CRM software is a vital part of any sales department—whether you’re a start-up with a spreadsheet or an enterprise company with multiple sales teams, having some form of CRM software is a major boon when it comes to keeping track of all your leads and customers.
But modern businesses don’t just use CRM software; they use a whole stack of programs designed to perform various important tasks throughout the company.
But what if some of those programs could communicate? What if you could import from one program data with the click of a button? What if you could put to use all the data you’ve got siloed away in your CRM, for say, a marketing campaign? What if you could let your leads qualify themselves?
CRM integration lets you do all this and much more.
What Does CRM Integration Mean?
Integrating software with your CRM means you’re allowing each program to pull data from the other.
Generally, the software you choose to integrate will already be what you’re using, like email and calendars, or will be programs that perform a specific role that extends the functionality of your CRM, such as proposal writing software.
By combining programs you can expect to dramatically speed up your workflow and reduce human error while internalizing all your integrated tools within your CRM for easy access.
CRM software is usually built with some integrations already baked in, but many offer entire ecosystems of third-party integrations designed with those CRMs in mind.
There are even tools for connecting programs that aren’t designed to work together, removing the limits preventing you from linking tools together.
12 CRM Integrations to Boost Your Selling Power
Let’s look at some of the most powerful ways you can streamline your selling process by using third-party integrated programs.
From cold-emailing new leads to communicating with colleagues, email software is integral to sales reps. By integrating email software into your CRM, reps can instantly respond from within the CRM, rather than having to switch out to a dedicated program.
Reps can stay completely up-to-date when communicating with leads by having all the information they need right in front of them, and keeping team members in the loop is simple when reps aren’t switching between windows.
CRMs are widely compatible with Outlook and Gmail, meaning almost every business could and should be integrating their email with their CRM.
Reps can ensure they never miss a deadline or a meeting by having their calendars synced with their CRM.
What’s more, reps can set up meetings through their CRM, making it easier to schedule appointments with prospects.
Google Calendar and Outlook are the main integrations CRMs are designed to integrate with, though there are other add-ons with increased functionality.
For example, programs like Acuity Scheduling and SuperSaas allow prospects to select a meeting time based on reps’ availability, eliminating the back and forth of finding a time that works for both parties.
Boosting your brand’s presence and engaging with your audience via social media is important in the modern selling world, so why not simplify things by integrating your main social channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, into your CRM?
By bringing your social media into your CRM tool suite, reps will have a much easier time getting through to your customers, and you’ll also gain valuable insights into the posts your audience engages with the most. You can even use integration tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule and automate your postings, saving reps time by batch processing.
Every business uses a messaging service to quickly communicate with team members, and it makes sense for your sales reps to internalize their messaging platform into their CRM.
Often a quick answer is needed, and having to pull up a separate app can interrupt workflows and break concentration. By integrating internal communications, reps can respond without having to leave the CRM, so they never lose track of what they were doing or miss an important message.
Apps like Slack and Range keep users up to date with what’s going on within their teams and help coordinate collaboration efforts with messenger and task management features.
Internal File Sharing
Centralizing your team’s assets means no longer having to keep track of who has the latest version of a document, and lets your reps use company assets to build their branded pieces of media and sales pitches.
It also makes finding files much easier; they’re all in one place and they’re accessible to everyone who needs them. No more wasting time delving through your hard drive to email over a document someone accidentally deleted!
There’s a range of plugins that offer internal file sharing alongside other useful features. Monday.com includes plenty of extra functions to help out with marketing and social media, whereas software like Dropbox Business keeps the focus on effective centralized file sharing.
Ecommerce and Events Integration
If your business uses online selling platforms to sell a range of products or access to events to your customers, then it’s time to integrate that into your CRM.
Keep your reps up to date with your product catalog while customer information gets transferred to the CRM, automatically syncing your new leads, customers and order details with Shopify and Squarespace.
Or if you use ticketing platforms like Eventbrite and Ticket Tailor, you can use the valuable data from your customers to learn more about the buying habits of your customers and how to market to them.
Ensuring your sales continue to grow means making sure you have robust lead generation in place, and there are lots of great third-party programs that can help you discover new prospects.
Linking your lead generation tools to your CRM is a no-brainer, so make sure you’re integrating this aspect of your sales process.
Using web form builders means your leads will begin to identify themselves. You can use specialized software like Paperform or use more comprehensive software like Mailchimp to help import your leads’ information directly into your CRM.
Or software like Driftrock can sync with your lead sources and help understand your audience segmentation and who to target with ad campaigns, all the while bringing leads into your CRM.
Call Center and Video Conferencing Integration
With so many employees working remotely, it’s more important than ever to make sure they’re properly equipped with video conferencing software so they can still communicate effectively and collaborate with the team.
Many commonly used tools like Zoom and Teams are easily integrated into the CRM, meaning sales reps are just a click away from hosting or joining video calls, whether with prospective clients or team members.
But your entire call center can be integrated into your CRM. Fully featured software like Cloudtalk is designed to be integrated, meaning you’ll have access to the powerful features needed to improve your phone selling rates as well as the ability to store your calls within your CRM.
Webchat and Chatbots
Another fantastic way of generating leads while boosting your customer service is through the use of chatbots and webchat.
Chatbots are your customer’s first interaction, and can be used to give scripted answers to some of your most frequently asked questions, and can even be given functionality like arranging meetings between clients and reps! Bring those leads into your CRM and get those meetings scheduled by integrating your chatbot into your CRM.
And if your customers have more complex questions, then your sales reps can be on hand to give buyers the answers they need. You can use this process to add them to your database and record specific customer information in your CRM based on your interaction with the customer.
Some CRMs like Pipedrive have add-ons like their Leadbooster suite that give you full customization of chatbots and webchat along with other helpful lead-generating features, or stand-alone options like Landbot and LiveChat offer great features if you’re just looking for specific tools.
Marketing integration is a huge part of expanding your CRM’s utility, and while lots of the more feature-rich CRMs have built-in email marketing tools, for those that don’t there are plenty of fantastic options ready to be integrated.
You’ll want to be using your email marketing campaigns to target your leads with content and offers, keeping them engaged with your brand and one step closer to making a purchase. You already have your pipeline full of interested leads, so why not pull from that data instead of having to create a separate list in your marketing suite?
Marketing integrations are superb for boosting your inbound marketing and growing traffic to your site, which in turn gets converted into higher revenue.
Premium platforms like Hubspot have built-in marketing suites ready to integrate with their CRM, but great stand-alone software exists too, like Mailchimp and Vertical Response.
Proposals and Document Software Integration
After all the hard work your reps have done getting prospects to commit to a deal, you don’t want them to have to spend hours crafting a proposal from scratch, or even worse, use a template from your word processor but forget to change one of the fields from the last company the proposal was sent to (believe me, it happens).
Your proposal should be the cherry on the cake—a flawless professional document you can send out as soon as you need to.
Integrations can make a real difference here. You can design your documents once and have the templates ready to auto-populate with client information straight from your CRM, saving you a ton of time and cutting out human error.
PandaDoc has an excellent reputation for filling this niche, though software like Proposify and Qwilr have excellent track records too.
Sales Data and Forecasting
Sales data and insights software is the holy grail for reps and sales managers looking to boost productivity and refine their sales process to maximize their growth. It can be incredibly difficult to manually keep track of all your data, but with dedicated programs, understanding your sales process is easier than ever.
And with powerful sales analytics comes powerful forecasting. Having accurate forecasting information means your business can budget efficiently and means you can see when your team is falling behind on revenue.
Data analysis is often built-in to the larger CRM packages, such as Salesforce, but programs ready to be integrated include SPOTIO and Datapine.
If you’re using or considering upgrading to one of the market leaders in CRM technology (think Salesforce, Pipedrive, Hubspot, etc), then integrating with bespoke third-party software is incredibly easy, thanks to the ecosystems these programs have.
These programs have the user base to warrant software integrations specifically for these platforms. This makes integrations easier and more fully featured, offering a huge range of utilities you can add for the specific needs of your company.
Using Third-Party Tools to Boost Your Integrations
But don’t worry if you’re not using a CRM with a dedicated ecosystem; there are other ways to integrate software!
Tools like Zapier and Kovair Omnibus Integration are built to help users without dedicated apps. They work by being the conduit between your CRM and the programs you want to integrate.
This means users aren’t locked into specific ecosystems and gives reps and managers an enormous range of powerful tools to boost productivity and sales revenue without having to switch from their chosen platform.
Why Should You Integrate Software With Your CRM?
Your CRM software is only as useful as the tools it provides to your workflow.
A pipeline and centralized contact list are all that’s strictly necessary, but CRM can be so much more, and you’ll be missing out if you’re not integrating the apps you use alongside it.
Using apps outside your CRM when they could be integrated means your reps are wasting time and at risk of distraction. They want to get on with selling, and endlessly switching between different apps to get it done is a frustration they don’t have to live with anymore.
And that’s just the apps you’re already using. There are so many amazing pieces of software out there with the tools to help speed up and improve your sales process, regardless of how niche your business is.
With the ability to add tools from call centers to marketing suites, from proposal drafting software to sales forecasting, you can tailor your sales process and the tools at your disposal to be exactly what your sales team needs to achieve maximized sales. Understanding the functions you need in your CRM is key here, but once you know then you can build an incredibly streamlined and efficient process.
So perhaps the better question is why wouldn’t you integrate? With so much functionality, boosted revenue and efficiency to gain, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.