Tag Archive | CRM

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.


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


Why Should Companies Invest in Social Media?

I had a great meeting today with a 30-year marketing veteran, discussing the need for companies to be present on social media (SM).

Generalizing here I know, but I think the majority of corporations fall into two categories when it comes to engaging on social media.

1. They scoff at the thought of doing business where, they think, only 13 year old girls gather to look at photos from their recent sleepover.

2. Or they dump everything onto social media and expect a surge in sales within 2 months, and if the don’t get it, they give up.

Balance, people. Balance.

Yes. I agree with #2. If it’s not a project that will drive the bottom-line (or create unity within the organization) then don’t invest.

Which sets up my question nicely:  WHY should corporations invest in social media?


Customers. Colleagues. Leads. The community. All relationships that are worth your time. If you’re not a company that wants to invest in relationships, then in my opinion, social media is not a good avenue for you to get involved in.

So, let’s talk about these relationships for a bit. How can social media actually effect the relationships you have with your customers?

First, read my original post where I gave 5 missed opportunities to provide a “raving fan” experience from a large corporation.

Now that we are on the same page. Here’s an update:

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this tweet come through. Jaded? Maybe. I’m sure that Sprint does have numerous stories where they built strong relationships through customer service and social media.

But for me, I’m left with ideas swirling of a better SM strategy, an improved SM customer experience, and not to mention a jacked HTC Hero.

Coming to my point I promise . . .

I did respond to that tweet, took the “high road,” and congratulated them but also asked if they could help get my phone fixed.  I got several responses to 1. send them an e-mail with my information 2. go into a tech. store and 3. my personal favorite:

A little Sprint sarcasm? Perhaps.

“Adam, what’s the point to all this? ” you ask.

Here it is:  If you can’t integrate social media into your entire business process, then don’t even begin.

Why? Because Social Media is not just sleep-over photos, or checking-in a Starbucks, it’s relationship building. And should be thought of when looking at an overall “customer experience.”

Social media needs to fit in with your entire business process. The “traditional” customer service reps, in-person interaction, tech support and SM teams should all be on the same page. Talking together about the customer’s needs.

In my next post I will give a few examples of how to integrate your SM team in your business process to provide a better “customer experience.”