Finding the right CRM software can be time-consuming and challenging. There are multiple options on the market, each with its pros and cons.
Customer relationship is the key to driving conversions and sales for any business. However, a large pool of customers can be hard to contact and engage with. So, CRM software helps companies to monitor and manage all customer interactions within one interface.
It maintains customers' contact data, records their interactions, and tracks their behavior over time.
Regardless of which one you choose, integration is a crucial element you must consider to guarantee the best out of your CRM software.
What is CRM software integration?
CRM integration merges the capabilities of the system with other tools that can help with customer management. You wouldn't need to transfer data from one platform to another constantly. Also, all departments would have access to the data on the same platform.
CRMs can perform multiple tasks on their own. However, when integrated with other useful tools, they allow a seamless data flow between all departments, helping them execute marketing strategies more effectively.
Here are some of the critical integrations you should have in your CRM software of choice.
1. Email Integrations
Any CRM software worth its salt should provide you seamless email integration. Email marketing is the primary tool in the lead nurturing and conversion processes. Statistics indicate that email marketing still has the highest ROI compared to other avenues like inbound marketing or paid ads.
Emails help you pass on relevant and helpful content to potential leads, which allows them to engage further and pushes them closer to purchase decision making. They are also easy to measure and monitor, which would then guide your next course of action.
Since your marketing and sales teams rely on email for communications, they need to be able to use them across automation systems. It not only boosts productivity but also helps them maximize the benefits of email sequences in lead nurturing.
Software should easily integrate with email tools like Gmail and outlook so that you can easily log all your emails, access templates, draft sequences, etc.
2. Reports and Analytics
You need accurate and logical reports with lots of data to create effective marketing strategies. So, ideally, your chosen CRM software must provide you with these.
Many CRMs come with in-built reporting capabilities. However, other company-wide marketing automation tools collect useful data as well. So, your CRM should be able to integrate with these to gather all necessary data and present them in a simple format for you to use.
These are essential when analyzing your marketing and sales results, making forecasts, or drafting new strategies.
3. Marketing automation
Your CRM system should integrate with your other marketing automation tools. These tools cover day-to-day marketing needs like lead scoring, lead generation, etc.
Integration with CRM software gives you a more comprehensive system. In so doing, it provides added benefits like:
Facilitating lead scoring: The system can monitor all engagements and eventually score leads according to specific criteria.
Promoting consistent communication: CRM and marketing automation integrations provide your teams with a general overview of the customer journey. These help them to communicate with the clients much better.
Eases marketing and sales collaboration: With CRM and marketing automation integration, it is easy to transition leads from marketing qualified to sales qualified since all information is readily available.
Integrating marketing automation software with CRM creates the link and balance between marketing and sales teams. With this synergy, both stay in sync.
That way, they save time on the duplicate collection and managing customer data. It also eases the transition from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads.
4. Scheduling app/calendar
Your CRM solution must be able to integrate seamlessly with meeting and scheduling tools. It is essential if your sales teams are constantly meeting or calling clients.
Some of the top online calendars like Outlook and Google calendar can integrate seamlessly with CRMs. It would thus make it easy for your team to book and schedule meetings, have video conferences, and the like.
For example, SharpSpring now has video calling services yet at the same time works with major platforms like Microsoft teams and Google meets.
5. Live Chat Integrations
A live chat integration into your CRM system enables you to capture potential leads into your pipeline quickly. Users who engage with your chat software can be easily tracked, monitored, and further engaged when connected to your CRM.
With this integration, the CRM can also capture details of interactions that would help marketing and sales teams communicate effectively.
Key challenges you can expect
Just like most software, your teams would likely need to undergo some training. Often, your staff are accustomed to using their respective methods and will need to learn how to use them in sync with the new CRM software.
It can get costly and challenging since it could take time to adapt, and your business may need to pay for training.
This is why you need to find solutions that are easy to use. Plus, you must find vendors that offer training and support as part of the package, like Funnelbud.
Lack of expertise
If you purchase your software from new players on the market, you are likely to fall into the trap of limited expertise to get you started on the program. Such providers may have basic setup and installation knowledge but cannot help you when more technical issues arise.
For this reason, it is recommended that you work with CRM providers with proven experience and a team of experts to help you.
For instance, Funnelbud has been providing SharpSpring CRM software to multiple firms worldwide and has automation experts on hand to support you as you use the tools.
If you are looking for a new CRM solution, these are some of the key integrations you should focus on to choose the best alternatives. Also, you want to focus on after-purchase services like training and support to help your business make the best out of the software.SharpSpring CRM and marketing automation software integrations bring you several critical features to boost your business’s marketing strategies. Reach out for a free demo today and learn more about SharpSpring.