CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with your customers, potential customers, suppliers, stakeholders and community. (Extended Relationship Management – XRM)
The main aim of CRM software is to help your business nurture customer relationships, increase sales and profits, improve customer service and to support all business relationships within your company.
However, properly integrating your CRM technology is essential to achieve great results.
This allows you to manage your company’s customer service, support, sales, finance/accounts, social media and marketing from a single, centralised CRM technology.
As a result, your data flows seamlessly across your operations, and your overall CRM processes will improve.
When it comes to determining if CRM technology has been effectively integrated, there are several helpful signs to look out for.
This blog will walk you through the four signs of effective CRM integration.
Let’s dive in!
1. A CRM assessment has been carried out
Choosing the right CRM software is a big task. This is why assessing the various solutions available is important if you want to find the one that’s right for you.
When assessing different CRM platforms, you must know what features and functionality you need. You’ll also need to examine whether a system will integrate with your organisation’s other applications.
If you already have your CRM software in place, we recommend an assessment to ensure you understand its full capabilities.
This is the best way to ensure you make the most of everything your CRM system offers.
For example, can you use your CRM integration to automate sales and marketing activities, deliver a better customer experience, or improve your business’s overall productivity?
If so, ensure you’re maximising these capabilities and taking full advantage of your technology’s excellent features.
2. All applications work together
While CRM software is powerful, integrating it with other tools across your business will make it even more effective.
CRM integration connects each application with your CRM platform so data can flow to, from, or between them.
But if you have an existing tech stack, ensuring your CRM system works well with it is essential.
It’s unlikely that just one software provider will be able to provide your business with all the necessary solutions (although that is changing with systems like Salesforce plus, Zoho One and Odoo now on the market), so planning out which applications and integrations work well together is a great starting point.
When you fail to ensure all your applications work well together – it can lead to the dreaded silo effect.
3. There’s an absence of data silos
An absence of data silos is a clear sign of effective CRM integration.
A data silo is a collection of data belonging to one group that is not easily or fully accessible to other groups in your organisation.
Data silos can be harmful as they create barriers to information sharing across the various departments in your organisation.
The main issue with this is that specific departments in your organisation won’t be able to communicate effectively with customers due to a lack of data and insights.
For example, if your business offers customer support, do your customer support or help desk teams have access to CRM data?
When different teams have insights into customer relationships and the type of customers they’re talking to; it becomes possible to tailor solutions to each customer.
Customers are the entire organisation’s responsibility, not just sales and marketing teams. Another issue caused by data silos can be the lack of ability to report across the different systems efficiently, resulting in the manual creation of reports (causing a big headache for both managers and users).
With effective CRM integration, you’ll have a centralised location for information. Your teams will be able to work autonomously but with full access to data gathered or used by other teams.
4. There’s support for the end user available
Managing your CRM integration can be tricky, so it’s always good to have professional advice and support on hand.
This may include outsourcing a CRM consultant for project management and offering training sessions on new integrations.
Proper CRM training will ensure that all users know how to use the software and how it will benefit their everyday workflow and make their jobs easier.
When outsourcing a CRM expert, we recommend choosing an independent consultant who doesn’t have an affiliation with any specific CRM provider.
With an independent CRM consultant, you can rest assured you’re always receiving unbiased support.
With a vast knowledge of the various CRM solutions on the market, your consultant will find the one that perfectly matches your needs.
CRM integration allows customer information to flow freely between all the applications you use to run your business.
It creates an accurate picture of your customers and prospects and allows essential data to be made available to the various teams in your organisation, while making reporting a breeze.
We hope this blog post has helped you understand the main signs that indicate your CRM software has been effectively integrated into your business.
Access an independent CRM consultant with ncco
If you’re looking for an independent CRM consultant to ensure your software has been properly integrated – then you’re in the right place.
ncco is an award-winning Process Improvement, Business Development, and Digital Transformation Consultancy specialising in CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
We’re proud to offer a fully independent CRM consultancy service for Irish businesses, with no loyalties to any particular CRM system.
With dedicated project management, we’re here to ensure your CRM implementation stays on time, on target, and on budget.
Reach out to us today to get started.