceived as another "window" for data input, which is then lost. To improve the situation, you try to deal with the CRM within your company: you assign a responsible employee, involve the IT department. But there is still no result. So what to do?

This article will tell you:
  • 1
    When is an audit beneficial?
  • 2
    What would be better: to audit on your own or hire a third-party contractor?
  • 3
    How does an audit take place and how much time it takes?
  • 4
    What common issues does a CRM audit reveal?
  • 5
    What to do after the audit?

When does a developer need an audit

The most common scenario when customers request an audit: "CRM is not working well, but we don’t understand why". In other words, it is necessary to determine what exactly is going wrong and offer the real estate developer an option to correct the system’s operation.
In practice, "CRM doesn’t work" can manifest itself in different ways:
  • 1
    requests are lost and conversion rate decreases, the movement through the stages of the sales funnel is not thought through;
  • 2
    the figures in reports are not clearly understood, you have to double-check everything and do double work;
  • 3
    there are no regulations for processing leads, clients do not receive a call from a manager in time, and there is no unified procedure for signing a contract.
In a broader sense, an audit serves as a starting point for changes related to the development and implementation of new products in a company. If the old CRM is not working properly and the company decides to change it, one can spend 1,000 hours adapting the new product to their task. In fact, this is exactly the point when it is better to stop and proceed with an audit. After 40−60 hours of auditors work, get a list of "weaknesses" in CRM and the reasons for their occurrence to form a CRM-strategy, in other words, goals and objectives to optimize business processes and system development.
Important clarification: the purpose of the audit is not to "find an extreme person" inside the company. The goal is to improve processes, and through their debugging — the efficiency of work.

All these situations are rooted in incorrect CRM configuration and employees' inability to use its features to the maximum. So, it is reasonable to look for a solution there.

Audit by a third-party integrator - pros and cons

For many people, hiring a third-party integrator still looks like an odd solution. It seems logical to look for problems by the person who implemented the system in the company. In their search for the best solution, customers often voice the following disadvantages:
  • 1
    The third-party integrator does not know the system. He will have to be immersed in all the processes in detail and spend resources on this.
  • 2
    You will have to allow third parties to access corporate processes and disclose confidential data to them.
The risks of leakage, which to some extent are borne by the second point, are solved by signing an NDA. In addition, the auditor's reputation is at stake. He is simply not interested in divulging information. If he were to do something like that, it would mean risks to his business.

The fact that the integrator does not know the system is a disadvantage only at first glance. In fact, there are many advantages:
  • 1
    An uncluttered, fresh perspective. This eliminates the option "everyone just knows that our company should be like this, but no one thinks about why".
  • 2
    Lack of involvement in internal corporate processes and hidden conflicts. No "the accounting department is underperforming here, but I won’t tell my boss about it, otherwise I will be paid later than everyone else.
  • 3
    No personal gain from any audit results. There is no risk of defaming your work, so there is no point in distorting the final report.
  • 4
    Experience that allows auditors to see an objective picture. Each company is individual, but business processes of successful representatives of the industry are built in many ways similar. For a real estate developer, this is an opportunity to get the best industry practices adapted to individual peculiarities in the solutions proposed as a result of the audit.
  • 5
    Experience that allows auditors to see an objective picture. Each company is individual, but business processes of successful representatives of the industry are built in many ways similar. For a real estate developer, this is an opportunity to get the best industry practices adapted to individual peculiarities in the solutions proposed as a result of the audit.
  • 6
    Thorough knowledge of popular CRM systems. Just because it is not the auditor who customized the system for a particular company does not mean that they cannot understand it. Knowledge of common CRMs and the principles of their operation allows them to understand a self-written system as well.

Audit process

The audit procedure starts with setup meetings. Several of them are needed — one with the head of each department that is important for CRM analysis. It may be necessary to meet with managers of marketing and sales departments, as well as the contact center. If the company has a wide structure, perhaps this list will be longer.

The purpose of such meetings is to find out general questions about business processes and regulations. This information helps to understand how CRM should work for the customer.
Another set of questions relates to the structure of the company and the interaction between departments:
  • 1
    What are the responsibilities of specific employees?
  • 2
    How do the departments interact?
  • 3
    No personal gain from any audit results. There is no risk of defaming your work, so there is no point in distorting the final report.
These are more specific questions that are clarified in the next stage.

How long the audit will take

Audit workload is estimated in hours. In the case of a small to medium-sized company that uses a common CRM with standard business processes, it will take about 40 hours. If we are talking about a large company with a rare or self-written CRM, with a complex structure and unique business processes, it takes over 60 hours.
  • Victoria
    Business Analyst
    «How does the company work during the audit? In a normal operating mode. The audit will require meetings with employees, who will have to be distracted from work for an hour. But we always coordinate the time with our contact, we do not schedule meetings during peak workload periods. In other words, we act as carefully as possible in relation to the company’s business processes. If we need to clarify some details after the meeting, we write to the employee in chat. This way, he or she can answer the question at a convenient time».

Technical details

Since we are auditing the CRM system, maximum viewing access will be required. We analyze all operations within the system, but we do not change settings and cannot download company data.

To find out all the technicalities of CRM operation, it may be necessary to have a closer interaction with the employee who is responsible for setting up a CRM in a particular company. Of course, if there is one.

If the customization was performed by an external contractor and it is necessary to go deeper into its subtleties, it may be required to communicate with him.

How to make the audit more effective

The audit will be most effective if all the necessary information is provided. When the manager realizes the importance of this procedure for the company, and employees quietly sabotage its implementation, it will be more difficult to find the starting points of problems.
A common motivation for such quiet sabotage is the fear that the process will reveal some deficiencies or mistakes of employees. Therefore, it is very important to discuss with the team that the audit is not a threat to them.

What is the result?

In simplified form, the result of an audit is a set of recommendations for eliminating the problems identified in the CRM system. Often - an extensive set. Common problems that the audit identifies and their solutions:
  • 1
    An employee is honestly working, not spending time on social media. But 6 out of 8 hours of their working time is spent filling Excel spreadsheets. That is, there is no automation set up in the CRM system, and much of the data is entered the old-fashioned way manually. As a result, they don’t find time for the really important things. Based on the results of the audit, we recommend how to redistribute their working time by automating some of the operations.
  • 2
    Employees don’t call customers back in time and lose leads. But they are not so much to blame as the processes in the CRM system. No reminders about necessary actions come. Setting up the right notifications from the CRM-system will help to cope with such issues.
  • 3
    Hundreds and even thousands of leads accumulate at certain stages of the funnel. Their movement from stage to stage is not set up. It is impossible to control such quantity and the number of forgotten leads grows in the system.
  • 4
    Employees do not understand how to customize the interface and use all CRM features. Sales managers do not monitor correct usage, regulations are violated. By eliminating blind spots, the company gets an increase in efficiency.
  • 5
    Reports in CRM system are not set up and all their features are not used. There are a lot of incomprehensible figures in the reports, and incorrect plans are set based on them.
    It’s important to remember that there can be up to ten hidden problems for every one obvious one. It’s easy to say "managers aren’t motivated enough, so they don’t call customers." A bigger dive reveals that they are caught up in turnover. And this problem is solved with automation.
It’s important to remember that there can be as many as ten hidden problems for a single obvious one. It is easy to say "the manager is not motivated enough, so they are not calling customers". A bigger dive reveals that they are immersed in turnover. And this problem is solved with automation.

What to do after the audit

It doesn’t end with the audit. On the contrary, it is where it all begins. It is important to solve the detected problems with minimum labor input. Recommendations from the auditor will help in this. This is not a template list of "must do’s" that we provide to all customers. Solutions and regulations are developed on the basis of the client’s situation.

Example: in one of the audited companies a lead turned into a deal only at the stage of contract conclusion and not at any stage earlier. That is, not at the stage of appointment or any other step. We could have spent a long time convincing the company’s management that this was wrong and according to common practices it should be done differently. But the company’s business processes and KPIs for employees are defined exactly for such a transition of a lead into a deal. That is, you cannot simply change the order. We did not change the established practice and helped the client to adapt CRM.

At the stage of implementation of the guidelines received during the audit, we can also be useful. As an integrator company, Remark will help not only to eliminate the detected problems, but also to develop your CRM or implement a new one quickly and with maximum benefit.


Why hire a third-party integrator to audit your CRM system when your employees are the ones who know it inside and out? Hiring a third-party integrator is an unbiased view from someone who is not involved in your business processes, but knows how they should work in an efficient company.

An audit often helps you find the causes of CRM problems that have not been solved for years, decide on system requirements and start developing your CRM. Many of our clients who order an audit have started CRM rework projects with us.
Inviting an external auditor, you get experience gained during similar procedures in dozens of other companies. But most importantly, you get a list of identified problems and a basis for solving them now, not postponing them for better times. Ask for help from the experts at the link.