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CRM Integration for Businesses

Tiago Santana
Aug 22, 2019 8:44:59 AM

Customer relationship management (CRM) software -- you hear about it all the time But is CRM integration for your business the right move? It's meant to be the holy grail for businesses looking to increase their leads and retain more customers. 

CRM has become so popular that it's now the largest software market. By 2025, it's expected to reach an impressive $80 billion

We also see that CRMs yield a whopping $8.71 for every dollar spent. Maybe this is something worth looking into after all. 

Let's take a closer look at why CRM integration for your business is an excellent idea. But first, let's learn what CRM integration is all about. 

What is CRM Integration?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is designed to help businesses build relationships with their prospects and clients. CRM tools will  help you organize, track, and manage all of the data relating to your customers. 

This includes their names, contact details, conversations, activities, and buying behaviors. With all of this data, you can improve your marketing, sales, and customer service.

For instance, you can use the CRM to learn about a particular customer, their pain points, and where they are in the buyer's journey. This way, your salespeople and customer service reps can offer the best materials and advice to help them with their purchase. 

Now, there are different types of CRMs you can use to organize your customer data. 

And that's where CRM integration for your business comes into play. 

This is when you integrate CRM tools with your website so that they operate seamlessly together. So rather than manually inserting customer details into your CRM system, you can automate it. 

Let's say you’re building an email list. With a CRM integrated with your site, prospects who fill out your forms will automatically be inserted into your CRM. 

You can even go as far as to grade prospects based on the materials they download. This will tell you where they are in the buyer's journey and how to best approach them with future marketing or sales collateral. 

Some businesses go as far as to assign new records to salespeople to conduct followup calls. That salesperson will be able to see when their lead last visited your site, what products/services they viewed, and other key details that can help them to close a deal. john-schnobrich-2FPjlAyMQTA-unsplash

What Are the Types of CRM Integrations? 

Your CRM is only as great as the data it holds. So the more integrations you have with your CRM, the more valuable information you can gather and use to improve customer acquisition and retention rates. 

So what are some of the CRM integrations to use in your organization? Let's take a look. 

Email Integration

Communication with your prospects and customers should be consistent with your brand.d. For instance, having company emails for all of your employees (i.e., pam@yourbrandname.com). With ar CRM integrated with your email service providers,  your teams can send branded emails directly from the CRM. 

You can do this for Gmail, Mailchimp, Outlook or whatever email tools you use. You can set it up so that each email is sent using a professional email address. 

Plus, you can develop segmented email campaigns and have CRM data sent to your inbox. Here are several other ways you can use email integration to your benefit:

  • Create triggers for automated emails sent to customer based on the stage of the buyer's journey they're in
  • See the history of all emails that sync with your CRM
  • Improve target marketing campaigns using synced segmented mailing lists you create based on a customer's status

Email integration helps your branding  enhance your marketing efforts.

Cloud Integration

Cloud integration is optimal for businesses that want to forgo the high upfront costs for IT infrastructure and staff. The alternative is a CRM from an SaaS (software-as-a-service) provider. 

This way, everything's offsite and in the cloud, where you can retrieve data from anywhere with an internet connection, including mobile devices. 

A cloud-based CRM is easier to customize and allows third-party software integration. This makes it more scalable, which is an excellent option if your business is in a season of growth,. or if your needs fluctuate throughout the year. 

Cloud CRM integrations also come with automated updates and maintenance. 

Calendar Integrationwilliam-iven-GANqCr1BRTU-unsplash

With calendar integration, you can easily sync your appointments so you never miss an important date. It'll also allow you to manage tasks and events with ease. 

In most scenarios, companies have its own CRM calendar. But employees tend to prefer their own calendars. This creates a disconnect that can frustrate your team. 

The alternative is to sync workplace calendars like Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Outlook Calendar with your CRM. This way, everyone's schedule is easy to access and track. 

Phone Integration

If you have a sales team, then you know how much time your employees spend on the phone. By integrating each phone with your CRM, you can make sales calls a breeze. 

For instance, your salespeople can perform one-click calling using the CRM's VoIP phone. You can set up phone numbers for each department (or employee) with the vendor -- sometimes there's a fee. 

With this integration, you eliminate the need for switching between applications or push-dialing numbers. Then it's possible to budget based on your needs, since most providers offer unlimited calling or offer per-minute rates.

Social Media Integration

Social media is an integral part of marketing your brand and building authority. But to get these results, you need tools and metrics to ensure you're using these channels optimally. 

With social media integration with a CRM, you can easily monitor your campaigns and  improve them based on KPIs and metrics you gather. Examples of social CRM tools, include Zoho and Zendesk. 

The beauty of the software is that they allow you to manage your social media marketing in one platform. This includes scheduling posts, tracking brand mentions, following conversations, and even replying to comments. 

It offers real-time analytics and response all in one place. Keeping an eye on emerging trends and customer needs doesn't get any easier than this. 

Marketing Automation Integration

Productivity in the workplace directly relates to how many manual tasks your teams must perform. The more automation you introduce into your company, the more time employees will have to work on more important projects. 

By integrating marketing automation with your CRM, you can blur the boundaries between sales and marketing departments so they can operate as one force. Think HubSpot and Marketo, which are software automation tools that can integrate with a CRM solution, such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, or Infusionsoft. 

With marketing automation integration, your marketing teams can move generated, scored, and qualified leads to sales. Businesses that function with sales enablement as a priority are going to succeed in 2019 and beyond. 

Helpdesk Integrationclay-banks-Ox6SW103KtM-unsplash

We've discussed how CRM integration for your business can help your sales and marketing. But what about customer service? 

If you have a helpdesk set up, then you know how hectic things can get when you have to track and resolve customer issues. By integrating your helpdesk with your CRM, you can easily track which customers are submitting tickets. 

Your agents will be able to see all correspondences, customer profiles, account details, and service history. This will prevent redundancies that may arise without these capabilities. 

In turn, your customer service reps can offer faster and more tailored assistance. Then you can integrate the system with social media to detect customer complaints and resolve them before they grow out of control. 

Zendesk is an example of a helpdesk tool you can integrate with your CRM. 

Enterprise Resource Planning Integration

Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, software is similar to a CRM. They both store extensive amounts of data about customers and accounts. 

If you're operating with an ERP and want to integrate a CRM, then it's best to combine the two. This way, you don't have to worry about duplicate customer data. It'll also allow better data management and standardized rules for permissions. 

There are some vendors that offer both CRM and ERP tools, like SAP CRM, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics. 

Mobile Integration

The majority of today's workforce use mobile devices to manage projects and complete tasks. With mobile integration, you're getting a handheld version for your CRM. 

This will empower your workers to perform essential tasks while on the go. For example, they can access customer data right before a sales meeting. Or they can view event and lead modules, manage tasks and contacts, and make calls or texts to contacts from the platform. 

It's essential to find a CRM mobile app that's flexible and offers all the functions you need. For instance, Base CRM's mobile app allows you to generate reports, which is uncommon. 

Accounting Integration

It makes sense to integrate your accounting software with your CRM. You want to keep track of accounts, such as when they’re current or behind in payments. 

With CRM integration, you can see which customers have outstanding payments. Plus, you can use historical data for marketing and sales purposes. 

It's easier to track your finances, enabling you to see purchasing and spending summaries. Once integrated, you can:

  • Sync historical data for customer transactions and interaction
  • View historical data on spend and sales opportunities on a per-customer basis
  • Create and send clients invoices, then sync data between apps

Examples of accounting software you can integrate include Freshbooks, Xero, and Quickbooks, which pair up with CRMs like Insightly, HubSpot, and Nimble. 

The ultimate goal of CRM integration for your business is to remove redundancies between applications. This way, you can create a process that's smooth and consistent for your workers. 

In doing so, you can increase adoption rates and productivity in your workplace. Speaking of which, let's take a look at some other benefits of CRM integration for your business. 

What Are the Benefits of CRM Integration for Your Business?

There are many ways you can integrate a CRM into your company. But what is the point in doing so?

Will it help your bottom line? Let's take a look. 

Nurture Leads and Increase Salesaustin-distel-IUitg35kAH0-unsplash

The point of CRM systems is to grow relationships with prospects and customers so that they turn into long-term buyers. But it requires the proper integrations to ensure your salespeople and marketing teams can do their jobs adequately.

When you take into account that buyers make it through 57% of the customer's journey before speaking to sales, then you see the importance of marketing to drive leads to this point. 

This is possible when they're using marketing automation tools to nurture leads. Stats show marketing automation can increase qualified leads by a whopping 451%

Informed Customers Make Bigger Purchases

When you empower your marketing and sales teams with the data (and access) they need, their jobs become easier. Your marketers create more materials that can guide prospects through the buyer's journey. 

And your salespeople will speak to qualified leads who are already informed about their problem and the solutions you offer. In this case, they're more likely to accept a higher-priced package because they're well-informed about its benefits. 

We find that educated consumers make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. And at the same time, companies that practice this see 50% more sales and the cost per lead is 33% lower.

Learn More About Prospects & Customers to Improve Marketing

The better your marketing, the easier it'll be to convert leads into customers (and customers into repeat customers). But for them to pull this off, they need access to data and insights about their target audience. 

With CRM integrations, you're collecting data from multiple fronts, such as website activities, browsing behaviors, purchasing behavior, and communications with your company. 

You can even follow conversations on social media to learn more about their concerns and pain points so you can address them in your marketing content. 

The more you understand your customer base, the easier it'll become for your marketers to communicate valuable information that draws them in. 

Score Leads to Increase Closed Deals

Wasting time on leads who aren't yet ready to buy or who lack interactions overall is flushing money down the drain. Enabling your sales team with qualified leads will make it easier to close more deals. 

With an integrated CRM, you can use all the data and KPIs to score leads based on their activities you record. This score will determine their interest level and intent to purchase. 

Those with lower scores will require more nurturing until they show signs of readiness to buy. Lead prioritization is a must-have if you want your salespeople to reach or even exceed their quotas. 

Shorten the Sales Cycle

Certain products and services have longer sales cycles because they're high ticket items. You need more time to convince prospects that your solution is worth every penny. 

With CRM integration, you can integrate lead nurturing and sales tools that can hasten this process. Again, informing your prospects will make this work. 

Also, if your marketers are supplying materials for sales to use during meetings and calls (to answer questions), then this too can help shorten the cycle. 

Improve Customer Interactions, Service, & Retentionjosh-felise-yIMy3ERBc3o-unsplash

When your customer service reps have access to the correspondences and social media comments of a customer, they're better equipped to resolve their issues. 

Without an integrated platform, you'll have data all over the place, which makes it harder for your customer service agents to find and use it. Integrating marketing automation with your CRM will help to improve relationships with your prospects and customers. 

And, in turn, it'll make their experience with your brand more desirable. This is possible because your teams can identify what stage of the buyer's journey they're in and what questions or concerns they have (based on recorded communications). 

It eliminates redundant conversations, miscommunication, and misinformation. These are the common culprits for frustrated customers. 

Is it Time for CRM Integration for Your Business?

The answer should be a resounding "Yes!" Because as long as you're operating without an agile CRM and proper integrations, you're leaving room for error and lost opportunities. 

There are too many benefits associated with CRM integration to ignore. And why should you?

If you're worried about the cost, time consumption, or lack of knowledge in pulling this off -- not to worry. 

That's where our experts come in. We understand you have a business to run. So allow us to come in and guide the CRM integration for your business. 

Contact Us today to learn how we can assist with the integration, implementation, and even training for your teams. 

 

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