How to build the best software stack around your CRM

connecting data to crm

Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is at the heart of your business. It's where you store and manage all of your contact data, from your marketing leads to your sales pipeline and customer database.

When done well, your company's CRM offers a clear trail of all key interactions, purchases and preferences so you can provide the most personalized experience for your customers.

But while your CRM is powerful alone, it's infinitely more powerful when connected seamlessly with your other business apps.

With effective integrations in place, you can build the strongest software stack around your CRM and ensure data flows to all the right places, exactly when you need it to.


5 tips to build the best software stack around your CRM

To help you get set up, read on for some of our best tips to connect your CRM to your other business tools for seamless contact management across your entire organization.

 

1. Look closely at your CRM and check it ticks all of your boxes

To begin with, make sure that your CRM tool is really the best fit for your business. A good CRM is easy for you to use, fits your budget and takes the stress out of managing contacts and customers.

 

2. Power up your CRM by connecting your other apps

Once you're happy with your CRM, it's time to look at which apps to sync with it first. While every business is different, certain apps play an essential role in most software stacks:

Customer support software

Whether B2B or B2C, most businesses have some sort of customer support team. With a tool like Zendesk or Freshdesk, you can quickly and efficiently handle customer support tickets, whether they come in via a website form, email, live chat conversation or phone call.

To ensure that you can see the latest customer status in either tool, set up an integration to connect your customer support software to your CRM. With a two-way sync, you can make sure that custom properties are instantly updated in both your CRM and support platform databases.

For example, you might be using Pipedrive as your CRM and Zendesk as your customer support platform. You can use PieSync to create a real-time two-way sync between the two tools.

For example, by setting up "if-this-then-that" rules in your PieSync connection, you can make sure to only sync Pipedrive contacts that have the label "Client" with Zendesk. You can also automatically add an "Active" tag to these contacts, so support reps who pick up their tickets know they're subscribed customers at that moment:

Zendesk and Pipedrive sync

Lead generation apps

If you're generating new leads via lead generation tools, you can send new contacts to your CRM along with the latest data and contact preferences for each one. You can customize how the information is synced between apps with a combination of default and custom field mappings.

Email marketing platform

How are you managing your email marketing? You might be sending email campaigns and automating email workflows in an all-in-one marketing platform and CRM like HubSpot, or with a a separate email tool like Mailchimp or GetResponse.

Your email marketing platform is one of the best apps to sync bidirectionally with your CRM. Why? Because you need the most up-to-date contact data before you send any email campaigns. Otherwise you're at risk of sending to contacts that have unsubscribed or no longer require the product or service you're promoting.

In addition, your CRM stores valuable customer data that can come in handy when creating personalized email marketing campaigns. By syncing both tools two-ways, you ensure that your marketers have the most enriched and relevant customer data at the tip of their fingers.

Marketing automation tool

Automation can be an extremely powerful addition to your business – and your CRM.

Some teams choose a CRM like HubSpot that has built-in automation features. If you're using a standalone automation tool like ActiveCampaign or GetResponse, make sure to integrate the app with your CRM. You can use a native integration for this, or better still, an iPaaS sync to let the tools share data bidirectionally and in real time.

Another advantage of using an iPaaS like PieSync to sync data with your marketing automation tool is that it makes your contact data the most up-to-date it can be. This enables your automation workflows to deliver five-star personalization and relevance to exactly the right contacts at the right moment.

To make your contact data more up-to-date, use PieSync to ensure that the latest changes are reflected in every app, whether it's a list opt-in, email address update, or new communication preference.

Billing & invoicing apps

If you need to send invoices to customers, it's important to sync the right data to your invoicing tool – and record invoices and processed payments in your CRM.

Some data you might want to sync across your software stack include contact details for a key contact person, billing date and renewal frequency.

 

3. Collaborate with other departments

A CRM isn't a tool for a single team to use. It should span your entire organization, especially your sales, marketing and service teams. Anyone in your company should know how to log in to your CRM and find answers to questions they have about a lead, contact or customer.

To make sure that your CRM is at the operational center of your business, take time to:

  • Make sure all the right people have access to your CRM.
  • Give all employees basic CRM training for key tasks, such as finding contacts and unsubscribing them from your mailing list.
  • Understand the go-to apps used in each department's software stack that should be synced with your CRM.

 

4. Fix any data silos

The number one enemy of effective contact management? Data silos. Simply put, a data silo is a collection of data that one department has access to but others do not.

Data silos quickly lead to a lack of transparency, efficiency and trust within your organization. They can also throttle your business performance and drain resources while you deal with wasted time and lost productivity.

By integrating your organization's data and fixing silos, you can equip your teams with the data and collaboration they need to do their best work and help your company thrive.

 

5. Keep everything synced!

There's no one app that takes care of every single business need. Your business relies on a multitude of different SaaS tools, each with their own advantages.

To make your business operations shine, it's about choosing the right combination of apps and letting your software stack work together for the best collaborative results. You can do this with iPaaS solutions like PieSync.

You can think of PieSync as the glue that holds your app stack together.

To instantly integrate data between your CRM and other key apps, get set up with a PieSync free trial and start syncing your data two ways.

Try PieSync for free

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.