What are the benefits of a CRM Integration?

14 Jan 2019

CRM systems are great (yes, I’m a bit biased) and when used to their full potential, can help you streamline and organise every aspect of your business.

But even acknowledging how great CRM systems are (yes, I’m going to keep saying it), there are occasions where you really need to hang on to an existing system (your email client, for example). Or maybe introduce a “speciality” tool for one particular aspect of your business (take accounting or manufacturing software for example).

When this happens, what you really want is to bring the relevant information from that system into CRM. Tie it all in with the appropriate person or project or other record.

In the tech world (and everywhere else), this is known as an integration.

And even though I think CRM systems are the absolute bees knees, I’d like to take a moment to explore the top 3 benefits of CRM integration.

Benefit #1: The basics

The first question the sales team here are typically asked by a prospective customer is whether we can integrate with their emails (the answer is yes btw).

This is because we are all so reliant on email for our basic communication and are hesitant to give up the email management software or tool we currently use. And to be honest, these systems are so well developed and specialised that it would be foolish for a more all round system like CRM to try and emulate them.

But you still want that information available when consulting the call or ticket history within your CRM.

And that’s the first benefit of a CRM integration: centralising the full history of customer (and prospect) interaction.

Think about it, you’re scrolling through the communication history of a customer, trying to find out when they gave you or a colleague that key bit of information that’s going to win you the sale. Instead of having to flip through your notepad and scroll through your emails (and pester your colleagues), you just look at that customer record and it’s all there.

Notes in the Activities, full records of the emails, all in one place.


Benefits

What do you get with OpenCRM?

Unrivalled customer support? 2TB of storage per account? Data held in EU? It’s the sort of stuff we think you should be able to take for granted, but which you won’t necessarily get from our competitors.

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Benefit #2: The specialists

I touched on this before in the introduction, but this is the main reason most of our customers come to us with CRM integration requests.

They’ve got a system, tailored to work perfectly in their industry or doing a very particular job in their business, but it only does the one thing for them. So they’ve got a CRM system to do the rest…but that information is still really important to managing their customer relationships.

They need to integrate.

These integrations can be tricky, you need to make sure that the information comes through in the right format and into a place that makes sense for your business.

But that’s the beauty of CRM systems, you can tweak them and tailor them to fit your business.

And there’s my second benefit to CRM integrations: being able to bring unique data in and finding the perfect home for it.

Again, I’ll go through an example. Let’s say you run a custom bicycle manufacturing company. You use your CRM to manage your prospecting, sales, follow up marketing, and customer service requests. But the actual customisation…well, that’s handled by a bespoke bit of software that is linked up to your raw materials suppliers.

You can’t get rid of it now!

But instead, whenever an order is completed and the information is entered into the bespoke tool, it gets zipped over to your CRM and the data is added to custom fields, linked direct to your Contact record.

The data is at your fingertips, but your supply chain process hasn’t changed and you’re still building bikes that your customers love.


Custom Demo

Let us take you on a tour

You’ve had a look around and are starting to think OpenCRM might be the system for you and your business. Why not chat with one of our team (and ask your burning CRM questions) as they take you on a tour of the system?

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Benefit #3: Controlled Chaos

When you’ve got a complex business model, it can be difficult to know which way is up sometimes. A CRM is a great way to stay grounded, but only if it is actually grounded itself.

What do I mean by this? An example will make it easier…one from our own office.

We use a fantastic CRM system (seriously, you should check it out 😉 ) and we use it in every area of the business. Our sales team use it for prospecting, our marketing team send emails through it, the projects are managed there, customer service requests are handled there…the list goes on.

But we also use other systems: collaborative messaging, developer specific tools, accounting software, email, and on and on and on.

Some of these systems (the developer stuff for example) don’t NEED to be integrated with OpenCRM, but it can be useful to have some dates and times brought in so we can track when work started and stopped. A simple Zapier link between the two gives us all the information we need.

Similarly our instant messaging content doesn’t need to be held centrally (how many variations on a Subway order are there?!), but being able to use a simple email from OpenCRM to post to this service and call people’s attention to something they need to do or just be aware of is essential.

And then of course, we’ve got our accounting software that requires a complex flow of information to and from OpenCRM. This gives our accounts team the data they need to process payments, while giving our sales team up to date information of who has bought what and when they paid.

This third benefit of CRM integration comes down to the importance of having the choice of setting up an integration that is simple, complex, or something in between.

After all, not EVERYTHING in life has to be complicated…right?

Graham Anderson
Graham Anderson
Before I got my start in the tech industry as part of Apple's UK Mac launch team, I was a professional drummer (notice I didn’t say musician). But once I got in, I was hooked and I’ve been involved in the tech industry, primarily software development, for over 20 years. I founded this company and I now have the enviable title of System Architect (as well as Managing Director) here at OpenCRM.