What exactly is a CRM integration? Many people may be asking themselves this question, the answer is simple. A CRM integration is a connection your Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) makes with a third-party service, to sync data between both systems.
An example will clarify this, when integrating your Outlook with your CRM system, all of your emails will sync into the CRM. The benefit of this is that when you view a customer record in the CRM you will see all of the email communication right from the customer's activity timeline. This is an example of a CRM integration.
The benefits of CRM integrations are copious, but the primary benefit is keeping your systems in sync with one another to eliminate redundant data entry. I will list some of the other benefits below.
- Better customer insights since your CRM reports will be much more accurate and complete
- Better customer communication since all customer touch points will be visible right from the customer record
- Better operational security since your employees will only need to access one system instead of many
Below I will list the easiest and best CRM integrations almost all organizations should utilize in some form or fashion.
Accounting CRM Integration
Integrating your accounting software with your CRM software is a must, and will drastically reduce your workload or the workload of your accountant. Some of the common accounting CRM integrations include Quickbooks Online and Quickbooks Desktop.
After integrating your Quickbooks with your CRM system all of the price quotes, sales orders, purchase orders, and invoices that your sales team creates in the CRM will sync automatically into Quickbooks. This will save a huge amount of time for your employees to not need to log this data in both systems.
Another benefit of this CRM integration is the security aspect. To keep your systems secure, only the employees who absolutely need access to your Quickbooks should have it. After integrating Quickbooks with your CRM there will be no need for your sales people to login to Quickbooks, ideally only the company accountant and the owner should have access to it.
In Snapforce CRM you can even sync your Payments with Quickbooks. Payments are logged under specific invoices to pay the open balance of the invoice. These entries will sync to Quickbooks the same way, and deduct from the open balances of the invoices.
Email CRM Integration
Connecting your email account to your CRM system is probably the most useful CRM integration. After configuring your email you can send email right from the CRM system. For example while you speak with a customer or lead, you can easily email them right from their record.
Additionally you can sync your inbound email as well. This is a huge benefit for communication visibility. Especially when your sales people are emailing with customers, leads and prospects back and forth from their Outlook or Gmail account.
Would it not be nice to be able to see all of that email correspondence right from the activity timeline in the CRM? Well the good news is that you can, when integrating your inbound email (IMAP) with your CRM all inbound and outbound email will sync to the corresponding customer record.
This means that all email communication regardless if your employees are emailing from their Outlook, mobile phone, or from any other mail client, will sync automatically into the CRM. This type of integration is powerful, and can substantially increase the visibility managers have into customer communication.
Some of the email clients you can integrate with your CRM include Outlook, Gmail, Thunderbird, Office365, Apple Mail, Android Mail, Yahoo Mail, and more.
Marketing CRM Integration
When it comes to marketing there are many channels of integration you can utilize to keep your data synced to the CRM. It really depends on which third-party services you use for your marketing automation activities. Some of the popular ones I list below are easy to integrate with your CRM.
- Constant Contact
- Elastic Email
- Mail Chimp
- Google Analytics
There are definitely other platforms that can be integrated with your CRM system, but the ones I listed above are quick and easy to configure.
When integrating with Elastic Email for example, all of the outbound email campaigns you send will sync to the Campaigns module of the CRM. Within each Campaign it will include a list of the Campaign Members, these are the recipients of the email campaign you sent. All of the results from the campaign will also sync, so you will be able to see which people clicked on your email, who opened it, which emails bounced, etc.
After you run a few email campaigns, it is very easy to run a report from the CRM to pull a list of all of the leads who opened the email you sent. You can then focus your sales outreach on those specific leads, as they are most likely more interested in your products or services than the leads who never opened or clicked your email.
Telephony CRM Integration
Integrating your VoIP Phone System to your CRM software is another useful CRM integration to utilize. The benefits of integrating your phone system is that all of your inbound and outbound calls will automatically sync to the correct customer, lead or contact.
When viewing a call in the timeline of a lead or account in the CRM you can also listen to a recording of the conversation. Call recording is an optional feature, in Snapforce you can enable global call recording, user based call recording, or you can record only specific calls by using the record button on your phone.
Some of the CRM Telephony integrations available include RingCentral, Twilio, and Snapforce.
Snapforce CRM includes a Telephony module which has a full suite of call center software features. Some of these features include automatic call distribution (ACD), voicemail drops, auto attendants, click-to-dial, voicemail-to-email, and many other enterprise level call center features.
Website CRM Integration
Integrating your website to your CRM is another beneficial feature. The most common website integrations include CRM web forms and live chat tools.
CRM Web Forms
CRM web forms are a standard feature most CRM systems offer, where you choose which module the form is for, and which fields you want on the form. After creating the form, the CRM provides you with a small html snippet that you can copy and paste onto your website.
Any submissions to this web form will automatically sync to the CRM. Many organizations use this feature for their landing pages, or even their contact us page. When a visitor to your site submits the form on your contact us page it can create a new lead in the Leads module of your CRM.
Live Chat Tools
Another useful website integration is live chat. Some of the most common live chat integrations available are LiveChatInc, Zopim, and Intercom.
With these live chat tool integrations, whenever a visitor to your website starts to use the live chat tool it asks them for their name and email address. If the email address they used to start the chat is an existing lead, contact, or account in your CRM the integration will automatically sync the chat transcript to their activity timeline. If they do not exist in your CRM the integration will first create them as a new lead and then save the chat transcript to the timeline.
Integrating your live chat system with your CRM is simple and worth it. Providing your sales people a way to easily view the chat logs of their prospects, gives them a way to be fully knowledgeable about the needs and concerns of their prospects.
CRM integrations are another way to optimize your organization's data, and a way to get the most out of your CRM system. To learn more about the available integrations that we offer visit the Snapforce CRM integrations page.