What Is CRM Integration? 11 Types
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published October 21, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Applications and software have become essential parts of sales and customer management because sales teams often take advantage of this type of software's analytics and organization. When using different software or applications, you can protect the accuracy and security of your customer data by integrating each application with your customer service management system. To use the full extent of services from your CRM and other sales-related software, you can learn about CRM integration and how to incorporate it into your system.
In this article, we discuss what CRM integration is and 11 types of CRM integration that can be helpful to a successful sales team.
Related: What Is CRM?
What is CRM integration?
CRM integration refers to when you connect other software to your customer relationship management system. A customer relationship management system tracks information about clients and how far they are into a sales process. To ease the process of moving your customers through your sales process, you can integrate other sales software to utilize their capabilities without duplicating client information on multiple platforms. The integration allows you to incorporate the capabilities of one software into another so you can share data seamlessly between the two.
There are three ways you can integrate the CRM with other software and applications:
Brand loyalty: Most software companies endeavor to make their different products compatible with each other so you can purchase a suite of programs or customize your network with the programs they need.
Custom code: If you work with a developer, they can create lines of code to connect different programs, giving you a wide range of features. Custom code may not result in a seamless integration because it isn't how the program designers intended you to use them, but it can add new capabilities to your CRM.
APIs: An application programming interface is essentially a bridge between two pieces of software. Many programs have these built in to integrate across brands, but you can also use them on programs that don't have their API.
11 CRM integrations
Depending on your needs and the steps in your sales process, you can set up the following integrations:
1. Email integrations
Emailing leads is a large part of customer relations and can often start your relationship with your customer. Integrating your email server with your CRM software can include those emails in your customer tracking. You can keep your contact and email templates in one place, and you can have an ongoing record of your communications with the customer. Integrating your email server allows you to keep your email address and the features of your email provider while still taking advantage of the ease and organization of a CRM.
2. Calendar integrations
You can integrate your digital calendar into your CRM to reference your important dates easily. Most people use a calendar to keep track of appointments or critical moments in their customer relationship. Integrating your schedule with your CRM can help you create automated tasks assigned to specific dates. You can plan events over email and incorporate them into your calendar by syncing your email with your CRM. With your entire team's schedules incorporated into a shared database like a CRM, you can also determine when someone is available by looking at their calendar.
Related: 8 Steps To Developing a CRM Strategy
3. Connector integrations
Some software can integrate into existing software to provide additional features. A connector integration is software that allows your CRM to connect to a variety of other software without compromising the data. It's essentially a data converter that lets your CRM communicate and share information with various other third-party applications. For example, if your CRM has strong sales analytics capabilities but no mobile view, an application may reformat your CRM for a mobile view. To get your CRM to share information with the apps safely, you can use a connector integration.
Related: What Is the Meaning of CRM?
4. Social media integrations
Social media is a popular way to communicate with your customers, build relationships and move them through your sales process. Businesses frequently have social media accounts, and an essential aspect of modern marketing is posting on those accounts in pre-determined intervals to drive traffic to the website and interest in the brand.
You can integrate your social media to connect with your calendars, contacts and analytics to track your posts' success. You can also use social media to receive and answer questions about the brand, which means you're communicating with customers and the CRM can help you convert them into sales.
5. Prospecting software integrations
Prospecting software is a tool that helps you identify and engage with new leads. If you're using prospecting software to find leads, integrating this software into your CRM can help you take advantage of your CRM's sales process features. You can move your leads through your pre-established sales process to convert them into sales. Integrating prospecting software means your communication can be in one place, and you don't have to transfer any contact information and risk compromising or misplacing it.
6. Communications integrations
Communication with members of your team or clients can help you stay organized and make sales. Communication integrations can refer to a few different types:
Team communications integrations: You can use programs that incorporate quick and easy communication between teams, like instant messaging programs.
Live chat integrations: A live chat integration incorporates software that allows prospects to communicate instantaneously with a member of your team, either through instant messaging or video chats.
Calling software integrations: You can assign, record and track cold calls, voicemails and follow-ups through calling software integration that provides contact information and prompts.
7. Data collection integrations
You can collect data about your prospects by sending out surveys or web forms. Integrating these services into your CRM can help you organize your findings by prospect and sales process steps. Data on your prospects can help you pull reports about sales numbers and trends in customer behavior. Analyzing this data can affect how you alter your sales process within your CRM. You can maintain the integrity of the large amounts of data you collect by having your form software communicate directly with your CRM, so you don't have to duplicate data or manually assign it to prospects.
8. Customer service integrations
You can track previous interactions with the customer and access their purchase history or engagement history through your CRM integration. If the customer has a question about their purchase or the circumstances under which they made their purchase, like a sale or event, you may need to refer to their history with your company to assist them. Instead of manually researching that information for every customer, your customer service integration can keep your communication and customer history in one database.
9. E-commerce integrations
An e-commerce company, or a company that sells products through its website, needs additional integrations into the CRM for selling and shipping items to customers. E-commerce companies typically integrate the CRM with their websites to record and track important customer information, like purchases or abandoned online carts. The CRM can help them track what leads they have converted and what sales to attribute to each lead. Sales teams can use this data to pull sales numbers, assist with customer service or reach out to potential customers who have yet shown interest but haven't purchased.
10. Event integrations
Companies may put on virtual events or hold video meetings and conferences. They may want to integrate their event management software with their CRM to share information about the company's contacts and potential leads. They can also use this integration to track data about who has purchased a ticket and draw up reports about the event's success. You can schedule events with the calendar integration and sell tickets with your e-commerce integration.
11. Sales forecasting
Management may ask you to predict the numbers of upcoming sales so they can plan for budgets or find new ways to grow the business. You can integrate sales forecasting software with your CRM so that your forecasts are as accurate as possible. Using the information in your CRM, like the contacts list and each leads placement within your sales process, you can pull reports about sales analytics. You can also access relevant information about sales you've already made and analyze what past trends can tell you about future sales.
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