Have you recently found the perfect customer relationship management software for your business? Are you searching for ways to make your CRM platform even more efficient?
Integrations are a must-have if you want to make the most of your CRM software.
CRM integrations ensure all your applications work together in perfect harmony, giving you a complete view of business operations.
I’m AJ, and I recently sold my business for over seven figures. One detail that continually added value to my company was integrations.
What integrations should you add? And do CRM systems include any integrations? I’ll cover these questions and more throughout this guide!
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What is a CRM?
What is a CRM? A CRM is a customer relationship management software.
CRM software is designed to help businesses manage customer information in one convenient place.
CRMs provide users with multiple features, such as the following:
- Contact management
- Sales tracking
- Analytics reports
- Automated emails
- Email marketing software
- Ways to automate repetitive tasks
- Lead generation
CRMs give business owners a clear picture of the customer experience while providing data throughout various sales pipeline stages.
With this data, you get a clear picture of customer behavior, allowing you to create marketing campaigns and sales tactics that cater to your target audience.
In addition to giving you a better understanding of your customer base, CRM systems include the following benefits:
- More efficient business practices
- Boost in sales
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Streamlined communication between team members
A CRM system is integral to taking your business to the next level. Although the software demands time and money upfront, the long-term results are worth it!
What is a CRM Integration?
A CRM integration connects two applications, allowing them to “talk” to one another and share data.
Typically, the connection occurs between your CRM software and a third-party application.
CRM system integration allows for an efficient flow of information across multiple systems and creates a unified view of business operations.
An integrated CRM isn’t only beneficial for you and your team; it also improves communication between your business and its customers.
Even when my business had a high-functioning CRM solution, we always integrated third-party applications to improve operations further and streamline communication.
How CRM Integrations Work
CRM integration tools may seem overly complicated, but the general concept of how they work is quite simple.
Integrations connect an application to your CRM system so information can flow to, from, and between them.
Essentially, CRM integration ensures all the information and functionality your team enjoys on a third-party application can work seamlessly with CRM software.
Therefore, you don’t need to open several applications to find all the necessary information. Instead, you can solely rely on your CRM to have everything you need in one place.
Benefits of CRM Integrations
There are numerous CRM integration benefits, so I recommend integrating apps essential to your business.
Below, I’ve listed the primary advantages of integrating third-party apps.
These are the main reasons I advise CRM integration to any business!
Integrating your CRM improves overall business efficiency drastically.
When you utilize third-party apps alongside your CRM, you streamline business processes.
For instance, integrating accounting software can reduce your team’s time and effort manually creating and sending reports, invoices, etc.
As a result, your staff can focus on more critical projects that demand their attention.
When my business first integrated CRM with a couple of third-party apps, we noticed immediate results and had more time to create new revenue streams and implement new ideas!
Enhanced Data Accuracy
A CRM integration also improves the accuracy of your data and organizes it more efficiently.
The proper integrations automatically connect data between your CRM system and an application, ensuring you don’t have data silos or incorrect contact records.
Integration services ensure your company only has relevant data on hand, promoting more data-driven decisions.
Integrating your CRM with the proper systems leads to more sales.
Integrations can personalize details like marketing efforts, which build stronger customer interactions and eventually lead to increased sales.
The right CRM system provides accurate data for a better customer experience.
Enhanced Team Collaboration
CRM solutions and integrations ensure everyone in your business can access data and share relevant information.
Essentially, CRM integration makes it much easier for everyone to be on the same page because communication is streamlined, and software tools organize data.
Everyone within the company must be working together to boost sales and revenue, from the sales team to the customer service reps.
Better Customer Data
The last main benefit of CRM integrations is improved customer data.
Integrating a CRM platform gives you and your team a clearer picture of the customer journey and offers a more personalized experience.
Additionally, integrations ensure your customer information is always up to date, meaning communication efforts are accurate and personalized.
How to Add CRM Integrations
Now that you understand the benefits of CRM integration, it’s time to learn how to add integrations.
A common misconception is that integrations are difficult and time-consuming to implement. However, with the proper steps and information, it’s easy to understand CRM integration.
Step 1: Use Built-in Integrations
Most CRM systems are integrated by default.
For example, most companies have different types of CRM available (customer service, marketing, etc.). And these companies automatically connect each service you pay for.
However, if your company uses more than one kind of software (most do), CRM providers offer built-in connections for commonly used programs.
So, when you sign up to use a specific CRM, all you need to do is select which external applications your company utilizes, and the provider takes care of the connection.
Some of the built-in integrations my company used included the following:
- Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Google Calendar
- Survey Monkey
Looking for built-in integrations as you search for your first CRM is an excellent idea, primarily if your company already uses certain programs.
That way, you can seamlessly connect the software your team uses daily.
Step 2: Leverage Connector Integrations
Connector integrations are an excellent addition to CRM systems, making it effortless to connect multiple platforms.
Connector integrations are third-party services that facilitate the connection between your CRM system and thousands of third-party apps.
Therefore, these integrations allow you to create custom integrations to control specific tasks, create workflows, and build a unique integration platform.
Two connector integrations my companies have utilized include Zapier and Make.
Zapier automatically transfers data between your CRM system and over 1,000 applications.
On the other hand, Make connects your CRM to third-party apps to create workflows, allowing you to exchange information with all your systems automatically.
As you can see, connector integrations make life easier by eliminating manual processes and sharing company-wide data.
Step 3: Build An API
API stands for an application programming interface. That said, APIs act as endpoints in your CRM, defining the ways certain apps can interact.
What’s the purpose of application programming interfaces?
APIs ensure that your company’s various systems can communicate and exchange information, allowing your CRM to share data with other systems.
So, the built-in integrations I mentioned above are designed with behind-the-scenes APIs to connect various applications.
But, if your company has an IT team, software developers, or personnel with the right know-how, you can create custom APIs, connecting your CRM to other applications.
Customized integrations ensure you utilize business tools and your CRM fully.
Also, if you don’t have an IT team on staff, consider hiring a freelancer to create custom APIs. Numerous services like Fiverr or Upwork allow you to search, interview, and hire a freelancer to complete the jobs you need.
As you can imagine, hiring a freelancer saves a lot of time and money compared to hiring someone.
Step 4: Write Custom Code
Another way to add an integration is by writing custom code.
Writing custom code is ideal if your business has very specialized and complex needs because you control how the different systems communicate.
Personally, my company never utilized custom code because we didn’t need it, and it is known for getting messy quickly.
The most important detail is that the custom code must be continually updated and altered as your CRM and other systems update.
Custom code doesn’t function like an application programming interface, which works in a standardized way.
However, if you have the resources and need to write custom code for CRM software and other systems, go for it! Just know it’s not for everyone.
CRM Integration Examples
You may not know where to start if you’re new to CRM integration.
What applications are best? Which ones do your sales team need?
The number of integrations is endless, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorites. Most of the programs on this list are easy to use and understand.
Gmail & Outlook
Integrating a CRM with popular email services like Gmail or Outlook carries several benefits, including the following:
- Increased productivity
- Consolidated data
- Easier communication
While switching screens to find CRM data and an email message may not seem like a big deal, it can get annoying fast (trust me).
A CRM integration with email is necessary regardless of company size or industry.
Slack is a messaging application designed for businesses of all sizes. With Slack, your team is more connected than ever before.
Additionally, Slack makes it easy for everyone on your team to access the information they need because all communication channels are in one place.
As a result, everyone from sales reps to the marketing team has access to the data they need to work efficiently.
A CRM integration with Slack allows teams to easily stay in the loop regarding prospective customers, data analysis reports, accounting information, and more.
Also, when Slack and your CRM work together, your employees can respond faster and get instant alerts when there are new messages they need to respond to.
Social Media Integrations on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
Social media integration with your CRM combines and tracks all your communication outlets. When you combine all this data, it leads to the following:
- Better customer support
- The ability to understand your customers better
- Build more in-depth customer profiles
- Offer a more efficient sales process
Put simply, integrating social media with your CRM improves customer relationships (old and new) because you can update every communication channel in real time.
Additionally, your sales and marketing team has access to improved customer data and can see which posts perform best.
Survey Monkey is a cloud-based survey tool that allows you to create, send, and analyze surveys.
These surveys provide valuable insights into consumer habits, offering essential sales data.
CRM integration with Survey Monkey improves customer experience management strategies because it does the following:
- Updates your leads on potential customers
- Track customer satisfaction benchmarks
- Test new products
CRM integration with CallRail is an excellent way to understand and gather customer data.
CallRail is a third-party software that tracks calls and serves as a marketing analytics platform.
Using CallRail, your business can understand which marketing strategies drive the most leads via calls, texts, and forms.
CallRail takes lead generation forms to the next level by giving you updated analytics from call tracking.
What’s even better is that it’s incredibly user-friendly!
Video Chat Software
Integrating your CRM with video chat software allows your customer service and sales team to provide more personalized customer experiences.
Meeting face-to-face isn’t always sensible or even possible. And video chat software allows your sales team to meet and see potential customers.
Customers build trust and stronger relationships quicker when they see the people they’re doing business with.
Therefore, video chat ensures you’re continually building customer relationships and keeping customers satisfied.
CRM integration with live chat software carries several benefits, including the following:
- Provides better customer service
- Increases future sales
- Improves customer satisfaction
Whether your business’s live chat is AI or human-powered, CRM systems allow you to collect and store the information within each chat.
Therefore, your team can learn from mistakes and find ways to give customers a better experience.
Web Form Integrations
Web forms are an excellent way to analyze website traffic and gather information about your visitors, including their:
Web forms and CRM integration works by automatically importing all the data from your website.
By automating repetitive tasks like data entry and creating forms for customers, web form integrations ensure you build stronger relationships faster.
CRM integrations are an excellent way to bring your business operations to the next level.
With the right integrations, your team becomes more efficient, communicates better, and accesses accurate data.
Many CRM systems include built-in integrations for communication, marketing automation, etc.
Did you see a CRM integration your company uses that wasn’t on our list? Let us know in the comments section! Happy integrating!