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- Why integrate CRM?
- Steps to integrating a CRM
- 1. Structuring the data
- 2. Connect leads’ sources
- 3. Integrate with lead activity software
- 4. Connect with project management and team communication
- 5. Get the most out of CRM with data analytics
According to recent studies, already 91% of businesses over 11 employees already use a CRM system. Having a CRM is great, isn’t it? You’ve put so much effort into migrating all your data to one place, where you can now manage all the information about your customers, suppliers, partners, or even products.
CRM is supposed to make life easier and in a perfect world means order, access to information, better management and team planning. However, it’s not rare to see companies using a CRM still encountering problems with having all the information structured in one place and communicating properly with the team.
So why does it happen and why an unintegrated CRM can mean chaos in your organization?
Why you need proper CRM integration
Optimizing processes’ efficiency
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
That’s how Bill Gates describes automation. Automation is great and means growth when applied to already working and organized processes. As a result, it’s often worth taking a step back and identifying bottlenecks within processes in your organization before putting the right technology in place.
How to identify if the problem lies within your organization rather then the technology itself? Some of the indicators can be:
- Your team rarely communicates with each other and updates about their work
- CRM is the top management’s order, rather than the team’s initiative to organize their work
- The team does not know about the responsibilities of other people within the organization
The above can mean that it’s worth to look into your processes and team’s work first, before deciding to apply more advanced technological solutions.
If you’re ready to solve the underlying problems within the organization, you will quickly discover that the properly configured CRM can give a real boost to your team’s productivity and work satisfaction, improving on the overall communication and shortening the time spent on manual tasks.
CRM configured to match specific team’s needs
Today’s CRM solutions make advanced technology and software easily accessible to each and every business, both to those starting their entrepreneurial journey as well as to medium companies, on their road to building international enterprises.
However, when starting with a CRM, it’s not difficult to fall into the trap of jumping straight to using it, without the proper setup, configuration, and integration. These can result in issues like:
- Data disorganization & duplication, leading to problems in data analytics
- Leads and deals not properly assigned and distributed to team members
- Other solutions not integrated into CRM system leading to CRM not storing all the information within your organization
Why does this matter? Well, after some time spent using not properly configured CRM, you will quickly discover that you consider using it as a requirement, rather than a help for your daily work.
Ultimately, a CRM should help you succeed in the work you’re doing and not distract you from daily activities, acting as a necessary evil.
Avoiding data chaos and proper data analytics
Uploading your data into the CRM is the first step to the effective CRM implementation. But uploading data is not only about uploading the raw excel file and making your data available in the system.
This will often lead to chaos and your data flowing in a CRM without any goal or structure.
E.g. Let’s say you do not organize the data and structure fields in a CRM before uploading it. You might soon discover other teammates adding custom fields to the CRM system to help them with their daily work, which will ultimately lead to information duplication or endless fields displaying under the company’s account.
Wrong organization and structure of data will also lead to issues in your data analytics. What does it mean? Imagine that after a few months using a CRM, you’d like to use all the gathered information to drive some conclusions and optimize the way you communicate with customers.
Having the data structured incorrectly will not allow you to drive proper, reliable conclusions.
Steps to integrating a CRM into your organization
So how to start working on a CRM in your company? You can do it by yourself or hire a certified consultant to help you. No matter which option you decide to go with, it’s important to follow the right integration and implementation process:
1. Data structuring
Before you start using or integrating a CRM, it’s worth to ask yourself a question:
Which information I gather about my customers, users or leads would help me make better business decisions?
These can be data like:
- Sources of new leads
- Activities having the largest impact on deals’ conversion
- The industry of my leads & customers
- Products characterized by the highest level of sales’ conversion
- Geographical distribution of my leads/customers
As soon as you know the data you’d like to measure within your organization, it will be pretty easy to structure your data correctly, so that you’re able to store all the information and drive proper conclusions in one place.
The structure could look like this:
- Pre-defined list of lead sources for every organization you put into a CRM
- Pre-defined industries of your leads/organizations
- List of products offered by your business
Once you set up a solid data structure, you will find that anything you do in your CRM automation & integration is a lot easier. Also, anytime you encounter an obstacle on the later stage of the process, you should come back to the data structuring stage, filling in any gaps.
-> Read our guide on “How to Structure, Manage and Analyze Data in Your Pipedrive CRM”
-> Read our guide on “How to Migrate Your Data to Pipedrive CRM”
2. Connecting leads’ sources
Once you have the data structuring in place, it’s now the time to start integrating your CRM into the software and technological environment of your business.
So before you start connecting your CRM, it’s worth to ask yourself a question:
How does my business acquire leads and customers?
There are endless sources to acquire new leads and potential customers and these can include:
- Website visitors/content
- Social media
- Cold mailing/outreach campaigns
- Mailing campaigns
- Inbound calls
- Paid GAds/FB Ads campaigns
- Cross-selling to already existing customers
- Customer service inquiries
- Listings on other websites.
All of these are only the examples of your customers’ sources and I’m pretty sure you can identify many more of them in your business pretty easily.
But once you understand the overall view of your customer acquisition channels you can make sure that leads appearing in your CRM are attributed the right acquisition source.
Still, you don’t want to do it manually, do you?
Let’s look into some examples of turning this process into an automated workflow.
- Identify your website’s visitors and upload them to a CRM for follow-up activities.
While Pipedrive, similarly to other CRM solutions will let you set up web forms collecting relevant data and putting them automatically as leads in your CRM, what about those who might be interested in your product but do not necessarily leave their contact details on your website?
Using technology like Leadfeeder or Leadworx lets you identify your website’s visitors and those who are actively browsing through your website.
By enriching this data, the software can automatically identify the companies and particular decision-makers within these businesses, letting you address your offer correctly.
What if you automatically identified the companies browsing through your website and automatically have the most interesting ones queued in your CRM for further contact? With today’s cloud technology this becomes possible.
- Connect outreach software and identify interest within mailing campaigns.
By connecting your email outreach software to a CRM, you can easily send mass email campaigns to your target group and keep track of those engaging with them.
Let’s say, you have a group of 5,000 potential contacts who might be interested in your product, you’d now like to send a mailing campaign to this group of customers, introducing your business to them.
You can use a software like Woodpecker and connect it with Pipedrive to keep the emails sending and follow up with the most relevant leads (those who opened, clicked or replied) directly in your CRM.
Similarly, you can connect your CRM to a mailing automation software like Autopilot or MailChimp, triggering a deal identification right in the moment when they become a qualified lead for your product (e.g. clicking on a link to the resource you sent their way).
TIP! Act on leads engaging in your campaigns, immediately, preferably right at the moment when they’ve done some kind of action. Set up notifications to tell you once a customer clicks on the resource in your email and call while they’re browsing through it explaining more details.
- Integrate your customer service as a potential lead source in your CRM.
There are many leads browsing through your website who will ultimately only ask about the details of your offering. But what if during the conversation, you discover that a potential customer is genuinely interested in your product and might be a good fit for further follow-up activity by your sales team?
That’s where customer support integration comes in, letting you tag specific customer conversations as potential leads in your CRM.
How to do it? Use software like LiveChat or Intercom to automate the process of tagging customer conversations triggering deal creation in your CRM.
Alternatively, you can use built-in Pipedrive Leadbooster bot solution pre-qualifying leads browsing through your website and creating CRM deals accordingly.
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