A business is only as strong as its customers - and more specifically, how successfully it engages those customers. How you manage your customer data will determine how effective you are at meeting those customer and stakeholder needs. Customer data has the potential to enhance your business exponentially if used correctly. If it isn't, however, managing it can lead to inefficiency and a general lack of productivity.
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help you drive both company efficiency and productivity - and the best way to do that is by integrating it with your other various IT tools and systems. 17% of salespeople report that lack of CRM integration represents a challenge for their organization.
But how should you go about integrating your CRM? What are the challenges you may run into? How will it benefit your organization?
Let's take a closer look at how you can improve workflow efficiency through CRM integration.
When is CRM Integration Needed?
Your CRM acts as the lifeblood of your business. It can include customer contact information, preferences, demographics, and more. It can tell you where a specific customer is in the sales cycle as well as previous communication you've had with them. The key is to ensure you input all your available data into the CRM to get the most value out of it.
This means gathering data from multiple platforms - email, social media, website, calendars, etc. CRM integration is how companies combine all the data from these platforms. So when is CRM integration needed? Whenever an organization has data in multiple, disparate sources, they'd be smart to integrate all that data into one, catch-all source: its CRM.
One of the main challenges of CRM integration is the fact that it often involves tracking down data from multiple sources. These sources are typically different platforms and can vary across departments within an organization. For example, some teams in your company may use email to communicate while others may use other collaborative tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Keeping track of all these sources and then ensuring all the necessary data is imported to the
CRM is a critical component of the integration process. It can also be tough to implement because it involves instructing everyone across your entire organization to assist.
Integrating your CRM may also involve additional training for your team members. Rolling out this training and ensuring everyone understands how to use the CRM can mean the difference between your team members utilizing it effectively or failing to use it correctly. It can also lead to issues with the CRM integration process. You'll need to familiarize the organization with the system, how to use it, and encourage them to use this over the many other data points your team had to previously integrate customer information from. This can be a bit of a bumpy road, especially for organizations that are set in their ways.
It's important that when you implement CRM integration, you do more than explain how to use it. Create a value proposition that details how it will make your team members' jobs easier. Tell them why you're making the move, and how it can simplify many of your existing business processes.
So how exactly will it make your team members' jobs easier?
Benefits of CRM integration
Despite the challenges associated with integrating your CRM, there are many benefits from doing so that will help it increase your team's overall efficiency. Below are four ways in which CRM integration can improve your organization and make it not just more efficient, but also more effective:
It Streamlines Your Reference Points
The first is that it streamlines how you reference customer data and how you communicate with the customer. Having all your data in one place gives you a singular hub that anyone within your company can turn to. Rather than having to track down information in any number of IT systems, you have one centralized location through which all your customer data flows. No matter what you need to access - references, customer activity, sales information - it's all in one place.
It Leads to Better Organization
It also leaves you better organized. CRM integration enables you to focus your team's efforts on improving customer outcomes as opposed to dealing with too many administrative issues. Managing their data across platforms is no longer your primary concern because it's all categorized in a uniform manner. Asking your employees to log in and out of multiple platforms is a recipe for disaster - you can potentially lose track of customer data in the process.
It Encourages Stronger Cross-department Collaboration
Let's say you have two departments who need to work together on a specific project. If they use different resources to store their customer data, they'll need to spend time getting each other up to speed on how to manage and access each team's data. When everyone's playing from the same sheet of music, you cut down on the time needed for preparation and spend more of it handling the actual project itself.
It Can Increase Cost Efficiency as Well as Workplace Efficiency
Beyond helping you optimize your work processes, CRM integration can also help you save money. One study found that the average return on investment for every dollar spent on a CRM was $8.71. 34% of salespeople surveyed reported an increase in productivity thanks to their use of a CRM, significantly shortening the sales cycle. Simply put: a fully integrated CRM can do wonders for your bottom line.
Why pay for multiple platforms to store customer information when you can pay for one? It's not just a good decision from an organizational standpoint, it's also a smart financial decision.
CRM Integration's Role in Improving Workplace Efficiency
Ultimately, your CRM is only as valuable as the data you feed into it. Integrating your CRM with the right data from all of your company's IT systems gives it more integrity. CRM integration leads to less confusion and less clutter, giving your team fewer processes and procedures they need to become familiar with. It turns your CRM from just another platform to a comprehensive tool for interacting with and managing your customers.
To get the most value out of your CRM, you'll want an integrated SaaS solution to make your workflow more efficient and your workforce more productive. For more on how we can help, click the link below.