No matter which CRM software your sales team is using, copying information from one platform to another is a big loss in productivity.
By integrating CRM software, you can automate certain functions and reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive data entry. This allows for sales teams to collaborate from a central platform without the need of switching into different software systems for task management, accounting, marketing, and customer support.
The time saved allows your sales team to focus their efforts on what they do best: selling.
Things to Know Beforehand
As a recap, a system integration is where two different software platforms are connected – allowing them to communicate actions between each other.
There are three types of integrations that you may come across when deciding what is best for your CRM: native, third party, and custom.
Native Integration: Depending on the platform you are using, your CRM may already have integration capabilities built in for certain software systems. HubSpot for example can directly integrate with WordPress to pull website visitors as leads.
Native integrations can be done with a click but there may only be a limited selection of software to choose from.
Third Party Integration: Since a CRM may not have native integrations for all of the software platforms that you may want, third-party platforms can make the task a lot simpler. Using integration platforms such as Workato, Zapier, or Automate.io, you can link your CRM with the tools they have in their database.
Custom Integration: If your business is using legacy software or has a custom-built business application that you would like to integrate your CRM with, then a custom integration is the route to go. Each software has an application programming interface (API) that will allow it to talk to other systems automatically. Often this requires an integration specialist that can work with the APIs.
The Essential Integrations For Your CRM
*1. Email *
Connect your designated email accounts as soon as possible. It will allow you to respond to contacts directly from your CRM without having to leave the platform. Some of the most common native integrations are with Outlook and Gmail, but you can also draw leads directly into a system like MailChimp.
2. Customer Support
The core responsibility of a CRM is client management and that involves regularly responding to customer service requests. Integrating your CRM directly with a customer support hub such as ZenDesk will allow you to respond to tickets much more quickly.
*3. Marketing *
Sales and marketing are inextricably connected in customer acquisition so it makes sense that the software should be connected as well.
Many CRMs now also connect directly with social media platforms to pull leads. Furthermore, you can automatically list visitors to your funnel landing pages (Unbounce or Leadpages) directly as leads in your CRM.
*4. Accounting *
Invoice processing is a hassle for many businesses. Automating the flow from a deal to payment will dramatically improve communication between sales and accounting departments.
For instance, once a client wants to buy, you can set up an integration with HelloSign to automatically send them a contract. Once the client signs the contract, another integration with Quickbooks can automatically invoice them. All done without constant back and forth communication between different teams.
*5. Calendar/Task Manager *
Tasks often come up that must be communicated with different departments and dates need to be set on a calendar.
By connecting your CRM with your calendar (Office 365, Google, Outlook, etc), you can plan demos with prospects and confirm availabilities before setting meetings.
Additionally, integrating with a communication platform like Slack will allow you to send automatic notifications to team members that may be in different departments.
How can I integrate my CRM with other business software?
Certain CRMs have native integration capabilities with the systems mentioned that make automation as simple as a click. However, even if you use a legacy accounting platform – a custom integration is well worth the time and money saved.
Too many sales reps spend precious work time on non-revenue generating tasks. Automating your sales cycle frees up time for meeting with clients, following up with prospects, and other tasks that grow your bottom line.
If your CRM doesn’t have native integration available or you want to link it to a custom business application, you will need the support of an integration specialist.
The first step is usually to map out your process to see where valuable time is being lost. At Quandary, you can meet with our team and get a complete integrations mapping for $100.
If you like more technology tips, check out our article on software hacks to hit project deadlines.
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