Having all your applications work together to create a complete view of the customer feels like a dream. Now, you can make this vision a reality with CRM integration.
Integrations connect all of your applications with your CRM. If you need a specific app to organize your data, you can add it to the power of your CRM. Your business can then increase efficiency, enhance data accuracy, improve customer experiences, and increase sales.
Sounds amazing, right? This post will explore the importance of CRM integrations, how you can leverage integrations for your business, and the wide range of integrations available.
What is a CRM integration?
CRM integration is the seamless connectivity between your customer relationship management (CRM) software and third-party applications. Integrations result in automated actions that expand the functionality of your software, eliminating the need to toggle back and forth between systems.
Your CRM is not only essential for communicating with customers, but also it should create alignment and streamline communication within your company.
With integration, you can create a single source of truth with all the functionality you need.
Benefits of CRM Integration
There are several benefits to integrating your CRM with the rest of your tech stack. An integrated CRM can act as the central hub for all your business and customer data, ensuring that all your processes run smoothly. You can then create a 360-view of customer activity.
See other benefits of CRM integration below.
1. Improved Efficiency
By integrating your CRM with other systems, you can streamline internal processes. For example, adding automation software can reduce the effort spent on manual tasks such as data entry.
You’ll then have more time to GSD. (Get Stuff Done).
2. Enhanced Data Accuracy
CRM integrations can help ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date. How? Certain integrations automatically synch data between systems. You can eliminate mismatched contact records or data silos that keep some teams in the dark.
For example, you can integrate HubSpot’s CRM with Shopify. That allows you to keep track of who is buying what on your site and for how much.
3. Better Customer Experiences
Integrating your CRM with your other tools can help provide customers with more personalized and timely experiences.
If your CRM is integrated with your stack, you will always have a complete and up-to-date view of customer interactions, allowing you to personalize communications accordingly.
4. Increased Sales
With proper CRM integration, sales opportunities will never get lost in translation between systems. You can personalize marketing efforts without fear of inaccurate information. All this adds up to increased sales and revenue.
5. Enhanced Collaboration
CRM integration allows different teams and departments in your organization to access and share customer data, improving team communication and collaboration.
6. Better Data Analysis
An integrated CRM system provides valuable insights and analytics on customer behavior. With useful information from all of your business systems summed in your CRM, you can create supercharged reports that will improve sales and marketing strategies and improve the customer experience.
How to Add CRM Integrations
So you want to create a CRM with all of the apps your team usually uses. You can achieve CRM integration in multiple ways. See your options below.
1. Use built-in CRM integrations.
If you invest in products and services from one provider, your CRM will be integrated by default. Let’s say, you use HubSpot CRM, Marketing Hub, and Service Hub. In that case, your systems will automatically be connected. You’ll never need to worry about the accuracy and transparency of your data.
This is a very convenient solution. However, you likely use more than one software at your business. Most companies use many providers for things such as email, calendar, team communication, and more.
Luckily, every CRM will come with built-in connections to integrate commonly used systems with the click of a button. All you’ll need to do is identify which external apps you use.
Common built-in integrations include:
- Gmail and Outlook for email.
- Slack for team communication.
- Social media integration with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
- Google and Outlook for calendar.
- Survey Monkey and TypeForm for lead forms.
- Document and proposal software
- Uber Conference, Aircall, and CallRail for calling/video chat software.
In addition, if you use HubSpot CRM, you can use the HubSpot Meeting Scheduling App to let prospects book meetings based on your real-time calendar availability.
See below for other standard integrations that are included in CRMs.
Customer Success Software
If you use software such as Zendesk or Service Hub, integrating it with your CRM will make valuable service data visible to all relevant teams. You can more efficiently solve customer problems and bolster future sales by approving your offering.
Plus, you can ensure customer service needs are always accounted for.
Live chat integrations such as with Intercom will easily capture conversation history in your CRM. You can always stay on top of customer needs and concerns. Plus, you’ll have a log of how you’ve solved past challenges if they crop up again.
If you use a third-party tool to help identify and engage with prospects, you want to integrate it with your CRM to streamline communication.
Integrating a prospecting system such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator with your CRM enables you to engage leads with personalized outreach using features like InMail, related leads, and icebreakers within your CRM.
For sales reps working for ecommerce companies, integrating your online shopping cart platform with your CRM is critical to understanding your customers.
If your company uses a Shopify store to sell products, integrating the platform with your CRM can automatically sync products, contacts, and orders so you have access to pertinent shopper information.
If your company uses Stripe to manage online payments, integrating it with your CRM allows you to automatically add new contacts who receive quotes. This makes it even easier for customers to pay invoices and purchase orders directly without back and forth.
Web Form Integrations
The lead generation forms on your website, and your CRM should be automatically synced. Integrating your CRM with web form software such as WordPress, Unbounce, or Mailchimp captures viable leads.
You’ll also ensure that your contact list is always up to date — no manual uploads required.
If your company facilitates in-person or virtual events, integrating your CRM with event management software is a helpful way to understand how event ticket sales and attendance impact your sales funnel.
If you use Eventbrite for live event ticketing, integrating this system with your CRM provides insightful data about which contacts are attending your events and how you can better connect with them in the future.
The same holds true for virtual gatherings. Integrating your CRM with a system such as GoToWebinar can be timesaving for sales reps who focus on selling virtual tickets.
Connecting your webinar system with your CRM allows you to easily send registration reminders to your contact list, create follow-up campaigns, and create robust funnel reports to understand your event ROI.
If your marketing team uses video as part of their strategy, integrating a video platform such as YouTube with your CRM can provide valuable insights about your leads. You’ll access data about which videos and messages are most successful, giving you leverage as you engage with potential customers.
2. Leverage connector integrations.
Connector integrations act as third-party triggers or middlemen to facilitate the connection between your CRM and thousands of other apps. Using connector software, you can create custom integrations to facilitate specific tasks to create automated workflows.
Our favorite connector integrations include Zapier, which automatically transfers information between your CRM and over 1,000 third-party apps. Make offers another compelling option.
With Make, you can connect your CRM to 1,000+ apps to create workflows. This allows you to connect your CRM and automatically exchange data with all systems — from accounting and payment apps to project management platforms.
3. Build your own APIs.
APIs (application programming interfaces) are endpoints in your CRM and other software that define the protocol of how apps can interact. APIs allow different systems to communicate and exchange data, enabling your CRM system to share data with other applications.
The built-in integrations mentioned above are all built using behind-the-scenes APIs to connect the apps. If you have an IT team or development experience, you can manipulate APIs directly between your CRM and other apps to create more customized integrations.
API integration is helpful if you have specific needs or custom in-house software not included in standard built-in CRM integration options.
4. Write your own custom code.
Software developers can write custom code that will make different systems communicate with each other. However, this option can get messy fast.
While APIs are designed to work in a standardized and repeatable way, custom code will need to be updated constantly to keep up with updates and changes. For this reason, we recommend integrating your CRM with built-in options or APIs, unless you have highly specialized and complex needs.
Getting Started With CRM Integration
As your business grows, CRM integration with an ever-expanding number of business tools will only become more critical. As a result, it’s essential to carefully consider which integration method is best for your business.
Factors to consider are your budget, the complexity of the integration, and the level of customization needed.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.