Don’t Build, Integrate – A Guide to CRM Integration
How your customers interact with your business can provide you with valuable insights into improving your sales and establishing better relationships with them.
This can be achieved with more ease when you know more about CRM integrations. Here’s everything you need to know if you plan to integrate your CRM system with other applications and systems.
What is CRM Integration?
CRM integration means establishing a connection between your CRM software with other third-party systems and applications. When your CRM system is seamlessly connected with other applications, certain automated actions take place, and this helps expand the functionality of your system. CRM integration is extremely useful for organizations as it eliminates the need to refer to the data from various systems by bringing together all the customer data, which adds efficiency to their processes.
How CRM Integration Works
CRM works differently for different businesses. While some businesses might benefit from a simple linking of the CRM system with specific functions of the company’s website, larger businesses can streamline their complex operations with a full-fledged CRM integration with various other systems and software. Here are some tips on CRM integration that can help you address your business requirements and implement the integration accordingly.
- Do You Need a Custom Integration at All?
One of the easiest ways to identify how much your business will benefit from integrating CRM with third-party systems is to determine how many technology applications you use in addition to your CRM system. CRM integration can expand the platform’s functionality for businesses that use third-party software while streamlining the organization’s operations. Custom integration is about understanding your business’s needs and the problems you intend to solve with CRM API integration.
In addition to that, deciding on two-way versus one-way sync is also a crucial decision to make. The difference between these two is that, while a two-way sync automatically updates all the datasets on other apps when changes are made to your CRM system and vice versa, you will have to manually make changes to the secondary systems even though the changes are automatically made on the primary system.
- How Will You Be Notified of Changes from the CRM?
When you decide to have a two-way synchronization when integrating CRM, one question that might come to your mind is— how will you find out about the changes made on the CRM side? System providers, when providing CRM software integration services, also provide tools for this specific purpose. Upon configuring such tools, they let you know about the changes.
- API Limitations
Custom CRM integrations are dependent on APIs. When using an API for integrations, it is important to understand that APIs come with certain limitations. However, most startups can function well while coping well with the basic API limits of their CRM systems. Generally, since organizations initially push their contacts and deals to their CRM systems when working on integrations, they might hit the daily API limit. To ensure you don’t encounter such an issue, you can test with a smaller set of data and then gradually work with a larger number while implementing so that you don’t exceed the API limit.
- CRM Implementation
CRM is best implemented as per your business needs when you first give it a try in a tested environment. When doing that, you can create some test data to see how it is to use the system during development. After the development is complete, you can remove the test data and start with the migration.
- Try Everything Out On a test Environment
Some of the common issues that can challenge smooth CRM software integration are messy configuration and pollution of the production data. When you use certain configurations during the testing phase, make sure that you remember these configurations or automate this step to avoid any production errors when you fail to copy the configuration from the test phase to your production system.
One of the best ways to avoid all these issues is by introducing the production only at the end by developing against a test system right from the beginning. When you implement your CRM integration by doing this, you will have a clean configuration, be warned when new features are being implemented, and the chances of forgetting to disconnect local systems are low as well.
Integration can be a time-consuming project which should be planned well for proper execution. However, once implemented and when your teams get the hang of using these systems, it can help transform how you deal with customer data and use it to improve your business operations.