If you’ve been hearing it often, it’s only because it’s so true: data runs every business today. The digital revolution is all around us. We’re already living in a world that has been connected, quantized, and technologically enhanced. If this is news to you, don’t worry, there’s still time to get your operation up to speed. But, don’t delay because the competition likely already has a head start.
“CRM integration reduces churn, improves operational efficiency and inter-team communication, promotes more accurate data collection, and leads to increased conversion rates and sales.”
One of the first areas every growing business concern should be investigating is breaking down their digital silos, disparate repositories of data, and hooking them all up to a centralized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Doing so prevents insights from going unnoticed and unexploited. CRM platforms such as Salesforce, are advanced systems for overseeing prospective and existing customer bases, tracking their activity, and optimizing your interactions with them.
When it comes to business data, often the first consideration is the backend: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, merchandising systems, business portals, collaboration platforms, etc. These are all information rich pools that can be fed into a CRM system, which is all for the better as CRM is only as good as the quantity and quality of the data it receives.
However, there’s another incredibly valuable source of data that many firms are failing to fully integrate with CRM: their Content Management Systems (CMS) and individual websites. CRM integration has incredible benefits, not the least of which is improving customer experiences. It also reduces churn, improves operational efficiency and inter-team communication, promotes more accurate data collection, and even leads to increased conversion rates and sales.
Here are the top five reasons your website needs CRM integration:
HubSpot’s State of Inbound report for 2018 found that 32% of sales representatives spend more than an hour a day just on data entry. Salespeople aren’t the only ones wasting time performing tasks that could be automated.
If your website and CRM solution aren’t connected, you are almost certainly devoting precious manpower to rote tasks like manually exporting data sets to import them from one platform to another. Or worse, you aren’t even doing that and leaving your data siloed. Automated integration eliminates time-consuming, repetitive, and mostly mindless tasks, freeing up your human resources for jobs that take full advantage of their skills.
2. Customer Experience
Businesses today aren’t hungry for data for its own sake. They need it to gain a competitive edge. One of the chief ways data provides that advantage is through improved customer experiences. The way in which you sell products and services in a highly competitive marketplace is as important as the actual offerings.
Customer’s demand a frictionless buying process, copious information and content to help them make their decision, and customer service and marketing interactions that are pleasant, relevant, and indicate an awareness of their tastes and needs. Managing those expectations is a complex undertaking. CRM is vital to keeping everything organized so that no one slips through the cracks and goes unmeasured or overlooked.
3. Churn Rate
One of the top reasons, according to studies, that customers leave a business is due to a perceived attitude of indifference. Bear in mind, that feeling is merely ‘perceived,’ which is to say, even if you aren’t ignoring your customers, you should be checking up on them periodically so that it’s abundantly apparent that you haven’t forgotten about them.
Customers learn very quickly which companies actually value their patronage. When queries are not responded to promptly (and by the right person), content and messaging isn’t relevant to their needs, and basic niceties like automatically generated notices of receipt and thank you’s aren’t being sent, they vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere.
You can’t expect to meet and exceed your customers’ needs if you don’t know who they are and what they want. Delivering a rewarding and truly personalized experience requires a robust overview of not just their demographics, but also behavioral markers.
Every time a surfer visits your websites, fills out a form, enjoys a piece of content, loads up an ecommerce shopping cart, or otherwise interacts with you online is another vital piece of CRM data that paints a richer picture of who they are. Comprehensive customer profiles helps businesses determine how best to message their audience, what purchases they will likely make in the near future, as well as their expected lifetime value.
The pace of business today is lightning quick. Old data is dangerous data. There is no way of knowing if it’s still relevant or actionable. Making decisions based off of it could lead to undesirable outcomes. For example, while failing to keep in contact with your customers can lead them to think you aren’t interested in their business, contacting them through channels they don’t prefer with offers that aren’t relevant to them will just as quickly drive your churn rate up.
CRM removes sources of human error, such as inaccurate data entry, and ensure that all your data is real time, or close to it, so that decisions can be made fast and still be relied upon.
There’s no shortage of good CRM options available today. Most firms opt for a product by Salesforce, the market leader, but SharpSpring, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, Oracle, and others offer excellent cloud-based products as well. Whichever CRM solution you choose, make sure it integrates seamlessly with your CMS (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla).
When everything is running smoothly, a visitor input on your website automatically triggers a CRM response, pings the appropriate team, records the browser’s location and submitted info (such as industry, job title, referenced product), and automates the workflow. This is how technology is accelerating business growth online.
Your website is more than just the face of your business online, it’s an irreplaceable source of data on your existing and prospective customers. Don’t let those insights disappear. Put them to work with a cutting-edge CRM solution.
Does your web presence need a CRM upgrade? Talk to us about our Digital Experience services today.