What is CRM integration?

Whether you’re a CEO, marketing director, manager or anywhere in between, I’m sure Imageyou’ve had countless meetings on how to best manage your customers, contacts, leads and opportunities.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, tied into a Marketing Automation platform, is key.

What exactly is a CRM? What types of CRMs are there? How can you integrate your CRM with your Drupal website?

What is CRM?

Every day, your team is interacting with customers and prospects. A CRM’s primary purpose is to organize, track, and manage all of your customer information, activities, and conversations. This helps your sales, marketing, and customer service teams better understand your customers. It also ensures you are delivering the right message at the right time.

In short, CRM is an application that is designed to help you and your business to organize all the data that you have on your customers.

What Types of CRMs are there?

CRM applications come in two basic varieties: software and service. Decision makers have a wide range to choose from, depending on the needs of your organization. CRM software installs on your computer or server, and the data resides there as well. With CRM software, you usually only have to pay for it once and then you have control over both the program and the data inside it. CRM services are hosted online. You will typically pay an ongoing fee to access these services, but you can access them from any computer.

Some of the more well-known CRMs are SalesforceMicrosoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and NetSuite, as well as custom-made CRMs.

What is CRM integration?

Simply put, CRM integration is building your website and CRM to function together seamlessly. Instead of using your CRM to just be a system that retains customer information based on manual entries, integrating your website/marketing automation software brings in valuable customer information directly into your CRM.

For example, let’s say a prospect downloads your recent whitepaper from your website. This “prospect” is graded with a solid “B” (based on the grading structure you’ve put in place in your marketing automation software). If your marketing automation software is integrated with your CRM, a new record will be created and assigned to a sales person for follow-up.

In addition, your sales person will be able to pinpoint when that lead last visited your site, what they looked at, and what other information they requested.

Integrating A CRM into Your Drupal Website

Like any software you are integrating with your website, IT staffs should thoroughly think through coding issues before getting started. Participating in a live Demo and asking questions about other successful Drupal implementations is key. I would also suggest calling references provided by the CRM you’re choosing. It’s a great way find out what issues they had that you might not have thought through.

Many of the larger CRMs have modules already created to make installing a bit easier (.i.e SalesforceSugarCRM, and a suite of modules for the Drupal-based CRMs like RedHen and Civicrm).

If you are going with a less widely accepted CRM, a custom API might need to be written. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but can be time consuming.

Conclusion

Regardless of the CRM you use, the majority of CRMs hold the same types of information and have the same types of goals:

  • Improve customer communication and retention
  • Increase company profitability
  • Enhance customer/prospect tracking

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Effective Content Marketing

Marketing Automation and Drupal

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About AdamWaid

Adam Waid is a revenue marketer. With over 10 years of industry experience Adam is a strategic thinker who has a passion for producing revenue-generating results through solutions-driven marketing. Director of Customer Success at Pardot a Salesforce Company, Adam is focused on customer adoption, building scalable processes and programs, and delivering increased customer satisfaction and retention. Adam has a passion for ensuring Salesforce customers achieve the highest revenue possible using marketing automation. Adam is extremely active in the Atlanta marketing community. He was named 2014 Atlanta Interactive Marketer of the Year by AIMA; chairs the Marketing Automation group within the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AiMA); organizes quarterly marketing automation meet-ups, teaches Digital Marketing courses, has written over 60 marketing blogs, 5 digital marketing eBooks, and speaks regularly at industry events.

4 responses to “What is CRM integration?”

  1. Sarah says :

    Adam, you had no way of knowing this, but this post is very relevant for me right now. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  2. Mark Suansing says :

    Thank you for this topic. It elaborates more about the importance of having and applying CRM. It gave more emphasis about the system and how it really works. Keep it up and keep posting! Good day!

    Mark Suansing
    http://www.triggerapp.com

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