The better you know your customer, the easier it is to give them what they want. At scale, businesses use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to organize the information they have collected about their customers and prospects so it’s easily accessible to whoever needs it.
But all that customer data is not generated by the CRM. It comes from countless sources across the customer lifecycle – social media interactions, form fills, purchase histories, renewal contracts, and many other business touchpoints run by myriad other business applications.
The applications that collect or monitor customer information can often export their data to a spreadsheet or CSV file that you can upload into your CRM. But it’s a time-consuming process that can create inconsistencies in customer profiles and keeps vital customer data siloed within disparate systems.
Companies are turning to CRM integration to achieve and maintain up-to-the-second accuracy in every customer profile. By connecting your CRM to the applications your customers interact with, you can be confident that everyone in your organization has the latest insight on any customer.
Read on to learn more about the practical benefits of CRM integration and how Boomi can help.
What Is CRM Integration?
CRM integration is the connection between your CRM and any other business application. When you integrate a CRM with other applications, valuable customer information is automatically ported in from the application where it was entered and updates the applicable customer profile.
The more applications that feed into the CRM, the clearer a picture you have of customers. When your CRM is integrated with an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) like the Boomi platform, one change in a customer’s profile can trigger a cascade of changes and events across your suite of business applications.
Benefits of CRM Integration
On the surface, it may seem like CRM integration is an initiative that solely benefits sales and marketing teams. But the benefits of integrating your CRM with other business applications extend to every department and function, from the front end to the back end.
1. Reach your customers when they’re active
Email has long been the best channel for sending highly personalized marketing messages. When you integrate your CRM with your email marketing automation platform, the number of fields that can be personalized grow exponentially.
eCommerce data can be leveraged to include recently viewed and related products. CRM data can be used to send reminders to sign a contract, and customer satisfaction survey emails can be triggered automatically based on updates to a customer’s CRM profile.
CRM integration also enables emails to be sent when customers have recently interacted with your brand, whether on your website or a third-party platform such as social media. When the email is sent on the customer’s timeline instead of the marketing department’s, it is more likely to be opened and lead to the intended conversion.
2. Capture data effortlessly
A common goal for digital marketing campaigns is for customers to share relevant information about themselves through a web form. That data is often collected into a spreadsheet or CSV file and imported into the CRM manually at irregular intervals. This presents two problems: inconsistent customer data and inefficient use of staff time.
It’s vital new customer data is imported into the CRM directly to maintain data integrity. CRM integration with your content management system (CMS) will automatically update the customer’s profile with the most recent data submitted. This will keep all departments in sync and eliminate the need for manual data entry or file transfers.
3. Get paid faster
A customer’s payment status is standard information in their CRM profile. If a customer has a balance due, the CRM will show you that, but it will not allow you to take action directly from the customer’s profile. Instead, you must use one or more different tools, such as email, to notify the customer of their balance; a payment processor to accept payment; and accounting software to track that the payment has been made. Once all that is complete, the customer’s CRM profile must be manually updated.
With CRM integration, when a customer has a balance due, an automated email can be sent to them with instructions for paying or even a link to a payment page. Once they have paid, their record is updated automatically within the accounting software and the CRM. This reduces or eliminates the need for staff to track down, collect, and record payments.
4. Plan a better campaign
Customer data in CRM profiles has not traditionally been used to guide digital marketing campaigns. However, CRM integration makes this data available to marketers and advertisers, allowing them to fine-tune their content and messaging.
For example, when you connect your CRM to Google Ad Manager, you can see which customers respond to which ads. This allows future ad spending based on high-resolution, validated customer data. It also allows the marketing and advertising teams to look back at which campaigns performed well and which performed poorly based on what actual customers did.
5. Anticipate customer needs
Every customer interaction is an opportunity to impress the person on the other end and move them forward in the sales funnel. When you integrate your CRM with your eCommerce platform, CMS, marketing automation platform, and phone system, the sales team can have a complete record of every interaction customers have with your company. This allows the sales team to anticipate what they will want from their next interaction with your brand.
If a customer is ready to buy, taking a softer, higher-funnel approach is likely counterproductive when contacting them. CRM integration ensures a customer’s profile is always available, is consistent across all your systems, and has the deepest insights possible.
CRM Integration Made Easy
Integrating your CRM with your organization’s business applications and platforms is the best way to create a golden record for each customer. Boomi offers connectors for multiple CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle CRM, and Salesforce. You can explore these and the hundreds of integrations Boomi makes possible on our connectors page.
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