article | July 29, 2014
Can You Trust the Data in Your CRM?
You depend on your CRM system to give you actionable insight. Leading and lagging indicators tell you how well the Sales team is performing. Dashboard reports give you ‘at a glance’ visual cues throughout the week.
But is your CRM getting insight from other systems? Is it connected to Marketing, Support, or Finance databases? If it isn’t, your data may be incomplete and, potentially, unreliable. Pulling reports from different systems to resolve data gaps isn’t a scalable solution. You need your CRM to be a single source of truth for Sales. To achieve that, you’ll need to interconnect your CRM with other enterprise systems.
Download Five Steps to a Successful CRM Integration to get started.
Without access to other corporate systems the Sales CRM is on an island. It lacks inputs from other databases that can make sales teams more informed. Sales will benefit from connecting to the following three corporate databases:
What benefits does Sales Operations gain by connecting the Sales CRM with other systems? Marketing Systems
The Sales CRM may already be connected to the marketing automation system. Many organizations have connected these systems in order to pass leads to Sales. But you may not be getting as much information as you could. For example, can Sales see what the most recent marketing activity is by customer? Is Sales alerted when a customer or prospect downloads certain content from the website? Can you measure Marketing’s engagement with customers as a leading indicator of future potential?
Deeper integration with marketing automation will result in tighter alignment between Sales and Marketing.
Customer Service and/or Customer Support Systems
Like Sales, Customer Service and Support organizations are on the front line with customers. The service and support databases hold data that can inform Sales in meaningful ways. For example, Service/Support can tell you the exact product that a customer is using. This information can be used to cross-sell or up-sell existing customers. Service/Support can tell you when a specific customer is having a critical support issue. With this insight a Sales Rep is more informed when they call on the customer. Satisfaction trends sourced from Service/Support can be a leading indicator of future purchase behavior.
Connecting the Sales CRM with Service/Support will enable Sales to gain additional insights about customers. These insights can improve Sales productivity, forecasting, and customer retention.
Connecting the Sales CRM with the Finance ERP system is often the final frontier. It can be costly and time consuming. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a priority. For Sales Operations, there is much to be gained by exchanging data with Finance. For instance, you can streamline the order booking process to lubricate commission processing.
Financial data can enhance and improve the data integrity of the Sales CRM. You can more accurately measure the cost and impact of Sales on the business. Access to Finance data will make your headcount planning process more complete and accurate. Lastly, by connecting the systems you can automate and accelerate deal approval cycles.
If your Sales CRM is sitting on an island you need to interconnect it. Ensure that you start your integration on the right path. Download this tool to:
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A Business Strategy Consulting Company
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands