Great business systems provide value by managing data and workflows that streamline processes and pave the way for tons of insights guiding your everyday and strategic business decisions. But disparate software systems can get in the way of your success.
Many organizations use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) like Salesforce as their contact management solution. However, they don’t prioritize the integration of their CRM with other business systems and often don’t have a universal “source of truth.”
The following three items are areas where your team and business may be losing information and losing money by not integrating systems.
1. Inconsistent Customer Profiles
Each time prospect, customer, or partner information is entered into a different business system, it creates stranded data. That data may include contact info, service requests, purchase history, shipping information, and other details. Stranded data often means duplicate, missing, or inaccurate information. This can lead to lost confidence in sales reps, as well as wasted time with prospects giving reps information they should already have.
And, let’s say information about a deal is entered into your CRM but not automatically transferred to the system that processes the order. That can cause delays, problems for the customer, and even missed order fulfillment.
Furthermore, your marketing team needs complete, accurate data on prospects and customers to segment and nurture leads effectively. And they need to develop buyer personas and marketing campaigns that accurately reach the right audience at the right time.
2. Inaccessible Data
Can your sales team see new opportunities? Do your sales reps see order history and inventory? Do your service reps see contact information, previous conversations, and other relevant data? Do your partners have the right tools, resources, and data they need to register leads, collaborate on projects, and track customers?
A strong sales process includes providing awesome customer service and building relationships. Without the right information, sales reps and service reps cannot provide insights and recommendations to customers.
Whether it’s order history, inventory, pricing, or other data, your sales teams need to have accurate and quick access to your client’s information and to your business processes. Think about how many opportunities go unnoticed because your sales team doesn’t have a clear picture of their customer’s touchpoints with your business.
Another thing to consider is the mobile enablement. For many businesses, it’s vital that apps and data can be accessed from anywhere on any device at any time. Prospect, customer, and partner data may be logged long after sales calls, or only logged in a data silo such as Excel. Lack of shared, real-time data puts businesses at risk of losing data, and that jeopardizes deals.
3. Incomplete or Inaccurate Dashboards and Reports Lead to Poor Business Decisions
Do your sales managers and executive teams have the right reports to make meaningful business decisions?
You need tools that automatically compile and display data without waiting for your people to build reports in Excel. So much of modern business is done in real-time and disparate business systems leave information holes in management dashboards and reports. Not to mention, by the time a report is built manually, that information could be outdated.
For example, you need complete, accurate reports that:
- Assess how your marketing programs are working and which tactics are most effective to allocate resources
- Assess what your competitors are doing in their differentiation and how well it’s working to ensure differentiation in products and services
- Assess how well your sales team is performing against goals, and why they are winning or losing deals to improve sales performance and revenue growth
- Provide forecasting data so you can plan operations and cash flow
Disparate business systems cost you time, energy, and information in each of these three ways. Every hour your team spends building reports using various systems and technologies is time lost in front of prospects and customers.
With fully integrated systems, your teams can provide the best service to prospects and customers from the first time they talk to your sales rep to when they sign the check, and beyond to customer service and support.
From your CRM to your accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and other business software, integrated information is essential in achieving a complete and accurate 360-degree view of your customers.