Improve Productivity and Visibility with CRM Integration
Every company manages a mountain of customer data. Things like demographics, interactions with marketing campaigns, purchase history, and preferences are just some of the included information. However, having all of this information does no good if it cannot be organized and acted upon. When data is properly organized and integrated, you will be able to gain valuable insight from it and then act on that insight. These data-based decisions are what can move your company forward and set you apart from your competition.
What is CRM Integration?
Before going into more detail on the process of CRM integration, we must first understand what is CRM integration? CRM integration is the seamless connection between your business’s CRM software and other third-party applications. According to recent research, the average organization uses 900 applications. It is vital that all of these applications work together so that your information can easily flow to, from, or between them. Integrating your CRM allows you to create a complete picture of both your business and your customers.
Why Should I Integrate my CRM?
There are many reasons why companies use CRM integration. Largely, all of those reasons trace back to the fact that integrating your CRM with other business software can maximize your productivity. By making all of your various applications work together, you end up saving a lot of time. This is because you do not need to copy information between tools or switch between programs. For example, CRM integration can automatically create a record when someone fills out a form on your website. This will eliminate the need for manual data entry.
CRM integration can also make your job easier in another way. You can automate tasks you would otherwise need to perform in external software tools. Putting all of your team’s essential functions in one place turns your CRM into the central hub for your entire team.
Approaches to CRM Integration
There are three different ways CRM integrations work: native integrations, third-party integrations, and custom integrations.
A native CRM integration is one that is built by your CRM provider. Most CRMs will have a select assortment of native integrations available. These integrations are built into the software so that you can work with your most commonly used tools without leaving the CRM. Often, these native integrations can be done with just one click inside your CRM. These are by far the easiest integrations to use and implement, requiring no technical skill. But they are usually only available for the most common tools like Gmail, Mailchimp, and Slack.
It’s virtually impossible for a CRM platform to have a native integration for every tool you use. That’s why third-party services were created. These options connect your CRM with even more business tools than a native integration could. It can give you access to hundreds, if not thousands, of integrations you normally wouldn’t be able to use.
Custom API Integrations
Custom integrations are performed using APIs or application programming interfaces. APIs are software-to-software interfaces that allow programs to connect and communicate with each other. This is a very popular method of integration, with 60% of IT leaders saying it is critical to their digital transformation strategy. Using APIs for integration has three main benefits:
- They are produced and designed for ease of use
- They are easily managed for security, scalability, and performance
- They are discoverable and accessible through self-service
When you navigate to any CRM developer page, you will see a selection of APIs that you can use to customize your CRM. However, setting these up will require the expertise of a developer.
Ensuring a Successful CRM Integration
To some extent, the success of your business might depend on your integrated CRM. These are the steps you should take to make sure the integration lives up to your requirements.
1: Prepare Your Team
We are talking about the people who will be most affected by this integration. They are the ones who have to adapt and be happy using the new software. Getting their buy-in before beginning the process will go a long way in its success.
2: Develop a Roadmap
Most likely, you will be making more than one connection with your CRM platform. When performing multiple integrations, you may want to stagger them. This allows you to stay on track with making the connections and can also help your team. Having them learn how to use one integration at a time will allow them to get used to it before being introduced to another one.
3: Provide Training
One of the biggest reasons why CRM integrations fail is because they do not receive buy-in from employees. Often, this lack of buy-in is due to insufficient training. If something has not been adequately explained, it is difficult to use it enthusiastically. Most software vendors will have onboarding resources, online classes, and webinars available to help your team. If there is a steep learning curve involved, you may want to hire an outside consultant for thorough training.
4: Test and Deploy
Before going “live” with your entire organization, you should test each connection. For example, if you’ve integrated Mailchimp, you should create a sample email list to test the connection. Then you should also do the reverse. Change the list in your CRM to ensure it also updates in Mailchimp. Once you have tested the integration, you can make it live.
5: Get Feedback
After the integration has been in use for a while, you should ask for feedback from employees and customers. Ask how things are going, if they have suggestions for improvements, and whether they feel it has helped. You can use all of this information to tweak the process to make it more efficient.
CRM Integrations from Dorian Solutions
If your company uses a lot of different software, integrated CRM would be a benefit with a great return on investment. Dorian Solutions is your trusted partner with our team of experts who do CRM integrations all day. Our years of experience with a variety of systems will allow us to ensure that your integrated systems work efficiently. We will work with you to set up integrations that your business can use to save time and money, while also helping your business succeed. Reach out today so you can get back to growing your business, and not just running it.