SaaS is mentioned a lot in the worlds of tech and business. But what does it actually mean?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model that gives customers access to applications over the internet rather than requiring a physical installation. You don’t need to download anything to use a SaaS product, you simply log in via your web or mobile browser.
You're likely using products from a lot of SaaS companies already. You could be using Mailchimp as your email marketing provider, HubSpot as your CRM and QuickBooks for accounting. These are all examples of popular SaaS tools.
Because SaaS apps are centrally hosted and maintained by a provider, they update automatically and instantly – without you needing to download anything or make any manual changes. The result? A lot of saved time and hassle.
However, to get the best results from your SaaS stack there are a few things to put into practice...
Top SaaS best practices
- Looking at your business tools holistically, rather than as disconnected. Your tools need to work together and complement one another.
- Cleaning up your data regularly. With regular data cleanups, you can avoid messy databases.
- Upgrading tools you have grown out of, or using integrations to give them more power.
- Syncing your contact data between your SaaS tool with accurate segmentation and filtering.
Let's dig into how to get these best practices right and build the strongest tech stack.
How can you integrate your SaaS tools and sync your contact data?
You have three main options to integrate your SaaS apps. These are:
- With a native integration, such as those in Mailchimp's Integrations Directory.
- With a custom integration, but these are very costly and time-consuming to build.
- With iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) solutions, like PieSync.
If they're available for the apps you want to connect, native integrations can be a great solution that's quick to set up.
However, you might find your business needs a deeper sync that updates data in real time and bidirectionally between apps. This is especially important if you frequently change or update your contact information, and need to see the latest version of the data across your apps. For this, iPaaS tools are probably the best solution for you.
With PieSync's two-way customer data sync, you can make sure that you're following SaaS best practices. It works by syncing contacts, leads and companies between all of your key business apps – from your email marketing platform to your accounting system and CRM.
Getting your data in sync means streamlined contact management, stronger collaboration between teams and even improved customer experience.
Here's how you can get the best results from your SaaS tools with PieSync
Once you've set up your PieSync account, here's how to start syncing your SaaS stack to get the best results out of your customer data.
1. Choose how your data will flow between apps
When connecting your SaaS tools, your first question might be: how should the data flow between my apps? If you want the data to sync continuously between two apps, choose a two-way sync. If you only want to make changes in a single app and see it directly reflected in another, a one-way sync is for you.
2. Decide which contacts will be included in the syncs
PieSync uses if/then rules so you can choose which groups of your contacts get synced between your tools. You can use these rules to create segments of your contacts to be synced to and from your chosen apps - this way, you can have more control over where your contacts will go when syncing.
3. Customize which information fields to sync across apps
It's not just about creating carbon copies of contact databases in every tool. You need to attach the right information from different tools to contacts, otherwise you'll lack the clarity you need to give personalized experience to every contact.
Since a lot of your apps can have different names for the same information fields, PieSync helps you map out how you want to sync specific contact information with default field mappings and custom field mappings.
PieSync automatically syncs common fields across apps - like a ‘first name’ field to another ‘first name’ field. For custom fields and more complex instances, you have freedom to choose how to sync them between your tools.
4. Clean up and avoid duplicate contacts in your apps
To save you from time-consuming contact management, PieSync also helps you avoid duplicate contacts in different apps. It scans your database, using a email addresses as a basis to match contacts across apps - so, if a contact exists in two apps, we enrich both records instead of creating new records for the same person.
For example, you might have Jane's email address and phone number in your email marketing app, and her email address and job role in your CRM. When connecting these tools two-ways, PieSync won't create new contact records for Jane - it will detect that these contact records belong to the same person because the same email address is entered in both apps. As a result, your CRM will have Jane's email address, phone number and job role all in one contact record, and so will your email marketing tool.
5. Collaborate with different teams in your business
Remember that you can add unlimited team members to PieSync. While you don't need to add everyone, it might be a good idea to invite someone from each department and collaborate on setting up the right rules and syncs for everyone. This way, you'll ensure the best data flow through your company as contacts move between marketing, sales, accounting and support.
6. Remember to sync all key tools
For the best contact syncing results, make sure to sync all of your most important SaaS apps. A good starting point is connecting your email marketing, CRM and customer support tools - these are usually the apps with the most customer data in them.
Ready to get started? Get set up with a PieSync free trial and start connecting your SaaS apps for better business results.