What is CRM Integration? Tools and Examples for Your Business

What is CRM Integration? Tools and Examples for Your Business

Customer data is among the most crucial resources a business can have. It helps you analyze and understand the current and prospective customers, enabling you to deliver more personalized products and strategize your marketing campaigns. However, collecting, managing, and aggregating customer data is never easy. And that’s where businesses integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to help centralize multiple information streams, databases, and other systems.

In the increasingly competitive business environment, differentiating your brand has become more challenging, leaving businesses with one option – delivering customer-centric services and products. Therefore, CRM systems are critical in the modern business environment. However, you need to ensure that your system is fully integrated with the entire technology stack to get the best out of a CRM system.

But what is CRM integration? What are some of the best tools and examples? Join us as we bring you a detailed review of these questions and more about CRM integration.

What is CRM Integration?

Before diving deeper into CRM integration, it’s crucial to define CRM software. It’s a centralized platform that pulls together a wide range of customer-related data into one or more databases to facilitate faster and more streamlined analysis and access. Some CRM software is single-purchase products installed on a company’s server. This implies that the business has 100% control over the data and program.

On the contrary, other CRM systems work as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms that allow businesses to subscribe and access from any location. Also, open-source CRM systems exist.

Having defined CRM systems, let’s take a CRM integration. CRM integration is the smooth connectivity between the software and other third-party apps. These integrations lead to the automation of actions that extend your software’s functionality, ending the need to move back and forth between multiple systems.

How Does CRM Integration Work?

According to Forbes, a CRM system attains its full potential when connected with other software and applications. CRM systems connect with other applications through CRM integration, enabling customer data to be easily integrated with various third-party systems.

CRM integration looks quite different for each business. For some, it involves connecting the CRM software with a couple functions of the business website, often done through integrations already built into the CRM. However, other complex businesses need to integrate a CRM system with many different systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Most CRM integrations need you to connect through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These CRM integrations often use integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) to facilitate data sharing between third-party systems.

CRM Integration Tools

Most integration platforms have built-in connectors for the most used apps, which complement CRM systems. Other integration platforms feature built-in automated process integrations and recipes that need minimal or low code to implement.

Also, integration platforms serve as workflow engines and primary governors or controllers, orchestrating workflows residing in CRM, ERP, and other systems. Numerous integration platforms support complex bi-directional processes and data orchestration with complicated business rules that govern exception handling, routing, transformation, and enrichments. Some great integration platforms include:

These integration platforms enable APIs with similar functionalities to be shared across various systems and applications. Such microservices or API architecture eliminates the complexity of CRM integration, promoting the rapid development of new integration. Also, it enables self-service integration for citizen integrators.

What’s more, you can use robotic process automation (RPA) to integrate apps and automate workflows and manual processes that significantly improve your employee productivity.

Examples of CRM Integration

Although CRM integration can expand into a wide range of business activities, the following are some common CRM integration examples:

CRM Integration with Marketing

Most businesses hope to acquire as much information about their potential customers as possible before making sales. They aim to obtain a 360-degree view of their customer profiles to better understand their taste and preferences. As a result, most companies depend on marketing automation software, such as HubSpot and Adobe Experience Cloud, to connect customer data from different marketing channels.

A CRM system integration is critical to help them view a potential customer via all possible channels and efficiently market to them. CRM integration connects relevant data with all the remaining customer data generated across their entire lifecycle. Also, it helps funnel the leads toward the right marketing channel to seal the sale.

CRM Integration with E-Commerce

The world of sales is arguably one of the areas that stand to benefit from CRM software and its right integration. These systems help record and monitor information about current customers and potential leads across various channels.

A CRM system can be integrated with any e-commerce platform to manage sales operations, including payment collection, ordering, and customer browsing. Examples include WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Doing so allows orders, products, and contacts to be automatically synchronized within a single platform.

CRM Integration with Customer Service

When current and potential customers contact a business for assistance or information, cases or tickets are produced and must be organized and tracked. Up-to-date data on returns, maintenance, repairs, and warranties need to be cross-checked and managed appropriately. Many systems are often used to address these various elements of customer service, including field service software and IT service management.

However, integrating a CRM system can help you connect all these systems and information sources into a single platform. For instance, with CRM integration, you can combine customer service data with broader customer databases, among other channels. Doing so streamlines every element of the customer service department and beyond, promoting an enhanced customer experience.

Final Thought

Over time, businesses have started generating large amounts of data from different sources. However, if this information is not pulled into a single platform, it can be difficult to create any value from it or automate your workflow processes. But with CRM integration, all these data sources and data can be connected into a single platform, helping streamline business processes. Many CRM integration tools are available, including MuleSoft Solutions, Jitterbit, and Oracle. Always assess the CRM integration platform to determine whether or not it meets your business needs.

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