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You (probably) have a website, and may have a CRM (or Customer Relationship Management) system. However, if the two aren’t connected, you may be losing out. CRM system integration is valuable, not only for your business, but also for your team.
You may not already be aware that you can link your website with your CRM system. Although this might seem like a daunting task, there are many benefits to bringing the two systems together.
Your website probably has an enquiry form of some sort. Without any integration, your website will collect a visitor's details and probably put them into an email that's sent to one of your team. That person should first check to see whether the contact already exists, and then copy / paste (or type!) the visitor's details into your CRM system manually and assign the new contact to a category and perhaps a sales person responsible for the follow-up.
In its simplest form, integration starts with an enquiry form on your website that collects visitor details and submits them straight into your CRM system so your customer services and sales teams can do the follow-up. This means there's no human interaction between the collection of the information and it getting stored in your existing CRM system.
There are two main advantages of this basic integration: less human interaction means fewer opportunities for mistakes as data is typed in; and secondly there's a saving in administration resource to handle the process.
Many CRM systems make this sort of integration easy to achieve, provided your website builders can embed the form code in your site. The downside is that it might be tough to control how the form looks in your website, so it might not look as slick as you'd hope.
As the type of integration gets more sophisticated, extra features are possible. Not only can information collected by your website be saved automatically into your CRM system, but the CRM system can send information back to your website. Using the Sussex Chamber website as an example, it gets its training course and event listings from SageCRM, and maintains its list of members and their status using the CRM system, all automatically.
Again, the big advantages are the accuracy of information and the minimal need for admin resources. But there's another big advantage: the information can be used to create useful features for website visitors that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
The ultimate goal of many businesses when integrating their CRM system and website is to achieve fully joined-up marketing, in which their campaigns are end-to-end. They start with information captured through their website that feeds targeted mailing lists stored within the CRM system, and end with tailored landing pages on the website that track each target's interactions and help the sales teams to maximise the opportunity.
Achieving this level of integration is not an easy process, and therefore the costs can be relatively high. For your business the decision of whether to go down this route would rest on many factors, such as:
If you want to explore the idea of integration those would be the starting points for your initial research work. We're always happy to hear from companies we might be able to help, so if you'd like a chat over a coffee please get in touch.
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