If CRM has a game name, it’s integration. CRM is not an island. It acknowledges the reality of the business world today. And this pivots around integration with the disparate platforms and apps used by small businesses. Here we discuss the top 4 tools you should integrate with your CRM system.
What you will learn in this article
- Why your small business needs CRM
- What you can do with CRM
- The main small business benefits of CRM
- Top 4 tools to integrate with CRM and why
- The benefits of CRM integration
Why your small business needs CRM
As a business develops, it grows increasingly complex. As this happens, it’s almost inevitable that customer satisfaction will take a hit. But this does not need to be the case.
CRM means you can grow and keep customers happy at the same time. It does this by automating workflows and improving customer satisfaction via increased human productivity and improved customer experience. The three headline benefits for small businesses are:
- Improved data-driven business decisions
- Improved business strategy
- Better targeted communications
Add integration to the mix, and you have a streamlined central hub that incorporates all your legacy data sitting on other platforms.
What can you do with CRM?
A large question, but the short answer is pretty much everything business-related. Thanks to improved contact management charting every move you make and pipeline management, there are several benefits for this one area alone. You can expect your CRM system to:
- Track leads and customers
- Provide pipeline metrics
- Generate insightful reports with actionable information
- Score leads
- Speed up the sales pipeline
- Reduce manual sharing of files, and more besides
- Integrate with your existing apps, including email
The leading CRM benefit for small businesses
Business contacts: Salespeople are constantly busy meeting people at trade shows, exhibitions, and site visits. This creates lead follow-up actions. It’s sensible to have all these contacts stored online rather than scribbled on the back of envelopes.
Pipeline management: Managing your sales pipeline is critical to your business’s ongoing success. It’s prudent to keep close tabs to ensure leads are kept warm and converted into customers ultimately. Equally important is retaining business and anticipating sales before they happen. This is where CRM comes into its own in tracking every move and producing insightful overviews.
Onboarding: CRM is an excellent tool for onboarding new customers. Automation can include sending welcome messages and information about useful links.
Generation of reports: The most prominent appeal of CRM is that you can generate all manner of reports. These reports are a great method to leverage your customer data and draw conclusions on what is working and what needs attention.
The top 4 tools to integrate with your CRM solution
Tool 1 – Sales and Marketing
The leadership of your sales team needs to plan to be as efficient and productive as possible. Whether this is training sessions, strategy meetings, or boot camps, the process will go much smoother with CRM integration. For this reason, the first of our top 4 tools is sales and marketing applications.
You can then create a central point where the sales and marketing can intersect to plan better. With a hub within CRM, you can coordinate the activities of both departments to:
- Improve efficiency
- Create smoother and logical workflows
- Improve the execution of tasks
Tool 2 – Communications and scheduling
To be effective, all forms of communications hinge on timing. Without an overview of calendar events, it’s easy for potential scheduling clashes to occur. When comms and schedules are integrated into CRM, you and your team leaders can prevent diary conflicts before they happen. This improves confidence in customer messaging and improves customer conversion rates.
Much of your business revolves around your calendar. It, therefore, makes sense to integrate the likes of Google and Outlook into your CRM system.
Tool 3 – E-commerce
The exponential growth in e-commerce has seen revenue shoot up, and new markets reached. However, this has not been without a price tag. Customer expectations have rapidly risen too. Customer experience and customer satisfaction are now a given.
Where CRM comes into the picture is in bridging the gap between smooth business processes and customer experience. Automating workflow removes holds up in the buying process and glitches that impact customer experience. By automating e-commerce workflows, you can improve after-sales service, inventory planning, and competitiveness.
Tool 4 – Social media
There has arguably never been a more critical sales channel than social media in today’s hyper-connected world. Integrating and automating your social media presence into your CRM system is pretty much a no-brainer now.
However, this extends way beyond scheduling posts. You can use CRM for marketing, logging customer interactions, driving sales, and generating leads. It can act as your command center for marketing strategy across all your feeds, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The benefits of CRM integration
Many benefits are accruing from CRM integration. Among those not touched on so far are:
- Improved customer service – Today’s tech-savvy customer chooses to air complaints or ask for help online, mainly via social media. With integration, it’s far easier to keep track and respond to posts. As a result, you can provide a swifter resolution and improve customer service at the same time.
- Better lead management – Once you capture a lead by phone, email, a meeting, or social media, it needs to be nurtured. With CRM, you can integrate marketing and sales to better effect. And ensure the personalized customer experience leads to much-improved lead conversion rates.
- Better info – Analytics is vital to understanding your customers and how you can sell more to them.
Small businesses evolve with a mix-and-match collection of tools to run their business. Typically, this is for financial, convenience, and historical reasons. However, trying to weld together platforms and apps is always going to be challenging. And not very coherent.
For this reason alone, small businesses should invest in CRM to make sense of their customer data in one comprehensive platform. The most affordable route is cloud-based CRM. Speak to our support team about your business needs. Our cloud-based CRM also works with Zapier and allows you to integrate over 3000 tools with the system.