CRM or customer relationship management software is a new technology that companies can use to manage their relationships and interactions, whether purchase-based or marketing-based, with both real and potential customers.
Through CRM software, organizations will be able to improve their business relationships, plot out how and where their marketing efforts are likely to be most successful, and develop new techniques to draw in and retain consumers over the long-term.
Think of CRM systems as versatile digital solutions that allow you to fully understand how consumers interact with your business and make improvements accordingly. When you have CRM systems working for your company, you’ll be able to work toward your goals more accurately and efficiently, as well as practice increasingly successful marketing campaigns and build more lasting connections with your target consumers.
Ways to Integrate CRM
For you to gain all of the above benefits of a CRM system, you’ll need to integrate the CRM with your existing business digital architecture and software tools. Your CRM software won’t be very useful if you can’t use it in conjunction with your customer support software, your email marketing tools, and more.
There are three main ways to integrate CRM into your business, depending on your resources and preferences.
The first and most convenient solution is to rely on native integrations. Some CRM providers build integration tools into the software, allowing you to use the CRM with most common business tools, such as Microsoft Office and other platforms.
In these cases, integrating your CRM with your other tools is as simple as clicking a single button and/or going through any applicable tutorials. But keep in mind that although native integrations are extremely easy to use and implement, they are typically only available for popular business platforms, including Gmail, Mailchimp, Slack, and so on.
Therefore, if your business relies on lesser-known or other tools, native integrations may not be an option.
Third-Party CRM Integrations
You can also look into third-party integrations. This is particularly nice for small business sales teams, as even the best CRM systems don’t usually have native integrations for all the tools used by smaller organizations.
Third-party services directly connect your CRM with your existing business tools. Many of these tools specialize in connecting your CRM to even more niche platforms or software suites. For example, RTS Labs Salesforce consultants can help you integrate any of your existing tools with Salesforce — one of the most well-known and effective CRM software suites overall.
These services charge fees for integrating your tools with your CRM software, however, so keep this in mind if you are on a tight budget. Regardless, third-party integration solutions are often the most flexible and convenient.
Custom-Built CRM Integrations
Lastly, you can rely on custom-built integrations. These rely on you creating custom integration tools or pathways using an API (or application programming interface). Naturally, this means your organization will need someone with good programming skills on the payroll.
Good news, though – practically all cloud-based business tools already have a published library of APIs that someone in your company can use to connect your CRM to those business tools without requiring a special password.
However, custom integrations are still a little technically complex. You’ll either need to hire someone from outside your organization, like a freelancer, or make sure someone on your team has the technical skills necessary to get the job done.
All in all, it’s still worthwhile to integrate a CRM into your business as soon as possible. The benefits you can get from gathering such specific data are more than worth any effort it takes for integration.